Bay View and Golden Gate Offices Close, Longtime Conference Employees Depart

December 15, 2010

Today marks another milestone in the Conference's transition from seven districts to four. The doors of the Bay View and Golden Gate District Offices will close for the last time, today, just as those of the Nevada-Sierra and Shasta offices did at the end of August. And just as with the previous two offices, the closure will mean the departure of two faithful Conference employees.
 
Ivania Miranda and Bruce Pettit are leaving Conference employ after many years. Pettit came on board June 22, 1999 and Miranda on October 1, 1986.
 
"It's been a real joy and a pleasure to work with both of these really fine administrative assistants and I would say that we all owe them a debt of gratitude for the literally decades of dedication and commitment that they have given to the Conference, " said the Rev. Renae Extrum-Fernandez, former Bay View superintendent and now superintendent for the Bridges District, under which "umbrella" Pettit has worked for the past year.
 
"They have walked us through many changes, and there have been some wonderful and some really sad times we have shared. 
 
"We're all deeply indebted to them for their decades of dedication. Both have shared our journey in really wonderful ways. It is not an easy parting, but certainly we wish them all the best," Extrum-Fernandez said, adding, "Their last gift to us is to leave us really well-prepared for our new beginnings."
 
The Rev. Jane Schlager, who was Golden Gate District Superintendent for eight years, said, "I couldn't have done my ministry in the Golden Gate District without Bruce Pettit. He kept me on schedule, nudged me toward meetings, and always had my back. He is committed to The United Methodist Church and this Annual Conference, though it confounds him more often than not. He is well loved by the folks and churches of the district that he has served faithfully and well for years. I have been blessed by his friendship and collegiality, and will always be grateful to him."
 
Pettit's and Miranda's jobs became redundant when, at Annual Conference Session in June, members approved a resolution to reduce the number of districts within the California-Nevada Annual Conference from seven to four. The bishop then drew district lines (effective September 1) establishing the Bridges District, with the Rev. Renae Extrum-Fernandez as superintendent; Central Valley, with the Rev. Mariellen Yoshino as superintendent; El Camino Real, with the Rev. Kristie Olah as superintendent; and the Great Northern District, with the Rev. Jerry Smith as superintendent.
 
A Districts Administration Center was established in the United Methodist Center in West Sacramento, where most Conference offices are located, and a graduated schedule was put into place for closure of the outlying district offices.
 
The last day of operation for the former Nevada-Sierra District office in Reno, Nevada was August 30 and the former Shasta District office in Chico, California, closed August 31.
 
The former Fresno District office, now serving the Central Valley District, will remain open at its Fresno location through June 30, 2011 with Mariah Allred as administrative assistant. The former San Jose District office, now serving the El Camino Real District, will remain open at its San Jose office through June 30, 2011 as well, with Pam McKee as administrative assistant.
 
Following closure of the Bay View and Golden Gate offices today, Miranda will pursue other employment. Pettit says he will take the next year to assess whether he can afford to stay in San Francisco; but "I may go back to Iowa where the cost of living is considerably lower – and there's a lot of Iowa in me still."
 
However, he says, "As long as I am in San Francisco I will maintain some kind of a role with the California-Annual Conference of the United Methodist Church. I still consider it my home; I will go to annual conference next year; I will be working with the Conference chapter of the MFSA; I'm sitting on the steering committee of the local chapter and it has made me the legislative contact for the national chapter as they prepare for General Conference; and I'm sitting on Conference Committee on Reconciliation. I will continue to work as best I can to move our Church forward on these issues of full inclusion; I don't intend to give up on those issues."