NPUC Elects VPs, Appoints Directors
John Freedman, recently elected North Pacific Union Conference (NPUC) president, presided over his first union executive committee meeting with aplomb, Sunday, Nov. 6, in Welches, Oregon. He quickly defined a leadership style governed by prayer.
Calling the meeting to order with a season of prayer, Freedman encouraged committee members to embrace the calling and mission of the church to lift Jesus up to every Northwest community. “All the church buildings, mission trips and educational or medical institutions in the world won’t matter much,” he said, “unless we have Jesus in our hearts and attitudes.”
Along with several routine matters of business during the day, the agenda included several key personnel actions, interspersed with times for prayer. Three of these decisions were spurred by a vote taken at the recent NPUC Constituency Meeting on Sept. 25.
At that meeting, delegates approved a constitutional change that mandated vice president positions be elected, not simply appointed. Between constituency sessions, those elections are conducted by the NPUC nominating committee, which consists of the current union executive committee and several additional local conference and lay representatives.
Hence, at the Nov. 6 meeting, the nominating committee elected Dennis Plubell to return as vice president for education and César De León as vice president for Hispanic ministries for the next five-year term. Plubell has served the NPUC in this capacity since February 2014. De León began his work with the NPUC in June, replacing Ramon Canals who joined the world church ministerial team in 2015.
For the remaining position of vice president for regional affairs, the committee overwhelmingly determined to encourage opportunities toward new vision and direction. They did not re-elect Alphonso McCarthy who has filled that role and directed regional work in the Northwest since 1998. In addition to his vice president duties, McCarthy has also directed other areas of need for the union, including youth ministries, Pathfinders, family ministries, and multicultural ministries. The election of a new vice president for regional affairs will follow serious dialogue about expectations for the role and how many other areas of emphasis may be included in those expectations. No names were brought forward as potential nominees at the Nov. 6 meeting.
“This is going to take special prayer and thoughtful action over the next few months,” said Freedman. “We are so grateful for the commitment Alphonso and his wife, Judith, have given to the Northwest regional ministry, and pray God will guide them to continuing opportunities in His service.”
The NPUC executive committee (minus additional nominating committee members) also re-appointed current departmental directors, associates and assistants to new five-year terms. Returning to their roles at the union are: Loren Bordeaux, information technology director; Daniel Cates, information technology associate director; Allee Currier, association treasurer; Greg Hamilton, Northwest Religious Liberty Association president; Stan Hudson, Creation Study Center director; Christiana Parris, association assistant treasurer; Patti Revolinksi, elementary education director; Robert Sundin, undertreasurer; Steve Vistaunet, assistant to the president for communication; Anne Vu, assistant treasurer; Andre Wang, legal counsel; and Keith Waters, secondary education director.
To fill the role of planned giving and trust services director, which has been vacant since Kimberly Schroeder left at the end of August, the executive committee voted to invite Chuck Simpson, currently world church associate director for planned giving and trust services.
Freedman capped off the day’s business with another call to prayer and an exhortation for committee members to keep Jesus in the center of their lives. “A lot of things can distract us from Him,” he said. “Don’t let it happen. Let’s fulfill our calling. Let’s lift Jesus up and let Him draw our communities to Him.”
It’s a call to mission that Northwest members will be hearing frequently in the weeks and months ahead.