Oregon Conference Executive
By Al Reimche, Oregon Conference President
Executive Committee for August was a very full meeting lasting well into the afternoon. A number of reports were shared with the committee, including reports about the camp meetings that happened these past months. As many of you know, we had a very successful English camp meeting in July, with attendance running between twelve to fifteen thousand on Sabbath. What some may not know is that we also ran a very strong Spanish camp meeting the weekend before with close to five thousand in attendance. This was also the first time the Spanish camp meeting started Thursday night. We praise God for the decisions for Christ which took place during both events.
Just two weeks ago, a group of our pastors in Eugene met with the Light Bearers/Arise organization to talk about the impact that organization would have on Eugene as a result of their merger. Following a very open dialog between the groups, the consensus was that exciting days are ahead of the churches in Eugene. Arise begins a new training program this week in Jasper with 45 individuals who are passionate about the possibilities of learning and practicing skills of sharing Christ in the community.
Monte Torkelsen gave a report of our summer camp, Big Lake, and the exciting ministry that has taken place this summer. Over 1500 children/youth attended the camp this year, and as a result of the ministry of the camp counselors and leaders, over 135 made decisions to be baptized. Another 189 recommitted their lives to follow Jesus.
One report focused on the new Jewish ministry being developed in the Vancouver Church. The committee had the opportunity to see an eighteenth century hand-scribed Torah which has been used by this new group on a number of occasions. We were blessed to hear the development plans of the core leadership and pray that God will bless that congregation as they grow.
Our financial report was shared by Brian Gosney, who has recently joined the treasury team as the Under Treasurer, replacing John Rogers, who has moved to the Idaho Conference as Treasurer. David Freedman, our new Treasurer was not able to be present as he was back in New Mexico packing boxes. He will be here the first of September to take up his duties. Dale Beaulieu has been an important part of our administration these past few months, serving as the Interim Treasurer for us. Our June financial report indicated that tithe has risen slightly from 2010, amounting to an increase of 1.59%. This has been a blessing as the year-to-date tithe has been showing a loss. In addition, our expenses up to June have been below budget. God has blessed even during these hard economic times.
Decisions were made to approve funds for remodeling some of our churches and schools, including a major decision recommended by the Finance Committee to approve a loan for the TurningPoint Church to purchase a building in Roseburg. The church members have been meeting at Roseburg Junior Academy since their beginnings and are very excited about the plans to move into their new building. There are definite miracle stories that TurningPoint members can tell about their new church.
One of the difficult decisions made at Executive Committee was to hear the report from the Newport Church and vote the change from church to company status. A report was shared about the meeting held a few weeks ago in Newport, where after considerable discussion and prayer, it was decided that the body of believers is no longer of a size to support the leadership necessary to function as a church. I ask that we pray for Newport and ask God to lead so that His lighthouse there on the coast will be able to continue to shine and, even through this change, grow brighter.
Our Ministerial/Evangelism Department reported a number of baptisms over the last few months. They also shared plans of a strong evangelistic program to be presented this fall by our Spanish churches. Jose Rojas will be holding meetings throughout the conference in November, ending with a three-day series at the convention center in Portland. Again, this is reason to pray that God will inspire people to make decisions for life. Along with this news, we had the opportunity to vote a potential project that will impact both English and Spanish church growth conference wide. This project will expand the media opportunities both in the Portland area as well as throughout the conference. Though all the details are not available yet, please pray that as God is opening some very exciting ways for His message to spread, we will be able to follow His leading.