At the end of February, the North Pacific Union Conference Executive Committee postponed action on their previous decision to call a special constituency session to discuss women’s ordination. The session will take place potentially in two years, after the General Conference theology of ordination study committee completes its work with a report to the October 2014 Annual Council. Final action on the report would not occur until the 2015 General Conference Session.
Less than a month before the NPUC Executive Committee’s February meeting, the NPUC Supporting Pastors, a group that opposes women’s ordination, sent a Jan. 30 letter to NPUC president Max Torkelsen III, requesting that the NPUC Executive Committee “rescind its action to hold a special constituency meeting.” They suggested that the NPUC wait for the response of the 2015 General Conference, before giving the conference’s “full support” to the world church’s decision.
Steve Vistaunet, NPUC communication director, says, “The November 2012 executive committee decision stated an intention to call a constituency session, but never set a specific date for that to happen.” He adds,
“Independent of any concerns expressed by the pastors group, NPUC administrators had been considering how to positively relate to the world church process already underway. The February 20 executive committee action therefore confirmed an intention to encourage the General Conference to resolve this important issue in a timely manner. If there is no clear resolution or directive from the world church by the 2014 Autumn Council as it sets its final agenda for the 2015 General Conference session, the NPUC will likely then set a specific date for its own special constituency session.”
According to Andre Wang, a member of the NPUC’s executive committee and its ad hoc committee on ordination, “The efforts of the NPUC pastors opposing ordination equality (the folks behind www.ordinationtruth.com) were never mentioned at the meeting.”
The official statement from the NPUC notes, “The members of the NPUC executive committee have a consensual conviction that choosing candidates for leadership roles and the way those leaders are affirmed should both be conducted without reference to gender.”