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Vice Moderator reports on board actions, vision

By Esther Sanders - Vice Moderator

The Board has been busy with seeking to communicate better with one another and with the Conference. We gathered at Pilgrim Firs for a retreat in early November where we had good discussion, good food, fellowship and gained clarity about what the Spirit is leading us to prioritize.

Annual Meeting 2024 will be held Friday to Sunday April 26 to 28

One group volunteered to re-work the guiding vision. Another group volunteered to examine the Bylaws and make suggestions to bring to the Annual Meeting April 26-28, 2024. Each board member volunteered to connect with a committee or two to increase communication channels and ensure any action items will be brought to the board.

The essential piece of the retreat was to get to know one another because Zoom limits us. We had ice breakers and some games with snacks and shared stories about why we felt called to the Board.

The board is aware there are multiple facets of the conference that need support, including staff. In October board members and staff were matched so that each staff member would be offered support once or twice a month by a board member, and this would not be related to personnel matters, just purely a listening ear.

The board is also aware of committees that may need more folks. The board has also had two resignations recently, in addition to coming into the new term with vacancies. We moved two churches in the Heartland area to the Southeast area, which makes only five areas in which to fill vacancies.

We are excited to say we just voted two new folks onto the Board, who will hopefully be confirmed by the Conference Annual Meeting in April 26 to 28.

We invite members of the Conference to stay tuned to their emails for more information regarding updates from the Intentional Interim Conference Minister Search Committee and the Annual Meeting Planning Committee.

The following is the proposed wording for the Guiding Vision, with a reminder that a vision statement is about what we envision our conference to be at its best. It is written in the present tense. We can use mission statements, goals and procedures to sketch out how we will specifically plan to live into this vision.

“The Pacific Northwest Conference is a deeply connected group of churches, camps, clergy and lay people who support, affirm and encourage one another as we engage in vital, creative and inclusive ministry. In partnership with the good work of others, we are transforming lives and building communities based on deep and caring relationships.

“We continually work to ‘do justice, love kindness, and walk humbly with our God’ (Micah 6:8). In this effort, we specifically strive to create a just and anti-racist world, beginning with our own faith communities, knowing that the ministry of dismantling white supremacy culture is ongoing.

“Together with God, we are expanding the ways that God is expressed and revealed to the world.”

May God’s blessings be abundantly known through the Advent and Christmas¬† seasons and into 2024.


Pacific Northwest United Church News © Winter 2023-24


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