Bishop Stanovsky to consolidate Episcopal Office


Bishop Elaine Stanovsky has announced that the episcopal office in Portland will close at the end of the calendar year and all the functions supporting the bishop currently occurring out of this office will transfer to the Greater Northwest Area office in Des Moines, Washington. The administrative assistant position in Portland will end at the same time. Other Oregon-Idaho Conference functions will remain in Portland.

In 2008 the General Conference instructed each jurisdiction to reduce by one the number of bishops overseeing its annual Conferences. In 2012 the Western Jurisdiction combined the former Portland episcopal area and the Seattle episcopal area, creating the Greater Northwest Area, comprised of the Alaska, Oregon-Idaho and Pacific Northwest Conferences. While only one bishop serves the new area, two offices continued. In addition to the area office near Seattle, the second office in Portland remained open and staffed to support the bishop’s presence and full participation in the life of the Oregon-Idaho Conference. “When I arrived in the northwest, I was surprised to discover two offices,” said Stanovsky.

“Much of the reason for eliminating one episcopal area was to reduce costs. That reason still exists. Oregon-Idaho leaders felt there were other, better, ways for me to be present, involved and accessible than by keeping the office,” said Stanovsky. This change will allow office space in the Oregon-Idaho Conference Center to be used more effectively, and will result in cost savings to both conferences. With the change, the administrative assistant position in Portland will be phased out. The office and staff in Portland cost the area nearly $73,000 per year.

Closing the office means that Becky Delurey, administrative assistant to the bishop in Portland, will be leaving her position. Bishop Stanovsky shares, “We regret losing Becky as part of our Oregon-Idaho staff team after six plus years of faithful service. We send her off with gratitude and best wishes for the future.”  Stanovsky also adds, “The Oregon-Idaho Annual Conference continues to be led by executives: Rev. Lowell Greathouse, Mission and Ministry Coordinator; and Rev. Gwen Drake, Dean of the Cabinet and Assistant to the Bishop; and Rev. Dan Wilson-Fey, the Conference Treasurer and Benefits Officer.

Gretchen Engle, will continue to serve as Administrative Assistant in the Des Moines office, supporting Bishop Stanovsky for all three conferences. She can be contacted at gengle@greaternw.org or 206-870-6810. Stanovsky can be reached at Bishop@greaternw.org. Mail for both can be sent to: Greater NW Episcopal Office, PO Box 13650, Des Moines, WA 98198.

Update in UM Connector October 27, 2016

Conference Center continues to support churches

Last week's article in the UM Connector about the consolidation of the Greater Northwest Episcopal office, caused some to wonder if the entire Conference office was being closed or if Oregon and Idaho congregations would still be able to communicate easily with Bishop Elaine Stanovsky. Oregon-Idaho United Methodists can be assured that the Conference Center will remain open and focused on helping churches fulfill the mission of making disciples for the transformation of the world. The staff is committed to being available to act as a resource for churches and help build healthy vital congregations.

The Oregon-Idaho bishop's office will be open until late December and then will be consolidated in the Des Moines (greater Seattle), office. The Greater NW office can be reached at 800-755-7710 ext. 310.  Email executive assistant Gretchen Engle at gengle@greaternw.org and Bishop Stanovsky at Bishop@greaternw.org.

The Oregon-Idaho Conference Center is located at 1505 SW 18th Avenue in downtown Portland, next door to Portland’s First United Methodist Church. It houses conference-wide support for Finance and Administration, (treasurer and assistant treasurer, human resources and benefits, and accounts receivable and payable,) Camp and Retreat Ministries, the Mission and Ministry Coordinator and Communications. The Columbia and Sage District offices are also in the building, and two conference rooms regularly support conference, district and area-wide meetings; both in person and via phone and video conference. 13 people make up the on-site staff, with eight more staff based in home, or district offices. The Conference Center is open Monday-Thursday 8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Phone is 503-226-7931, or toll-free 800-593-7539.