Friday plenary began with a message from Rev. Dale Weatherspoon of Easterhill UMC in Richmond, CA. After Prayers of the People and Holy Communion, interim Bishop Sally Dyck introduced Bishop Warner H. Brown Jr. who will be presiding the conclusion of the session on Monday, June 13, 2022. Bishop Brown currently serves as interim bishop of Sierra Leon in West Africa Central Conference and served as bishop of the San Francisco Bay area from 2008 to 2016. Bishop Brown will be present throughout the conference this week. “We’re both failures,” stated Bishop Dyck. “We failed retirement—seriously!”
Organization for the plenary session passed unanimously including the 9:00 a.m. Saturday deadline to remove items from the Consent Calendar. Brian Atkins introduced new legislation to recommend the formation of a Clergy Wellness Task Force to be included in the agenda.
Ecumenical leaders included Rev. La Taunya Bynum, Regional Minister, Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) of Northern California and Rev. Diane Weible, Conference Minister, Northern California-Nevada Conference, United Church of Christ greeted the conference via pre-recorded videos. “We are honored to be your partners,” stated Rev. Bynum. Rev. Weible added, “It is important for all of us across denominational lines to come together…we look forward to finding ways to partner together.”
“How long I will be here? I don’t know how long that will be,” stated Bishop Dyck in her opening address regarding her interim status. “To not have your resident bishop for some is not a big deal, but for others, it—is--a BIG deal.” Bishop Dyck focused on the Jewish meaning of hope as “intentional, deliberate focus on God” stating, “we must focus on God and be about our mission to get us through… Do your job--your ministry! Do you part and empower others to do theirs.”
The Jurisdictional and General Conference delegation spoke about embracing change and supporting the CNUMC in the upcoming Jurisdictional Conference slated for November 2-5, 2022, in Salt Lake City, Utah.
Emily Allen serving on the Jurisdictional Episcopacy Committee presented a recommendation to suspend the rules to endorse more people be considered for Bishop nomination this Fall. It passed. Those names nominated during this conference will be posted during the Monday plenary session. Deadline for name submissions is 5:00 p.m. Saturday, June 11, 2022.
Over a dozen retired pastors answered roll call for more than fifty years.
Conference Lay Leader Micheal Pope started the Laity Address by asking, “Why are we here?” and adding, “We are a family created to do something magnificent!”
Rev. Rebekah Simon-Peter spoke via Zoom on “Forging a New Path” from Luke 10. Simon-Peter noted that “we live in a culture of contempt” and that it is important to listen to one another. She presented the “Platinum Rule” from her DISC personality model stressing ways to honor the dignity of others by doing unto others as they want to be treated instead of as you want to treat others. Simon-Peter also shared rules of emotional intelligence including ascribing good motives to other, understanding other’s point of view and embracing differences.
Raul Alegria, interim director of the National Plan for Hispanic/Latino Ministry presented the Lay Missioner class of more than 35 participants, more than two times bigger than any class across our denomination. Twelve participants were from other ethnic groups demonstrating that “we are in a ministry together.”
Dr. Mary Cheng presented new Certified Lay Ministers, Elizabeth Carter from Sonoma UMC and Adi Mere Nabou from First UMC Santa Rosa.
The Retired Clergy Association presented Memorial Scholarship for Certified Candidates of $1,600 to Tara Macy of Shasta Lake UMC, Alison Maki of Fall River Mills and Vaitafa Heimolana of Holy Cross UMC, Stockton. The newly established scholarship fund in memory of Rev. Jane Schlager of $6,025 was awarded to April Sousa of Church of the Joyful Healer UMC in McKinleyville, CA.
Laity Session opened with a report by Sally Wenzel president of the United Women of Faith or UMW. Upcoming Mission U events include June 3-5 at Monte Toyon Retreat Center and August 5-7 at Sparks UMC, Nevada.
District Lay Leader reports were given by Tyree Johnson, Bay District; Murphy Tsan, El Camino; George Beckman, Great Northern; Diana Bolls, Central Valley; and Kelly Vaughn, Los Rios. Vaughn will be moving out of state and will be replaced by Candy Wieder. Each district has continued to serve their communities in various ways including food programs, forums to present community issues, clothing drives, community meals, online presence, after school programs, hybrid VBS and more. A new Lay Leadership Award was presented to Kelly Vaughn for “igniting fire in all of us.”
Lay Servant Coordinators presented the new brochure and schedule of classes. Mary Chang announced the addition of two new positions including a multi-cultural Lay Servant Minister Certified Lay Ministry Program director. April Sousa has accepted the part-time position of Certified Lay Ministry Program director.
Rev. Dr. Izzy Alvaran reported on Reconciling Ministry Network with more than 85 churches in our conference participating encouraging more to join. A special luncheon will be held on zoom and in-person Saturday entitled, “What Will the #UMC Look Like Tomorrow?”
Saturday Plenary session begins at 8:30 a.m. with Bible Study. The deadline to remove items form the Consent calendar is 9 a.m. Reports to be given include the Board of Ordained Ministry, Called to Wholeness, Conference Board of Trustees, Council of Finance Administration, Budget, and Legislative Section. Fixing of appointments for Bay District, Central Valley will be held in the morning and for El Camino Real District in the afternoon. Before lunch there will be a special honoring of Retirees.
Lunch time activities include Bystander Intervention Training (A7 Convention Center); and Reconciling Ministry Network lunch “What Will the #UMC Look Like Tomorrow?” (First UMC, 2100 J Street).
At 2:00 p.m. the Memorial “Remembering the Saints” Service will be held. Afterwards the plenary session will include the District Superintendent Reports.
There is no evening plenary session.