Greater Things: 2024 Washington Conference Constituency Session

Every five years, Washington Conference holds a constituency session. The next session will be held on May 5, 2024.

Some may ask, “What is a constituency session?” It’s similar to a shareholder meeting of a publicly held company. The official announcement of this session specifies that it’s convened to share reports of the most recent quinquennium, elect officers and departmental directors for the next five years and share the vision for continued ministry in Washington Conference. The reports this year will cover the 2019–2023 period.

Each church and school is invited to elect delegates based on their size. They are also invited to submit suggested agenda items for the session and the constitution and bylaws committee. Local churches are invited to suggest people to serve on the executive committee and the board of education. Additionally, local churches elect people to serve on a committee that will meet on March 24, 2024 — the nominating committee.

The nominating committee collaborates with North Pacific Union officers in nominating officers and departmental directors. The committee reviews the resumes of those they are nominating. This meeting will take place on April 14, 2024. The nominating committee also nominates new executive committee and board of education members, selecting from lists submitted by local churches. They are then tasked with ensuring a representative group from each region of the conference serves on those committees, considering diversity in ethnicity and gender.

Each step of the process is delegate-based. Prior to the main session on May 5, there are delegate information meetings held in different regions of the conference, explaining the process and sharing some of the reports being prepared. This allows questions to be asked and ideas to be gleaned from the local delegates.

This session’s theme is “Greater Things.” The past five years have experienced both amazing and troubling things happen in our world. We have experienced a pandemic, political upheaval, social unrest and many shifts in how life is lived in this new reality. Yet, God has led each step of the way.

Churches have learned new methods of ministry and worship. Many now have online audiences every weekend in addition to in-person attendance. During the pandemic, churches learned to conduct Bible studies, communion services and baptisms virtually. Community service efforts were renewed in many places and increased in others.

Over the last five years, 18 churches in eight different language groups were planted. Coaching for revitalization was made available to churches, resulting in proven church growth. Church revitalization also included new focus on youth and club ministry. Health ministries focused on both physical and mental health, with resources provided in various of ways.

Our school system also learned to pivot due to the pandemic, with an increase of 300 students system-wide, resulting in reopening schools that had been shut down. Much of this increase came from non-members who want a Christian-based education for their children in this turbulent world. Our schools continued to provide above-average education, with the most important benefit being that students learn about Jesus.

Most importantly, there was a renewed focus on prayer initiatives at the conference level, adopted by many churches locally. Many church prayer ministries take place daily on Zoom or other virtual platforms. The renewed spiritual focus included focusing on family worship, strengthening marriages and individual spiritual growth.

As we look to the future, we see the great things God has done in this conference territory over the last five years. However, we seek even greater things. When Jesus was calling His first disciples to follow Him, He said to Nathanael, “Jesus answered and said to him, Because I said to you, I saw you under the fig tree, do you believe? You will see greater things than these” (John 1:50).

Each of us is called to be a disciple of Jesus, to follow faithfully wherever He leads. There is no doubt that as we follow Jesus, we will continue to witness even greater things. Moving into the next quinquennium, let us keep praying for and seeking those greater things God has promised.

Featured in: March/April 2024