July 26, 2012
For many United Methodists the phrase “Biblical Obedience” or “Gospel Obedience” has gained a new perspective. For many years the phrase “Obedient to the Discipline” has been used to challenge clergy and bishops (some would say “to keep them in line”). But, starting with a speech during General Conference, Retired Bishop Melvin Talbert has brought forth the concept of considering obedience to the Bible as more important than obedience to the United Methodist Book of Discipline. This focus on a new kind of scriptural integrity gained momentum at the Western Jurisdictional Conference.
Other than the appointment of bishops to Episcopal Areas, this will probably be the main story you hear of what happened at the Western Jurisdictional Conference. And it should be. For years United Methodists have struggled with what they know, what they are told they should know, what the “rules” say, and what their heart tells them. In an area as big and diverse as the Oregon-Idaho Conference we will not be of one mind about how to read and implement the Bible, especially toward gays, lesbians, and other sexual minority groups.
Patrick Scriven, a communicator for the Pacific Northwest Conference has written a wonderful article, complete with links to other support materials that helps to bring understanding to the actions of the Western Jurisdiction and this new (renewed?) view of our call from Christ.
If you don’t read anything else in today’s UM Connector, read Patrick’s story, “What does ‘A Statement of Gospel Obedience’ mean for the church?” on the PNW Website. But, read the rest too.
Greg Nelson – Director of Communications
This Week in The Annual Conference
Thursday, July 26
School of Christian Mission, Idaho (through Sunday)
Saturday, July 28
CLD Training - Forest Grove
Thursday, August 2
Treasure Valley Colloquy Family Summer Picnic
Details on these, and other conference events, can be found on the conference website.
ANNUAL CONFERENCE NEWS
Did you get a big white square where the the Oregon-Idaho delegates and supporters should have show up in last week’s UM Connector? If so, here they are again!
Bishop Hoshibata Shares Thoughts on Colorado Shooting
In a recent blog and Facebook posting, Bishop Robert Hoshibata talks about turning to God to cope with our sadness and to seek redemption and healing. You can read and comment on the conference website.
Bishop Hagiya Assigned to Oregon-Idaho Conference
Bishop Grant Hagiya has been assigned to the Oregon-Idaho Conference for the 2008-2012 quadrennium. In a Facebook post Hagiya shared, “Friends: It is a joy to be assigned to the new area: The Greater Northwest! It is an honor to be reassigned to the Pacific Northwest and Alaska, and to work with a great annual conference in Oregon-Idaho. The possibilities are exciting to be in one unified area!”
Tigard, Oregon – Organist/Pianist
Tigard UMC is looking for a skilled organist/pianist.
Albany, Oregon – Audio/Video Technician
Albany First United Methodist Church is seeking an audio/video technician.
Read more about these positions on the conference website at www.umoi.org/classifieds.
C.C.E.F. Begins 79th year of Supporting Clergy in Emergencies
Gerry Hill, senior pastor of the Oregon City United Methodist Church, spoke compellingly during the clergy session of the recent annual conference as he offered his appreciation, and that of his family, for the $1,000 gift that immediately came to them from the Conference Clergy Emergency Fund. The gift came following the death of his father, the Rev. Wayne Hill, last December.
C.C.E.F. is now in its seventy-ninth year. The voluntary organization was started by three pastors in 1933 at the depth of the Great Depression, to assist clergy families experiencing the death of a family member. It continues to be funded directly by clergy, for the benefit of clergy, without apportionment funds. Membership begins when the treasurer of C.C.E.F., Lois Raynis receives a gift of at least $10 made to the Conference Clergy Emergency Fund.
Membership continues as a $10 gift is made when the letters “CCEF” appear in a death notice issued by the conference. This indicates that the clergy person was participating in the CCEF fund and their family will benefit.
Upon the completion of C.C.E.F.'s annual audit on July 14, Dr. Earl Riddle wrote: "I have examined all of the organization's accounts, and in every case I have found diligent records have been kept and all accounts appear to be accurate."
For more information, watch for a mailing to clergy in mid-August, or contact Bruce McConnell, chairperson of the fund at email@example.com. Treasurer Lois Raynis can be reached at 13505 SE River Road, #194, Portland, OR 97222, or firstname.lastname@example.org. Remember, CCEF gifts must be sent directly to her, not to the conference treasurer.
AROUND THE CONFERENCE
On PAR with God
On any sunny Sunday morning, golf courses are filled with folks who have decided that golf will trump spirituality for the day...and church pews hold those who have (however reluctantly) chosen God over golf. But what if it doesn't have to be a choice of one or the other? "On PAR with God" is an invitation to explore the intersection of golf and spirituality. What does golfing share in common with a spiritual life? Retreat participants will Practice, Act, and Reflect (PAR) in order to deepen their faith formation as well as improve their golf game.
On PAR with God will take place September 10-13 at the Alton L. Collins Retreat Center. The $325 cost covers lodging (private bathrooms and all linens provided), delicious meals, programming at the Center, as well as all greens fees and transportation to three different golf courses. Register online registration or download a flyer with more details.
Marriage Encounter Weekend Returns to Northwest
Worldwide Marriage Encounter and Engaged Encounter has been the leader in offering married couples the gift of an experience to enrich their relationship. Marriage Encounter and Engaged Encounter continues a tradition that has become one of the world’s largest and most successful marriage enhancement programs. Literally thousands of marriage relationships have been strengthened as a result of couples choosing to invest themselves in this weekend experience.
Oregon, Washington, Idaho have all been without a Marriage Encounter Weekend for many years. A Protestant Weekend will be presented in Portland September 28-30. This will be a joint venture of United Methodist and Disciples of Christ denominations. The weekend will be held at The Red Lion Inn at Jantzen Beach. Registration is open at this time through encounter.org. Dave and Patti Rose are serving as the registration couple for the weekend and they may be contacted at email@example.com or 503-357-2596. Don't miss this opportunity that can make a lifetime of difference in your marriage.
AROUND THE GLOBE
Five Conferences Merge to Become Two in South Central
The Oregon-Idaho Conference has not merged with Pacific Northwest. Instead it will share a bishop with new boundaries for the Episcopal Area. But in other places conferences are merging. The United Methodist conferences in the denomination’s South Central Jurisdiction will have some very different boundaries within the next four years. Read the rest of this United Methodist News Service story.
U.S. Bishops Elected, Assigned for 2013-16
United Methodists elected 11 new bishops and made assignments for all active bishops in the United States during jurisdictional conferences July 18-21. The new assignments take effect Sept. 1. Read the rest of this United Methodist News Service story.
The Fire Was Angry
Otto Braided Hair was a quarter-mile away from a towering wall of flame when suddenly the 50-mph wind changed direction, driving embers directly onto him and his volunteer firefighting crew. “When those embers blew over us, I got a sense that the fire was angry,” he recalls.
The wildfire—which started June 26 from a lightning strike—consumed one-quarter of the 440,000-acre Northern Cheyenne reservation in Montana, destroying 23 homes and leaving hundreds of others with smoke damage. Nearly a month after the fire, the reservation's 5,000 residents are struggling to begin their long-term recovery. In addition to families who lost their homes, many others lost vehicles, water access, fencing, and livestock.
The United Methodist Committee On Relief (UMCOR) is helping the Northern Cheyenne people begin their recovery with an emergency grant of $10,000 for the Yellowstone Conference. These funds will help the Native American Ministries committee at the Sheridan United Methodist Church in Wyoming as it assesses needs and plans a long-term response. You can help the Northern Cheyenne Indians and others affected by disasters by contributing to US Disaster Response, UMCOR Advance #901670 through your local church and read more on the UMCOR website.
Haiti Progress Report
UMCOR’s report on our work in Haiti during the first two years since the 2010 earthquake is a valuable tool for study about the progress that is possible through partnership.
UMCOR provides emergency relief in many areas of the world. To find out more about UMCOR's ministries, please visit umcor.org. You can donate to any project by placing a contribution in the offering plate at a local United Methodist church; by sending a check to UMCOR, PO Box 9068, New York, NY 10087-9068; or by calling 1-800-554-8583, where credit card donations are accepted. You can also give online by clicking any of the "DONATE" links or make a $10 donation anytime by texting “UMCOR” to 80888. UMCOR is exempt from tax under section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code of the United States and qualifies for the maximum charitable contribution deduction by donors.
And, please pray for those who are hungry, displaced, sick or in poverty because of these and other natural and human-made disasters, and for the workers who minister to them.
RETREAT and CAMPING CONNECTION
Creation Vacation Builds Strong Community Bonds!
Fifteen Latino families who are residents of Bienestar low-income housing in Washington County enjoyed three sunny June days at Camp Magruder with a warm group of volunteer Family Friends and the always-energetic summer staff. For participants, the camp topped off a year of Bienestar's new program Family Time, which helps solidify and maintain bonds within and between families. In the fourth year of this wonderful partnership, families connected with one another and Family Friends from our churches established and deepened friendships as they walked the beach, boated, made salsa and played BINGO side-by-side. There was much laughter, much play, and much rest during these brief days together in God's creation. (Mira Conklin)