August 30, 2012
Summer may not be officially over, but as we come up to Labor Day church life seems to really be ramping up. That’s also reflected in the many stories, events and opportunities listed in this week’s UM Connector.
I had the opportunity to visit some churches in the Boise area with Bishop Hagiya this week, and the spirit is alive as they work to connect to the community and transform the world.
Do you feel called to provide a caring Christian presence in the aftermath of a natural disaster? Do you want to give more than a financial donation to help the victims of a disaster? Check out the UMCOR early responder training being offered in Boise in November.
Greg Nelson – Director of Communications
This Week in The Annual Conference
Thursday, August 30
Worship and Welcome Reception for Bishop Hagiya--Portland: Rose City Park
Friday, August 31
Health Reimbursement Account Workshop - Medford
Worship and Welcome Reception for Bishop Hagiya--Lake Oswego
Saturday, September 1
Worship and Welcome Reception for Bishop Hagiya – Nehalem
Sunday, September 2
Worship and Welcome Reception for Bishop Hagiya - Salem
Monday, September 3
Labor Day - Conference and District Offices Closed
Worship and Welcome Reception for Bishop Hagiya - Grants Pass
Tuesday, September 4
Worship and Welcome Reception for Bishop Hagiya - First UMC, Eugene
Details on these, and other conference events, can be found on the conference website.
ANNUAL CONFERENCE NEWS
Incoming Bishop Begins Tour of Conference
Bishop Grant Hagiya began getting to know the Oregon-Idaho Conference this week. Working his way east to west and north to south, he hopes to see the geography, learn about ministries and begin to meet the clergy and laity of the conference. Nearly 100 people came to First United Methodist Church in Boise Tuesday night to “get a look” at the incoming Bishop. Hagiya took the opportunity to share a short reflection on Jesus’ encounter with the Samaritan woman at the well (John 4: 7-26) and how Jesus demonstrated that his grace and acceptance was intended for everyone. When time came for questions and answers, he asked the first question, inviting those in attendance to share, "where have you seen God this week?”
Terms of office for Bishop begin on September 1. Bishop Hagiya will spend his first official day as the presiding bishop for Oregon-Idaho touring the coastal section of the Cascadia District.
Deadline for Hunger Grant Applications Near
Grant applications for the fall funding review from the Bishop’s Initiative to Eliminate Hunger are due by September 30. Interested churches can read the grant guidelines and download the application from the conference website at www.umoi.org/eliminatehunger.
AROUND THE CONFERENCE
Administrative Assistant – Portland, Oregon
The Conference Center has a position open for an Administrative Assistant.
Church Custodian - Albany, Oregon
Albany United Methodist Church is seeking a Church Custodian.
Details on both positions can be found at www.umoi.org/classifieds
North Bend Church Update
On August 7 the North Bend United Methodist Church was destroyed by a fire. The church is now temporarily located in a local shopping mall and its ministry continues. Here’s an update and information about how you can help.
Pastor Jerry Steele writes:
Many have asked how or what they can do to assist us and your continued prayers are truly coveted. There has been established a “Special Needs Fire Fund” to help us with some day-to-day financial and material needs. Donations can be sent to: North Bend UMC, P.O. Box 132, North Bend, OR 97459, with “Special Needs Fire Fund” written on the memo line of the check.
We grieve for what was: the memories of worship together, weddings, funerals, fellowship meals and activities, VBS, Sunday school classes in a beautiful home. We look forward to new days, new memories, new callings and a new beginning. We remember, too, the church is not a building, but the people doing God’s work for God's people.
Fire destroys. Fire brings new life. We know and trust that out of this great tragedy, God is guiding us, walking with us into a new and exciting future. Praise be to God for God is good all the time!
Bishop Mel Talbert to lead "Gospel Obedience" theme at Order of Elders Event in October
Last month, retired Bishop Mel Talbert was assigned by the Western Jurisdiction College of Bishops to help develop and lead a strategic plan for Gospel Obedience. He will engage the Oregon-Idaho Order of Elders in exploring this theme at their event on October 9 - 11 in Bend, Oregon.
Bishop Talbert will preach at the opening worship, lead a discussion and dialogue, and assist our elders in developing strategies that move the United Methodist Church toward full inclusion of gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender persons. The Oregon-Idaho Conference passed a resolution in June that states, "We concur with the statement of retired Bishop Melvin Talbert who has said: I declare to you that the derogatory language and restrictive laws in the Book of Discipline are immoral and unjust and no longer deserve our loyalty and obedience." In addition, 75 clergy in our conference have declared their willingness to officiate at marriage services for "any prepared couple."
All active elders and probationary elders who are members of our conference or serving churches in our conference are expected to be present at this event. Retired elders are welcome to attend!
More details and on-line registration are available at www.umoi.org/OOE.
UMCOR Early Responder Training Offered
The Basic Member Early Response Team training and certification session will be held at Boise First United Methodist Church, Saturday, November 17, for anyone interested in volunteering for disaster relief help in the Western Jurisdiction (Western US). The course teaches basics of disaster relief, including how to stabilize and secure homes safely as you provide a caring Christian presence. It also covers how to work effectively with survivors and as a team. It is not for first response emergency workers, nor for rebuild teams.
The training will be done by Jim Truitt of the PNW conference. Cost for the 8 hour training is $50 and includes manual, materials, background check for Safe Sanctuary and lunch. The Oregon-Idaho United Methodist Volunteer in Mission(UMVIM) team may be able to offer a couple of scholarships for those with limited finances. For more information or to register, please contact Scott and Bev Pressman, OR-ID Annual Conference UMVIM Coordinators at email@example.com.
MFSA Hosts Fall Event – Moving Ahead with Justice Actions - 2012 and Beyond
Join others on Saturday, October 6 to learn more about four topics, and then choose an area in which to become actively involved in moving forward. These areas will be important during the next four years as we live in Biblical obedience in our Annual Conference and prepare for General Conference 2016 in Portland. The four areas we will be addressing are the Native American Act of Repentance that took place at General Conference 2012 and follow up actions in our Annual Conference; immigration issues; the Worldwide Nature of the Church report that was not presented at General Conference 2012; and gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender justice issues - including our Annual Conference action request to increase the number of welcoming congregations in our conference. This free event will be from 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. at the Wilsonville United Methodist Church, 7344 SW Wilsonville Road. For more details and to register, download the event flyer and share it with others in your church and community.
Christmas Great Hymns of the Faith Returns!
By popular demand, the Alton L. Collins Retreat Center's "Great Hymns of the Faith" series will once again include a bonus Christmas edition--but with an added treat. This year there will be TWO identical sessions from which to choose, Thursday, Dec. 6 or Friday, Dec. 7. The format will be the same at both programs: gather at 10:30 am in the Grace Collins Goudy Chapel for singing and stories, centered on familiar (and maybe a few new!) Christmas carols. The singing is followed by a delicious holiday luncheon in the dining room along with opportunities for fellowship and shopping the Collins display of nativities and other Christmas items from around the world. This program has filled quickly in the past, so register today by following this link.
AROUND THE GLOBE
United Methodists Respond to Isaac’s Wrath
NEW ORLEANS (UMNS) — Almost seven years to the day that Hurricane Katrina devastated parts of Louisiana and Mississippi, Hurricane Isaac made its second landfall in Louisiana on Aug. 28, overtopping an 18-mile stretch of levees and sending 12-foot floods into homes. Read the rest of this United Methodist News Service story.
Bishop Accused of Encouraging Disobedience
More than 70 United Methodist clergy and lay people in the United States have sent an open letter to the Council of Bishops accusing retired Bishop Melvin G. Talbert of encouraging disobedience to the denomination’s stance on homosexuality. The letter urges bishops when they next meet to “publicly censure” Talbert. Read the rest of this United Methodist News Service story.
MFSA Responds to Conservative Letter
Rev. Steve Clunn, Love Your Neighbor Coalition Coordinator looks at the letter from conservative Methodists and finds room for concern saying, “What I believe is really intended by this letter, is to silence any dissent or disagreement within a denomination that was built around democratic principles of discerning the will of God together through Holy Conferencing. “ You can read his comments on the Methodist Federation for Social Action (MFSA) Website.
Acts of Repentance Guide Stresses Healing
The Act of Repentance service at General Conference was only the beginning of The United Methodist Church’s work toward healing relationships with indigenous peoples around the globe. Church leaders have prepared a new guide including Scripture, video and discussion questions for annual (regional) conferences and local churches. Read the rest of this United Methodist News Service story.
Publishing House Drops 12 Staffers
NASHVILLE, Tenn. — Citing a “lower-than-hoped growth in sales,” the United Methodist Publishing House has laid off 12 employees, according to a statement given to United Methodist News Service. Neil Alexander, the agency’s president and publisher, noted that the publishing house’s operations are funded solely through revenue from sales.
Read the full statement.
RESOURCES & OPPORTUNITIES
Resources for Music and Worship Planners
Looking for weekly worship information and suggestions of hymns to match the lectionary scripture schedule? Check out the newsletter of Resources for Church Musicians. You can see the most recent issue and subscribe to future ones on the General Board of Discipleship Website.
Faith Community Response to Sexual Violence
Ecumenical Ministries of Oregon is hosting a workshop on the faith community’s response to domestic, sexual and gender-based violence. The workshop will be September 14 from 9:00 – 11:30 at Augustana Lutheran Church with a continental breakfast included. The event is free, but you are requested to pre-register at www.emoregon.org or call EMO at 503-221-1054 to register or learn more.
RETREAT and CAMPING CONNECTION
The Camp and Retreat Ministries office has received letters from some of the families who attended Creation Vacation camp this summer at Camp Magruder. We want to share their heartfelt thanks with you, the donors and sponsors and family friends:
- Our Family is so grateful to you for making the experience we had available to us. Thank you so much for Camp Magruder and Creation Vacation. We had so much fun. The kids still talk about it and we hope you continue this program to bring other families a nice fun vacation together.
- When a family is given an amazing vacation that they could never have had on their own, something special happens; it happens to the family who receives it, and to the people who give their time to serve others. We are just so glad to be a part of The Creation Vacation.
- With a big family like ours it is sometimes hard to enjoy each other. Our family friends took time to help with meals, playtime, and made it possible for even mommy and daddy to have some fun.
- We have seen some of the other families we met at camp around town. It is so rare to have these bonds with our neighbors, and we are glad for them. We think they make us a better community.
- Our oldest son made a lot of friends right away and spent most of his time going from activity to activity with them, he just turned eleven so this was his first experience having a lot of freedom from his parents and a real growing experience for him. It was nice that he could experience that in a safe environment.
- Both my boys, on separate occasions, told Juan and me that they were having the best time of their lives! They were so happy and that brings Juan and me true joy.
- Thank you for all the good work you do and for feeling that we were worthy of a nice vacation.