News and Reflections of and about Northwest Yearly Meeting
To: Northwest Yearly Meeting
Date: January 28, 2017
From: Administrative Council, Brad Holton, clerk
Since the end of 2016 Yearly Meeting sessions, the clerks, along with the Superintendent and the Administrative Council, have labored and wrestled together over the issues currently dividing NWYM. Following the called representatives meeting on December 9 and 10, the clerks and Superintendent separately and together discerned that the Yearly Meeting is so evenly divided that consensus around the human sexuality issue is not likely in the foreseeable future. These leaders also agreed that without some decisive action, the Yearly Meeting would fracture one, two or four churches at a time, but it would fracture.
Possible options were discussed by the Administrative Council in retreat on January 12-14. The AC prayed, discussed and through clear discernment made a decision and presented it to the representatives at mid-year board meetings.
At the representatives meeting held this January 27 and 28 in Newberg, the clerks and Administrative Council announced their decision to guide the Yearly Meeting through a restructuring process. The restructure is as follows:
Newly Formed Yearly Meeting
Northwest Yearly Meeting
This yearly meeting would embrace a revised Faith and Practice
This group would be composed of meetings that have decided to practice and/or have recorded an affirming stance.
This may include churches who haveinternal disagreement but have agreed to align their practices with the newly formed yearly meeting Faith and Practice.
This yearly meeting would be composed of meetings who align with current Northwest Yearly Meeting Faith and Practice.
This may include churches who haveinternal disagreement but have agreed to align their practices with current NWYM Faith and Practice.
A transition team, formed of Elders, AC members, Trustees and other at-large members will facilitate the creation of a newly formed yearly meeting. Churches who hold an affirming statement may be a part of the newly formed yearly meeting or may choose to be independent. It is the intent of the Administrative Council, that churches becoming part of the newly formed yearly meeting or separating from NWYM during this restructuring process may retain ownership of their church property, along with any indebtedness. All other issues of property, assets and related organization connection questions raised because of the restructuring process will be addressed by that transition team. The transition team will be approved by the AC and report to them.
This process will be a lengthy one and the AC is committed to completing the transition with dignity and honor for all churches. Our goal is to complete this transition process on or before June 30, 2018.