The pace picked up a little this afternoon as legislative committees met for the first time to elect their officers – chair, vice chair, secretary, and sub-committee chairs. Each legislative committee has about 100 members, many of whom have arrived in committee with a passion and a strategy.
Cal-Pac’s delegation is pleased to share that Rev. Molly Vetter was elected the chair of Church & Society B, which will cover (in 3 days) petitions and resolutions about abortion, sexual orientation, health care, drugs, and bullying, among other hot topics. The observer’s gallery will always be packed with reserve delegates, agency staff, official observers, and press. I couldn’t get in today, but now I know to go much earlier! As Chair, Molly will exercise considerable discretion over how issues are prioritized, discussed, perfected, and referred (or not) to the full Conference. We’re grateful to those who advocated for her leadership among the delegates.
I was in the observer’s area of Church & Society A, where Jo Ann Yoon Fukumoto is our delegate. Church and Society A will cover war and peace, worker rights, the death penalty, Israel/Palestine, and other issues that are integral to our UMC’s public witness. The group elected Rev. Tracy Smith Malone to the Chair. Rev. Malone is a board member of the General Board of Church & Society, and a DS in the Chicago area – again, the result of successful advocacy to elect leadership that is committed to inclusivity, diversity, and economic justice. Subcommittee chairs We Chang, Bethany Amy, and Oliver Green have similar track records for inclusivity and justice.
If you go to www.umc.org and scroll to General Conference Business, you can download the Advance Edition of the Daily Christian Advocate and see the proposed changes to the Social Principles in the Discipline, as well as the proposed updates to existing resolutions, and proposals of new resolutions. You can also track resolutions.
In General Administration, Lay Delegate Leanne Nakanishi was elected as Secretary. We, of course, already know that she is awesome at this – now everyone else will know, too.
And now I have the honor of actually sitting on the floor as a reserve delegate. This requires a special permission slip from our kind and generous Delegation Head. I will have the opportunity to represent you in worship (I think). I will do so with an enthusiasm befitting the opportunity!
Rev. Paige Eaves
Jurisdictional Reserve Delegate