The Rev. David Valera (far right) addresses the PNW Plenary while (from left) Revs. Shirley DeLarme and Jon Short, and Bishop Elaine Stanovsky follow along. Photo by Patrick Scriven for the PNW Conference.

Prepared by the Rev. Shirley DeLarme and Patrick Scriven

The Petitions and Consent Calendar items referred to on this page can be found in the Pre-Conference Handbook. Late-breaking Legislation and a second Consent Calendar were posted just prior to the start of conference.

The Consent Calendars received by conference members reflect the pre-conference deliberations of the Pacific Northwest Connectional Table and Council on Finance and Administration (CF&A). They met on May 19th to develop the first, and on Wednesday June 14th just prior to the start of conference to consider late-breaking items (Consent Calendar L).

Consent Calendar

The following items were put before members with the recommendation of concurrence; the body voted to approve the Consent Calendar.

  • Petition #1 – Election of Conference Secretary of Global Ministries—Marilyn Reid
  • Petition #2 – Jamaa Letu Orphanages (JLO) in the Congo, as amended, good through 2020 to support two orphanages financially
  • Petition #3 – HIV and Aids Education to Dispel Myths, as amended, to be distributed by Board of Church and Society to the Districts to be used at District Training events
  • Petition #4 – Kairos Palestine Document Task Force creation, Kairos Palestine Document – A Moment of Truth, to educate UMC PNW Conference Members, referred to Church and Society
  • Petition #5 – Amendment of the Articles of Incorporation and Bylaws of Wesley Homes, several changes
  • Petition #6 – Committee on Equitable Compensation, Recommendation on Minimum Compensation, minimum compensation up 1.5% to $40,800
  • Petition #7 – Moving Allowance, new schedule of payments
  • Petition #8 – Board of Pension – Recommendation Past Service Pension Rate, from the Board of Pensions
  • Petition #9 – Retirement Annuity Responsibility, from Board of Pensions
  • Petition #10 – Retirement Grants, from Board of Pensions
  • Petition #11 – Disability Benefits, from Board of Pensions
  • Petition #12 – Divestment from Fossil Fuels, transition to take place over a five-year-period with Wespath Benefits and Investments where the conference board not knowingly make investments…
  • Petition #14 – Rule VII, Sec. 3(d) change referred to Rules Committee
Consent Calendar ‘L’

As with the preceding Consent Calendar, the following CC including late petitions was moved concurrence with these two items; the body voted to approve the Consent Calendar L.

  • Petition L-1 – Affirming Western Jurisdiction Council of Bishop’s Response to Judicial Council and the Western Jurisdiction’s Commitment to Inclusive Ministry
  • Petition L-3 – Affirming LGBTQI Clergy
Items for Individual Action

Report #1N – Petition #15, Reducing the number of Districts from Six to Five in 2018. Required signatures were gathered to pull this petition from the Consent Calendar for debate; then the body voted to approve the petition.

Report #1 – Petition #13, Resolution to restore the practice of sharing the costs of our work together.
A recommendation was made to refer this petition to CF&A; the body voted to refer to CF&A

Report #1 – Late Petition #L-2, Petition Council College* of Bishops to Convene Special Western Jurisdictional Conference
Recommendation to refer to CF&A with the additional requirement to report back to A.C. 2018 of the findings of CF&A of costs and resources of the PNWAC to call a special WJ Conference.
A recommendation was made to refer as amended; the body voted to refer as amended.

Church Closures
  • Petition #16 Rocklyn Zion UMC closure, move adoption; approved.
  • Petition #17 White Bird UMC closure, move adoption; approved.
  • Petition #18 Everett:  Spirit of Grace UMC closure, move adoption; approved.
  • Petition #19 Walla Wall: Grace UMC, closure, move adoption; approved.
  • Petition #20 Tacoma:  Fern Hill UMC, closure, move adoption; approved.
  • Petition #21 Olympia:  Korean UMC closure, move adoption; approved.
  • Report #2 Petition L-4, Grand Coulee UMC closure, move adoption; approved.
  • Petition L5 Spokane:  Central UMC closure, move adoption; approved.

Administrative Support Report
Rev. Peter Perry, on behalf of the Administrative Support Focus Session, presented the Conference Budget before the plenary. He noted that a budget is a statement of priorities. Rev. Perry moved adoption of the 2018 budget; approved.

Nominations Report
Current Nomination Committee chairperson Rev. Juli Reinholz reported that Nominations information could be found online. The absolute cut-off for corrections/changes will be August 1, 2017. Beginning July 1, Rev. Rich Lang, Seattle District Superintendent will take over as chairperson for the Nominations Committee. Rev. Reinholz moved adoption of the report; approved.

Rules Reports
Rev. Shane Moore, chairperson for the Rules Committee, presented the following petitions and rule changes to the plenary for consideration.

  • Petition #14, Rule VII, Sec. 3 (d) (2016 Journal, p. N-23) regarding the minimum apportionment for a newly chartered church be set by formula by the Board of Congregational Development using the models they have developed that reflect both the current context and emerging new ministry models. Move adoption; approved.
  • Re: Rule XI, Sec 2 (b.) one-time moving expense of minister retiring under appointment from a local church, and minister on Medical leave. Move adoption; approved.
  • Re:  Rule XI, Sec 2 (c) moving costs for clergy being appointed from beyond the conference boundaries. Move adoption; approved.
  • Re: Rule V, Sec. 3 (a)(2) assigning of legislation to focus groups. Move adoption; approved.
  • Re:  Rule V, Sec. 1 (a) who is on sessions planning committee. Move adoption; approved.
  • Re:  Rule V, Sec. 3(b)(2) tenure limits to serve on focus sessions. Move adoption; approved.
  • Re:  Rule VI, Sec. (c)(2)(e) Cabinet members on the Board of Congregational Development. Move adoption; approved.

A number of other rule changes that are FYI only, do not require votes, reflect typos, change in BOD numbering, etc. were also presented.

Motion to consider new legislation

Toward the end of the final PNW plenary, Jana Kearns, lay member from Seattle: Green Lake, moved to suspend the rules to consider new legislation regarding the dumping of raw sewage into Puget Sound. Her motion was seconded; approved.

I move for the PNW Conference to direct the secretary of the AC (by sending a letter, etc.) to petition the City of Seattle to act now and stop all raw sewage from entering the nearby lakes, rivers, etc. and Puget sound; sewage that is killing our fish and other wildlife.
The motion was seconded; approved.

Constitutional Amendments

During shared Plenary time, members voted on whether to ratify five Constitutional Amendments approved by the 2016 General Conference. To become church law, each needs to garner “at least a two-thirds majority of the total voters at annual conferences around the world.” 343 ballots were cast by PNW members and the results will be forwarded, as appropriate, to the Council of Bishops Office.

*Conference materials errantly titled this legislation as referring to the Council of Bishops when the clear intent of the legislation was to the WJ College of Bishops.

The Rev. Shirley DeLarme is the Conference Secretary for the Pacific Northwest Annual Conference Session. She also serves as pastor of Port Orchard UMC. Patrick Scriven serves as Director of Communications and Young People’s Ministries.

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