Northern California Conference Votes New Officers and to Move the Conference Office

Marc K. Woodson was elected president of the Northern California Conference of Seventh-day Adventists at the regular conference constituency session on September 30, 2018, and the delegates empowered the Conference Executive Committee to proceed with the purchase of a new conference office building in Roseville, California and to sell the present office building in Pleasant Hill. The conference has been in preliminary discussions with Adventist Health to purchase its Douglas Boulevard building in Roseville when Adventist Health moves to its new larger building that is under construction across town. The assembled delegates also turned down the opportunity to discuss at length five proposals from local churches that had been appropriately submitted to the conference for inclusion on the agenda. When the Conference Executive Committee voted unanimously not to include the items and notified the churches of their decision, the topic lit up social media discussions. The Executive Committee explained their decision saying that some of the proposals were not germane to the conference’s jurisdiction, in others factual errors were provided as the reasons an item should be considered, one proposed item was generally addressed in committee and not at a constituency session, and one of the proposals concerned church membership and did not meet the criteria set out for agenda items of being applicable to the entire conference. There was a brief exchange at the beginning of the meeting about who gets to decide what actually goes on the session agenda with Parliamentarian Meredith Jobe noting that NCC’s Bylaws are unusual in that it gives the chair the responsibility for preparing the agenda and that a two-thirds vote would be needed to change it. However, a motion was made to ask the delegates whether or not they would like to discuss the proposals. Once all five items were shared with the delegates, there was a vote on whether or not to add them as a block to the agenda. The motion failed with a vote of 61% no and 39% yes. The topics the delegates declined to discuss were: 1. That the NCC Executive Committee report to constituents the measures they take and have taken when official beliefs and practices have been publicly violated in our universities. 2. To discourage and eliminate the promotion of unbiblical doctrines and practices by removing errant pastors and teachers at our universities and by screening students who are not in harmony with the church’s fundamental beliefs. 3. To amend the Conference’s Mission Statement to be aligned with how our mission is defined in the three angels message of Rev. 14. 4. To cease the implementation of the Executive Committee votes pertaining to ordination without regard to gender in order to be in harmony with the world church. 5. To ask the Pacific Union Conference to rescind both the credentials and ordination of the Chico Church pastor who allowed and supported the baptism of a lesbian woman as well as the retired ordained pastor who performed the baptism, and to subject the Chico Church to the official disciplinary process as outlined in the church manual for congregations in apostasy. Later, when the credentials and licenses for the entire conference were being approved, a question was raised as to whether or not all the people on the list adhered to the 28 Fundamental Beliefs and with some discussion it turned into a motion that the credentials list be sent back to committee for screening as to whether or not the individuals on the list accepted the 28 Fundamental Beliefs. The motion to refer back was defeated with a 55% no vote and 45% yes. And then the credentials were approved on a vote of 64% yes and 36% no. Pacific Union Conference President Ricardo Graham, who had chaired the Nominating Committee, presided over the voting on the conference officers and departmental directors. Woodson, who had previously served as the Executive Secretary of the conference, and interim president after the retirement of James Pedersen earlier this year, received an 89% yes vote and 11% no vote when his name was brought forward to be the new president. Jose Marin was nominated to replace Woodson at the Executive Secretary position. Marin leaves the same Executive Secretary position in the Arizona Conference to join NCC, but he had also worked as the Hispanic ethnic coordinator for the NCC from 2014 to 2016. Once the vote on Marin’s election (88% yes to 12% no) was completed, Patrice Kielhorn from the Golden Feather Church went to the microphone. She said there had been irregularities in the Nominating Committee process and asked for information about what had taken place in those meetings. Graham replied, “Those discussions are closed and not open for discussion on the floor.” And the meeting proceeded with the voting of the various departmental directors. The 84% yes vote for Youth Director Heinrich elicited extended applause. His name had initially been pulled from the Nominating Committee’s list of department directors, only to be restored after the Committee held several more meetings. North American Division President Dan Jackson was present and offered the prayer of consecration for all those who were elected during the session. The meeting concluded as it had begun with songs of praise and prayers of thanks. Further Reading: A Reflection on the Northern California Conference Constituency Meeting by Susan Parker Fleming Bonnie Dwyer is editor of Spectrum. Image: Tasked with selecting leaders for the next four-year term, the delegates elected Marc Woodson, current NCC executive secretary, to be president. They also elected Jose Marin, current Arizona Conference executive secretary and ministerial/evangelism director, to be executive secretary, and they reelected John Rasmussen, NCC treasurer. From left to right: Jose Marin, Marlene Rodriguez Woodson, Marc Woodson, Raelene Rasmussen, John Rasmussen. Not pictured: Cynthia Marin. Courtesy of the Northern California Conference of Seventh-day Adventists. We invite you to join our community through conversation by commenting below. We ask that you engage in courteous and respectful discourse. You can view our full commenting policy by clicking here.


This is a companion discussion topic for the original entry at http://spectrummagazine.org/node/9058

this is a sad development…obviously there is concern from some constituents that basic adventism and regular administrative procedure are being circumvented in this conference, but these concerns aren’t being allowed to be discussed…is this the kind of openness for dialogue NCC and PUC are hoping to receive from the GC…

one wonders if this episode in NCC is an indication of what the GC is responding to through the creation of its compliance review committees…perhaps unhappy NCC constituents, after getting nowhere with their conference and union leaders, have appealed directly to the GC…perhaps other NAD constituents have also appealed directly to the GC…

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In the list of items, items three through five should have been addressed. They all affect the conference as a whole. I would hope that in an open vote they would be voted down, however the behaviour of the conference executive, from the outside, appears to be no better than the GC. There may be circumstances in place that are not apparent in the article but if you want transparency from others, you first need to be transparent.
I agree the first two have no place on the agenda and the people who raised them possibly do not understand the governance of the colleges and universities. Added to that, our schools, colleges and universities should be as much an arm of our evangelism as any church, hospital or ADRA project.
Perhaps this was a not so subtle example of the way the NCC perceives the GC will (does) act. If it is, then it is misplaced. We should not stoop to the tactics of our adversary, then we are no better than him. At all times, we should act in accordance of our commission from God. Do these behaviours enhance or hinder the Gospel?

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WOW, it seems that the Constituents are not joking at the NCC, not willing to take the BS (Beautiful Statements) that some administrators want to address.
People have spoken.

I hope people will speak also at the AC18. This is a critical situation now.

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The delegates chose not to put them on the agenda, so they did address them that way. By doing so, it was a vote to say no change needed or at least they didn’t want to deal with them at that time.

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@KevinSeidel from a purely functional perspective, the NCC Excom manipulated the vote by voting on them as a block. If you were a delegate in the meeting you had two choices - put two items on the agenda that clearly had no place being there, in order to get three on the agenda that should be there. Or keep two items off the agenda that had not place being there but lose the opportunity to put three items on the agenda that should be discussed. Whichever way you vote you lose. The choice comes down to what are you prepared to lose. Voting on them as individual items may have given a very different result.

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do ordinary constituents even have a voice at AC18…i tend to doubt they’d get through the back door, let alone the front door…

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That was a wishfull thinking of mine. I wish real people had a voice in the Church’s business. But they (we!) don’t. Those meetings are dominated by pre-selected people, decisions made before the meetings take place and manipulations that sometimes are very frustrating .

The politicking in our Church is ugly, shameful, and embarrassing. Though those who make all those things happen often appear very proud of their so called “accomplishments.” Well, they prayed for it all, didn;'t they? So… why not to be proud?.. :roll_eyes:

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here’s TW doing some PR for AC2018…he’s so happy and innocent…he can’t possibly be a power-hungry monster…

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The power of a nice façade… Many unwary will,again, fall for it…

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George –
Wasn’t there a gangster once who was called “Baby Face”??

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Steve, I really don’t know, I didn’t use to hangout with gangsters… :laughing:

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I believe his name was “Baby Face” Nelson. And @GeorgeTichy, I didn’t hang out with gangsters either…:grin:

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It looks like the person who posted this video to YouTube changed the title to “Annual Council October 2018” (probably to garner more views), even though it is actually a promo video for last year’s Annual Council. Below the individual’s name, it says the video was published on Oct. 6, 2017.

There’s a couple other clues as well:

-the lack of beard, which TW has been growing for several months or so now
-his old glasses (he’s wearing a much more hip, retro-fashioned pair these days)
-the fact that he’s talking about how AC will convene in the GC auditorium even though this year’s AC will be in Battle Creek’s Kellogg Arena
-and also that he mentions the 500th anniversary of the Protestant Reformation, which occurred last year

It will be interesting to see what this year’s promo video looks like, and what is said. I assume he will be dressed in 19th century garb to accompany his beard.

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i can’t believe i missed all these clues :wink:…i guess it’s really true that things aren’t always what they seem…

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That was his full “name”. One sometimes has to BEWARE of nice guys.
Not always what they seem.
“Baby Faced” was disarming to those he was out to destroy.

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Yes, the lack of beard and the venue were immediate clues!

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Here is motion #5 in full as actually presented on the floor of the constituency meeting:

  1. Recommend to the Pacific Union Conference [PUC] Executive Committee to rescind both the credentials and ordination of the Chico Church pastor who allowed and supported this baptism and the retired ordained minister who actually performed the baptism, unless it becomes publicly evident to the constituency that each minister now supports and follows the Church Manual regarding church membership and discipline (refer to GC WP, L 60 25);
  2. Recommend that the Chico Church be subjected to the official disciplinary process as outlined in the Church Manual for congregations in apostasy, within one year from this date, should it be unable to satisfactorily demonstrate to the constituency how it has resolved its own internal disciplinary matters in harmony with the membership standards outlined in the Church Manual (refer to Church Manual, 2015, pp. 39-41).
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I’m not sure if you were a delegate or not, but I was there and would like to clarify. Mainly, the initial motion on the floor was to review the proposed agenda items individually. After several minutes of discussion that was mainly about the merit of the agenda item (i.e. holding our colleges accountable for what they teach) which is what should be discussed if they got added to agenda, not the merit of adding it onto the agenda (i.e. why the NCC ExCom overstepped its authority) another motion was made from the floor to consider all five items as a block. This second motion passed, thus the motion to consider all five items was defeated. So, to be clear the ExCom did not manipulate the vote by getting us to vote on them as a block, that was a motion made by a non-member of the ExCom.

The reasoning that was given as to why the ExCom did not approve these agenda items (at least items 3-5, which you believe should have been discussed) were: 3) Actually I don’t recall this being addressed, so I don’t know why they wouldn’t add it to the agenda, 4) We have voted on this at our last two constituency meetings, so it would be beating a dead horse at this point, and 5) this is a personnel issue with corresponding legal ramifications - thus we have to trust that the appropriate steps have been taken by the appropriate elected persons/committees.

The NCC ExCom is a mix of traditional and progressives, so to have what was told (by the chair) was a unanimous vote to not include these items on the agenda is pretty telling. I really don’t think there was a political motivation to attempt to silence conservative/traditional concerns, or else it would not have been a unanimous vote.

Due to the items either being out of our conference’s purview (educational institutions), already discussed at length and twice voted previously (ordination policy), or being a personnel decision with legal ramifications (discipline of ordained pastor), the vote was nearly two-thirds to not include these agenda items - so the majority of the constituents agreed with the ExComm’s decision.