Streams of Light—Sharing and Living the Light Upper Columbia Conference Constituency Session

Streams of Light—Sharing and Living the Light Upper Columbia Conference Constituency Session When the Upper Columbia Conference (UCC) leadership team envisioned a theme for the 74th regular constituency session, they found inspiration in the words of Ellen White, who foresaw that the message of Jesus’ return would be shared “like streams of light that went clear around the world.” So the nearly 500 UCC delegates entering Upper Columbia Academy’s gymnasium for the May 18 constituency session found an agenda and supporting materials that reflected the theme, “Streams of Light—Sharing and Living the Light.” Delegates shared reports and envisioned practical ways in which churches and members could become more effective “streams of light.” The delegates affirmed all incumbent departmental directors in their continuing duties and re-elected all three officers: Max Torkelsen II, as president; Gordon Pifher, secretary; and Jon Corder as treasurer. Jere Patzer, North Pacific Union Conference president, noted that these were not just “rubber stamp” decisions. “In all the surveys tallied, these individuals received extremely high marks,” he said. “They are doing the work you have asked them to do…the Lord is blessing their efforts.” Torkelsen noted several highlights of the past four years: • More than 2,500 members joined the conference, raising membership to 23,286. • 172 evangelistic series were held. • 12 new churches were planted, seven of which were officially voted into the sisterhood of churches at the session (Athol, Brewster Spanish, Hayden, Spokane East Central, Wenatchee Spanish, Yakima Three Angels Spanish and Yakima Willow Spanish). • Camp MiVoden paid off the additional 480 acres purchased in 1987. • Kids Educational Endowment and Scholarship Program (KEEP) was launched to develop funds for educational scholarships. • Cookies Retreat Center was established to provide healing for emotionally abused women and children. During the president’s report, Dustin Serns, 13-year-old East Wenatchee church member, shared how he has presented Bible studies resulting in two baptisms already, but acknowledged that he is “just one little piece of the puzzle.” Torkelsen emphasized the conference’s most cherished asset—its youth. “Adventist education,” he said, “will always be a core value. We experience more baptisms through the work of our schools than from any other endeavor.” Four key areas of emphasis for the coming term include: 1. Spiritual Growth—A call for each member to deepen a relationship with Jesus. 2. Youth—A need to inspire and empower youth with the core values of the church’s mission. 3. Outreach—A burden to grow the Lord’s kingdom throughout the UCC territory by drawing lost people to Jesus. 4. Discipleship—A commitment to go beyond just counting baptisms to making true disciples. Torkelsen said, “These are big goals, eternal goals. We may not be great leaders, but we believe in a great truth and we serve a truly great God. In Him we will find strength, hope and grace to do His bidding, to meet our challenges and to see us safely home.”

Streams of Light—Sharing and Living the Light

Upper Columbia Conference Constituency Session

When the Upper Columbia Conference (UCC) leadership team envisioned a theme for the 74th regular constituency session, they found inspiration in the words of Ellen White, who foresaw that the message of Jesus’ return would be shared “like streams of light that went clear around the world.”

So the nearly 500 UCC delegates entering Upper Columbia Academy’s gymnasium for the May 18 constituency session found an agenda and supporting materials that reflected the theme, “Streams of Light—Sharing and Living the Light.” Delegates shared reports and envisioned practical ways in which churches and members could become more effective “streams of light.”

The delegates affirmed all incumbent departmental directors in their continuing duties and re-elected all three officers: Max Torkelsen II, as president; Gordon Pifher, secretary; and Jon Corder as treasurer. Jere Patzer, North Pacific Union Conference president, noted that these were not just “rubber stamp” decisions. “In all the surveys tallied, these individuals received extremely high marks,” he said. “They are doing the work you have asked them to do…the Lord is blessing their efforts.”

Torkelsen noted several highlights of the past four years:

• More than 2,500 members joined the conference, raising membership to 23,286.

• 172 evangelistic series were held.

• 12 new churches were planted, seven of which were officially voted into the sisterhood of churches at the session (Athol, Brewster Spanish, Hayden, Spokane East Central, Wenatchee Spanish, Yakima Three Angels Spanish and Yakima Willow Spanish).

• Camp MiVoden paid off the additional 480 acres purchased in 1987.

• Kids Educational Endowment and Scholarship Program (KEEP) was launched to develop funds for educational scholarships.

• Cookies Retreat Center was established to provide healing for emotionally abused women and children.

During the president’s report, Dustin Serns, 13-year-old East Wenatchee church member, shared how he has presented Bible studies resulting in two baptisms already, but acknowledged that he is “just one little piece of the puzzle.”

Torkelsen emphasized the conference’s most cherished asset—its youth. “Adventist education,” he said, “will always be a core value. We experience more baptisms through the work of our schools than from any other endeavor.” Four key areas of emphasis for the coming term include:

1. Spiritual Growth—A call for each member to deepen a relationship with Jesus.

2. Youth—A need to inspire and empower youth with the core values of the church’s mission.

3. Outreach—A burden to grow the Lord’s kingdom throughout the UCC territory by drawing lost people to Jesus.

4. Discipleship—A commitment to go beyond just counting baptisms to making true disciples.

Torkelsen said, “These are big goals, eternal goals. We may not be great leaders, but we believe in a great truth and we serve a truly great God. In Him we will find strength, hope and grace to do His bidding, to meet our challenges and to see us safely home.”

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Reported by Steve Vistaunet