2019 California-Nevada Annual Conference

June 19-22, in Modesto, California

"I do not believe we should weaponize our offerings to God. I do not believe we in the Western Jurisdiction should be considering leaving the church because change has not come in our time and on our terms. But I do not believe [either, that] LGBTQ persons should be treated as inconvenient ... to be legislated out of the church.”

That statement by officiating Bishop Minerva G. Carcaño of the San Francisco Episcopal Area drew enthusiastic applause when the California-Nevada Annual Conference met in Modesto, California for its 171st session, June 19-22.  

The episcopal address, delivered as part of the Opening Worship/Communion Service, set the tone for the gathering, held under the theme, “With Jesus in the Boat,” based on Matthew 8:23-27. 

“As I have experienced the present storm in The United Methodist Church, I have heard too little about what it means to journey with Jesus,” the bishop said in her message, emphatically labeling the Traditional Plan adopted at General Conference 2019 a “punitive and unjust law.”  

“The February General Conference was definitely wrong when it said that we get to define who gets to be in the boat with Jesus,” the bishop told the gathering. “We do not get to name who Jesus calls today … Jesus alone calls us. 

"Friends, it is time to shout out with the disciples, ‘Lord, save us; we are perishing!’” the bishop continued, adding that in order to do that we are required to “quit shouting at each other.”  

Conferees devoted the first two nights to Christian conferencing on strategic visioning for California-Nevada, organized by the CORE Team, the program coordinating arm of our conference, and guided by various leaders and emerging leaders in the conference, including young adults. 

Morning devotions featured stirring messages calling for hope and action by pastors, including the Revs. Brian Adkins, Anne Lau Choy and Sifa Hingano. The laity address was given by Micheal Pope. 

The presence and participation of a 60-strong delegation of youth and young adults was fully in evidence, in fact, from legislative section leadership to the election of a one young adult (Rebecca Bernstein, age 23) as a General Conference delegate, and of three young adults to Jurisdictional Conference plus two on reserve (six in all).

To view all the delegates for General Conference and Jurisdictional Conference follow the link https://www.cnumc.org/2019GJCdelegation.

2020 General Conference clergy delegates: The Revs. Kah-Jin Jeffrey Kuan, Elizabeth Brick, and Staci Current.

2020 General Conference lay delegates: Micheal Pope, Emily Allen and Rebecca Bernstein. Bernstein is 23.

2020 Western Jurisdictional clergy delegation: The Revs. Dale Weatherspoon, Sifa Hingano, Angela Brown, Kristin Stoneking, Fel Cao, Matthew Pearson and Theon Johnson III.

2020 Western Jurisdiction lay delegates

The young adult delegates are: Michael Hsu, 20; Ryland Christian Fernandez, 20; Lauren Michelle Stevens, 28. Other delegates are Randall Miller, Gayle Sherman, Becca Cramer-Mowder and Ruby Bago.

2020 Western Jurisdiction clergy reserves: The Revs. Motoe Yamada Foor, Kathy LaPoint-Collup, Hyok In Kwan, Craig Brown, Bener Agtarap and E. Myrna Bernadel-Huey.

2020 Western Jurisdiction lay reserves: Two young adult reserves are Carolina Barrow, 28, and Leslie Rickerd, 33. Other lay reserves are: Beverly-Ann Boxill-German, Amanda Bulls-Stephens, David Troescher and Nina Klepac.

Legislative Matters

The conference approved several items related to the 2019 General Conference: 

  • A recommendation on Creation of a California-Nevada Structural Change Task Force (to investigate various proposals for structural changes). 
  • A resolution in Conscientious Dissent from the Traditional Plan and Reaffirmation of Our Inclusive Tradition (to reject GC 19 actions and affirm historic commitment to full inclusion of LGBTQ+). 
  • Recommendation Directing Core Team to form Task Groups (dedicated to developing a theological statement and ways to participate in the Western Jurisdiction’s non-compliance with the Traditional Plan). 
  • Recommendation for Conversation and Education in Local Churches (to facilitate conversation around Wesleyan Understanding of Christianity, The Baptismal Vows of the UMC, diversity & inclusion, and potentials for New Expressions of Methodism).

Relating to the 2020 session, conference included: 

  • A resolution requesting that the Western Jurisdiction College of Bishops considers calling a special Jurisdictional Conference.

Resolutions addressing social issues included: 

  • A resolution asking Governor Gavin Newsom for pardons for non-violent drug offenders. 
  • A resolution on The Least of These: Speaking Up for the Children of Gaza. 
  • A resolution of Thanks to Governor Gavin Newsom for Moratorium on Death Penalty. 
  • A resolution Towards Ending Child Incarceration Through Support for the rights of children. 
  • A resolution in support for the Berta Cáceres Human Right in Honduras Act. 

Items concerning building interfaith relationships included: 

  • A resolution on Building Faith Communities of Hospitality and Understanding. 
  • A resolution in support of full communion with the Episcopal Church. 

Several items and petitions concerned changes to the discipline including: 

  • A resolution on the rights of licensed local pastors and commissioned provisional elders. 

Budget and Offerings

Budget

The conference passed the tithe budget of $6,000,000, a 2.7% increase from the 2019 spending plan, which represents an estimate of 2020 tithe collections.

The total budget goes beyond ministries to include the structural piece of the church. To be transparent with the resources, this conference is investing in our conference focus of ministries as follows*:

Leadership Development Mission Focus Area: $139,000

Congregational Development Mission Focus Area: $682,835

Compassion and Justice Mission Focus Area: $644,000

Partners in Ministry Mission Focus Area: $11,000

*NOTE:  The first three areas are action oriented and the fourth area is supporting and monitoring working alongside.

 

The budgeted total for General and Jurisdictional apportionments of $2,015,891 is the total of all apportionments assigned to the California-Nevada Conference, as listed below:

World Service Fund: $1,010,014

Ministerial Education Fund: $341,136

Episcopal Fund: $299,106

Black College Fund: $136,076

General Administration Fund: $119,931

Africa University: $30,453

Interdenominational Cooperation Fund: $26,679

Western Jurisdiction Operating Fund: $52,496

Total: General and Jurisdictional Apportionments: $ 2,015,891.

 

Offerings

The Annual Conference offering benefited the Davuilevu Theological College, Fiji. with a year to date of $23,910.53 collected for this offering. 

Other offerings were taken for the following: 

Necessitous Fund Offering $ 4,556.50; and, 

Ministerial Education Fund $ 3,138.35. 

 

Ordination service

Bishop Carcaño was the preacher for the ordination service and continued in a tradition of washing the feet of the newly ordained.  

During the conference, 13 people were ordained, commissioned or licensed as United Methodist clergy including six who are openly LGBTQ. Three elders in full connection and one deacon were ordained. Five elders and one deacon were commissioned on Friday.  Two orders on a provisional basis were received, one reinstated, and five received as transfers.  

“Those commissioned and ordained have been tested by our disciplinary processes, prayerfully considered by our clergy session, and found to be called by God, gifted and blessed by grace for set-apart ministry. I give God thanks for their humble and faithful ministry in the church and in the world,” said the bishop. 

For the first time, our conference consecrated and commissioned a missionary. Hesed Soriano Lim, from the Philippines, will join the teaching staff of Seth Mokitimi Methodist Seminary in Pietermaritzburg, Kwazulu/Natal, South Africa as part of the "everywhere to everywhere" community of UM missionaries.

The conference also recognized the transfer of deaconess Nerice Cao from the Philippines to our annual conference. 

Ordained elder: The Revs. Nei Na Ko, Caitlin Utahana Hamilton and Latulala Toetu’u.

Ordained deacon: The Rev. Kenneth Marcus Schoon.

Provisional elders: The Revs. Quentisha Davis-Wiles, Jacey Pickens-Jones, Emily Elizabeth Pickens-Jones, Hyun Ho (Peter) Park and Hwa Pyoung Kang.

Provisional deacon: The Rev. Melanie Oliver.

First time certified as a candidate for ordained ministry and appointed as a licensed local pastor: Tara Limbaugh, Robert  Herrmann, Cesar Garcia Rodriguez, Vincent Santanelli, Martha Truax and Jer Yang. 

Memorial service

32 clergy and spouses who died in the past year were remembered during a memorial service. The Rev. Blake Busick, superintendent of the Great Northern District, gave a message entitled, "Extend Grace" emphasizing God's Shalom that connects us together and provides hope for the future.

Clergy: The Revs. Carroll Ray Alderman, Leonard Cuevas Autajay, Ivan J. Ball Jr., Allen Jerome Carter Jr., Wanda A. Celli, Winston Abalos Cruz, William Richard Huser, Masayoshi Kawashima, Robert Myron McCallister, Mary Anne Harvey McCollum, Robert Theodore McIlvenna, Sun-Yong Park, Richard Brantly Plain II, John Milton Schmidt and Thomas Chun-Nan Tai.

Spouses: Jean S. Baker, Barbara E. M. Cannon-Anderson, Jean Elaine Davis, Helen Foster,

Kathleen Lester Fuller, Myra Jane Garretson, Gene Anna Hawthorne, Linda Kathryn Kuruhara,

Young Ok Lee, Elizabeth Nora Hooks Lint, Doris Long, Joy Lee McGallian, Ronald Royce Ray,

Martha Eugenia Currier Schade, Priscilla Ann Tremayne, Dorothy Ellen Vieira, Peggy Ann Woodworth.  

Retirees: The 12 clergy retired, represented more than 301 years of service. They are: The Revs. Stephen E. Lee, Eileen Harper Lindsay, Martha Milk, Aura-Lila Ochoa, William Theodore Pecot, Kristin Lynn Sachen, Sandra Sanders-West, Cynthia Statemen, Cindy Kay Storrs, Ronald E. Swisher, Hee-Soo Kim, Christine Elaine Shiber.

Statistics: 

Membership stands at 69,704, down 1,300 from the previous year. 

Worship attendance stands at 26,349, down 1,273.  

Church school attendance stands at 5,691, down 295. 

Professions or reaffirmations of faith for 2018 are 1,147, down 99 from 2017. 

Adults and young adults in small groups for 2018 are 15,742, down 1,849 from 2017. 

Worshippers engaged in mission for 2018 are 17,583, down 6,722 from 2017. 

Awards:  

Bishop’s Awards: 

  • Doug McNeil, Los Gatos United Methodist Church, El Camino Real  
  • Greg Smith, Tulare United Methodist Church, Central Valley
  • Kim Jones, Melissa Allison and Lisa Conover-Hustis, Los Altos United Methodist Church, El Camino Real  
  • Lois Weaver, Ely United Methodist Church, Great Northern.

Bishop Warner H. Brown Leadership Award:

  • The Rev. Brian Adkins, Richmond, Open Door United Methodist Church.

Retired Clergy Association Scholarship: 

  • Tara Macy 
  • Becky Stockdale - The Helen Foster Memorial Scholarship thru RCA
  • Alison Maki
  • Saulisi Kanongata'a
  • Yeu Vang

One Matters Award from the General Board of Discipleship: 

  • Oakland Fale Maama Church 

Next year’s annual conference session will again be held in Modesto, California, at the Convention Center on Friday, June 12- Monday, June 15, 2020.

The praise team and choir from St. Luke’s United Methodist Church in Richmond, California, led by Seru and Emi Vatuwaqa, provided inspirational music throughout the annual conference.

2019 ACS Videos:

Video clips of sermons, messages, and presentations from the 2019 Annual Conference session are now available to view and download at: https://www.cnumc.org/2019-acs-videos.

Cate Monaghan, Interim Director of Communications, California-Nevada Conference.

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