Our Northwest Conference Annual Meeting, held each spring, remains a highlight of our shared ministry, as we celebrate what God has done through our churches and affiliated ministries. After cancelling last year’s 2020 meeting, and with many unknowns still facing us with COVID-19, we will hold the 2021 Annual Meeting online. We hope representatives from each church can join us, as this will be an important time to remember God’s faithfulness as we cling to the hope we have in Christ.
This past year has been hard. As our deeply divided country reckoned with the COVID pandemic and racial injustice, much of what we knew to be normal was cancelled or moved online. The accompanying grief and isolation has stretched and challenged all of us, with no clear resolution in sight.
And yet, as followers of Christ, we are not without hope. Our hope in Christ doesn’t diminish or cancel out the hardship, but our shared hope gives perspective to our struggles. The Apostle Paul says in Romans 5:3-5, “Therefore, we rejoice in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope. And hope does not disappoint us.”
It is in this spirit that we look forward to gathering virtually for our Annual Meeting April 23-24 to remember and reflect on the shared hope we have in Christ, even in the midst of this difficult time in which we find ourselves.
Ministerial Association Annual Meeting
(for all pastors and staff ministry leaders in the NWC)
Friday, April 23 from 9 a.m. – 11 a.m.
Lunch (on Zoom) to follow
Pastors will have their annual Ministerial Association meeting on Friday morning, April 23, via Zoom.
NWC Annual Meeting Worship, Business Meeting and Workshops
(for delegates and attendees)
Saturday, April 24, from 9 a.m. – Noon
A time of worship, prayer and reflection followed by a brief business meeting conducted on Zoom for delegates to give voice to the important business of our NWC, including electing new members to leadership positions, voting on the budget, hearing a report from our Superintendent and more.
In addition, we will be highlighting stories of God’s faithfulness throughout. After Saturday morning’s business meeting, there will be opportunity for all attendees to participate in educational seminars.
We normally charge a nominal fee for delegates to attend the Annual Meeting, but this year Saturday’s business meeting and workshops will be offered free of charge to all delegates and attendees. We are also hoping that holding the meeting digitally will allow more churches to participate due to both the time commitment and usual costs normally associated with registration, lodging, travel and meals.
The special offering at our 2021 NWC Annual Meeting will be taken to provide support and encouragement to staff members at our Covenant Ability Network-MN (CAN-MN) Group Home Residences, serving those with physical and mental disabilities. The funds will be used to bless these front-line workers who work tirelessly to care for those among us who need additional assistance to live full and meaningful lives, seeking to focus on what these residents can do rather than merely the challenges they face.
CAN-MN staff members have carried an enormous load amid all the ongoing challenges associated with COVID-19 and the prudence with which they must carry out their duties. They have risked both exposure and transmission of the virus. Many of their tasks go unnoticed by most of us, but to the families of the residents, their work means so much … to know that children or siblings are both cared for and loved by those who serve them.
While we run the risk of a smaller offering than usual due to the virtual nature of our gathering, we encourage you to make a special effort to give generously to this worthy cause. Thank you in advance for your support!
The Annual Meeting is the highest constituted authority in the Northwest Conference (NWC), made up of delegates from member Covenant churches throughout the Conference. Delegates gather together for worship and fellowship, and to elect leaders, review finances, adopt a budget, and address the business of the Conference.
Delegates are appointed representatives from member Covenant churches. Delegates vote on the policies and procedures presented to the Annual Meeting. Delegates receive a packet of information that includes reports, statistics, ballot information, etc. They are also given the privilege of speaking during the meeting and voicing their opinion.
Friday’s Ministerial Association meeting is open to all pastors and ministry staff in NWC churches. Saturday’s business meeting is open to any registered attendees and delegates. Registered attendees are welcome to observe the business meeting and participate in the workshops. Only registered delegates will have voting privileges.
The number of delegates each church can send is based on membership as of Dec. 31, 2020.
0-49 members = 2 delegates
50-249 members = 3 delegates
250-499 members = 4 delegates
500+ members = 5 delegates
Registration can be done online.
There have been many ongoing changes and challenges within our denomination in recent days. Angela Yee will provide an update on a variety of topics as well as share about some of the organizational and ministry changes that will be coming as recommendations to the delegates of the ECC Annual Meeting in June 2021.
Luke Swanson will also be sharing about a recommendation coming before the ECC Annual Meeting on the proposed Resolution refuting the “Doctrine of Discovery.” More information that can be reviewed by participants prior to this workshop may be found at https://covchurch.org/who-we-are/structure/commissions/cac/.
NWC staff members will present an overview on what is happening in the NWC during these challenging days. The workshop will also provide an opportunity for participants to engage with NWC staff on a variety of topics that will address both the questions and felt needs of NWC constituents. Reflections on where the NWC is headed in the future will also be part of the conversation.
Sound financial management is important for all churches, even more so during difficult situations. In this session we will look at the key things you need to do to manage your finances and facility in times of trouble. These include taking stock of your current financial position, anticipating future income and expense and developing a cash flow spreadsheet to better manage your money under pressure. The best part about this session is that the lessons learned will help you even without a crisis.
With ministry moving online and few opportunities to gather this past year, discipleship of children and youth pivoted almost exclusively to the home. This workshop will provide practical tools to equip parents to take the lead in the discipleship of their children, and help our kids walk in the way of Jesus for the rest of their lives. Participants will come away with a greater sense of their own calling and spiritual authority, and a practical, simple framework for discipleship.
Rachel is passionate about teaching others fact-checking skills and how to engage mindfully in online spaces. Learn to be a wise consumer of information. Read more about her work at https://www.racheliwightman.com.