By Conference Minister Diane Weible
This coming Saturday, Conference delegates will gather for a meeting to discuss two important topics: Approval of the remainder of the 2021 budget and decisions regarding the stewardship of the Camp Cazadero property.
As I write this, we do not yet have the necessary quorum of churches. We are close and I’m sure that by Saturday we will have the necessary 50% of our churches registered to meet our quorum requirement. I encourage you to read on if your church has not yet chosen its delegates to better understand why we need all voices at the (Zoom) table.
Decisions about the finances can be difficult and because they are difficult, we need as many voices as possible to provide discernment and wisdom to reach the best decision and direction forward for the Conference.
Camp Cazadero is a beloved property that has offered one of two locations for our youth to attend camp for more than seven decades. It is also a property that requires many resources to maintain. Pandemic has caused what was already a much-needed conversation in this Conference about its stewardship, to become one that is quite urgent in nature.
In October, delegates to Annual Gathering were concerned about whether the budget we approved was one that was achievable. The approved budget did not include some of the dreams we proposed at our August 29 budget discernment meeting; this included additional staff and a wider vision for Camp Cazadero. And, still, there were enough concerns about the feasibility of the budget that was proposed, that delegates asked for a special meeting before the end of the first quarter of 2021 to make sure giving and spending were on track to balance.
The second reason we are gathering is related—the stewardship of Camp Cazadero property, both in addressing the short-term costs for basic maintenance while we are shut down due to COVID and the long-term vision for the property as a whole. Any vision needs direction and a commitment to funding for that vision if it is to be successful. Decisions made about Camp Cazadero will impact the wider Conference vision of supporting churches and ministers, both because our camping program is part of that wider vision and because we can only follow the vision with the funds and resources available. Deciding how those resources are used is crucial for allowing us to follow the mission of this Conference—to Support, Unite and Nurture—to support and nurture our churches and ministers, and to unite for justice.
For all these reasons, we are asking your church to send representatives and for those delegates who are planning to attend, to please read the information posted on the website prior to the meeting so your voice and your wisdom can be included in this important and sacred conversation. Registration and information can be found HERE.