VOTER IDS + ZOOM LINKS will be emailed to AC members Tuesday (June 6)

General Conference Delegate Elections

Members of the 2015 session of the Oregon-Idaho Annual Conference will be electing delegates to the 2016 General and Western Jurisdictional Conferences. The Oregon-Idaho Conference is allocated one clergy and one lay delegate to General Conference. In addition, three clergy and three laity will be elected to the Western Jurisdictional conference (General Conference delegates also serve at Jurisdictional Conference. The conference session may also choose to elect reserve delegates for the Jurisdictional Conference.

The Book of Discipline and conference rules establish the requirements and process for nomination and election of delegates.

All clergy members in full connection with the Oregon-Idaho Annual Conference are eligible to be delegates. They are elected by clergy (with a few limitations-see below). Clergy who self-nominate or receive 10 or more nominations will be invited to complete a form answering specific questions. This process, and the questions, are outlined in conference rule 2.210. For more information about the clergy nomination process, contact Conference Secretary, Rev. Laura Jaquith Bartlett.

Nominations or self-nominations are also accepted for Lay delegates. Those nominated must have been professing members of The United Methodist Church for at least two years, and active participants for at least four years. Individuals may self-nominate themselves and provide background on their qualifications by completing a form and submitting it to the Board of Lay Ministries via Conference Lay Leader, Mary Foote. Nominations can also be made on the floor of conference.

Download the lay delegate nominee information form by right clicking on this link.

Meet the Candidates

Download the candidate information as a PDF document

Nominations for General and Jurisdictional Conference delegates will be accepted up to the time of voting. But those who submit information before a publication deadline have the opportunity to have their information printed in conference  publications. They are available here, and will be in download bundles of pre-conference information.

Clergy who have identified a willingness to serve:

D. Scott Allen, Clay Andrew, Jim Frisbie, Donna Pritchard, and Jeremy Smith.

Lay persons who have self nominated:

Mark Bateman, Norm Dyer, Emilie Kroen, Daniel J. Moseler, Jan Nelson, Dee Poujade, David J. White, and Betty Cobb-Colgan*. (*added 5/30/15 due to an oversight)

Clergy Candidate Information

D. Scott Allen

Question A: What is the most important issue facing the UMC today and how would you address it?
The most important issue facing the UMC today is the removal of all prohibitions in the UM Discipline that
are exclusive of LBGT participation in all levels of the church. Until the UMC affirms that we are a community
of faith that does not draw these lines, our hearts, minds, and doors will remain closed and our energies and
efforts will be not focused on sharing the Gospel.

Question B: What does the UMC need most in order to experience revitalization?
The UMC needs to discern and then heartily claim the mission God is calling us to embrace. We need to allow
the Holy Spirit to transform our congregations in unique ways, abandoning those aspects of our communal
lives that are no longer relevant while seeking a new vision of what the Church can be.

Question C: What gifts and graces would you bring as a participant around the General Church table?
To avoid a denominational split, the General Conference is going to need to listen to, and then discuss, a
variety of viewpoints. My experience as a practicing mediator would be helpful in that process.

Clay Andrew

Question B: What does the UMC need most in order to experience revitalization?
We most need a movement of the Holy Spirit. The theological, social, cultural and political tensions in our
church are intractable and will only be resolved by God. We need a vision for what we can be as a global
church with theological and cultural differences, but sharing history, vision and ministry.

The issues over which we fight are vitally important and cannot be ignored. But I am convinced that we can
only move forward by embracing a Christ-shaped vision. With that vision guiding us, we can learn to listen to
one another, trust the Gospel of scandalous love and step into the future God dreams for us.

Question C: What gifts and graces would you bring as a participant around the General Church table?
I’ve served on the General Conference delegation previously (and will be slightly less overwhelmed than the
first time). I am committed to speaking boldly for our Conference, especially for those who have traditionally
been overrun by the world’s (and the denomination’s) powers.

Question D: Name an Oregon-Idaho strength or concern which you would carry to General or Jurisdictional Conference?
As demographics shift in our country, our conference is poised to serve as laboratory for Christianity in a post-Christendom context. As culture shifts, we can offer other conferences the gift of discovering the ways God will lead us in the coming century.

Jim Frisbie

Question A: What is the most important issue facing the UMC today and how would you address it?
I envision the United Methodist Church to be like a Slinky...that coiled spring toy of my childhood. In many
ways we have one end anchored in our Wesleyan heritage and the other end stretched into the future. We live with the tension in that spring!

The challenge of the church is to reinterpret our heritage without letting go of our essential values or recoiling
from our present and future calling. The spring is stretched, but letting it break is not the answer.

We need a new vision of our traditions in ways that truly “draw the circle wide.”
The challenge before General Conference 2016 is one of vision, values, and communication. Can we make a
trusting connections with each other that allows us to move forward? I believe we can.

Question B: What does the UMC need most in order to experience revitalization?
There is no simple or single answer. I believe it involves retraining clergy to be prophetic, empowered lay
people, and a new collaborative spirit.

Question C: What gifts and graces would you bring as a participant around the General Church table?
As Conference Mission Secretary I have been involved with national leaders. As Western Jurisdiction
representative on the Advance Committee I regularly meet with members of GBGM from around the nation
and around the world.

Donna Pritchard

Question A: What is the most important issue facing the UMC today and how would you address it?
What it means to be a global church is the most challenging question facing us today. I applaud the full
empowerment of United Methodists in Central Conferences. However, the equity of real representation
comes with unintended consequences. As we grow in socially/theologically conservative areas of the world,
support for progressive theology and social justice decreases.

I support replacing the five US Jurisdictions with 5 Central Conferences to mirror the global Church.
Additionally, I suggest regional autonomy in areas most specifically related to the work of the annual
conferences (ordination/deployment of clergy, support/development of local churches, etc.), allowing for
indigenous expressions of faith which honors cultural differences.

Question C: What gifts and graces would you bring as a participant around the General Church table?
The gifts and graces most useful in my work at the general church level are the ability to listen deeply,
recognize patterns of thought and discern next steps. I am a member of the General Conference Commission
and the chair of the Jurisdiction’s Leadership Team.

Question D: Name an Oregon-Idaho strength or concern which you would carry to General or Jurisdictional Conference?
A strength I carry from Oregon-Idaho into General and Jurisdictional Conference work is our passion for
justice, our commitment to the full inclusion of all God’s children, and our joy in collaborative partnerships in

Jeremy Smith

Question A: What is the most important issue facing the UMC today and how would you address it?
Our world seems more divisive these days, doesn’t it? It doesn’t help that we can choose to only view TV
channels and websites that we agree with. It’s difficult to value unity in a society that loves break-ups. By
advocating for a more just life together, we can be a place where differences are cherished, ideas get tested by all sides--and most importantly, show a polarized world how to live better together.

Question B: What does the UMC need most in order to experience revitalization?
People of all ages want to change the world. What the UMC needs to do is show them that they can change
the world through the Church
. Through short-term service, advocating for justice, birthing big ideas--and
showing we do these things because of Jesus--we can revitalize the church by living out the values of faith. And if not…well, at least we’ve transformed a bit of the world along the way.

Question D: Name an Oregon-Idaho strength or concern which you would carry to General or Jurisdictional Conference?
We are doing ministry in the region with the highest percentages of people who do not claim religious
affiliation. By bringing our pioneer mindset of boldly striving into uncharted territory, and advocating for
regional freedom to experiment, I believe we can discover new ways to “Be Church” that will benefit the
whole world.

Laity Candidate Information


Mark BatemanMark Bateman photo

Local Church: Salem First UMC
District: Cascadia

Areas of Service to the Church

  • Chair, Salem Keizer Area Ministry Task Force (2014-present)
  • Chair, Administrative Council, Salem, First UMC (2012-present)
  • Board of Ordained Ministry (2005-Present)
  • Member, Western Jurisdiction Council on Finance and Administration (2012-present)
  • Volunteer, Salem, First UMC Saturdays of Service
  • Lay Member, OR-ID Annual Conference (2013-present, as a teen in the mid-1980’s)
  • Visionary Leadership Project White Paper Team (2014-2015)
  • Workshop/Class Leader/Speaker: OR-ID United Methodist Women meeting; Western District Leadership Training; Southern District Leadership Training; Annual Conference Laity Workshops; Adult Sunday School Classes
  • Jurisdictional/General Conference Alternate (2012)
  • Chair, Stewardship Committee, Salem, First UMC (2008-20011)
  • Chair/Member, Finance Committee, Newberg UMC (2005-2007)
  • Member, Volunteer in Mission team to Costa Rica (2003)
  • Staff Parish Relations Committee (Trinity UMC, Salem, 1984-1986; Wilson Memorial UMC, Baltimore, 1987-1990; Mill Creek Parish UMC, Rockville, MD, 1996-1999)
  • Middle School Sunday School Teacher (Mill Creek Parish UMC, Rockville, MD 1995-1997)

Areas of Service to the Community

  • Occupation: expert and entrepreneur in socially responsible investing industry
  • Member, Salem-Keizer School District Budget Committee (2013-present)
  • Secretary/Board Member, Sustainable Investment Institute (Si2) (2012-present)
  • Chair/Member, Sherwood City Budget Committee (2005-2007)
  • Chair, Program Leadership Committee, Maryland State 4-H (1996-1998)

3 Most Important Issues Facing Church and How You Would Address Them:

  • Declining participation: Numerous ideas exist to invigorate new ministries, but in many cases, elements of our UMC structure are impediments to deploying resources effectively to pursue these ideas. We need to think strategically about the aspects of our structure that are strengths to be preserved and aspects of our structure that hamper long-term sustainable progress.
  • Demographics: Within the United States, we are not a very diverse or very young denomination. Demographics will act as an accelerant to the issue of declining participation identified above, significantly decreasing our available resources of volunteer time and financial contributions. Individual churches need to be realistic about the demographic cliff they likely face and act while they still have resources (time and money) to think in a radically different way about their mission and ministry. If churches wait until it is “obvious to everyone,” there likely will be too few resources to make a significant change. The General Church needs to support realistic congregational health and longevity assessments by local churches.
  • Decreasing sense of connection: Decades of “minor” changes at the local, conference, and denominational level have decreased our overall sense of connection, ironic since we now live in a hyperconnected/networked world. We need to find new ways of creating real networks of local churches, working together, along with a greater sense of those networks being part of the larger denomination. In our numbers and relationships we can find strength to transform the world. If we remain isolated, our impact will be much less. In addition, a greater sense of connection may help in the struggle to heal relationships that have suffered as a result of issues such as homosexuality. We are all better off when we have a diversity of relationships and partners in ministry, and true diversity means opportunities to work with people who may disagree with us. Deepening our connections—including within our own annual conference—may give us opportunities for such relationships and may lead to surprising revelations on divisive issues.

General Information You Feel Would Be Helpful to Conference Lay Members Considering Your Candidacy:

I have been an active United Methodist my entire life and have been very involved in the “administrative”
side of the church—these are my strengths. My education (a BA in political science and an MA in legislative
affairs), my professional experience in running business in the socially responsible investing industry, and my
work within the church (particularly on the administrative committees of local churches and the OR-ID Board
of Ordained Ministry) have honed my analytical approach to problem solving and idea generation. I think
strategically and tactically, but I also know what it takes to facilitate a program or an event—it’s not just “pie in
the sky” ideas.

I care deeply about the future of the United Methodist Church—the church that I hope will continue to be
vital as my 11 and 9-year old daughter and son transition to adulthood. An oft-used concept when discussing
environmental sustainability is that “we are borrowing the earth from our children.” Perhaps the same should
be applied to our church—we are borrowing the United Methodist Church from our children. What are we
doing now to make sure we can return it to them?

Norm DyerNorm Dyer Photo

Local Church: Tigard UMC
District: Cascadia

Areas of Service to the Church

  • Local: Finance Committee
  • Columbia District Church Extension Society Board
  • Conference: CF&A, Board of Lay Ministries
  • Jurisdiction: Alternate Lay Delegate (2012), Credentials Committee
  • General: Alternate Lay Delegate (2012)

Areas of Service to the Community

  • Occupation: Physicist, Retired
  • Volunteer Work: Advisory Committee for Reed College Reactor; Cascade Chapter Health Physics Society;
  • Directing Awards Committee; previously held other offices.

3 Most Important Issues Facing Church and How You Would Address Them:

  • Provide an increasing ministry and service outreach to our community around us, both local and worldwide: Jesus said, taught, and did service and outreach to the community through both His actions and His teachings. This is what the Bible, New Testament, teaches us. This is how we reach out to the community and make new disciples for Christ.
  • Increasing the resources that our Churches have to work with: These resources include people,  since reaching out to people encourages them to become part of the Church. To increase our physical and financial resources, we must encourage the support and giving to the Church. This can be done by expressing thankfulness to the givers, by showing and demonstrating how their gifts do great things, and by encouraging tithing.
  • Inclusion of all people in our local and connectional Church: Jesus said that we must love all people and treat everyone as we wish to be treated. We should not have rules that limit participation of peoples within our local and connectional Church. ALL means ALL.

General Information You Feel Would Be Helpful to Conference Lay Members Considering Your Candidacy:

I have been a member of a Methodist Church since the 1960’s, in Nashville, TN, Idaho Falls, ID, and the Tigard, OR area. I have held local and other level offices in many ministry areas. I have been a Certified Lay Speaker/Servant since the 1990’s. In 2016, I would be very pleased to serve you as a Lay Delegate to the General and Jurisdictional Conferences.

Emilie KroenEmilie Kroen photo

Local Church: Tualatin UMC
District: Cascadia

Areas of Service to the Church

  • Local church: SPRC, Missions, Finance, Church Treasurer, Church Council, Christian Education, UMW President, UMW Treasurer, Lay Member to Annual Conf., Certified Lay Servant, Christian Ed Teacher (children, youth, and adults), Volunteer in Mission to Guatemala, Coordinate fund raising and donations for a variety of missions
  • Conference: CF&A, 2 terms; Pensions Board, Imagine No Malaria Steering Committee Chair (Greater NW Episcopal Area), Board of Laity, Middle School Camp Dean.

Areas of Service to the Community

  • Occupation: Financial Examiner for State of Oregon
  • Currently all my available time is focused within the church. In the past I have been a Cub Scout Den Leader & Trainer, American Red Cross Earthquake/Disaster Preparedness Trainer, and an Incident Command Trainer.

3 Most Important Issues Facing Church and How You Would Address Them:

  • Full inclusion and equality for LGBTQ and in the life of the church.
  • Figuring how to continue to be one denomination with members with widely varied views.
  • The church being relevant so as to have the opportunity to bring more people to Christ.

I don’t have the answers, but I am willing and able to listen and work to forge agreement in areas we can
gain agreement on, and then help all focus on results – being God’s agents to bring His Kingdom to earth.

General Information You Feel Would Be Helpful to Conference Lay Members Considering Your Candidacy:

I was raised in the (United) Methodist Church. I am retiring October 1st and can commit the time and energy
to this important work. Although I am inexperienced in this role, I am a quick learner, capable, flexible, and
articulate. I would be honored to serve.

Daniel J. MoselerDan Moseler photo

Local Church: Christ UMC-Portland
District: Columbia

Areas of Service to the Church

  • Current: Conference Disaster Preparedness and Response Coordinator; Chair, Church Stewardship/Finance Committee; lead Disciple Bible Studies
  • Past: Director, General Board of Global Ministries (2008-2010; served on Policies and Bylaws Committee and Governance Reorganization Task Force); Associate Conference Lay Leader (Susquehanna Conference; 2006-2010); District Lay Representative, Conference Nominations Committee (Susquehanna Conference; 2004-2010); Chair, Staff Parrish Relations Committee; Chair, Church Building Committee; Director of Christian Education

Areas of Service to the Community

Occupation: Adjunct Faculty, Portland Community College; Conference representative, Idaho and
Oregon VOADs; trained as Disaster Early Response Team member; Volunteer, Portland Goose Hollow
Homeless Family Shelter; Volunteer for various Habitat for Humanity and National Rebuilding Together
projects; Retired military officer (1968-1993); Master’s degrees in Business Administration and Computer
Information Systems

3 Most Important Issues Facing Church and How You Would Address Them:

  • Connecting our churches more effectively in their communities. This requires personal, family, and local church planning and preparation in order to identify needs and respond in our communities as we are able when a crisis arises.
  • Encouraging personal involvement outside the walls of the church on the job, in the community, and in the process of government to address the issue of justice and mercy that arise. This requires an effective lifetime discipleship training program within the church, and a cooperative sharing of resources with other churches when resources available to the local church are limited.
  • Engaging in respectful dialog within our church and with our ecumenical and inter-faith partners, whatever their perspective and wherever they may be. We need to respect differences and seek areas of agreement to better serve our church and communities.

Jan NelsonJan Nelson photo

Local Church: Morningside UMC-Salem
District: Cascadia

Areas of Service to the Church

  • Lay delegate to General Conference 2012
  • Conference and jurisdictional committees on episcopacy, 2012 – 2016
  • Lay member of Annual Conference, member of Legislative Assembly 2015
  • Oregon-Idaho FACT assessment team 2015
  • Annual conference Holy Land Task Force
  • Local church council, Church and Society team, music leader
  • Methodist Federation for Social Action, chapter president, national chair of cross-cultural committee
  • Oregon-Idaho Reconciling United Methodists

Areas of Service to the Community

  • Food bank volunteer
  • Member of Confluence Chorus, using music to share a message of inclusion
  • Middle school teacher, retired

3 Most Important Issues Facing Church and How You Would Address Them:

  • The church must learn to move beyond cultural differences and individual desire for power in order to live out the teachings of Jesus. This must start with study of the gospel message and with prayer; then we must learn to listen to people who are very different from us and find where we can move forward
  • The church has a decreasing appeal to the society around us, especially to younger people. Simple popularity is not our goal, but we must show people around us God’s inclusive love rather than judging who is worthy of inclusion, and we must focus on meeting the many needs of our local and global communities rather than on preserving the institution of the church.
  • The structure of the church, left over from the colonial period, hampers equal participation and responsibility of United Methodists outside the United States. The church must put aside the power and control issues of a few and adopt a structure that is equitable for all in order to maximize our impact as a global community of faith.

General Information You Feel Would Be Helpful to Conference Lay Members Considering Your Candidacy:

I have worked to keep current on issues that will be facing the church at this General Conference. I believe my experience as a delegate in 2012 will be very helpful to the effectiveness of our delegation in 2016.
My travel to Palestine and Israel this year gives me an informed perspective as the General Conference works on the issue of justice in this part of the world.

Dee PoujadeDee Poujade photo

Local Church: Portland First UMC
District: Columbia

Areas of Service to the Church

I have been involved in outreach and mission for most of my “church life.” I have participated in and/or led United Methodist Volunteer in Mission/Study trips to Guatemala (3), Cambodia (2), (post-Katrina) Mississippi,
UMCOR Sager Brown (2), UMCOR West and Palestine/Israel. I served on the Global Missions committee at FUMC for seven years, four as chair, am a member of the Tabitha Circle UMW at FUMC, and have been a lay member of Annual Conference since 2013.

Areas of Service to the Community

At various times, I have been involved in volunteer work with the Goose Hollow Family Shelter, Portland Center Stage, Pittock Mansion, Our House (AIDS Hospice), and short-term peace and justice work in the political arena.

In 2013, I spent three months in Tulkarm, Palestine, as an Individual Volunteer in Mission under the auspices of the Ecumenical Accompaniment Programme in Palestine and Israel (EAPPI), where I observed and reported on human rights violations, and accompanied Israelis and Palestinians working for peace in the region. Since my return, I have been actively advocating for peace and justice in Palestine/Israel, focusing most of my efforts within the United Methodist Church.

I have served as chair of the Oregon/Idaho Holy Land Task force since 2013, and am on the Divestment
Committee of United Methodist Kairos Response.

I also serve as secretary to the Methodist Federation for Social Action, and have helped to plan programs to
educate fellow United Methodist on various social justice issues.

3 Most Important Issues Facing Church and How You Would Address Them:

  • I am deeply disturbed by what I perceive as a schism between “liberal” and “conservative” faction in the United Methodist Church. As a lifelong Methodist (now United Methodist), I have stayed with this denomination because of “do all the good you can…” (Which I understand may or may not be accurately attributable to John Wesley, but nevertheless reflects my beliefs on what church should be – action, not words!) I am troubled by factions in the church, who would divide it because of (what I honestly believe are sincerely felt) ideological differences on such issues as human sexuality, immigration, gun control and other human rights issues. Why can’t we all just get along? I would hope that open minds, means opening ourselves as Christians to viewpoints that are contrary to our own; that open hearts means we will love those with whom we disagree with the same fervor that we love those with whom we do agree (a difficult one, I agree!) and that open doors means we will welcome all who come together in God’s name, regardless of how their personal beliefs may differ from our own.
  • I am also concerned about the “graying” of our congregations and our seeming inability to attract young people and fresh ideas. “We’ve always done it that way,” is not exactly the best way to open up dialogue and explore fresh, new ideas. On the other hand, as one of those “graying” churchgoers, I have an abiding respect for tradition – singing the old songs, worshipping in a way that feels familiar. Again this is an area where people need to get together and talk – find a way to worship (for example) that incorporates the best of the new and the old. I believe we should do this ourselves - I fear that continuing  to call on “experts” who would tell us how to “re-make” the church to make it more attractive to a new generation of churchgoers is, to some extent, counterproductive, and a use of money (i.e. consultant fees, reading material) and time that could be better spent in direct ministry.
  • “The church is not a building...” Whenever I am privy to conversations about “capital campaigns” to beautify (already beautiful) buildings, this song* keeps running through my head. We need to recognize that some of our best work – witnessing (by deed, not proselytizing) is done outside of the church walls. Yes, it is nice to have a building to worship in on Sunday mornings (and one that can be utilized by community groups at other times), but is our deeds that define us, not our “house of worship.” I would work to expand outreach – in the community, the nation and the world -

General Information You Feel Would Be Helpful to Conference Lay Members Considering Your Candidacy:

I am a retired paralegal (legal assistant), having worked mostly in the area of family law in both Oregon and Missouri prior to my retirement. I have a BA in journalism (California State University, Sacramento) and worked as a reporter for a number of small newspapers in Northern California before returning to school for legal studies.

I am a mother of five adult children, and grandmother to 6+ grandchildren (depending upon how you count the various permeations of “step!”). I enjoy travel (especially travel with a purpose), sewing/quilting, bridge
and reading.

I maintain a blog, started during my time in Palestine, deeswalkthroughthevalley.blogspot,com
*see United Methodist Hymnal #558

David J. WhiteDavid White photo

Local Church: University Park UMC-Portland
District: Columbia

Areas of Service to the Church

  • I am currently the Treasurer for the Church. It’s been about 5 Years.
  • I am also a member of SPRC and Trustee Committees, being “Point Person” for the Church Building and Parsonage Renters.
  • I have been honored to be the Lay Member for University Park to Annual Conference. This will be my 10th year.
  • I haven’t done much speaking lately but have been keeping my Certified Lay Speaker (Servant) Status Current. It’s been about 15 years.
  • My first leadership position with the Church was the Chair of Education.
  • I have participated in University Park’s Christian Leadership Development Team with the District 2011/2012.
  • Currently I’m taking part in the Joint Leadership Team in conjunction with St Johns Covenant Church. We have been sharing a season together since University Park has offered its building. So far we have been having joint Worship sharing two great faith traditions. (A Joyous Experience).
  • Recently I also took an active role in the Grace Margins Class lead by our Pastor Jules Nielsen, exploring the avenues of the Church’s vitality.
  • The Church as a whole is venturing into the mission of how University Parkcan develop its large unused
  • side lot into Low-Cost Housing. With tentative financials and blueprints being drawn up, we are getting closer to the reality of it all. It has been exciting times.
  • Outside of University Park, I have been the Staff Treasurer for Wilshire UMC (8 years) and also the Staff Bookkeeper (in training) for the Columbia Extension Society.

Areas of Service to the Community

  • Past Precinct Committeeperson.
  • Petition Circulator for Oregon United for Marriage Ballot Initiative for Marriage Equality 2013/2014.
  • I have been delivering University Park’s Food Drive to the Good Samaritan Food Center located in the St Johns Neighborhood of Portland. Within the last 2 Years over 2,500 pounds has been given.
  • A little Church that has been roaring.

3 Most Important Issues Facing Church and How You Would Address Them:

  • Identity: The Church has a public relations problem. It doesn’t know who it is or presents itself in conflicting and contradictory terms. The non-churched has many ideas of what a Church is. Many are apathetic. And if they do have an opinion, it’s almost always negative. The Church needs a simple and easy to understand message, yet profound. I believe it to be John Wesley’s concept of prevenient grace. Quoting Pastor Jules, “with prevenient grace, it’s already there, when we are ready to see and accept it. Otherwise, we’d be wandering around waiting for God’s grace to show up.” Unfortunately some put strings attached to it. And that can send a confusing message. The Church and especially its members need to respect and honor all People. It obviously includes GLBT and Women Clergy. The young, the old, the poor and the rich, etc. No one is outside God’s Grace.
  • Integrity: We have to do what we say we are. Words are cheap, working in the trenches (or fields) is hard and may require sacrifice. To quote Paul, fight the good fight, finish the race, keep the faith. The Church needs to be a Sanctuary for all. I am more than proud that University Park has done this. A safe haven for Clergy who lived her Integrity, a place for Roman Catholic Women Priests, and currently a space for a congregation that is at odds with its own Denomination. I don’t treat Christianity as a hobby. It’s a vocation and needs to be treated as such.
  • Listening: I was going to list vitality and sustainability. They are important. I am the Church Treasurer. But not the most important. With Identity, Integrity and Listening I believe the former will fall in line. I would say that I am a realistic optimists. I have attended many classes and have read many books dealing with the demise of the Church. A few where good and a few had valid points. Diana Butler Bass “Christianity for the Rest of Us” was my favorite. But in conclusion, the Experts have no Magic Bullet. All types of advice, but nothing concrete. I remember Grade School, maybe 2nd Grade. In using a  crosswalk, we were drilled with Stop, Look and Listen. Since Feb 2014 I have been living the same experience. At first I thought it to be intuition, or just a plain good turn of events. But so many of them, way beyond coincidence. Visiting Lincoln St. (Yes, Virginia the Church is still alive), meeting some Clergy for their insight, having a West Ohio Deacon appointed (what are the odds?) with energy and passion, and a guest Pastor with the same Vision. University Park has BIG dreams and a likely path to get there. To quote Pastor Andy “For those of you who are not a regular part of either of our church communities, I need to let you know that both of our churches have recently stared the reality of death and loss directly in the eye. At St Johns Covenant we’ve lost our worship space and at University Park they’ve collectively wondered how they would carry on in this space. Some may not have expected us to make it…But this gathered Body of Christ is in the middle of experiencing RESURRECTION, and YOU are part of that this morning.” So I have been in the process of learning to listen to the Spirit. And there are things we have no control over. So the Church not being foolish, needs to reach out for the unanswerable. Stop, Look, Listen to the Spirit. And act on it. As for General Conference there will be efforts to undo the hurtful language of the Church that should have long disappeared. Looking at the Math, it appears to be a large hurdle to overcome. It’s a year off and lots of wondrous God Things can happen. A Supreme Court Decision is coming down the pike. And also the uncomfortable fact: Does the United Methodist Church want to be the last Mainline Church to get it right? Yes I will be a realistic optimist. But more important the Spirit will be the major player. And I will listen for her. And act on it.

General Information You Feel Would Be Helpful to Conference Lay Members Considering Your Candidacy:

United Methodist since 2002. Married to a lovely lady, Betty. She kept her Family Name. No Betty White for her. 2 Adult Children, Joel and Rachel. One Grandchild, Indigo. I would define my faith as being: A Christian, with Unitarian and Universalist leanings having a Jewish Soul with a Quaker Upbringing. Oh, and a Methodist.

Betty Cobb-ColganBetty Cobb-Colgn

* This nomination was added 5/30/15 due to an oversight

Local Church: Portland First United Methodist
District: Columbia

Areas of Service to Church


A)  Local:  Committee member for 10 yrs., Co-Chair for last 3 yrs.; represent GM at Outreach Ministry meetings; Create & present forum presentations & other means of communication about GM projects;  actively involved in yearly UMCOR One Great Hour of Sharing kit preparation, also going to Salt Lake City UMCOR with FUMC teams; acted as liaison with UMW

B) International:  Have participated in 7 international VIM experiences, which included the countries of Guatemala, Brazil, Palestine/Israel (3xs), Cambodia, Kenya 

CHOIR:  Active singer in chancel choir for 20 yrs. to present; served on Music Committee for 8 yrs. and worked on Friends of Music events

OTHER:  Participated in/helped plan various church events, i.e. coffee hours; Crop Walk; Peace Committee; Forums for understanding of critical issues, sometimes also in other churches; am a member and participate in UMKR; am member of Oregon/Idaho Holy Land Task Force

Areas of Service to Community

Member of Friends of Sabeel-North America (FOSNA) and acted as FUMC Co-ordinator when we hosted the Portland International Sabeel Conference in 2014

I am a retired school administrator and have long been interested in promoting thoughtful communication, caring and sharing to further people’s wellbeing, especially women and children. To this end I also belong to two other women’s groups outside the church.

3 Most Important Issues Facing Church and How You Would Address Them:

  1. Issue:  Church membership and its relevancy to peoples’ lives
    What to do: Find ways to keep the UMC relevant to 21st century societal and spiritual needs by      actively involving ourselves in the difficult/complex issues facing our rapidly changing,  diverse and globally sensitive communities. 
  2. Issue:  Lack of a coherent, strong moral stance on many issues people face in their daily lives
    What to do: Go back to our Wesleyan principles and start “Doing all the good we call, in all the ways we can, to all the souls we can …”
  3. Issue:  Too often there is a tendency for the church to “look the other way” or be “too busy”  in dealing with the critical issues of our day, i.e. the global “war machine”; desecration of our planet; inequality and injustice; feeding the poor
    What to do:  Same as #2; however, not only going back and reminding ourselves of these principles but then going on to make personal contact and interconnection with others seeking solutions and giving support and courage to one another to do something that will really make a difference.

General Information You Feel Would Be Helpful to Conference Lay Members Considering Your Candidacy:

The photo above is of Rev. Donna Pritchard, myself and Rev. Jeremy Smith at FUMC last year after I received the 2014 Lewis Huges Award for Dedicated Service.

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Detailed information on Voting for General/Jurisdictional Conference Delegates

(Download this document)

Delegation Responsibilities

Oregon-Idaho is allotted one clergy and one lay delegate for General Conference (GC).

We are allotted four clergy and four lay delegates for Jurisdictional Conference (JC). The annual conference may decide to elect two clergy/two lay reserves for JC.

The first lay delegate elected will head the entire OR-ID delegation (we alternate leadership between clergy and lay; the 2012 delegation was led by clergy).

The first lay/clergy person elected serves as GC delegate AND as JC delegate.

The second lay/clergy person elected serves as GC reserve AND as JC delegate.

The third and fourth lay/clergy persons elected serve as JC delegates. If the annual conference votes to expand the GC delegation, then these persons would also serve as additional GC reserves.

If the decision is made to elect JC reserves, then the fifth and sixth lay/clergy persons elected will serve as JC reserves. Depending on the will of the Annual Conference, these persons may also travel to GC as additional GC reserves. In this case, the delegation would total 12 (six lay, six clergy).

The first lay/clergy persons elected also serve on the Western Jurisdiction Committee on the Episcopacy (among other things, this group assigns the WJ bishops to their episcopal areas). The term of service begins at the conclusion of the 2016 WJC session.

The second lay/clergy persons elected also serve on the WJ Nominating Committee. This term of service begins with a meeting immediately preceding the WJC session in 2016.

General Conference meets May 10-20, 2016, in Portland, OR. The delegation will have several meetings in the months before GC, and there is a tremendous amount of reading to do in preparation for the GC session.

The Western Jurisdictional Conference meets July 13-16, 2016, in Scottsdale, AZ. All five of the Jurisdictional Conferences in the U.S. meet simultaneously.

The Book of Discipline outlines the requirements for election as a clergy delegate: The clergy delegates to the General Conference and to the jurisdictional shall be elected from the clergy members in full connection and shall be elected by the clergy members of the annual conference who are deacons and elders in full connection, associate members, and those provisional members who have completed all of their educational requirements and local pastors who have completed course study or an M. Div. Degree and have served a minimum of two consecutive years under appointment immediately preceding the election. (¶35 Article IV)

The Book of Discipline outlines the requirements for election as a lay delegate: The lay delegates to the General and jurisdictional shall be elected by the lay members of the annual conference without regard to age, provided such delegates shall have been professing members of The United Methodist Church for at least two years next preceding their election, and shall have been active participants in The United Methodist Church for at least four years next preceding their election, and are members thereof within the annual conference electing them at the time of holding the General and jurisdictional or central conferences.(¶36 Article V)