Report by Patrick Scriven, Director of Communications and Young People’s Ministries
In San Diego, Cal., delegates to the Western Jurisdictional Conference affirmed new assignments for several bishops. A reduction in the number of bishops serving the jurisdiction allowed the jurisdiction to avoid an election this year as the Seattle and Portland areas combined into one new episcopal area known as the Great Northwest. The Conferences will share one episcopal leader but will not be merging.
The Rev. Frank Wulf, chair of the Conferences Committee, presented the reasoning behind their recommendation of the new episcopal area, the Greater Northwest Area which also keeps it’s residence in the Seattle area. Committee member Phil Cardin also discussed the plan for permeable boundaries, a vision where “a sharing of ideas” becomes the new norm. According to Cardin, “we do not have an exclusive list of problems…we do not have an exclusive list of solutions.” This plan for permeable boundaries was approved by the body.
The Northeast corner of Arizona, part of the South Central Jurisdiction in practice, but part of the Western Jurisdiction according to the Constitution was referred to the College of Bishops for study.
The Alaska Missionary Conference received a name change to the Alaska United Methodist Conference. Alaska will remain a missionary conference but requested the name change because of the negative connotations still felt by those who remember the acts of some missionaries which caused harm to many who lived in the area. This change was also affirmed by the body.
A report from the Korean Mission Advisory Council chair the Rev. Won Kie Kim was received relating growth of new faith communities and plans for a spiritual center to serve the jurisdiction.
Appointments for the quadrennium were announced by Greg Nelson, Communicator from Oregon-Idaho Annual Conference and chair the Episcopacy Committee. The Western Jurisdiction ratified the assignments for the five episcopal areas.
- Bishop Robert Hoshibata, who has served the Portland Area (Oregon-Idaho Conference) for eight years, is heading to the Phoenix Area (Desert Southwest Conference).
- Bishop Minerva Carcaño, who has served the Phoenix Area (Desert Southwest Conference) for 8 years will be heading to the California-Pacific Conference.
- Bishop Grant J. Hagiya, who has served the Seattle Area (Pacific Northwest Conference and Alaska Missionary Conference), will remain in Seattle to serve the newly formed Greater Northwest Episcopal Area (Alaska Conference, Oregon-Idaho and Pacific Northwest Annual Conferences).
Bishops returning to their current areas for second terms are:
- Bishop Elaine Stanovsky, Mountain Sky Area (Rocky Mountain & Yellowstone Conferences).
- Bishop Warner Brown, San Francisco Area (California-Nevada Conference).