Songs of praise and celebration ushered in the Spirit of God and enlivened the hearts of some 1,200 United Methodists gathered at the University of Redlands (Redlands, CA) for the 35th Annual Session of the California-Pacific Conference of The United Methodist Church.
The theme was “I See a New Church” (#ISEEANEWCHURCH), focusing on the many ways we as a Church are in a wilderness and are being led by God out of it. The Conference, from the pre-Conference activities within smaller groups to the many Plenary Sessions as an entire body, were glimpses of a brighter future because of God’s leadership of our California-Pacific Conference and God’s work of nurturing leaders from within our Conference.
In Resident Bishop Grant J. Hagiya’s address, the theme scripture came to life as Bishop Hagiya kneeled before all in the plenary space to inspire a Spirit of Repentance. With that, Bishop Hagiya shared a vision of a United Methodist Church that is “global in mission and contextual in governance,” a vision that comes from Bishop Hagiya’s conviction that the California-Pacific Conference’s example of staying with one another within our diversity is one that can lead the denomination into a bright future. Bishop Hagiya’s assignment for all churches was for each church’s vision of a new church to be reported at each church’s Charge Conference which would all then be sent to the Conference to be shared at Annual Conference 2020.
The worship services and other activities throughout the Conference were truly holy moments. One of the services was led by clergy and laity of the LGBTQIA+ communities and another was led by our young people. The guest preacher for the Commissioning and Ordination Service was Bishop Cynthia Fierro Harvey of the Louisiana Conference of The United Methodist Church. And, this year, there were specially organized conversations around the matter of the Church and human sexuality. All such times were reminders of how God’s leadership which had led us to this moment began many years ago even though we might not have understood God’s grace at work at the time.
There were also many tangible demonstrations of the California-Pacific Conference commitment to a brighter future of which the following are several highlights:
The Special Offerings were collected for three specific causes:
- Filipino Caucus Mission – $4,334.30 – A program of the California-Pacific Conference Filipino Caucus, 2019 represents the 10th year that a mission team has been sent to the Philippines. These teams have typically engaged in church-building efforts–repairs, renovations, or new construction–through the investment of financial and human resources. Teams have also held health and wellness checks, children’s festivals, evangelistic services, and paid courtesy calls on local, regional, and national officials all in the spirit of spreading goodwill and lifting up in prayer those who are in leadership.
- Cal-Pac Internship – $3,884.20 – In an effort to support faith and leadership formation in our young people, as well as the flourishing of local Cal-Pac ministries, Conference Leadership and Discipleship Ministries have joined together with partnering local churches and outreach ministries to pilot an internship program for 19 to 25 year-olds to serve in full-time, paid leadership roles for 8 to 10 weeks during the summer.
- Native Hawaiian Scholarship – $2,072.44 – The offering of this educational scholarship fund for the Native Hawaiians is a collaboration of Interfaith groups of churches, temples, a synagogue and the Pacific Justice and Reconciliation Center in Hawaii. We hope to identify candidates who would benefit from such scholarship opportunities in training, education, health wellness, cultural awareness and a field of study including teaching and learning.
A slate of delegates to both General and Jurisdictional Conference were elected as follows:
General Conference Delegation
- Rev. Dr. Cedrick Bridgeforth (Clergy)
- Monalisa Tu’itahi
- Rev. Allison Mark
- Mark Stephenson
- Rev. Sandra Olewine
- Mele Maka
Jurisdictional Conference Delegation
- Rev. Molly Vetter
- JoAnn Fukumoto
- Rev. Dr. Tom Choi
- Rachel Rhodes-Wickett Gipson
- Rev. John Farley
- Erich Schmitt
- Rev. Frank Wulf
- Jason Takagi
- Rev. Darin Arntson
- Claire Williams
- Rev. Richard Bentley
- Dione Taylor
- Rev. Patricia Farris
- Mele Faiva Blagojevich
- Rev. Judy Chung
- Stuart Ahn
- Rev. Sam B. Kim
- Phil Valdes
- Rev. Eugene Han
- Andrew Esposo
- Rev. Tonya Harris
- Liz Roark
- Rev. Mandy McDow
- Katharine Henry
Finances – Details available in the 2019 Preliminary Report
- 2018 Giving = 1.45% increase in percentage of total from 2017
- 2020 Budget = $11,551,327 (a 4% decrease from 2019)
Legislation – Details available in the Legislation Tracking Sheet 2019
- 10 Recommendations for Action Passed
- 21 Resolutions Passed
- 7 Recommendations for Rules Changes Passed
In Memoriam – Details will be available in the Conference Journal
- 4 Bishops
- 2 Bishop’s spouses
- 29 clergypersons
- 11 clergy spouses
Retirees – Details will be available in the Conference Journal
- 14 clergypersons
- 425.25 years of service
Commissioning and Ordination – Details will be available in the Conference Journal
- 5 into Provisional Membership
- 5 into Full Connection
Bishop’s Awards – Details available on Bishop Hagiya’s page
- 4 clergypersons
- 4 laypersons
The location for the 36th Annual Session of the California-Pacific Conference will once again be the University of Redlands (Redlands, CA). The preliminary dates of the Session are June 18-20, 2020.
All recordings of the Worship Services and Plenary Sessions as well as other media and information is available at calpacumc.org/ac2019