This year, I attended the California-Pacific Annual Conference for two days, Thursday and Friday, along with Jeanette Carey and Nedda Soriano. One of the highlights for me was hearing and seeing, for the first time, our new bishop, Rev. Minerva G. Carcaņo. I was well impressed with her as a presiding officer and leader. She struck me as being soft-spoken, firm and patient.
During the first day, we heard reports on the very difficult financial situation of our Conference. It has apparently lived well beyond its means during the past few years, running up a $3 million deficit, and hasn't accounted very well for its expenditures. While there was no hint of "malfeasance", it certainly sounded like the Conference didn't manage its resources and finances well. We felt some assurance that the situation is being brought under control, thanks to a new accounting system and new chart of accounts, and will at least not get any worse.
During the second day, we attended one of several "legislative sessions", discussing and dealing with various paperwork and clerical issues. Then we sat through a very sad and difficult plenary session which was devoted to the closure of five different United Methodist churches. Friday evening, we attended the Retirement Celebration Banquet, at which we recognized the service of 29 retiring clergy members, including Rev. Teresa Santillana, who served OUMC from 2001 to 2006. It is sad to report that only seven new deacons and elders were going to be ordained this year.
Please read the official conference summary.