December 1, 2011
Shane Stanford is one of my fellow commissioners on the General Commission on Communications. He’s a thoughtful person who’s had a successful radio ministry. His story touches me because my childhood friend Doug was also an HIV+ hemophiliac. Doug died over 20 years ago when the disease that was hiding unknown in his life-giving blood transfusions caught up with him.
For years, Shane Stanford lived with his secret. When Stanford graduated from seminary and told people he was HIV-positive, even churches turned their backs. The experience tested the young pastor’s faith, he says in this UMTV feature that tells part of the story about World AIDS Day.
On a different note, are you looking for just the right Christmas gift for someone? Here’s a video suggestion from one of my favorite TV personalities, Chef Alton Brown from the Food Network!
Greg Nelson – Director of Communications
This Week in The Annual Conference
Thursday, December 1
Southern District Rogue Colloquy
Southern District Umpqua Colloquy
Western District Coast Colloquy
Saturday, December 3
CLD Training, Metro Westside
Sunday, December 4
Second Sunday of Advent
Wednesday, December 7
Ministry Leadership Team
Thursday, December 8
Friday, December 9
Saturday, December 10
People Reaching People Training
Details on these, and other conference events, can be found on the conference website.
ANNUAL CONFERENCE NEWS
New On the Website
Bishop Calls for Churches to Review Financial Commitments
In a recent letter to pastors of churches in the Oregon-Idaho Conference, Bishop Hoshibata shared both some signs of vitality and hope he is seeing, and his concern for the financial strength of the Annual Conference. While recognizing the financial challenges that local churches face, he asked them to faithfully consider what they can do to close the gap of unpaid contributions to the shared ministries of the conference. You can read the bishop’s full letter here, and review how individual congregations have been able to support shared ministry in the October apportionment report.
Conference Director of Stewardship and Finance, Bill Mullette-Bauer, recently took the time to answer some questions about the financial health of the conference. You can read his answers on the conference website.
Bishop Robert T. Hoshibata has appointed Rev. Jerry Jeffries to Tillamook United Methodist Church, half-time, effective November 27, 2011.
Rev. Jeffries is ordained in the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America and he also serves at St. Peter's Lutheran Church in Tillamook. Rev. Carol Brown will continue her quarter-time appointment to Tillamook.
AROUND THE CONFERENCE
How Christmas Can Help Your Church Grow in 2012
How does a congregation take advantage of the window of opportunity during Christmas 2011 to create a lasting impact on what happens in 2012? Read this article from Ministry Matters to get some ideas.
Give the Gift of LARC to Your Worship Leaders
Registration is now open for the Alton L. Collins Retreat Center's 2012 series of resources for passionate worship: Liturgical Arts Renewal@Collins (LARC). The 2012 workshops begin with an event featuring two young clergy musicians who defy stylistic labels while enabling their congregations to enthusiastically claim their voices of faith. Jackson Henry was highlighted in a recent UM Reporter story about a resurgence in congregational singing, and Joe Stobaugh is part of the worship leadership team for General Conference. The April LARC program presents Mary Scifres, UM author and coach with an expertise in church and culture, along with Debra Tyree, who is internationally known for her work with global praise music. Todd Pick, the visual artist for the 2012 General Conference, and Jennifer Pick, preacher and ritual artist, will team up in October to offer ideas and resources especially geared toward small congregations (although it's likely that larger churches won't want to miss it!). All this takes place in the beautiful Collins setting, supported by the gracious hospitality of the Center's staff. Download a flyer or brochure from the website, along with a link to the registration page. This would make a terrific Christmas gift for someone on your church staff or worship leadership team--a gift that will offer benefits to your whole congregation!
Music in Madras
Note-A-Bells, the Madras United Methodist Church bell choir, will have a concert on Dec. 11 at 2:00 p.m. at the church. Music will include favorites of the bell choir members and several Christmas selections. Madras UMC is located at 49 NE 12th Street in Madras, Oregon.
PSU Campus Ministry Seeks Board Member
Portland State University Campus Ministry has an opening for a United Methodist laity or clergy on the Board of Directors. Portland Campus Christian Ministry is an ecumenical ministry supported by United Methodist, Presbyterian, Disciples of Christ, Episcopal and Lutheran Churches. If you are interested in spiritual formation for college-aged persons please contact Joanne Tilton Rannells at 541-480-5419 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Joanne is the Conference Chair of Campus Ministries and Higher Education.
AROUND THE GLOBE
‘AIDS-Free Generation’ in Sight
NEW YORK (UMNS) — As World AIDS Day is being observed, new scientific breakthroughs, combined with social strategies, could make an “AIDS-free generation” a reality. It’s a goal supported by the work of the United Methodist Global AIDS Fund. Read more about it, and how you can make your mark on the battle for eliminating AIDS by taking the 20/20 Pledge in this United Methodist News Service story.
Churches can mark World AIDS Day this Sunday with a bulletin insert and poster provided by the United Methodist Committee on Relief. Churches and individual United Methodists also can support the efforts to bring about an AIDS-free generation through the United Methodist Global AIDS Fund.
Advent App Joins Online Devotional Resources
The gift buying, tree decorating, party planning and other pre-Christmas tasks can easily overshadow Advent and spiritual preparation for remembering Christ’s birth. Here are some suggestions for Advent devotions and activities delivered digitally. Read the rest of this United Methodist News Service story.
America’s Sunday Supper Promotes Service
In honor of Martin Luther King Jr. Day, United Methodist Communications and the United Methodist Board of Church and Society are urging communities to join in America’s Sunday Supper on Jan. 15, 2012. America’s Sunday Supper will be a nationwide night of simultaneous dinners and discussions shared in churches, homes, community centers and kitchens to promote positive change in the world. Read more and get involved at the RethinkChurch website.
Contain Your Joy
During this holiday season, wouldn’t you like to connect someone in need with essential items, such as school supplies, a warm blanket, or clothing for a newborn baby? By giving to the Contain Your Joy Advance, you can help the United Methodist Committee on Relief (UMCOR) to deliver these items and more to individuals, families, and communities in need.
The Contain Your Joy Advance funds humanitarian shipments to UMCOR-supported programs around the world. Just this month, funding from Contain Your Joy made it possible for UMCOR to send about 16,000 school kits, health kits, and other supplies to people in need in South Sudan, the world’s newest nation.
Right now, however, Contain Your Joy could use some additional assistance. Fuel and equipment prices are rising, and the costs to deliver relief supplies to communities in need are higher than ever. This Christmas season, won’t you consider making a donation to Contain Your Joy? Give today to UMCOR Advance #982730 through your local church.
RETREAT and CAMPING CONNECTION
Extra! Extra! Latgawa’s Newsletter
Camp Latgawa’s newsletter is just out, and it gives a great history of the location and the camp as well as its many Time to Grow updates. View or Download the newsletter from the gocamping.org website. (Eva LaBonty and Greg Clensy)
Chocolate Chip Cookie Scoop
Just in time for your Christmas baking… Camp Magruder has released its Chocolate chip cookie recipe! Of course it makes up to 550 cookies so you may have to do a little adjusting! Enjoy! (click on the photo to enlarge it). (Amy Woods)
Nellie Watts Welcome Center Update
We can really see progress on the welcome center. Our prayer is for decent weather as we continue. The rain was much lighter this weekend than expected and temperatures were manageable. A blessing, especially for the framing crew. (Jane Petke)
Why Steve Jobs Left the Church
By David Dorn
… Steve Jobs was a Zen Buddhist. But he didn’t start that way….