Search PNC News for stories of people and churches in our UCC Conference:

Scribe Ron Patterson summarized the Annual Meeting

On behalf of the Board of Directors, PNC scribe Ron Patterson offered an overview on the 2023 PNC Annual Meeting in Bellingham.

Dawn Koloi, Courtney Stange-Tregear and Cheryl Lindsay, top.
Marshallese Church welcomed into the PNC-UCC, bottom.

“We gathered face to face, in person and virtually, at First Congregational Church of BellinghamApril 28 to 30 for sharing, truth telling, community building and business in an Annual Meeting that took place in the context of worship,” Ron wrote.

“We began with a Service of Lament, Truth and Compassion calling us to remember our brokenness as individuals, congregations and Conference,” he said telling of  Cheryl Lindsay, of the national UCC serving as a process guide, “to hold one another accountable in compassion and forgiveness as we seek to further the goals of our Conference including our special call to be an anti-racist community.”   

Friday included affinity groups for moderators and those in small and rural congregations and workshops which included “Pandemic Learnings and Remaining Challenges,” “Anti-racist Theology for Majority White Congregations” and “Caring for our Trans, Non-Binary and Queer Youth.” 

That evening, Traci Blackmon, associate general minister, Justice and Local Church Ministries of the United Church of Christ, gave an inspirational take on the state of the wider church and “our call to faithfulness in a broken world.” 

The evening included a celebration of the PNC acting conference minister, Courtney Stange-Tregear, ended her ministry with the PNC.  At a reception, the board asked her  to commission a stole at this summer’s General Synod of the UCC as a gift.  She received expressions of appreciation from Conference members. 

Saturday morning, Amy Johnson, worship planner, opened with a Service of Release for Courtney, words of appreciation and tears. 

Traci then preached a reminder that “despite our failures” as those of other disciples “we are called to rebirth and renewal.” 

The worship services featured music by groups from Bellingham UCC. Each service also involved members in eiscernment and the newly ordained clergy as liturgists. 

Moderator Tara Leininger called the business meeting to order announcing a quorum.  Cheryl, as process consultant, led a delegate training stressing “the importance of our relationships with one another.” 

After the agenda and standing rules were approved, the first order of business was passing an emergency resolution that called for the By-Laws to be updated to allow for both virtual and in person meetings.  This resolution was carefully crafted by a Community of Practice Group.  The goal, endorsed by the Board, was to enable gatherings to be more diverse and more inclusive.  The resolution passed and the 20 delegates who registered joined the meeting virtually as full participants. This revision was necessary to be compliant with Washington State law, which says nonprofit organizations must have a by-law provision to enable virtual participation. 

There were other highlights to the business meeting:

• The new Acting Conference Minister Jonna Jensen.    Ron interviewed her from her home in Iowa and explained that she will be with the PNC for several months while the Board seeks an Intentional Interim Conference minister to serve up to three years. Lee Albertson, Conference Minister Search Coordinator for the United Church of Christ, will provide support to the Board during the search. 

•    There was recognition of Five for Five Congregations and special legacy gifts given by All Pilgrims of Anacortes and East Congregational Church of Bellevue. They chose to invest in the future as their active lives were ending. 

• Delegates passed a resolution brought by the Committee on Ministry updating the by-laws to make pronouns more inclusive.

• The written reports from the PNC acting conference minister, moderator and other committees were received and are available at 

• The Dismantling Racism Task Force presented a report and details on anti-racism funds. 

• The Marshallese United Church of Christ JRD Congregation of Everett was welcomed by a unanimous vote as the newest PNC congregation. Their choir was featured in worship Saturday.

• Managing directors Mark Boyd of Pilgrim Firs and Pam Peterson of N-Sid-Sen reported on what’s happening at camps.

• The budget for the conference and camps passed after “a careful presentation and good discussion.” Details are at

• Delegates thanked departing leaders and voted a new slate of officers including new moderator, Indigo Brown and new vice-moderator, Esther Sanders.  These officers and other board and committee members were also approved.

• There was a time of remembrance for clergy who died and celebration of newly ordained clergy with the laying on of hands. 

The meeting adjourned after Sunday worship.

“We hope we can do the work and invest the energy to build trust, work toward becoming a less racist institution, and live into the justice and love of the kindom of God,” Ron concluded.

For information, call 239-253-1512.


Pacific Northwest Conference Summer United Church News copyright © June 2023


Share this article on your favorite social media Bookmark and Share