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PNC takes time to revise budget to reflect anti-racism priority

By Hillary Coleman – moderator

Annual Meeting committed to anti-racism, amended its Bylaws and Constitution and passed an amended budget.

Hillary Coleman, bottom, her laptop and moderator's gavel. Photos courtesy of Hillary Coleman

More than 250 PNCUCC community members gathered from across the region via Zoom for our 2021 Annual Meeting. It was good to be in community. We were reminded throughout the weekend that we all make up the Pacific Northwest Conference of the UCC and we have lots of work to continue together to do justice, love kindness and walk humbly with our God (Micah 6:8).

Here are a few highlights of the business votes Annual Meeting took.

On Friday, the Annual Meeting voted to affirm the Covenant Agreement between the Northern Lights Region DOC, Pacific Northwest Conference UCC, Justapaz, and CEDECOL’s Peace and Justice Commission.

This builds upon work that our Global Ministries Committee has participated in since 2017 to create a new partnership.

Annual Meeting delegates also endorsed the General Synod Resolution: Alliance of Associate Conference Ministers (AACM), which will recognize the already formed AACM as a self-created group in the UCC, supporting those who serve in a staff or called position doing conference ministry in the support of conference ministers and conferences. PNC Minister for Church Vitality Courtney Stange-Tregear gave leadership in the formation of this group and resolution. 

On Saturday, as delegates began conversation of the Fiscal Year 2022 budget, the spirit moved as questions were raised about how the PNC commitment to anti-racism is reflected in the budget.

In the budget as presented, there was a $2,000 line item for an “Advisory Committee on Racism,” in addition to staff, camp and committees spending time addressing racism in their work. A conversation followed about the $2,000 line item being much too small, recognition that no amount of money is “enough” to undo years of oppression and racism, and the need for the conference, including churches and members, to commit to and take strong actions to be anti-racist. This conversation was important, necessary, and is ongoing.

Ultimately, after delegates voted on the Constitution Change: Anti-Racism Commitment to reflect the conference’s commitment to dismantling racism and other forms of oppression, they passed a budget that was amended to reflect the implementation of the bylaw change on anti-racism, by adding “$50,000 to the proposed operating budget to implement a plan to work towards becoming an anti-racist conference. The Board of Directors will identify the group that will administer the funds. An action report will be brought to the 2022 Annual Meeting.”
As moderator, I heard clearly the need for us as an institution to do more to become truly welcoming of everyone, to recognize our past and present racism, to center the voices of community members of color in this work, and to honor work that people have done to bring us where we are today and continue this work.

We are called to use an anti-racist lens in all of our work. The board will work with people across the conference, building upon conversations already happening, to move this work forward.

We also voted on a bylaws change related to the work of the Committee on Ministry to bring the PNC Bylaws into conformance with current practices in place as part of the PNC’s covenantal connections and responsibilities with the wider United Church of Christ, specifically to ensure that our bylaws state that COM will support people “using the current Manual on Ministry for procedures and guidelines.”

Annual Meeting finished its business by voting on the nomination slate of new and returning Conference leaders.

Thank you for all who attended and contributed to Annual Meeting, as well as for all in our conference who will be part of our important collective work continuing forward.

More information on the business of Annual Meeting, and recordings of worship and some of the time together is available at 

For information, email

Pacific NW UCC News copyright © July 2021




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