The Pacific Northwest Annual Conference Sessions 2015
Prepared by the Rev. Shirley DeLarme
Much of our action was to make our preferences known to General Conference, and to petition them to take action according to our suggestions. Many other actions continue work we have deemed important in the ministries of our Conference.
-Tradition of funding delegates to General and Jurisdictional Conferences
-Minimum salary for clergy set at $39,720
-Moving allowances were set
-Past Service rate was set
-Retirement grants and annuities were approved
-Disability grants were authorized
-Agreed that members of the Conference Board of Pensions and Health Benefits could approve annually the Comprehensive funding plans for the conference, and seek a favorable opinion of those plans from the General Board of Pensions and Health Benefits
-Authorized that active participants, not eligible for Medicare as primary coverage, would be covered through the HealthFlex Exchange offered by the Center for Health with the General Board of Pension and Health Benefits.
-Petitioned General Conference to amend ¶324.8 to require that a person with a disability must be a part of the committee to determine clergy medical leave.
-Closure of five churches were mourned:
1. Epworth LeSourd
3. Nooksack Valley
5. Mount Vernon Avon
-Petitioned General Conference to direct the General Board of Pension and Health Benefits to divest of Caterpillar stock because of its actions related to Human Rights, Palestine, and Israel.
-Resolving to be noted in the United Methodist Book of Resolutions, that Non discrimination in disability compensation for those with mental and nervous disorders is necessary.
-Resolved that General Boards and agencies of the United Methodist Church are called on to remove from their portfolios companies producing goods or services in illegal settlements on occupied land * Budget was approved after adding funds for more and new scholarships for college students, and more visible promotions of scholarship opportunities.
Connecting for Missions-International
-Affirmed continuing support of Jamaa Letu Orphanages in the Congo
-Affirmed Joan & Keith Hackett as Co-Conference Secretaries of Global Ministries for the 2015-2016 year
-Approved 2015-2016 Conference Advance Specials to include:
1. Tacoma Community House
2. Atlantic Street Center
3. PNW Conference & Retreat Ministries
4. Disaster Relief
5. Early Response Team
6. Inland Northwest PET Project
-Agreed that designated funds in excess of what is needed for a specific disaster may be re-designated for other disasters.
-Agreed to petition General Conference to Amend ¶717 Book of Discipline and Book of Resolutions sec. 4071 so that it is part of the policy of the UMC to avoid investment in production of petroleum, coal, and natural gas, as inconsistent with the goals outlined in the Social Principles, and to create investment screens so that the UMC does not knowingly invest in any company or entity whose core business activity involves the production of these products
Connecting for Missions—Domestic
-PNW Conference endorses the Declaration on Ethics and Modernizing the Columbia River Treaty to honor the rights of native peoples.
-PNW Conference Endorses I-735, allowing the people of Washington state to call for amending the US Constitution to clarify that the rights of people protected by the Constitution of the United States are the rights of human beings only.
-Petitionied General Conference to revise ¶610 of the Book of Discipline to so that every effort shall be made to ensure all meetings schedule by the Annual Conference and its districts, boards, and agencies will be held in places that are accessible to all.
-PNW Conference urges individual United Methodists throughout PNW to reduce their energy consumption by 25% in five years.
Asks General Conference to revise ¶324.8 of the Book of Discipline so that provisional candidates for ordained ministry may not be disqualified on the basis of a health disability.
There were no petitions in this Focus Area.
Lots of changes that look small, but that probably feel significant to those affected.
Nominations were left with the Committee and Nominations and Cabinet to complete.