Delegates Met for the 29th NPUC Constituency Session
The North Pacific Union Conference convened for its 29th Constituency Session on Sunday, Aug. 7, 2022, at the Adventist Community Church of Vancouver in Washington. 274 delegates from the Alaska, Idaho, Montana, Oregon, Upper Columbia and Washington Conferences re-elected five NPUC officers, each by more than 90 percent of the vote.
Reelected officers included John Freedman, president; Bill McClendon, executive vice president for administration; Mark Remboldt, chief financial officer; César De León, vice president for Hispanic ministries; and Byron Dulan, vice president for regional affairs for the 2021 through 2026 term. Prior to affirmation, each officer gave a presentation.
The session included a keynote address by North American Division president G. Alexander Bryant, encouraging the church to take an offensive posture rather than a defensive one.
Bryant’s presentation was followed by a report by Freedman,* who recounted Desmond Doss’s passionate prayer, “Lord, give me one more,” while saving the lives of wounded soldiers on Hacksaw Ridge during World War II. That plea inspired the theme chosen for the final four years of the coming quinquennium: Reaching One More. A song by that same title, written especially for the session, was performed by Zach Parks, associate pastor for the Journey Church in Kelso, Washington.
New Executive Committee Members Chosen
After the morning’s presentations, the delegates divided into individual conferences for a working lunch to caucus names for new Executive Committee members to serve the remainder of the 2021–2026 quinquennium. Those new members were also affirmed.
The Executive Committee will elect NPUC departmental directors at its October meeting.
NPUC Bylaw Changes
Bill McClendon suggested changes to the NPUC bylaws on behalf of the NPUC Bylaws Committee, presenting them for a vote in three separate sections.
- The first section included provisions to:
— accommodate virtual meetings when extraordinary circumstances arise
— change the notification process for upcoming meetings
— allow the Executive Committee to delay a session for up to a year due to exigent circumstances. It also included language allowing termination of officers “for cause”
- The second section clarified the availability of performance evaluations to the Executive Committee, as well as to the Nominating Committee as necessary.
The delegates overwhelmingly affirmed both the first and second proposals.
- The third section would have required the NPUC Nominating Committee to consider gender, race and ethnicity in the nomination of NPUC officers and Executive Committee members. Due to concern among the delegates about specific wording in that section, it was returned to the Bylaws Committee for further revision and will be reconsidered in the future.
Despite the initial rejection of the diversity provisions, Bylaws Committee member and Montana delegate Steve Kreitner said, “It was obvious to me from both the diversity in the room and the spirit of the discussion that diversity of representation is a goal for everyone who attended the meetings.”
Three Adventist Health administrators shared how God is working in and through the medical teams and staff in the hospital system.
Walla Walla University
Adventist Health’s presentation was followed by a report by leaders from Walla Walla University on the university’s status in the wake of the pandemic.
WWU president John McVay laid out a vision for campus improvements, including a new student life and ministry center. Prakash Ramoutar, newly-appointed WWU vice president for financial administration, shared that the university is in a financially secure position with recent, significant reductions in liabilities and steady growth in assets.
Leadership Change for Education
Dennis Plubell, was celebrated for his 45 years of service in Adventist education. The constituency session marked the day of his retirement as vice president for education. He gave a particularly moving presentation and tearful goodbye to the delegates.
To fill the impending vacancy in the education department, the nominating committee identified Keith Hallam as the nominee to follow in Plubell’s footsteps. Hallam has served as vice president for education for the Southern Union since 2017. He is returning to the NPUC having previously served as principal of Auburn Adventist Academy from 1995-2009. His nomination was quickly affirmed.
Jay Graham, NPUC Association treasurer, gave the final report outlining the positive financial position the union is in due to the blessings of providence and solid financial management.
Constituency Sessions typically occur every five years. The 29th Session was postponed by one year due to the pandemic. The August 7 meetings covered the same five-year period that would have been covered in 2021. The next session, scheduled for 2026, will return to the regular rotation.