We, the First Elected Delegates to General Conference 2020 from the Annual Conferences making up the Western Jurisdiction, appreciate the earnest collaborative work on the Protocol of Grace and Reconciliation through Separation. We are hopeful that it is a connectional path to fulfilling God’s call to mission and ministry. Although we are disappointed with the proposed need to pay for those who wish to leave the denomination, we understand the need for compromise. We believe the Protocol will offer a promising option for maintaining the connection.
At General Conference 2020, we see the Protocol working in tandem with regionalization of the denomination as in the forthcoming Christmas Covenant. Together, these two proposals align our highly valued global connectionalism while allowing each region to contextualize its work and be best equipped to make disciples of Christ for the transformation of the world.
While we appreciate the Protocol’s moratorium on complaints related to LGBTQ relationships, we support any avenue to remove the harmful language in our Book of Discipline. We are eager to know how quickly this can happen. In tandem with regionalization, these actions allow us to affirm the sacred worth of all people in all aspects of our Church.
We support legislation calling for the creation of a Commission on the 21st Century Church. A conversation engaging our global Church in dreaming about our future together, and designing a structure for shared mission and ministry, is long overdue.
We recognize that this is a critical time in the life of the denomination. We are both eager and willing to connect and work with partners across our global Church, including those who see things differently than us, to find a gracious path forward.
Alaska: Jim Doepken, Jo Anne Hayden
California-Nevada: Kah-Jin Jeffrey Kuan, Micheal Pope
California-Pacific: Cedrick Bridgeforth, Monalisa Tuitahi
Desert Southwest: Dan Hurlbert, Paul Gómez
Oregon-Idaho: Wendy Woodworth, Jan Nelson
Rocky Mountain: Jasper Peters, Harvey Tukutau
Pacific Northwest: Elizabeth Schindler, Skylar Bihl
Yellowstone: Dawn Maurer-Skerritt, Don McCammon