by Steve Vistaunet
Ridgefield, Wash., Aug. 19, 2015 - Opinions regarding the North Pacific Union Conference executive committee actions today will likely be all over the map throughout the Northwest and beyond. But we wanted to make sure you had access to the following statement, which is also online at http://glnr.in/NPUCExecCommWO.
In its regularly scheduled meeting on Wednesday, August 19, the North Pacific Union Conference (NPUC) executive committee voted 26-4 on the following motion: “We do not believe that convening a special constituency meeting about the ordination of women as pastors would be productive at this time for the North Pacific Union Conference (NPUC). Therefore, we rescind our earlier action, (agenda item #43-14).”
The previous action on November 12, 2014, had called for such a session to convene within 120 days after the fall 2015 North American Division year-end meetings. By constitutional mandate the motion to rescind required a two-thirds majority of the voting delegates present.
In this week’s action, however, the NPUC executive committee members made it clear that their decision should not be construed as a lack of support for women in pastoral ministry throughout the Northwest and beyond. An additional motion passed by the committee stresses their belief in the priesthood of all believers and a clear intention to foster increased opportunities for women in pastoral and leadership roles within the NPUC.
That motion was worded as follows:
The discussion of these topics filled much of the committee's afternoon agenda. There was great diversity of opinion expressed in comments by committee members. The discussion was robust yet respectful, and representative of varied concerns throughout the Northwest.
Max Torkelsen, NPUC president, says union leadership will follow this directive from the committee and seek to make measurable progress toward fostering opportunities for women leaders in all levels of church mission and ministry. NPUC administrators recognize the calling of God upon women in ministry. They also understand there are intense opinions on varying sides of the ordination discussion.