Washington Delegates Attend 58th Constituency Session
The doors of Auburn Adventist Academy Church in Auburn, Wash., opened Sunday morning, April 18, to welcome nearly 300 delegates to the 58th Constituency Session of the Washington Conference of Seventh-day Adventists.
Before the session officially opened, delegates sang hymns such as "We Gather Together to Ask the Lord's Blessing," listened to a devotional thought about the role of the church and split into small groups for a time of prayer.
"It amazes me how a group of people with such different ideas, backgrounds and cultures can become one through Jesus Christ and His mission," says Rob Aaron, a delegate from Lacey, Wash.
With a quorum secured, the constituency session officially commenced with the seating of six new churches, a short ministry survey using electronic voting devices and approval of session procedures.
John Freedman, Washington Conference president, shared how every ministry is prayerfully moving to align with the Adventist Church's mission. In the last four years, Washington Conference encouraged lifestyle evangelism and invested in training, public evangelism, missions, literature ministries, youth ministries and more. "Everything we do is centered on Jesus," he says.
All leaders were re-elected including all three officers, four new directors and two new associates. Officers for the next quadrennial are: John Freedman, president; Doug Bing, vice president for administration; and Jerry Russell, vice president for finance.
The four new directors are Dennis Carlson, trust services director, from associate; Omar Grieve, Spanish ministries and stewardship director, from coordinator; EuGene Lewis, regional affairs director, from coordinator; and Heidi Martella, communication director, from associate. The two new associates are: Jeff Fogelquist, associate treasurer, from business intern; and Peter Rampton, trust services associate, from It Is Written Television Ministries.
Church Business Decisions
The Constitution and Bylaws Committee presented three recommendations to update one remaining gender reference to gender-neutral terminology (a process addressed four years ago) and to update the conference address to reflect the current location. The third recommendation suggested changing the frequency of session meetings from four to five years beginning in 2014 to reduce expenses and to align schedules to prevent a conference session from occurring in the same year as a General Conference session or North Pacific Union Conference session. Delegates passed this measure with 93 percent approval.
The session wrapped up with a come-and-go ministry fair where delegates interacted with conference ministries and discovered new resources.
"Because this meeting is about our church governance," says Freedman, "we surrounded our constituency session with prayer and watched how God directed our entire meeting."