I was 22 years old when I came down from Canada to this Conference. I had accepted a position as Youth Pastor in our Yakima Church with Pastor Bob Cochell. I remember the first time I set foot on the Jennings Lodge Camp Grounds. Arriving just before noon, I was met with that long line of people waiting to enter Keller Dining Hall. I didn’t know a soul.
Things have changed since then. I know a few more people. I even met my wife at Yakima, who grew up in our Toppenish Church, which has since closed.
It gives me pause to reflect on all the things I appreciate about the Pacific Conference. Here are just five.
- Opportunity. Ministry is a calling and a privilege. I can never take that for granted. During our last year of Seminary, Linda and I had no idea where we would be appointed. We had heard there were more pastors than places, and we weren’t sure the Conference would have a church for us. Well, Superintendent Knoepfle assigned us as “church planters” to Bend, Oregon. Little did we know that we would be there for 31 years.
- Freedom. The Conference has given every local church and pastor great latitude on how they “do church.” Not once has the Conference dictated a program or policy that would hold a church back from doing what they believed God was calling them to do. That is why we have so much variety among our group in terms of style and strategy.
- Education. Not only did I complete my Seminary with the Conference’s support, over the years, I’ve attended many seminars and conferences that helped enrich and grow my ministry. I had the privilege of personally thanking Bill Bauman for the financial aid he gave to so many of us.
- Accountability. Like every pastor, I have had my share of conflict and problems. A number of times, it was the wisdom and counsel of a Superintendent that keep me going. Yearly Local Conferences were important to keep me and the church accountable.
- Fellowship. I can’t imagine pastoring a church without the covering and connections of a Conference. Even when the superintendent or other pastors weren’t close by, I knew they cared and loved us. We always looked forward to getting together for Conference and Mid-winter. It’s in the Conference I’ve made life-long friendships.
BEFORE YOU GO
What do you appreciate about Pacific Conference? I’d love to hear from you.
In just a few days, the Conference is hosting a Call to Prayer. Everyone is invited to participate in a one-hour time for prayer on Sunday night, November 8th starting at 6:30 PM. Please put it on your calendar. Here is the link for the prayer time: https://us02web.zoom.us/j/87041644162?pwd=MjBTVEFvK3E0QUo3d0JpTTNxL3VpQT09#success
Please register for Annual Conference (November 9-10, 2020). EVERYONE IS WELCOME! You can watch the Devotional times, participate in the Break Out Sessions, and join in the Evening Services, all via the internet. Here’s where to register (and it’s free): www.thepacificconference.com