Columbia Union Conference Sets Priorities for Quinquennium
On Sunday, members of the Columbia Union Conference Executive Committee voted to approve five priorities for the remainder of the quinquennium, ending in 2026.
Dave Weigley, Columbia Union president, noted that the union leadership was very intentional in creating these priorities and took the time to engage many constituents in setting them.
The process started in September. In October, union and conference administrators and executive committee members responded to a survey and weighed-in on the challenges facing the church, opportunities for service and suggestions.
“I am not surprised that the grassroots input from across our union was spot on, in touch and relevant, because it was representative of the age, gender and ethnicity that comprises our union family,” says Celeste Ryan Blyden, union executive secretary, who oversaw the process. “It will help to inform and guide our focus, work and shared initiatives during this quinquennium.”
Several committee members noted the importance and intentionality of the first priority—spiritual renewal. Pete Palmer, president of the Allegheny East Conference, said, “If we help people fall passionately in love with Jesus,” the rest of the priorities will fall into place.
Blyden added, “I see our priorities as a wholistic approach to embracing the great opportunity we have as a union family to stay relevant by recognizing and addressing the current needs in our world and responding to them as Jesus did—with love, compassion and purpose.”
Palmer also noted that many of the priorities are already shared and practiced at Allegheny East, but members and leaders will continue the conversations about what this means locally.
The voted priorities are:
- Spiritual renewal
- Mission engagement
- Leadership development
- Community engagement