For the first time, the California-Pacific Conference of The United Methodist Church held its Annual Conference virtually, with songs of praise and celebration ushering in the Spirit of God and enlivening the hearts of some 1,200 United Methodists marking the 36th Annual Session over the online video conferencing platform known as Zoom.
The theme was “We Are The Church” (#WEARETHECHURCH), focusing on how we as The United Methodist Church are united in our identity of transformational disciples of Jesus Christ, even during times of division in terms of our theology as our social crises show us that there is much work to be done.
The Session officially began with a pre-recorded Opening Worship Service which included a young people-led 8:46 long observance of silence in light of the death of George Floyd and the racism that persists in our society-at-large as well as within our own church. Then, our Resident Bishop Grant J. Hagiya gently led us into our Agenda, reminding us that it might be difficult for those of us on Zoom to be engaged the whole time and to hang in there!
With the exception of the Commissioning and Ordination Service, which took place, social distanced, at Pasadena First United Methodist Church, and was broadcast live, the worship services were pre-recorded. And, a time of remembering those who have gone forth into glory was held as a slideshow in the place of a worship service which we recognized was not possible for many families because of the pandemic.
The Session itself was just another example of the California-Pacific Conference on the leading edges of the Church and there were many tangible demonstrations of the California-Pacific Conference commitment to a brighter future as detailed below…
The Special Offerings were collected for two specific causes and the total amount in giving will soon become available:
- Native Hawaiian Scholarship (at Retirement Service) – 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.
- Cal-Pac Camping Scholarships & Internships (at Commissioning and Ordination Service) – This offering will go to a fund for scholarships for children, youth and young adults to attend Cal-Pac Conference discipleship events such as Summer Camp, Winter Camp, Confirmation Retreat, Young Adult Retreat, Spanglish, Pacific Islander Youth/Young Adult Camp, Christmas Institute, Urban Kids Camp, and Hawaii Youth and Confirmation Retreats. The goal is that all children, youth and young adults can attend these life-changing events that complement the disciple-making journey of our local churches in every district.
Finances – Details available in the Preliminary Report 2020
- 2019 Giving = $9,521,767 (79.67% of budget)
- 2021 Budget = $10,658,105 (a 7.7% reduction from 2020)
Legislation – Details available in the Conference Journal
- 9 Recommendations were passed
- 6 Resolutions were passed
- 4 Rules Changes were passed
In Memoriam – Details will be available in the Conference Journal
- 3 of Bishops
- 5 of Bishop’s spouses
- 20 of clergypersons
- 19 of clergy spouses
Retirees – Details will be available in the Conference Journal
- 19 clergypersons
- 493 years of service
Commissioning and Ordination – Details will be available in the Conference Journal
- 3 Deacons into Provisional Membership
- 7 Elders into Provisional Membership
- 1 Deacon into Full Connection
- 9 Elders into Full Connection
The location for the 37th Annual Session of the California-Pacific Conference has been tentatively set for University of Redlands (Redlands, CA) with the dates of the Session also being tentatively set for the week of June 14-19, 2021.
All recordings of the Worship Services and Plenary Sessions as well as other media and information is available at calpacumc.org/ac2020