More than 400 Oregon Conference delegates have elected their current team of four officers to newly expanded five-year terms. Dan Linrud has been returned as president, Dave Allen as vice president for administration, Brian Gosney as vice president for finance and Gale Crosby as vice president for education.
During the conference’s 58th regular constituency session, held Sunday, Sept. 17, 2017, at Portland Adventist Academy in Portland, Ore., delegates overwhelmingly voted to increase the span between regular constituency sessions from four years to five years. This brings the conference into a more efficient stance with other church entity schedules, including that of the North Pacific Union Conference (NPUC). As noted, this also effectively expands the term for conference officers to five years. They will still receive midsession evaluations at approximately two and a half years into their terms.
Three congregations were welcomed officially into the “sisterhood” of churches — a term often applied when a smaller group or company has grown in membership to qualify for full church designation:
- Gresham Spanish Company — now Gresham (Ore.) Spanish Church;
- Sonrise Company — now Sonrise Adventist Fellowship (Central Point, Ore.);
- Living Word Russian Company — now Living Word Church (Portland, Ore.). This was originally the product of a merger between Stone Tower Russian Company and Russian Adventist Company. The congregation now includes additional language groups, hence the dropping of “Russian” from the title.
Two other congregational adjustments were noted as well. The Nestucca congregation, near Pacific City, Ore., was been moved from church status to company, due to a reduction in membership. The Canby Church and Ohana Christian Fellowship congregations had both been ministering in Canby, Ore. During the last term, Canby members voted to disband and allow the Ohana church to relocate in the former Canby Church facility. Thus, there is now one unified Adventist church in Canby — the Ohana Christian Fellowship.
In his report to the constituents, Linrud emphasized the conference mission is “WHY we do WHAT we do.” He shared four pillars — 1) knowing Jesus and others intimately, 2) loving Jesus and others passionately, 3) serving Jesus and others actively, and 4) sharing Jesus with others enthusiastically — that illustrate the Oregon Conference commitment to making mission “all about Jesus.”
Brian Gosney, newly elected vice president of finance, noted several positive trends in conference funds but invited member prayers for generosity and wisdom conference leaders continue to balance budget realities with mission priorities.
The newly elected conference executive committee members are as follows (*denotes those who continue from previous term): Gretchen Bowers*, Linda Foxworth, George Gainer*, Edwin Gibbons, Kara Johnsson, Edward Kim, Barbara McDougal*, Matt Melashenko, LuDell Parrett, Todd Pascoe, Jonathan Pritchard, Belinda Rodriguez, David Rodriguez, David Russell, Nenette Sequeira*, Oswaldo Villalobos*, Bob Westcott, Larry Witzel, Rory Wold and Phyllis Woods*.
A positive and thoughtful spirit pervaded not only routine agenda items but also comments by delegates from the floor who pressed conference leaders for specific answers on several issues. Those areas included questions on proposed nomenclature changes to bylaws, suggested clarification on how special constituency sessions can be called and whether the present advisory council should be replaced with town hall meetings.
At the end of the day, recommended changes were approved by clear margins. Delegates left to rejoin their local responsibilities and prayerfully move forward in building mission on the four pillars of knowing, loving, serving and sharing — because it’s really all about Jesus.