At the end of mid-year boards this last January, the Administrative Council announced its decision to restructure Northwest Yearly Meeting (NWYM) and to create a transition team to “facilitate the creation of a newly formed yearly meeting.”
That same day, at least 21 yearly meeting board members and monthly meeting representatives met briefly and then signed up for more information about future meetings and gatherings that might lead to the creation of a new yearly meeting.
Members of churches leaving NWYM have been gathering documentation for the historic records of what is now being called Sierra-Cascades Yearly Meeting of Friends. These unofficial minutes from the meetings in January are part of that record as are these notes from a called meeting of representatives from December 10, 2016.
Group would assist in ‘process of prayerful rebuilding’
Scotts Mills proposed establishing a special task force in an email to Northwest Yearly Meeting pastors, elders, clerks and representatives Wednesday.
“We are eager to get on with what God has called NWYM to do since 1893 and do not want to wait until 2018 to begin the process of rebuilding our structure and unifying our vision,” Pastor Wanda Jenkins wrote. “We believe that across NWYM are many Friends committed to Christ and NWYM Faith and Practice who have ideas and skills that would be helpful to the process of prayerful rebuilding, and who are excited about moving forward.”
In the email, Jenkins identifies the reality that the ongoing NWYM restructure requires significant resources: “By appearances, all the present administrative forces are by necessity focused on the legal and financial tasks of separation, not on the future of NWYM. It is our observation that many holes will be left in NWYM which need to be addressed, including, but not limited to: Administrative staff including a new superintendent, committee structure and membership, finances, vision and plans for a future.”
Establishing a task force would facilitate inter-church communication and collaboration, according to Jenkins: “This group would be charged with communicating between the churches gathering, collating, and reporting ideas, visions, concerns, resources, and needs (structural and spiritual) from churches around NWYM through all possible means (face-to-face gatherings, video conferences, etc.) and reporting recommendations to the AC, Elders, and entire NWYM as appropriate. This special task force would make public recommendations for future progress with NWYM.”