July 5, 2012
This week’s UM Connector will be a short one in honor of the holiday this week and the fact that there aren’t many things happening at the conference level.
I hope all my readers had a good Fourth of July, and that your churches are busy with vacation bible schools, summer picnics, and welcoming visitors that may travel in your door from near or far.
Greg Nelson – Director of Communications
This Week in The Annual Conference
Monday, July 9
Columbia and Cascadia Retired Clergy & Spouse Picnic
Wednesday, July 11
Tumbleweed Area Clergy Colloquy (Columbia District)
Thursday, July 12
UMW Oregon School of Christian Mission, George Fox University, Newberg OR
Details on these, and other conference events, can be found on the conference website.
ANNUAL CONFERENCE NEWS
Districts Get New Email Addresses! Did You?
Contacting the district offices for the new configuration of four districts is now easier thanks to unified email addresses. You can reach them at:
Cascadia District at Cascadia@umoi.org
Columbia District at Columbia@umoi.org
Crater Lake District at CraterLake@umoi.org
Sage District at Sage@umoi.org
If you have any change of address (on earth or in cyberspace), phone number, want to update your subscription to district newsletters, or any other changes contact your district office.
AROUND THE CONFERENCE
Creation Vacation Video Online
The short message outlining some of the values and achievements of the Creation Vacation family camping program given at Annual Conference is now online. In the Video Rev. Lisa Jean Hoefner tells the 2012 Annual Conference session about some of the impacts of this program for families struggling with poverty and food insecurity. Watch it on the conference website.
”It’s Not About the Passport!”
Scott and Bev Pressman, Oregon-Idaho Volunteer In Mission Coordinators share this message for the conference:
We are called to serve! We spoke at Annual Conference with many for whom high costs and time have prohibited their participation in international mission. We will continue our support of international missions while we also identify local sites for broader mission participation. Please make a real difference in our churches and communities closer to home that have many unmet needs! If you know of any local mission opportunities, please contact us at email@example.com. Please also visit the Missions page at www.umoi.org and talk with your church about assisting a current local request we have received.
A mission request we ask you to prayerfully consider is Sweet Home United Methodist Church. Those at Annual Conference saw them at their “Nuts for Jesus” display! They are a small congregation who works hard to earn funds to help others in their town of Sweet Home. They can now use help from you, their family of faith, to help with some badly needed church repairs. Please contact UMVIM OR-ID Conference Coordinators Scott and Bev Pressman, firstname.lastname@example.org, or Sweet Home Pastor April Hall Cutting, email@example.com.
We will serve as a conduit for providing interested churches with local mission requests. We will provide an agreement form, and interested churches will communicate and plan directly with the mission site. We ask you on the form to please forward a copy to us so that we are in the loop of mission requests being met.
Get involved….you are needed! No passport required!
AROUND THE GLOBE
Churches Respond to 700 Miles of U.S. Storms
CHARLESTON, W. Va. (UMNS) — Challenged by a swath of severe summer storms and sweltering temperatures, United Methodists immediately opened their churches as cooling/relief centers and went to work removing debris. In the mid-Atlantic region, at least 2.5 million remained in the dark as the workweek began July 2. The death toll from the severe weather was in the teens. Read the rest of this United Methodist News Service story.
July Conferences to Elect 11 U.S. Bishops
NASHVILLE, Tenn. (UMNS) — The attention of the denomination will be focused beginning July 18 on the jurisdictional conferences, where 11 new U.S. bishops are expected to be elected in three jurisdictions. Read the rest of this United Methodist News Service story.
Note: You will be able to follow the events of Jurisdictional Conference on the conference website, jurisdictional website, and facebook as well as getting special editions of the UM Connector.
Trailblazer Bishop Leontine Kelly Dies
OAKLAND, Calif.— Leontine Turpeau Current Kelly is being remembered as a trailblazer, spiritual mother, a bearer for women of color in leadership and a gift to The United Methodist Church. She died at age 92 on June 28. Being elected the first African-American woman bishop was just part of her “audacious life,” said Bishop Judith Craig, who also was elected a bishop in 1984 just hours after Kelly. Read the rest of this United Methodist News Service story.
South Sudan Independence Day
This month, while the people of the United States celebrate 236 years since the signing of the Declaration of Independence, the people of South Sudan mark an independence milestone: one year.
It was on July 9, 2011, that South Sudan became an independent country, separate from Khartoum-ruled Sudan after a long, bloody war. The fledgling nation is beset by many challenges; not least those resulting from the years of conflict, which still flare today.
The United Methodist Committee on Relief, present in South Sudan since 2006, has expanded aid programs substantially. UMCOR now has three offices in South Sudan, including our central office in the capital, Juba.
This expansion of assistance in the fledgling nation is only possible with the support of our partners, including USAID, the European Commission, Ginghamsburg United Methodist Church, Holston Annual Conference, and of course, the generosity of individual United Methodists, among many others. You can support UMCOR in Sudan by giving to Sudan Emergency, UMCOR Advance #184385 through your local church.
United Methodist Pastor Takes Arrest in Stride
SAN ANTONIO (UMNS) — A recent night in jail made headlines but is nothing new to the Rev. Lorenza Andrade Smith, a United Methodist pastor who has been living on the streets, offering ministry to the homeless for the past year. She turned herself in July 1 on a warrant and ticket for “camping in public.” It is the second time she has spent time in jail for this offense. The court had given her the option of a $150 fine or community service. She refused both because she says she wants to make the point that the homeless often are jailed for minor offenses and cannot pay fines or do community service. “Old tickets pile up, they get stopped for some silly reason and they get arrested again. They leave kids behind,” she said. “It is really a tragedy.”
Church Videos Fight Bullying Of Gays
NORMAN, Okla. (UMNS) — Moved by several suicides that received local and national attention, St. Stephen’s United Methodist Church launched in May a 10-video series, designed to combat bullying and to help promote the church’s Reconciling Ministry of welcoming the gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender community. The video series was recognized as the best lay-led ministry project from the denomination’s South Oklahoma City District at a May luncheon, NEWSOK reported. See the story.
Claremont President to Retire
CLAREMONT, Calif. (UMNS) — Jerry D. Campbell, sixth president of United Methodist-related Claremont School of Theology and the founding president of Claremont Lincoln University, announced July 29 his retirement from both positions, effective June 30, 2013. Though stepping away from day-to-day operations, Campbell has accepted an invitation from the Claremont Lincoln Board of Trustees to become university chancellor on July 1, 2013. In this role, Campbell will serve as a senior adviser and ambassador for Claremont Lincoln University. Read more.
RESOURCES & OPPORTUNITIES
Webinar on Giving Planned
NASHVILLE, Tenn. (UMNS) — The United Methodist Board of Discipleship will offer an hour-long webinar at 6:30 p.m. CDT July 12 on how churches can shift the focus from the church's need for money to the people's need to give. The course is called: “Are You Raising Funds or Raising Generous Disciples?” To learn more, contact: Ken Sloane at firstname.lastname@example.org or 615-340-7165.
“Christmas” Caroling in August
A suggestion for reaching out during the summer months: churches like to take their choirs, children, youth and congregations out to local nursing homes and the homes of shut-ins at Christmas to sing and residents are often overwhelmed by visitors during December. Consider taking them during the summer months – June, July, August – when no other churches are doing this. The residents will appreciate your thoughtfulness and timeliness. Sing hymns, choruses, sing-along favorites, a choir selection, maybe even a pop song or two. Read more on the General Board of Discipleship website.
How Can the Northwest United Methodist Foundation Help You?
The Northwest United Methodist foundation supports churches in Oregon, Washington and Idaho with stewardship, investment and capital gifts. This can come in the form of casual conversation, organized training, and providing other resources to your congregation. Here’s one story of how Dennis Osborn, Associate Director has worked with a local church:
I had the pleasure of meeting Pastor Andrew Wendle of the Asbury UMC in Hood River about a year ago. But wait, Pastor Wendle is a Lutheran Pastor! And the current Pastor of Our Redeemer Lutheran Church too! Talk about a double header (a reference for you baseball fans). I was introducing myself to Andy as the new staff member for the NW United Methodist Foundation and he was introducing me to his new pastoral role. Pastor Andy explained that beginning in January of 2010, Our Redeemer Lutheran Church and Asbury United Methodist Church began exploring what it would mean to enter into a formal arrangement to share pastoral services between the two congregations. As we chatted, financial stewardship came up as a topic. I shared with Andy the book “Not Your Parents Offering Plate” by J. Cliff Christopher and suggested it to be a good read and left him with a copy.
Forward a year later, and I am checking back in with Pastor Andy to see how things were going. He shared with me that Our Redeemer was taking on a capital campaign at the church, and was discerning where to begin with the campaign. He said during a conversation with a friend, the friend suggested he read the book “Not Your Parents Offering Plate.” Andy said “hey I have that book right here on the corner of my desk.” Andy said he finally read it (after getting settled in a bit in his new role) and used it as a template for the campaign. Regarding the details, the point of the capital campaign is to raise funds to build a new food bank facility on Our Redeemer’s property. This will be a county wide food bank. They already have four service sites in the county and need a larger, more sustainable central location for their operations and Our Redeemer has agreed to provide the land to build the facility. They are looking to raise the $500k and then get grant funding for an additional $500k to build the facility. The hope is to finish the capital campaign by spring of 2013, begin building in the summer/fall and finish by spring of 2014. Oh, and the initial beginning of the campaign using Not Your Parents Offering Plate, … it yielded over $140K toward the project from two congregations averaging around 45 worshippers on Sunday morning. What a start!
I am pleased that the Foundation was able to help in some small way by simply leaving a book for the pastor to use.
If you need help in the area of Stewardship, please feel free to contact Dennis Osborn at the NW United Methodist Foundation at 503-318-6043 or Dennis@nwumf.org.
Job Opportunities at General Agency
The General Commission on the Status and Role of Women has several positions open. Learn more about all three positions, and share with others,www.gcsrw.org/Resources.aspx.
Director for Communications
GCSRW seeking Director of Communications. Responsibilities include website design and content, social media, writing and editing.
Director for Monitoring and Research
Small religious women’s advocacy non-profit seeking Director of Monitoring and Research. Responsibilities include coordinating and conducting studies and analyzing statistics regarding women’s status and role within the United Methodist Church.
Director for Gender Justice and Education
GCSRW is seeking Director of Gender Justice and Education. Responsibilities include supporting and assisting conferences in the ministries of gender justice and anti-sexism; developing and conducting training for church leaders.
RETREAT and CAMPING CONNECTION
Parents-- Take Your Kids to Camp
If your kids are too young to send away to camp, go with them! Magruder is hosting three opportunities for parents to take their little ones to camp!
Wallowa Lake Camp offers a special kind of family camp; it's called "Kickin' Back in the Wallowas" and it gives families a place to go to be together away from the stress of everyday life, but still with a spiritual atmosphere. Check it out: click here to read more.