Executive Committee Report
by Al Reimche
February, that season of anticipation between winter cold and spring color… Aside from Valentines, Black History, and a fourth-year leap day, February’s main claim to fame is that it is the shortest month of the year. And that shortness feels good as winter drags on, but the anticipation increases as each crocus or daffodil begins to show its presence.
During this short month we were able to complete the Town Halls throughout our conference. At the beginning of the month we had the privilege of visiting the Bend, Vancouver and Sunnyside churches and discussing our future. I was blessed as different representative groups from our three academies shared their music--from violins and male quartets to choirs. I was also blessed to hear the discussions that were shared in our breakout groups: the excitement of the creative ideas for outreach (view those ideas here), the passion for Christian education, the discussions of funding our mission, and the vision for keeping the energy of our youth.
February is also the time we are able to understand the financial results of the previous year and develop a realistic budget for this current year. Last week our executive committee spent time discussing the 2012 financial statement and in turn looking towards the new year. We did see a loss in tithe from the previous year but, when adjusting for less Sabbaths in 2012 and recognizing reductions in expenses throughout the year, our treasury department reported expenses below income. We praise God for the faithfulness of each of our members even through these financially challenging times. The new budget reflects the increased expenses of ministry and the potential giving of our members which allow the mission to continue. Though not as extensive as previous years, we will still need to reduce 1 1/2 positions during this budget period.
Additional discussions at executive committee included placing calls to a couple of new pastors. Brent Brusett from Lodi, CA has accepted the call to Bend/ Christmas Valley and plans to be here in May. Thomas Bentley from the Minnesota conference has also accepted the call to Roseburg and will also be here in May. Two additional confirmations include Ron DuPreez who served as Communications Director in Michigan and has accepted the call to serve the East Salem church, and Greg Phillips who has moved from the chaplain/Bible teacher at PAA to associate pastor of Pleasant Valley. Following a vacancy in our Trust Department we were able to fill the position of Association Treasurer this past week as well. Leslie Cairns, who has served as an auditor for our conference, has accepted the position and is currently picking up the pieces that have resulted from the delay in finding a replacement. Her expertise from previous career experiences is proving to be a blessing to our conference. We praise God for each of these new additions to our family.
One of the major decisions made by the combined Executive Committee and Nominating Committee was to fill the position of Vice President for Education. We have been blessed to have Wayne Wentland do an excellent job of filling that position on an interim basis for the past two years. Following a good discussion and a time for prayer the committee voted to ask Gale Crosby to serve the Oregon Conference in this role. He will officially begin July 1, 2013 and there will be some overlap right away. We are excited about the opportunity to bring one of our own successful principals into the conference to direct the department and ask that as he begins the transition from PAA you will join us in praying for his leadership. I have asked Gale to share his vision for our conference which he has done. (view Gale's article)
So February, just a quiet month of waiting for the spring colors has been anything but quiet. It has been a month of transition, a month of ideas, and a month of vision for our future. And that future is bright as the Son of righteousness warms our hearts for the spring burst of newness just around the corner!