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PNW News Digest #38 - November 21, 2019

PNW Video Report to WJ Summit

Next steps after the Western Jurisdiction Fresh United Methodism Summit 

By Patrick Scriven, Director of Communications & Young People’s Ministries (PNW)

This week's PNW News Digest has a number of articles covering the Western Jurisdiction Fresh United Methodist Summit in depth. I won't take up space repeating that reporting here but I'd encourage you to click on some of the links below if you are interested and need to catch up.

I do want to take a few minutes to point out a couple key items specific to the Greater Northwest Area and Pacific Northwest Conference. During the summit, attendees received a number of reports from jurisdictional leadership and workgroups. Annual Conferences were also invited to share video reports to explain how they had processed the contentious 2019 General Conference and how they were preparing for the year ahead. PNW first-elected delegates Rev. Elizabeth Schindler and Skylar Marston-Bihl offered this short report for our conference.

One of the major decisions of the 200 United Methodists gathered in the Los Angeles area last week was the formation of a visioning team of 10 persons. They will prepare a draft of what a new mission and structure might look like, presenting their work to the jurisdiction this Summer. Five of the team members are from the Greater NW, with two from the PNW!

It was a privilege to spend time in Los Angeles with the creative dreamers who were at the summit last week. Despite all of the challenges of our denomination, it gives me some hope to know that are good people trying to faithfully discern a way forward, whatever 2020 might bring.

WJ Leadership Team Report

Western Jurisdiction “Fresh United Methodism Summit” Affirms LGBTQ+ Support; Leaders See it as a ‘Movement Moment’ to Help Discern its Future in the Church

Western Jurisdiction Leadership Team Press Release

LOS ANGELES (Nov. 18) – More than 200 laypersons, clergy, and bishops gathered in Los Angeles, Calif., on Nov. 14-16 for the Western Jurisdiction’s Fresh United Methodism Summit to help prepare for the denomination’s 2020 General Conference and the ensuing Jurisdictional (Regional) Conference.

The Western Jurisdiction’s Leadership Team, which called for the gathering, concluded that the summit was a “movement moment in The United Methodist Church. The future of the church will come out of the vision of our younger people, leaders who stepped into the forefront of work of the summit.”

In addition to affirming a theological statement that re-states the Western Jurisdiction’s stance allowing the ordination of LGBTQ+ persons and allowing its clergy to perform same-sex weddings, summit participants elected a 10-member team to work a vision for the future of the Jurisdiction. Comprised of five laity and five clergy, persons under the age of 40 are well represented on the team.

“The diversity of our emerging leaders is future-leaning – gay, straight, persons of color, people representing the richness of life across our regions millions of square miles. We heard them voicing the hope that out of chaos, something can be born.” the Leadership Team said in its report.

“We see the summit as an important model for the future, where we rely less on formal processes, and put our trust in the movement of the Holy Spirit and the relational connections built through our discernment and work together,” Rev. Donna Pritchard, chair of the Leadership Team said in the report.

Click the link below to read the entire report.

Read WJ Leadership Team Report

Greater NW & Other UMC News

WJ Summit Day Three: Leadership makes space for fresh ideas from new voices at the Fresh United Methodism Summit

On its final day, attendees at the WJ Fresh United Methodism Summit supported a plan to create a process for envisioning a new denominational structure.

The proposal voted “most viable” of those created during the “Sprint” collaborative work done at the summit establishes a 10-member team to brainstorm, using other ideas generated at the summit, and create a first draft of a “clear mission and a clear structure” for the jurisdiction.

Read More
WJ Fresh Summit Day 2

WJ Summit Day Two: A morning of inspiration, an afternoon of innovation

The second day of the Western Jurisdiction's Fresh United Methodism Summit began with a resoundingly supportive reception of the bishops' Safe Harbor Declaration.

It continued in the afternoon with an innovation process aiming to help the group to uncover next steps.

Read More
WJ Fresh Summit Day 1

WJ Summit Day One: Theological statement leads first day of summit

On the first day of the Western Jurisdiction Fresh United Methodism Summit, participants received reports from a variety of workgroups tasked in the Spring after the 2019 General Conference, in addition to reports from each annual conference.

One group brought forward a four-page Theological Declaration termed a “call to action” which was warmly received at the event.

Read More
Gathering dreams of inclusive future

UMNS: Gathering dreams of an inclusive future

Attendees of the Fresh United Methodism Summit worked through hundreds of ideas in their efforts to dream of a new form of Methodism for the Western Jurisdiction that is inclusive of LGBTQ church leaders and same-sex unions.

Read More
Budgeting for an uncertain future

Budgeting for an uncertain future

Faced with the denomination’s uncertain future, United Methodist agencies are tightening their belts and budgeting for a potential plunge in giving in 2020. This is in addition to planning for deep cuts contained in the 2021-24 general church budget — the smallest in more than 20 years.

Read More
Central Conference Bishops Wholeheartedly Support Proposal for a U.S. Regional Conference

Central Conference Bishops Wholeheartedly Support Proposal for a U.S. Regional Conference

At last week's Council of Bishops Meeting, the Central Conference College of Bishops stated that they will promote and solidly support the Connectional Table's legislation to General Conference 2020 that will create a new structure for churches in the United States. This structure will be called the United States Regional Conference.

Read More
4 bishops dispute planned budget cuts

4 bishops dispute planned budget cuts

Bishops in Europe object to reduced financial support for their offices budgeted for early next year. The United Methodist finance agency says such cuts are necessary. At heart, the dispute is about how to handle the denomination’s financial strains.

Read More
Jesus Followers Rewrite Stories of Past Pain

CrossOver: Jesus Followers Rewrite Stories of Past Pain

In her post for the Greater NW Area CrossOver year study, Rev. Jenny Smith shares a personal story of reconciling with pain.

Smith shares that Christ followers are invited to important work, to write new stories that bring healing and new life.

Read More
Socktober in Alaska

Seward Journal: 1,000 socks for Socktober

A group of religious organizations and healthcare providers on the eastern Kenai Peninsula have collected over 500 pairs of socks to be distributed to those in need. The socks came from a number of churches; including United Methodist churches, Seward and Moose Pass, in the Alaska Conference.

Read More
Wanna Catch H#ll? Change Things Up.

Inspiring Generosity: Wanna Catch H#ll? Change Things Up.

Stewardship consultant Cesie Delve Scheuermann shares a cautionary take from Australia of a church that innovated by having a credit card reader attached to the offering plate.

Scheuermann isn't against the innovation, but she points out that change like this requires excellent planning, communications and execution – something foiled in this case by a post to social media.

Read More
United Methodists decry 'red-tagging' of church council

United Methodists decry 'red-tagging' of church council

United Methodists are defending the National Council of Churches in the Philippines after the organization was labeled as a “front organization of local communist terrorist groups” by the Department of National Defense of the Philippine government.

Read More
US-2 Video

General Board of Global Ministries: Global Mission Fellows US-2

The call to serve in the U.S. has been a growth-filled experience for Global Mission Fellows Emily, Asti and Samantha. Watch and learn how they are living in solidarity with their local communities in the Michigan Affiliate.

The application period for young adults ages 20–30 to be a US-2 is open through January 7, 2020.

Watch Video
Apply Now
CST Job Opening

CST hiring Director of Admissions and Enrollment Services

Claremont School of Theology is in the process of hiring a new Director of Admissions and Enrollment Services for its new campus in Salem, OR.

If you are interested in learning more or applying, visit their website.

Learn More
GCFA Task Force

Task force publishes report on agency reserves, $594 million in net assets estimated

The Reserves Task Force, appointed by the board of the denomination’s finance agency, has released its report on general agency reserves. The summary includes charts of agency net assets at the end of 2018 and projections for 2019.

See Report

Upcoming Events

Messy Middle Retreat: Discernment

March 24-26, 2020 | Bastyr University, Kenmore, WA

The middle of a career in ministry can be messy. The church is transforming, priorities are changing and God is calling us in ways that we aren't used to hearing. This three-day retreat will give mid-career clergy a chance to connect with colleagues, to practice discernment, and to renew their spirits in an environment of laughter and sacred trust.

Registration is $300 ($50 discount available for PNW Clergy) and includes lodging and seven meals. A limited number of single-occupancy rooms are available; register soon to secure one.

Learn More & Register

Resources & Opportunities

GC2020 Resources

General Conference 2020 News & Resources

As we continue on the path to General Conference 2020, we will be providing members with news and resources about the important conversations happening in The United Methodist Church.

Please keep this page bookmarked and share it with people in your congregation. We will work to keep it updated with essential content to inform the important conversations taking place across the area.

Learn More
Advent Ideas

Discover last minute Advent ideas

Advent arrives on December 1! Need some inspiration as you make final plans for this special season? Explore a denomination-wide list of studies, liturgies, family activities, service projects, resources and other ideas.

Explore Ideas

Conference Journal now available for print on demand

Print copies of the 2019 Pacific Northwest Annual Conference Journal are now available to order online via Please use buttons below to order one or both of the volumes.

Each volume is $10 + shipping. Lulu often has discount codes available; currently LKAB317CD, entered during checkout, will earn you 15% off your order.

Digital copies of both volumes are available to download at no cost on the PNW Conference website. Conference members can email Patrick Scriven to request the password that is needed for Volume One.

ORDER Journal Vol. 1 - Conference Directory & Rules
ORDER Journal Vol. 2 - Reports & Actions
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The Pacific Northwest Conference Office of Connectional Ministries works collaboratively and creatively to serve the missional needs of United Methodist ministries in Washington State and Northern Idaho.

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