Western Jurisdictional Conference 2008


Methodist Federation for Social Action and Reconciling Ministries organized those attending the pre-conference gathering in San Diego in July into work groups who focused on:
- petitions to submit immediately to the Western Jurisdictional Conference 2012 and
- work they would continue, after WJC 2012 had ended. See below a summary of results from each group.

If you would like to be involved in the work of these continuing groups, please contact Cal-Pac MFSA chapter president, Janet McKeithen at or (310) 633-1093

Group 1:  US as a Central Conference
Marjorie Suchocki (Cal-Pac) and Ruth Marsh (Or-Id), conveners                

2 petitions

#1  The 2012 WJ of the UMC strongly recommends the Connectional Table of UMC to:

- 1) use the results of the Study Com of the Worldwide Nature of the Church as the basis for study and response by annual conferences during 2013-2014.

-2) Enable a process to support the study and receive the results. In the fall of 2014, the Connectional table shall oversee the development of recommendations, petitions, and constitutional amendments for 2016 General Conference based on their consideration of the study results.

#2  We urge the Western Jurisdiction College of Bishops to develop a concrete action plan for the WJ to operate as a jurisdiction that upholds full inclusion in every aspect of our ministry. We request that this action plan be shared with the WJ Committee on the Episcopacy and the leadership of every annual conference in the WJ by December 31, 2012 so it may be shared with the WJ Committee on Episcopacy at their January 2013 meeting and the leadership of every annual conference session.

Group 2: Congregational Development Inclusivity & Justice

•    Work on congregational fairness of access to resources and physical assets
•    Training of leadership to focus on substance over style.
•    Reallocate missional giving to transformation.
•    Justice concerns for inclusivity be included when we talk about revitalization.
•    Develop and connect congregations for transformation - partnership in ministry development - resources - speakers
•    Strengthen the roles/training of laity
•    Intentional follow-up on measurable outcomes at AC and congregational levels - within and outside of Jurisdictional structures

Group 3:  Ecclesial Disobedience
Rebecca Tice and Jeanne Knepper, conveners

•    In response to our common belief that God's grace and love is available to all persons, the WJ of the UMC states our belief that the UMC is in error on the subject of “homosexuality's incompatibility with Christian teaching.”
•    We commend to our bishops, clergy, local churches, and ministry settings, the challenge to operate as if the statement in Para 161F does not exist, creating a church in which all people are truly welcome.
•    The secretary of the WJC will submit this statement of Gospel Obedience to the Jurisdictional Council of Bishops, each AC, and chairpersons of the Boards of Ordained Ministry for discussion and implementation.

Group 4:  WJ leadership, identity
Karen Nelson, convener        

•    Apologize on behalf of the church for way we continue to perpetuate marginalizing and dehumanizing of GLBT people. Each AC to create an ad to be placed in major newspapers.
•    Study groups at Jurisdictional and Conference level based on Cal-Nev study for an inclusive conference.  
•    Petition to pay 110% of WJ funds before paying general church. With “extra” 10%, fund inclusiveness coordinator, communications, youth/YA ministries, inter-ethnic caucus.
•    Connect and organize reconciling and progressive churches to build a strong presence across the Jurisdiction.
•    Include grassroots members on WJ leadership team

Group 5:  Addressing Issues of Racism
Jennifer Guittierez and Gary Williams, conveners        

•    Recommend that ACs create task forces on mass incarceration.  Education & advocacy. Connected to each other in a national network.
•    Resolution to WJC on condemnation of private prisons and disproportionate tax dollars committed to prisons
•    Prioritize funding for new/revitalized ministry toward the poor and people of color
•    Encourage our Youth/YA conference events to have  a justice/racism component
•    AC s create a Youth/YA council that specifically deals with issues of justice/racism - advises Conference teams on those issues

Group 6:  Immigration
Alice Ann Glenn                LLC Hammond

•    Church -sponsored litigation to recognize the status of some immigrants - Dream Act, Temporary protected status, etc.
•    Sanctuary movement - support thoughtful disobedience to unjust laws - churches let undocumented people live in their buildings
•    Request WJ leadership team to review and report to WJ about Interethnic Coordinating Commission and their strategy and funding
•    Local churches to pay closer attention to detention and deportation in their area, incl. visiting private detention centers
•    Deploy professionals to help immigrant clergy
•    Focus attention on US globalization, trade, and economic policies that drive desperate immigration.
•    Support the border ministries.

Group 7:  Embody Radical Hospitality
Ben Roe, convener                

•    Training opportunities in how to welcome - beyond PC.  How to invite, how to make connections.
•    Making alliances with existing organizations that help people see differently - culture change around LGBTQI and accessibility issues
•    Provide a resource list through WJ website, etc. on hospitality, LGBTQI issues, poverty
•    Survey/study cultures in our WJ to learn more about what hospitality is - make insights available
•    Use UMC spots on hospitality, specifically tailored to our WJ.

Group 8: Develop capacity to work with youth/young adults

Vincent Myers and Alice Knotts, conveners

•    Require clergy during seminary to work for a designated period of time with youth and young adults
•    Find ways to create intentional faith communities focused on Y/YA
•    Ask Bishops to stress a culture change focusing on Y/YA
•    Pastors in local churches to focus on youth. Sr Pastor to focus on youth/young adults and Associates to pick up other elements of the portfolio.
•    Make WJC budget include 25% for Y/YA
What else?

People shared these random ideas (and others, not captured) at the end of the day:
•    Embodying a movement- not an institutional- culture
•    How can we follow up on the Act of Repentance toward indigenous peoples that began at General Conference?
•    Making it happen… becoming leadership of the movement- if not us, then who?
•    We need training around cultural competency throughout the jurisdiction
•    Stopping drug cartels

The groups that met on these subjects during the Western Jurisdictional Conference are continuing to meet and discuss these issues and to move forward with this work. If you would like to be involved in one of these areas of action, please contact the Cal-Pac MFSA chapter president, Janet McKeithen at:  or (310) 633-1093.



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