Details Count at Northern California Conference Constituency Meeting

At a smoothly executed constituency session on September 25 where all the incumbents were reelected without comment, the largest amount of total conference tithe ever received was reported ($46.4 million in 2021), four new congregations were voted into the sisterhood of churches—Sacramento Ukrainian, San Leandro Spanish, Sacramento Fijian, and North Highlands Spanish—and an important initiative to address homelessness took center stage, the most discussed item on the agenda went down to a very narrow defeat.


This is a companion discussion topic for the original entry at http://spectrummagazine.org/node/12015

Looks like business as usual.

I was a delegate to that meeting. Some of the delegate speeches on various points indicated to me that diversity (racial) issues exist within the members of the Conference. In addition, some people appeared to not understand the role that government actually has in religious organizations. One cannot say, as one delegate seemed to say that “separation of Church and State” exists and therefore the government has no voice in any activity of the Chruch. All in all, I give the NCC a positive comment as to the manner in which the session was held.

I was also a delegate to a pre-session in which people were appointed to the Nominating Commitee. I expected people would come to that meeting with an agenda. I found a process in place that attempted to make the Nominating Committee representative of the Conference as a whole. I commend the administration for that attempt. However, on a personal basis, I do not believe that happened. But, I am conflicted as I do not have a practical answer as to how to improve that process.

I would like to see a process that assigned people to the Nominating Committee on the basis of the congregational size of the church or the group of individual congregations. This system might give an individual, larger congregation a delegate to the Nominating Commitee and at the same time give a group of smaller congregations an assigned delegate.

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From my perspective 2022 has been the year of incumbency and status quo. Many union and conference sessions were delayed, so terms have been shortened. Plus, I have not sensed a spirit of change. The one exception might be the Southern New England session which voted in Robert Folkenberg, Jr. as new president. He returns stateside from China. Hopefully, the NCC Bylaw provision empowering a local church to add an item to the agenda will be overturned at the next meeting. The best practice is for agenda items to be reviewed and approved by executive committee.

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Just an annoying note: the vote would have required 66 2/3% to pass. Three votes changing to the affirmative would have broken the 66% barrier as stated in the article, but a full six votes would have had to change to the affirmative to actually carry the day.

Looks like the political process is the “tail wagging the dog”. I yearn for simpler times…

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