The PNW Annual Conference began its plenary session. (From L to R) Nancy Tam Davis, the Rev. David Valera, the Rev. Wes Stanton (below) and Bishop Elaine Stanovsky.
Thursday’s PNW Plenary Session begins legislative process, reflects upon closures, celebrates GBGM, Campus Ministry, and the welcoming of our new bishop, Elaine JW Stanovsky.
By Mary Stanton-Nurse | Photos by Aaron Pazan
Following the initial organizing motions passed Wednesday evening after the Bishop’s Installation, the PNW Annual Conference’s initial Plenary session began bright and early Thursday morning with the rest of our traditional early-conference work, including the initial reports of the Rules and Nominations Committees.
PNW Conference Lay Leader Nancy Tam Davis presented the consent calendar, a compilation of legislation submitted before Annual Conference and considered by the Connectional Table and Cabinet, and moved its approval. After some conversation from the floor regarding whether it is appropriate to vote on the Consent Calendar immediately, the body voted to defer consideration until Friday morning’s PNW Plenary session, in order for there to be time for items to be removed from the Consent Calendar by petition from conference members.
After deferring the Consent Calendar, the body proceeded with the bittersweet business of voting on the closure of eight churches. Bishop Elaine reminded us, “There’s a somberness about this,” and we closed the voting with a prayer led by the Rev. David Nieda, Dean of the Cabinet, honoring the work and ministry of those congregations.
As some business had been deferred, the body was able to enjoy videos about the conference camping program and the work of the General Board of Global Ministries while the Asbury Award team prepared for their presentation.
The Rev. Kendra Behn presented the Asbury Award for Campus Ministry to Margaret “Peggy” Ray, who has been involved in Methodist campus ministry since at least 1958. “This is where we enable people to make the kind of commitment that lasts a life long, and grows into perfection,” Ray said in brief remarks, encouraging us to continue supporting campus ministry.
At the conclusion of the plenary session, David Reinholz led the conference in the Bishop’s Hymn, which is the PNW’s traditional celebration and welcoming of our episcopal leadership.
Mary Stanton-Nurse is a member of Seattle: Trinity United Methodist Church. Aaron Pazan is a student and attends Portland: Portsmouth Union Church.