May 10, 2012
Thank you for sticking with me through the blitz of General Conference emails. Amazingly only 5 people unsubscribed and over 2,500 people read some part of the emails during the two weeks. This week I’ll try to provide some wrap up to the conference, and also start turning our attention to what is happening here, in our own annual conference.
It’s hard to sum up General Conference. When people ask, “How was conference?”, I am torn between saying wonderful and terrible. The overall coming together of people from five continents to gather in a common belief that God’s grace is abundant and available to all is wonderful. But when the political process causes a split vote of 56/44% on adding the statement “we believe God’s grace is available to all” to the preamble to the Social Principles, the wonder is tarnished.
There are many things that I disagree with Bishop Scott Jones about, but I agree with a short comment he posted on twitter, saying, “My summary: death throes of a dying 1970's establishment church, birth pangs of a missional global 21st century church. It is messy.”
We seem to be in the chaos of change (As described by authors William Bridges and Meg Wheatly). We’ve been doing it here at the Annual Conference for 2 years (or 16, depending on what you count), and we know it’s messy. The difference is that we have a higher level of trust in our Annual Conference. For the most part, trust was absent at General Conference. Read more thoughts from the Oregon-Idaho Delegation on their blog page. There are also several articles in this week’s UM Connector to try and help you see what happened with some of the key issues.
Greg Nelson – Director of Communications
This Week in The Annual Conference
Thursday, May 10
Southern District Rogue Colloquy
Southern District Umpqua Colloquy
Saturday, May 12
CLD Training - Forest Grove
People Reaching People Training – Salem
Southern District Church Extension Society
Sunday, May 13
Monday, May 14
Klamath Basin Colloquy
Metro Learning Resource Team
Tuesday, May 15
Wednesday, May 16
Ministry Leadership Team
Thursday, May 17
Saturday, May 19
People Reaching People Training - Treasure Valley
Details on these, and other conference events, can be found on the conference website.
ANNUAL CONFERENCE NEWS
It is Bishop Robert T. Hoshibata's intention to make the following appointments, effective July 1, 2012:
- The Rev. Ralph Lawrence to Baker United Methodist Church in Baker City, Oregon. Lawrence is a retired elder in the conference and will serve half-time.
- The Rev. Katherine Raines to Caldwell United Methodist Church in Caldwell, Idaho. Raines has been serving a two-point charge in Harrisburg and Halsey, Oregon. It was previously announced that Rev. Allen Trachsel will be moving from Caldwell to Klamath Falls, Oregon.
- The Rev. David Raines to Wilder United Methodist Church in Wilder, Idaho and Middleton United Methodist Church in Middleton, Idaho. Raines currently serves St. Paul Center United Methodist Church in Springfield, Oregon.
- The Rev. Fredrick Hoadley to Collister United Methodist Church in Boise, Idaho. Hoadley will serve in Collister quarter-time. He will also continue in extension ministry as the Executive Director of the Methodist Counseling Center in Nampa, Idaho.
- The Rev. Rinya Frisbie, as an interim appointment, to Capitol Hill and West Portland United Methodist Churches in Portland, Oregon. Frisbie has been serving as an interim pastor at Albany First United Methodist in Albany, Oregon. She has received special training in interim ministry.
- The Rev. Margot Thompson to Banks Community and Cornelius United Methodist Churches in Banks and Cornelius, Oregon. Thompson is an elder in the New Mexico Annual Conference where she serves Center Street United Methodist Church in Tucumcari, New Mexico.
- The Rev. June Fothergill to Ebbert Memorial and St. Paul Center United Methodist Churches in Springfield, Oregon. Fothergill has been serving the Middleton and Wilder United Methodist Churches in Idaho.
A summary of appointment announcements can be found on the conference website at www.umoi.org/appointments
AROUND THE CONFERENCE
Delegation to Report Back from General Conference
On Saturday, May 19, representatives of the Oregon-Idaho delegation to General Conference will share information and reactions to the events of the past few weeks. This "welcome home" event will be held at Sweet Home UMC and will begin with worship at 9:45 a.m. There will be a potluck lunch at noon and Q&A with the delegates will conclude at 1:45 p.m. The day is sponsored by the Oregon-Idaho chapter of Methodist Federation for Social Action and the Oregon-Idaho Reconciling Methodists, but anyone interested in welcoming delegation members and hearing their reflections is invited. View or download the complete schedule and directions to the church.
Coburg Team Shares UMVIM Journey via Blogging
A team of nine members from Coburg and other United Methodist Churches is at the UMCOR Depot (West) this week. Follow their journey to Salt Lake City and what they are doing to change the world via their Team blog.
Westside UMC Gets into Action
Westside UMC in Beaverton recently joined with another congregation in the area to have a “Day of Action.” Watch a short video about how they went out the doors of the church to connect to the community.
Wesley House – Boise Seeking Director
Wesley House Campus Ministry at Boise State University is seeking a new director.
It is a quarter-time position of approximately 12 hours per week. The salary is $1,000 per month and the job begins on July 1, 2012. Duties will include overseeing the Wesley House Campus Ministry Program, developing relationships between campus ministry and local churches, and being available for student needs. Applications will be accepted until May 25, 2012. Contact Josh Bynum at email@example.com or 208-477-8351 for more details and application instructions.
Coos Bay Seeking Organist/Pianist
Coos Bay United Methodist Church is seeking an Organist/Pianist. See more information on the conference website, or contact Rev. Laura Beville at firstname.lastname@example.org.
AROUND THE GLOBE
General Conference Wrap-up
United Methodists from five continents addressed a wide range of challenging issues, including church structure and human sexuality, and engaged in an Act of Repentance toward indigenous people during their 10-day legislative gathering.
Meeting in the Tampa Convention Center, steps away from the waters of Tampa Bay, the 988 delegates recalled through worship, song and sermon the healing and transforming ministry of Jesus beside the Sea of Galilee. Read more of this overview of General Conference.
General Conference Approves United Methodist Women Autonomy
By a vote of 889 to 20, General Conference made United Methodist Women an autonomous organization within the United Methodist Church May 1 during its quadrennial meeting Tampa, Fla. The historic vote separates the national policymaking body of women organized for mission within the denomination from the church’s mission agency for the first time in more than 70 years. Read more on the conference website.
No Restructure for UMC
As the afternoon session of the last day of General Conference 2012 was winding down, with delegates perhaps thinking more of packing their luggage than voting on the remaining items, the United Methodist Judicial Council dropped a bombshell that rocked the assembly to its core: Plan UMC is unconstitutional.
That unanimous ruling came from the nine-member council, which had been asked on May 3 by General Conference to make a declaratory decision on the constitutionality of the 80-page restructure plan for The United Methodist Church, adopted on May 2. Read the rest of this United Methodist News Service story.
Delegates Reject Divestment form Companies
Delegates to The United Methodist Church’s top lawmaking assembly approved petitions dealing with the Palestinian-Israeli conflict, but they did not approve a measure to divest from specific companies.
Delegates instead approved a report calling on the United Methodist Board of Pension and Health Benefits to explore “serious peace-making strategies in Israel and Palestine, including positive economic and financial investment in Palestine.
The Israeli-Palestinian issue dominated the May 2 afternoon plenary at General Conference. Nearly 990 delegates from around the world are gathered through May 4 for the assembly, held every four years. Read the rest of this United Methodist News Service story.
General Conference Lowers Budget
General Conference 2012 approved a budget of $603.1 million for seven general church funds during the 2013-2016 period; that total is 6.03 percent less than the amount apportioned for the previous four-year period –– the first time the assembly has accepted a lower budget than the amount set for the preceding period. Read more in this United Methodist News Service Story.
General Conference Modifies Pension Plan
United Methodist clergy in the United States will continue to participate in a retirement program that includes a monthly pension payment. Read the rest of this United Methodist News Service story.
Videos of General Conference Online
Nearly 100 videos are available online of proceedings and events at General Conference. You can see them all on the General Conference YouTube channel. Some of special interest are; the Society of St. Andrews Cucumber Drop, Mark Miller’s statement on the failure of holy conferencing, and Bishop Hoshibata’s sermon to the General Conference later that evening.
(See more about General Conference in the Commentary Section and at GC2012.umc.org)
RESOURCES & OPPORTUNITES
Spring is a Great Time for Great Hymns!
If it's May, it must be time to kick-off the latest edition of Great Hymns of the Faith at the Alton L. Collins Retreat Center. Indeed, the first program of the 2012 series is scheduled for Thursday, May 24, starting at 10:30 am in the Chapel at the Retreat Center. Led by the Reverend Laura Jaquith Bartlett, each program features favorite hymns both old and new, with plenty of opportunity for stories, discussion, and lots of singing. The morning program is followed by a gourmet lunch in the dining room; the May menu calls for Fresh Asparagus & Basil Cream Soup Topped with Shredded Parmesan Cheese, Flat Bread with Fresh Hummus, Spinach Salad with Toasted Hazelnuts, Goat Cheese, and Dried Cranberries Tossed with Honey-Mustard Vinaigrette, and Rich Peanut Butter Cookies. After lunch, guests are welcome to relax at the Center or explore the new additions to the Peace Path & Labyrinth. Register online at the A.L. Collins website--a discounted registration fee is also available for those who wish to sign up for all three 2012 programs!
Top 10 Questions about Screens in Worship
No matter what happens at seminars and conferences on images in worship, when it comes to Q&A time, it's always the same basic set of questions. How can we afford it? How do we find images that don't look cheesy? Consider this a crash course on screen use in your church from the Ministry Matters website.
Hospice Program in Newport
Samaritan Pacific Hospice in Newport, Oregon will host Hospice Foundation of America’s 2012 Living with Grief program: “End-of Life Ethics”, a DVD presentation that uses a case study approach to examine the ethical issues and dilemmas that emerge at the end-of-life, the principles of ethical decision making and the effects of these decisions on staff and families. The program is Friday, May 18. Be there at 10:30 a.m. to register. The program is from 11 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. For more information and to register, contact Rev. Brenda Wills at email@example.com or 541-1811.
Foundation Assists Churches with Financial Training
Church organizations have a long history of asking people to give generously and faithfully, often without providing the same people with basic tools for effective management of their household incomes and expenses. A recent, extensive survey of financial stewardship in local churches reveals that per-capita giving is 25 percent higher in churches that offer these tools, compared with those that do not.
If your church would like to provide faith-based, basic household financial management training to individuals, you don’t need to start from scratch; The Northwest United Methodist Foundation would like to help. The Foundation is offering a pilot program on this topic in the Portland Metro area. We will utilize a program created by Dave Ramsey entitled, Financial Peace University. This is a biblically based, thirteen-week program that helps people dump their debt, get control of their money, and learn new behaviors around money that are founded on commitment and accountability. The Foundation is offering to offset some of the costs and staff the Stewardship training. If your church is interested in participating, please contact Dennis Osborn, Associate Director, at 503-318-6043 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Free Stewardship Webinar from GBOD
The General Board of Discipleship is offering a free webinar on Thursday, May 17 at 4:30p.m. Pacific Time and 5:30 p.m. Mountain time to introduce "Extravagant Generosity" to Your Congregation or church leaders. It's one of the key practices of fruitful congregations, and it is also an exciting stewardship program available for your congregation. Join us and see if "Extravagant Generosity: The Heart of Giving" is right for your church! Register at www.tinyurl.com/ExtraGenerosity.
Church Business Administrators to Hear from Oregon-Idaho Experts
Bill Mullette-Bauer, the Oregon-Idaho Conference Director of Stewardship and Finance and Sandra Reinemer, Assistant Treasurer will be presenting “Volunteer Audit Committees” at a meeting of the local Chapter of the National Association of Church Business Administration. The session starts at 9:00 a.m. on Thursday May 17 at the Village Baptist Church. Church staff, members of the finance committee and members of boards of Trustees are invited to attend. To RSVP or for more information call Christine Bostick at Portland First United Methodist Church at 503-228-3195 or email@example.com. Village Baptist Church is located at 330 Southwest Murray Boulevard, Beaverton, Oregon.
Hymnals and Chancel Resources Available
The Oregon Trail District Office has some hymnals, other music resources, communion service and other chancel accessories available for any church or camp that could use them. View or download the full list and contact Charlotte Hartman in the district office at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 541-389-1047 to make get more information.
RETREAT and CAMPING CONNECTION
Memorial Day Weekend’s Coming: What to do? What to do?
Here are some wonderful ideas!
Getting ready to “Go Camping!”
Spring has sprung, and there are lots of spring projects to get camps ready for summer. Volunteer work weekends are a fun way to give back and enjoy time at camp. Please contact the site directly for more information.
Local Newspaper Highlights Suttle Lake's Celebration
The Sisters, Oregon paper, The Nugget, had two very nice articles on Suttle Lake Camp this week. One was on our 90th celebration and another (on this same link) focused on the history of the camp: Click here to read the articles in The Nugget. (Jane Petke, Suttle Lake Camp Director)
Welcome to the 21st Century
By Larry Hollon
…The new world of pluralism and hyper-connection met the old world of authority and Robert’s Rules of Order, and the two didn’t mix well…
On the 2012 General Conference
by Wayne Rhodes
…The quadrennial meeting, April 24-May 4, was replete with scratch-your-head, say-what moments…