Our Vision, Task and Structure
The Pacific Northwest Conference of the United Methodist Church is called to be a community, diverse and united in God’s saving love, sent out in vital life-giving ministry for and with Jesus Christ.
The strategy of the Pacific Northwest Annual Conference is to fulfill the purpose and move toward our vision, the Annual Conference will provide lay and clergy transformational leadership for vital ministry.
The primary task of the Conference is calling, credentialing, equipping, sending forth, and nurturing lay and clergy transformational leaders.
Additional important functions of the Pacific Northwest Conference are; strategizing for new ministry development and congregational redevelopment, connecting for ministry beyond the local church, and providing support services.
Congregational Structure – how we do it
As the primary legislative body, General Conference is the only entity with the authority to speak on behalf of the entire United Methodist Church. The General Conference meets every four years to consider the business and mission of the church. An equal number of lay and clergy delegates are elected from annual conferences around the world to decide matters of policy and procedure for the denomination.
The Jurisdictional Conference* consists of Annual Conferences situated in a geographical region. There are five jurisdictions in the United States. The Pacific Northwest Conference belongs to the Western Jurisdiction which includes the Annual Conferences of Alaska (Missionary), California-Pacific, California-Nevada, Desert Southwest, Mountain Sky, and Oregon-Idaho.
Each Annual Conference is in a regional area. There are 54 Annual Conferences in the United States, with a growing number found internationally. The Pacific Northwest Annual Conference includes 250+ churches and new faith communities in the state of Washington, the Northern Panhandle of Idaho, and greater Vancouver-area of British Columbia.
The Pacific Northwest Annual Conference is divided into five geographic areas, called Districts. Each local church belongs to a geographic district. These districts are; Puget Sound, SeaTac, Vancouver, Seven Rivers, and Inland Missional Districts. A superintendent is assigned to each district.
Finally, each annual conference receives episcopal oversight from a bishop assigned to an episcopal area. While this often aligns with oversight of a specific conference, in some cases, an episcopal area may include multiple conferences. This is the case with the Greater Northwest Episcopal Area which includes the Pacific Northwest Conference in addition to the Alaska and Oregon-Idaho Conferences.
*In Africa, Europe and the Philippines, there are seven geographical regions, called central conferences, each of which is comprised of annual conferences and divided into several episcopal areas.