Western Jurisdictional Conference 2008
WJC 2008


Episcopal Elections & Assignments 2008
Petitions to WJC 2008 - read and download
Discussion Questions at WJC 2008

UMNS Article: Western Jurisdiction challenges homosexuality stance

For UMC news on all jurisdictional conferences and episcopal elections:

Western Jurisdictional Conference 2008
July 16-19, 2008 Portland, Oregon

The Theme of WJC 2008:
Psalm 119:59-60

From The Message by Eugene Peterson:

“When I took a long, careful look at your ways,
I got my feet back on the trail you blazed.
I was up at once, didn't drag my feet,
was up at once, didn't drag my feet,
was quick to follow your orders.”

The Western Jurisdiction Conference gathered in Portland, Oregon, July 16-19, for its quadrennial meeting to elect bishops, receive reports of the various ministries of the Jurisdiction, and set direction for the coming four years. The eighty delegates (plus alternates, Directors of Mission and Ministry, communications staff, other conference staff, and interested observers) are from all parts of our western region and represent the kind of racial, ethnic and age diversity seen in this far-flung jurisdiction.

The Jurisdictional Conference was held in Portland, Oregon, July 16-19, 2008. The other four US jurisdictions gathered during those same dates in their regions. The stated powers of these conferences are outlined in ¶27 of our Book of Discipline.

#1. To promote the evangelistic, educational, missionary, and benevolent interests of the Church and to provide for interests and institutions within their boundaries.

#2. To elect bishops and to cooperate in carrying out such plans for their support as may be determined by the General Conference.

#3. To establish and constitute jurisdictional conference boards as auxiliary to the general boards of the Church as the need may appear...

#4. To determine the boundaries of their annual conferences; provided that there shall be no annual conference with a membership of fewer than fifty clergy in full connection...

While electing bishops is not the primary purpose of the JC, it is of prime importance when they meet following General Conference every four years. Our Western Jurisdiction elected two bishops this July, to replace those who are not continuing as active bishops. This year Bishop Beverly J. Shamana of the San Francisco Area is retiring and Bishop Edward W. Paup of the Seattle Area is becoming General Secretary of the General Board of Global Ministries.

The Western Jurisdiction Conference sessions are open to visitors, as most gatherings of United Methodists are. There will be twice the number of voting delegates as were at General Conference. These are the alternates elected in 2007 at our Annual conference sessions, when the delegates to GC were elected.. The Western Jurisdiction sent 40 delegates to General conference 2008, so there will be 80 voting delegates at WJC 2008.

It has been the practice of MFSA chapters in the West to gather prior to Jurisdictional Conferences in July and before some of the WJ Leadership Meetings in January or February. We take advantage of these meeting times to meet with each other (get acquainted across the states) and with the people attending the Jurisdictional Conference to provide informal conversations leading to decisions of how we in the West will live out our commitment to our Church and to its slogan of "Open Hearts, Open Minds, Open Doors."

Below is an invitation to just such discussions at WJC 2008.

The members of the Western Jurisdiction MFSA (an informal group with membership in their conferences) welcomes everyone who attends. The WJ chapters of MFSA sponsored a hospitality suite at the Doubletree Hotel throughout the period of the Conference. Meals were served there and many discussions held.

From online reporting of WJC by Winifred Keefer


1st GC - Ken Ellis (L); Molly Vetter (C)

2nd GC - Larry Hygh (L); Bau Dang (C)

3rd GC - JoAnn Fukumoto (L); Grant Hagiya (C)

4th GC - Dan Gara (L); Mary Elizabeth Moore (C)

5th GC - Mele Maka (L): Patricia Farris (C)

1st JC - Marjorie Suchochi (L); Frank Wulf (C)

2nd JC - Eva Thai (L); Cedrick Bridgeforth (C)

3rd JC - Norma Kherberg (L); Mark Ulrickson (C)

4th JC - Leah Switzer (L); Lily M. Villamin (C)

5th JC - Ana-Haydee Urda (L); Woong-min Kim (C)

1st Reserves -Debie Haustedt(L); Sharon Rhodes-Wickett (C)

2nd Reserves - Angelica Greenleaf (L); Cynthia Abrams (C)

3rd Reserves - Jenee Elkins (L); Mark Feldmeir (C)

A Letter of Invitation
from MFSA and WJ Leaders

Dear Western Jurisdiction Leaders,

Come gather with leaders of the Western Jurisdiction for an exciting and profitable conversation about the next steps for our Jurisdiction. Folks are gathering at 7 p.m. on Tuesday, July 15 near the Lloyd Center at the 18th Ave Peace House, 2116 NE 18th Ave. You are also welcome to come at 6 p.m. for dinner.

Over the last two quadrennia, the Western Jurisdiction has established itself as a prophetic voice within the United Methodist Church. We have advocated for the full inclusion of marginalized communities. We have struggled to embody respectful openness to the full diversity of God’s human family. We have sought to create an environment where all God’s children are welcomed with hospitality and compassion.

The Western Jurisdiction has committed itself to an emerging vision. Its 9 elements are:
1. Multicultural, Inclusive Church
2. Churches Engaged in the Life of the Community
3. Confident, Effective Leadership
4. Congregations Forming Disciples
5. Diverse Ministry Settings
6. Congregations Living as Global Citizens
7. A Church that Thinks and Acts Regionally
8. Fully Accessible Churches
9. Ministry Enhanced by Technology

As we move into the future to which God is calling us, we do need to celebrate the progress we’ve made. But it is also important to talk about what we need to do in order to more fully support one another as we seek to authentically live out this future. How do we move forward as a jurisdiction capable of supporting our fundamental commitments to full inclusion and justice? How do we organize our lives as twenty-first century Wesleyan Christians to affirm the reality of God’s reign in the multi-cultural, secular and postmodern context into which the Spirit has called us?

The MFSA chapters of the West have graciously agreed to provide this opportunity for leadership of the Jurisdiction – bishops, delegates, conference leaders and others – to gather and converse about how our Jurisdiction can shape itself for prophetic leadership in the denomination and the wider world.
What are the dreams God is calling us to dream?
What are the environments in which the Spirit is inviting us to make our gospel witness?
How do we organize ourselves for growth in transformative mission and ministry?
How do we practice an authentic hospitality rooted in minds, hearts and doors that are truly open?

The 18th Ave. Peace House is just 16 short blocks (.8 of a mile) from the Lloyd Center where the Western Jurisdictional Conference is meeting. Van transportation is available. Or you can simply walk by going east on NE Multnomah (the street on the north side of the hotel) to 19th Ave. (18th Ave does not go through). Turn left (north) on 19th Ave. At Tillamook turn left and go a short distance to go back to 18th. The house is at 2116 NE 18th Ave. It would be helpful if you can RSVP – especially if you’re coming for dinner or need van transportation. Contact John Schwiebert by E-mail: or phone: (503) 281-3697. You can also contact him via snail mail at: Metanoia Peace Community UMC, 2116 NE 18th Ave., Portland, OR 97212

Hopefully, you will take the time to be part of this gathering. Blessings to you all as you prepare to come to Portland. Pray that God will bless us with the hope and courage we need to live out our calling with faithfulness and joy.


Ken Ellis, California-Pacific delegation
Janet Forbes, Rocky Mountain delegation
Odette Lockwood-Stewart, California-Nevada delegation
Greg Nelson, Oregon-Idaho delegation
Randy Miller, California-Nevada delegation
Amory Peck, Pacific Northwest delegation
Molly Vetter, California-Pacific delegation
Richard Bentley, Western Jurisdictional MFSA
Winifred Keefer, Western Jurisdictional MFSA
Frank Wulf, Western Jurisdictional MFSA


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