Left to right: Justin Ringstaff, executive secretary; Chelli Ringstaff, Gail Micheff, Jim Micheff, president; Mike Bernard, treasurer; Cheryl Bernard [PC: Katie Fellows]
More than 546 delegates from across the state gathered to elect officers, department directors and executive committee members, and to discuss and vote items on the agenda, including recommended changes or additions to the constituency bylaws.
Jim Micheff was reelected to serve as president, a position he has held since Jan. 29, 2018, when he was elected by the Michigan Conference Executive Committee to succeed Jay Gallimore, who retired. Justin Ringstaff was reelected to serve as the executive secretary, a position he has held since Feb. 24, 2018, when the executive committee elected him to succeed Micheff, shortly after he transitioned to the office of the president. Michael Bernard was reelected to serve as treasurer, and he has served in that capacity since the last constituency held Sept. 30, 2018.
The delegates also elected department directors during the session. The following is a list of the directors voted to serve for the next five years.
The nominating committee decided to refer two director positions, Health Ministries and Camp director, back to the Executive Committee for further discussion.
Delegates also voted in new executive committee members (17 total) for the next five-year term. The executive committee will comprise the following: Jim Micheff (ex officio), Justin Ringstaff (ex officio), Mike Bernard (ex officio), Ariel Roldan, Phil Mills, Ann Barrett, Shane Anderson, Chris Holland, Steve Conway, Moise Ratsara, Sandy Miller, Nereida Martinez, Sally Frain, Matt Romashko, David Moll, Lorena Bidwell, Tom Coffee; Laura Im (HR, ex officio, non-voting); Cody Francis (Ministerial, ex officio, non-voting); Jeremy Hall (Education, ex officio, non-voting)
Individuals voted to serve on the bylaws committee: Vern Alger, Amy Ratsara, Jonathan Koch, Matt Romashko, Judy Ramos
In addition to appointing the new bylaws committee, delegates also amended the Constitution and Bylaws, specifically, articles 5 and 6. Delegates voted to amend sections 5.3 and 6.1 to allow for an “electronic conference” for the business of the constituency meeting, the organizing committee and the nominating committee, provided all persons can hear each other at the same time. Generally, constituency meetings are to be held in-person, however, at the discretion of the Executive Committee, constituency meetings may be conducted on a digital platform.
Jim Micheff introduced the proposed Camp Au Sable project to the delegates early in the day’s proceedings. Initiative details were presented by Joel Nephew, who oversees properties for the Michigan Conference; Daniel Bacchiocchi, who is overseeing the project; and Ariel Solis, Bacchiocchi’s design partner.
Bacchiocchi and Nephew shared details about the state of Camp Au Sable’s current Main Auditorium building. After a two-year feasibility study, it was concluded that the “the logical solution would be a replacement strategy,” Bacchiocchi said, rather than to continue to repair the current building. Solis also walked the delegates through an interactive digital model of the proposed building.
The current building can host about 230 people, but the new building will be able to accommodate approximately 500. In addition, the new building will be fully ADA accessible, whereas the current building is not.
In their reports, the officers and directors celebrated how the Lord’s hands directed and guided over the past quinquennium, and they look forward to where the Lord will lead in the years to come. “We know God is leading this world church,” says President Jim Micheff, “We praise the Lord for the way He has blessed the Michigan conference throughout this last constituency. Now we look forward to His continued leading, and the joy of experiencing the additional blessings He has in store for us.”
The Michigan Conference will continue to focus on leading souls to Christ and preparing the world for His soon return. “Wouldn’t it be wonderful,” Micheff asked, “if Jesus came before our next constituency? Regardless of when, we know that we are an important part of preparing for that life-altering day. May God bless us as together we do everything possible to hasten that event.”
Judy Ringstaff is an assistant in the Michigan Conference communication department.