April 19, 2012
In the next few days nearly three dozen Oregon-Idaho United Methodists will be heading east. Delegates, reserves, conference staff, committee members, monitors, advocates, a couple bishops, and a candidate for commissioning will all be making the transit to General Conference in Tampa, Florida.
One thing that is special about this General Conference is that we know “we” are next. After Tampa, the next session of the General Conference is scheduled for Portland, Oregon in 2016 and will be hosted by the Oregon-Idaho Conference and Western Jurisdiction. So people like me, Bishop’s assistant Becky Delurey, and 2016 Local Committee Chair Bill Haden will be thinking about what is coming while we follow what is happening.
I’ll be doing my best to help you, the UM Connector readers, keep up with what is happening in Tampa, and what it might mean for our Annual Conference. Watch for regular updates of the General Conference webpage at www.umoi.org/gc, special editions of the UM Connector, more blog posts from members of the delegation on the conference website, and Facebook posts to help keep you up-to-date.
Most of all, plan to keep our conference representatives and the entire church in your prayers as the delegates work to set the direction of the church for the next four years. A new prayer letter for the week has just been posted.
Greg Nelson – Director of Communications
This Week in The Annual Conference
Friday, April 20
Bishop's Initiative to Eliminate Hunger Task Force Meeting
UMW Applications due for Racial Justice Award and Zimmerman Trust Grant
Saturday, April 21
Oregon Trail UMW All Member Enrichment Event
Treasure Valley - People Reaching People
CLD Training - Madras
Cross Cultural Training Event-Beaverton
Sunday, April 22
Native American Ministries Sunday
Festival of God’s Creation
Cross Cultural Training Event-Boise
Tuesday, April 24
General Conference Begins – Tampa, Fla.
-- continues through May 4
Wednesday, April 25
World Malaria Day
Friday, April 27
UMW Executive Meeting
Saturday, April 28
UMW Executive Meeting
Snake River District Mission Society
Details on these, and other conference events, can be found on the conference website.
ANNUAL CONFERENCE NEWS
Legislative Assembly Shapes Annual Conference Petitions
Discussion, debate, questions, and explanations filled the days as the 2012 Legislative Assembly met April 13 and 14. This year the Legislative Assembly dealt with key areas of social concern, conference organizational structure, and rules on conference equity, process, and health and disability benefits. Of the 20 items submitted, the assembly supported 19 and recommended against 1. Read more, see who the Legislative Assembly members were, and see the voting results of the Legislative Assembly on the conference website.
It is Bishop Robert Hoshibata's intention to make the following appointment, effective July 1, 2012:
The Rev. Allen Trachsel to First United Methodist Church, in Klamath Falls, Oregon. Trachsel currently is appointed to Caldwell United Methodist Church in Caldwell, Idaho. He has served churches in both Oregon and Idaho since 1990.
A summary of appointment announcements can be found on the conference website at www.umoi.org/appointments.
GENERAL CONFERENCE NEWS
Bishop Hoshibata to Preach to General Conference
Bishop Robert Hoshibata of the Oregon-Idaho Annual Conference has been selected to give the sermon at one of the daily worship services during General Conference. Worship will be the final act of General Conference most days. Hoshibata has been selected to preach at the service Thursday, April 26 at 8:30 p.m. EDT (5:30 p.m. for most of Oregon and 6:30 p.m. for Idaho). This service, like all plenary and worship sessions, will be streamed live on the official website of General Conference, GC2012.umc.org. Hoshibata’s sermon is titled “Love Heals” and will look at not just Jesus’ ability to heal our physical ailments, but how a relationship with Christ can heal our souls.
Oregon-Idaho Delegates featured in General Conference Commentaries
In the lead-up to General Conference, delegates have been invited to write commentaries on key issues coming to the conference. Both Rev. Laura Jaquith Bartlett and Jan Nelson have been invited to share their thoughts. Nelson’s commentary was posted Tuesday, April 17 and voices her hope for love to end exclusion in The United Methodist Church. Bartlett’s commentary was posted yesterday and is one of a pair looking at the pros and cons of the ministry study being considered by the General Conference. The full set of commentaries can be seen at gc2012umns.blogspot.com or on a link from the gc2012.umc.org page.
New Deaconess to be Commissioned During General Conference
During the time General Conference will be meeting in Tampa, Florida the General Board of Global Ministries will hold a commissioning service for 23 new missionaries and 17 new deaconesses and home missionaries from 11 countries. Among them will be Gloria Marple from the Oregon-Idaho Conference. The commissioning, at 2:00 p.m. EDT at Palma Ceia United Methodist Church, will be webcast live at umcmission.org/live.
Gloria’s placement as a deaconess is as a Mental Health Counselor at the Washington County Jail in Hillsboro, Oregon.
“Former inmates are more successful in integrating back into society when they have a
spiritual connection,” says Gloria, quoting documented studies. As a mental health professional using cognitive-based therapy, Gloria facilitates several groups and does one-on-one counseling in the jail setting. She shares her faith by example and voice, as appropriate. She is also doing the foundation work for beginning Ruby’s House, a transitional program for women coming out of jail or prison. Gloria and her husband
Raleigh have two adult sons.
The office of Deaconess dates back to 1888 in the United Methodist tradition. It provides a connection for lay women who are called into full time vocations in servant ministry. Deaconesses (and Home Missioners, their lay man counterparts) identify their own positions in a helping profession or church-related vocation that may or may not be compensated.
Conference Facebook Provides Link to General Conference
News and updates from General Conference will come in many forms and places. One of them will be the Oregon-Idaho Facebook page. Now would be good time to “like” the page so items from General Conference will be in your news stream. Find us at www.facebook.com/UMOrId.
GC2012: Will the UMC say ‘I do’ to All?
The United Methodist Church’s decades-long debate over sexuality issues will again take center stage when the General Conference begins April 24 in Tampa, Fla. Delegates to the 11-day global assembly will face more than 70 petitions on homosexuality, including efforts to change wording in the Discipline that calls the practice of homosexuality “incompatible with Christian teaching.” Read the rest of this United Methodist News Service story.
Bishops Urged To Bring Peace to GC2012
United Methodist bishops on April 18 heard a challenge to embody the peace of Christ to the 2012 General Conference, to an anxious denomination and to the greater world. Read the rest of this United Methodist News Service story.
AROUND THE CONFERENCE
Oregon-Idaho United Methodists in The News
Honduras: The Marquette Medical College alumni website recently featured an excellent story about the work and calling of Dr. Beth Blodgett, along with Prairie Hall Cutting, to create the Amigas del Señor monastery in Honduras. Read about it on their website.
Medford: The Medford United Methodist Church was recently profiled in the Southern Oregon Mail Tribune for their “Eco-Team” that works to recycle hard-to-recycle items and live out principles of good stewardship. Read about it on their website.
Celebrate International Labyrinth Day on May 5th
Saturday, May 5th is International Labyrinth Day, and the Alton L. Collins Retreat Center is planning a celebration! Even those who have never heard of a labyrinth are welcome to come learn about this ancient spiritual practice, and to experience the Retreat Center's labyrinth, which is set outdoors in the midst of an herb garden. The Collins labyrinth is part of a landscaped area known at the Peace Path, lined with bricks from the fireplace at the old lodge (destroyed by fire in 1986) at Camp Leewood, the original children/youth camp on what is now the Collins Retreat Center property.
The morning event begins at 10:00 a.m. and includes a delicious lunch in the Collins dining room. Participants are welcome to stay through the afternoon to hike the Center's many trails, relax in the library, or stroll the grounds. Register or download a flyer with more information from the Alton L. Collins website.
Salem Area Youth Group Presents Concert
The Bread Youth Group, a joint ministry of Morningside, Jason Lee, and Trinity United Methodist Churches in Salem, Oregon is hosting a concert by Cutter Gage and Rezlife.
Gage is a Christian performing artist from Leawood, Kansas United Methodist Church of the Resurrection. Gage states that the vision of the Rezlife group is to change lives, transform communities and to renew the church. Their journey is to know God, Love God and Serve God. They design ongoing gatherings, specific ministries, and events throughout the year to accomplish this mission, vision, and faith journey. It is their hope to equip students and families to continue becoming a deeply committed Christian.
Rezlife will be performing live at Morningside United Methodist Church on Saturday night, May 5 at 8 p.m. Tickets are by advance sale only; cost $10, available at the Morningside United Methodist Church office, 3674 12th Street SE, PO Box 3076, Salem, Oregon 97302. Rezlife and Cutter Gage will also lead worship at Morningside UMC, Salem on Sunday, May 6 at 10 a.m. Contact Donna Sperry, 586-255-6228, email@example.com, or the Morningside church office at 503-364-5013 for more information and tickets.
AROUND THE GLOBE
Speak Up on World Malaria Day!
World Malaria Day is Wednesday, April 25. Because of your support for Imagine No Malaria, the impact of malaria has been cut in half! Now malaria claims a life in Africa every 60 seconds. While this is great progress, we need your continued support to beat this disease.
Please speak up for the children in Africa. Adding your name to the growing list of compassionate advocates is as simple as sending a text message!
Text SWAT to 27722 and sign the petition to save lives. And visit ImagineNoMalaria.org to learn other ways you can help fight this preventable killer disease.
Iowa Church Was Shelter In The Storm
THURMAN, Iowa — Even though Thurman United Methodist Church is barely standing today, it likely saved the lives of a young mother, father and three children April 14 as they huddled in its basement while a tornado took out most of the town. Read the rest of this United Methodist News Service story.
Africa To Pray Nonstop for GC2012
MONROVIA, Liberia (UMNS) — Three Central Conferences in Africa will launch a 24-hour prayer chain beginning April 21 to ask God for a successful General Conference. The General Conference, which is the top international legislative body of The United Methodist Church, will be held April 24-May 4 in Tampa, Fla. The prayer-chain commitment came out of an unprecedented prayer summit held last month at the Stephen Trowen Nagbe United Methodist Church in Monrovia. Delegates from more than two dozen annual conferences were at the meeting. Along with implementing the prayer chain, the delegates affirmed the position of African United Methodist churches on social issues and ordination.
Final Film On Sharing Resources
The last in a five-part film series aimed at stimulating discussion about sharing resources with United Methodists around the world is now available. This segment is “Making Growth Sustainable: Providing Needed Resources in Central Conferences.” The film series, called “Dreaming of Vital Congregations,” is a project of the United Methodist Board of Discipleship.
Global Ministries and UMCOR Redesign Websites for Easier Use
After more than a year of research and planning, the General Board of Global Ministries and the United Methodist Committee on Relief (UMCOR), part of Global Ministries, launched redesigned websites. These sites have been created to be attractive, user-friendly tools that help to tell The United Methodist Church’s story of mission and ministry and relief efforts around the world. “As we connect the church in mission, our websites are a vital tool in this process,” said Thomas Kemper, General Secretary. “The redesigned sites will help us to serve United Methodists and interpret God’s unfolding story around the globe.”
Global Ministries’ website also has a new address. The new URL is umcmission.org. This name change clearly articulates what the agency is tasked to do each day. UMCOR’s URL will remain the same, umcor.org. Global Ministries’ staff e-mail addresses have also changed, now ending with @umcmission.org. UMCOR staff e-mail addresses will remain the same.
It has been more than five years since the Global Ministries and UMCOR websites were overhauled. Larry R. Hygh, Jr., Associate General Secretary, Director of Communications, said, “The redesigned sites have enhanced search functions, and online giving has been improved.” He added, “Over the next few weeks and months, we will continue to add content and media to the sites.”
RETREAT and CAMPING CONNECTION
For that lowest rate, get your camp and retreat event registrations in by May 5th – it's only three weeks away!!
Sing to the Lord, All the Earth!
Earth Day is April 22, 2012 – the 3rd Sunday of Eastertide. There are many Earth Day Sunday Worship Resources as well as small group study resources available to reinforce earth care as vital to Christian discipleship. Here’s a link that will take you to a full menu of resources available through the National Council of Churches eco-justice work group. (Lisa Jean Hoefner, Camp& Retreat Ministries Executive Director)
Quilting & Fiber Arts Retreat
May 17-20 at Camp Latgawa
Spend some time in the beauty of God’s creation while working on your quilting and fiber arts project. This camp, part gab-fest, part spiritual retreat is a place to share your love of fibers and Christian community . If you are someone who loves to be creative in the company of like-minded souls, come join us.
Optional Shop-Hop Day: Join Beth Dieker and shop-hop your way to Camp Latgawa on May 16th! Special surprises and lots of fun await! Shop -Hop Day includes RT transportation, one night's lodging, breakfast and lunch at Camp Latgawa. (Beth Dieker, Missioner for Camp, Retreat & Youth Ministries)
Other Upcoming events:
October 6, 1918 – April 7, 2012
Evangeline Boner, widow of retired pastor George Boner, died April 7, 2012. She is survived by sons, Dennis and George, and six grandchildren. Reverend and Mrs. Boner served Harrington in the Pacific Northwest Conference, Salem Clear Lake, Canby-Carus and Canby in the Oregon-Idaho Conference, before retiring in 1980.
A memorial service will be held Friday, April 20, 2012, at 1:00 pm, at Floral Hills Cemetery, 409 Filbert Rd., Lynwood, WA 98036-4934, (425) 672-1800. Friends may contact Dennis Boner at 21741 S. Parkview Lane, Estacada, OR 97023.
Robert T. Hoshibata, Bishop
William Mullette-Bauer, Director of Stewardship and Finance
Keep Those Prayers Coming!
By Rev. Scott Harkness
…I suppose my deepest prayer is that the Holy Spirit will infiltrate our gatherings, capture our passion, and form our imagination as to how we, the people called United Methodist, can best partner with Christ, one another, other visionaries, the doers of good and the despisers of injustice to nudge today’s world toward something that more closely reflects the kingdom of God as proclaimed by Jesus…