Prepared by Gretchen Engle & Rev. Shirley DeLarme
Connecting for Missions – Domestic
The conference delegates voted to support Initiative 594, which would apply criminal background check requirements to all gun sales and transfers in Washington State, with some specific exceptions.
The conference delegates voted to support Initiative 1329 which allows for Washington State to call for a constitutional amendment around the issue of “Corporate personhood” – the granting of human rights to non-human legal entities – and the issues of disclosure around contributions to political campaigns.
The conference delegates voted to support the introduction and passage of bill HB 2451 that would provide penalties for any mental health practitioner who engages in Sexual Orientation Change Efforts (attempts to change someone’s sexual orientation) for anyone under the age of 18. The Conference Secretary will send letters to various elected officials voicing our support of the bill.
Connecting for Missions – International
The conference delegates voted to support using Conference recommended opportunities and resources for studying fossil fuel divestment by Annual Conference 2015. This legislation is intended to raise awareness over fossil fuel’s effects on climate change and degradation of the environment, and to encourage us to think about our stewardship of the earth.
The conference delegates voted to support a petition calling for a cessation of all church trials in the PNW conference based on clergy sexual identity and clergy participation in same sex weddings and unions.
They also passed a petition which will require that the Conference make a public statement to the effect that our church and facilities are safe places for people regardless of gender identity and that transgender people may use the restroom consistent with the individual’s gender identity in our buildings.
The conference delegates voted that all conference boards and agencies are encouraged to schedule meetings for dates and times which will enable full participation of the people on that board or agency, both lay and clergy.
A number of rule changes were made.
- Youth and Young Adult Members to Annual Conference shall be selected to Annual attend Conference by the Conference Councils on Youth or Young Adult Ministries after consultation with the staff of the office of Young People’s Ministries, and the District Superintendents.
- The location of Annual Conference may be decided by either the Conference or by the Annual Conference Sessions Planning Committee.
- A waiver of all or part of the minimum salary of a part-time local pastor may be initiated by the local pastor.
- The rules around clergy absences from Annual Conference, and the title of the Joint Committee on Clergy Medical Leave have been adjusted to be aligned more clearly with the Book of Discipline.