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September 13, 2012
Oregon voters will once again be asked to approve private casinos in the state. For the second time a Canadian corporation is seeking to change the state constitution and bring a large casino to Oregon. What does The United Methodist Church say about gambling? It says it is a destructive menace to society. Rev. Steve Sprecher took time to gather more information about the church’s position on gambling in general, and this particular project. You can read what he found on the conference website.
Note: The UM Connector will be on vacation September 27.So if you have items to share before early October, you will want to get them to me before next week’s deadline, Wednesday, September 19 at 10:00 a.m.
Greg Nelson – Director of Communications
This Week in The Annual Conference
Saturday, September 15
Sage District UMW Annual Meeting, Burley UMC
Crater Lake UMW Annual Meeting, Coos Bay, OR
Monday, September 17
Magic Valley Colloquy
Cascadia District All-District Colloquy
Columbia District Church Extension Society
Portland Area Colloquy
Saturday, September 22
Columbia District Annual UMW Meeting, Oak Grove
Details on these, and other conference events, can be found on the conference website.
ANNUAL CONFERENCE NEWS
Langenwalter Complaint Dismissed
A complaint filed against Rev. John Langenwalter has been dismissed by Bishop Robert Hoshibata. The formal complaint was made in June and Langenwalter was placed on suspension by Hoshibata with the approval of the Board of Ordained Ministry. A careful investigation into that complaint has determined there is insufficient evidence to proceed and the complaint should be dismissed. The suspension of Langenwalter was with pay, and is similar to an “administrative leave” used by other areas of public service during a period of investigation.
Langenwalter’s suspension will end, and he will return to active ministry at Englewood United Methodist Church in Salem, Oregon, on Monday, September 17. Langenwalter will continue to be supervised by Cascadia District Superintendent, Margaret Lofsvold as he transitions back to the local church.
According to the Book of Discipline of The United Methodist Church, ordination and membership in an annual conference in the United Methodist Church is a sacred trust. Any review of a complaint shall have as its primary purpose a just resolution of any violations of this sacred trust, in the hope that God’s work of justice, reconciliation and healing may be realized in the body of Christ.
Two Mission Training Opportunities
UMVIM Team Leadership Training
This is an excellent and informative training for anyone wanting to serve on a mission team. It is also required for all team leaders wanting to access the low-cost GBGM (General Board of Global Ministries) Accident Insurance. You will learn the wide range of mission opportunities available through UMVIM, and how to prepare for a mission trip.
Next available training: October 20, 2012; 10 a.m. -2 p.m. at Forest Grove UMC. For more information and registration contact Chuck and Betty Pritchard at 503 359-9340 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Basic Member Early Response Team Training
Do you feel called to provide a caring Christian presence in the aftermath of a natural disaster? Become an UMCOR certified Early Responder by attending this training! The course teaches basics of disaster relief and how to work effectively as a team with survivors. You learn how to stabilize and secure homes safely as you provide a caring Christian presence. Note: It is not for first response emergency workers nor for rebuild teams.
Next available training: November 17, 2012; 8:30 a.m.-5:00 p.m. at First UMC, Boise. For more information and registration contact Scott and Bev Pressman at 208 866-2015 or email@example.com.
AROUND THE CONFERENCE
Eliminating Hunger: 2012 Idaho Summit on Hunger and Food Security
“Let’s all come to the Table” is the theme of the 2012 summit. The summit brings together leaders form government, non-profit agencies, faith communities and others who care about eliminating hunger in Idaho. Attend to learn more about how your church can make a difference in your community. The summit will be October 30, from 8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. at the Riverside Hotel in Boise. Learn more at www.idahohungersummit.org.
Ecumenical Ministries of Oregon urges NO vote on Measures 82 & 83
Ecumenical Ministries of Oregon (EMO) joins with citizens and groups across the state in recommending a NO vote on Measures 82 and 83 on the Oregon ballot. Measure 82 would amend the constitution and authorize the establishment of private non-reservation casinos under certain circumstances, and Measure 83 would authorize a specific casino on the former Multnomah County Kennel Club property in Wood Village.
“Our state already allows more gambling than most other states,” says EMO Executive Director David Leslie. “We have a wide variety of lottery games, video poker, and line games in local taverns and restaurants, card rooms and tribal casinos. We’ve got more than enough gambling opportunities in Oregon. Do we really need to start adding Las Vegas or Atlantic City-size casinos to our communities?” Read and share the full statement.
Woodburn Church Kicks off Community Concert Series
The kick-off concert for the 7th season of the Who’s on Third? concert series at Woodburn United Methodist Church will feature the Second Wind Swing Band. This group, made up of approximately 20 members, plays many fun familiar favorites from the Big Band era along with some more modern tunes. You’ll hear tunes from your youth including: “Route 66”, “Bye, Bye Blackbird”, “Summertime”, “Peter Gunn Theme”, “Teach Me Tonight”, “Sing, Sing, Sing” and “In the Mood”. The concert will be Sunday Sept. 16th, 3:00 - 4:30 p.m. at Woodburn United Methodist Church, 700 N. Cascade Drive. There will be a mid-concert intermission with refreshments and a freewill offering will be taken to help pay our performers for their time and efforts.
Silent Laughter in Portland Church
Tabor Heights Annual Silent Movie Extravaganza with live pipe organ will be presented at 4:00 p.m., Sunday the 21st of October. Chris Nordwall will provide exciting and hilarious accompaniment to a collection of comedy films starring Norman Holdsworth, Buster Keaton, Harold Lloyd, Frank Terry, Charlie Chaplin, Fatty Arbuckel, and others. Great entertainment for the whole family! There is a $5.00 suggested donation. Contact Tabor Heights United Methodist Church, 6161 SE Stark Street, Portland at 503-232-8500 or www.taborheightschurch.org.
AROUND THE GLOBE
Isaac Isn't Katrina – But the Need Is Real
“I have found almost everyone is comparing Isaac to Katrina,” said Tom Hazelwood, UMCOR’s assistant general secretary for US Disaster Response, “with some people saying they received way more flooding from Isaac than from Katrina, and others saying Isaac is a non-event compared to Katrina.”
The constant coupling of the storms concerns Hazelwood because he believes people recovering from Isaac will have fewer resources—from the federal, state or local government, and from the corporate sector—available to them than Katrina survivors did.
This means it's even more important for UMCOR and its ecumenical partners to help vulnerable people who aren't going to receive enough funds and public attention over the long haul.
Already, UMCOR's response is bringing hope to thousands of people as cleaning buckets are being distributed throughout hard-hit areas in Louisiana and Mississippi. Emergency Response Teams – which have received special training and credentials from UMCOR – have also been deployed and are helping survivors in the first phase of recovery.
The best way to help hurricane survivors is to give a monetary donation or to assemble cleaning buckets to replace those that have already left the UMCOR supply depots.
Give to US Disaster Response, UMCOR Advance #901670 through your local church. Or text RESPONSE to 80888 to give a $10 donation to provide immediate relief to those affected.
Flight 93 Ambassadors Honor 9/11 Heroes
SHANKSVILLE, Pa.— In 2001, passengers of Flight 93 gave their lives to save others in the path of a hijacked plane. A permanent memorial in Pennsylvania was unveiled on Sept. 11 last year to honor those who died. Donna Glessner is one of about 40 United Methodist volunteers from the Shanksville area who educate visitors about the crash site. “We meet people from all walks of life here that are hurting in many ways, often unrelated to the Sept. 11 attacks. For them to be able to come here and unburden their soul to you, it’s a privilege.” Read the rest of this United Methodist News Service story and see a video.
Church Agencies Look Forward, Not Back
Shrinking boards of directors — in some cases, to tiny proportions — are requiring adjustments in governance and representation for the denomination’s agencies and commissions. Budget constraints dictate a streamlining of priorities and realignment of staffing needs. Renewed commitments to bilateral and multi-agency cooperation are focusing attention on shared services and common missional priorities. Read the rest of this United Methodist News Service story.
Black Caucus ‘stands with’ Bishop Talbert
NASHVILLE, Tenn. — The United Methodist Church’s African-American caucus announced Sept. 5 that it stands with retired Bishop Melvin G. Talbert. More than 70 United Methodist clergy and lay people have accused him of urging defiance against the denomination’s stance on homosexuality. Read the rest of this United Methodist News Service story.
RESOURCES & OPPORTUNITIES
United Methodist 101 Offers Foundation
Whether you’ve been a United Methodist for five decades or five weeks, you may be surprised at all there is to discover about our denomination.
United Methodism 101 is designed for new church members and anyone else wanting to know more about the denomination and its history, teachings and structure.
In this course, you will learn more about United Methodist History, Structure, Beliefs, and Ministries. Start at your own pace. Register here or see a preview.
Webinar For Those Who Work With Older Adults
Clergy, laity and professionals seeking a spiritual framework for their work with older adults can benefit from "Faith and Aging," a new webinar series from The Upper Room at 11:30 a.m. CDT on four successive Tuesdays beginning Oct. 9. Jerry Haas, spiritual director for The Upper Room, a division of the United Methodist Board of Discipleship, will host the series. Registration for a single webinar session is $14.95, or the cost for all four sessions is $49.95. Recorded versions of the webinars will be available after the live events at the same rate. Learn more and register on the Upper Room Website.
Music Copyright – How do You Know?
Knowing if a piece of music is copyrighted is a question often asked in churches. Here’s a helpful article on the General Board of Discipleship website that might help you figure it out.
RETREAT and CAMPING CONNECTION
- I’d like to thank the volunteers at Camp Hope. It provided respite for the parents and a great bonding experience for the campers. They look forward to Camp Hope every year.
(Maryann Lundy – Salem)
- Thank you for helping send me to camp this summer. I wanted to go there again since I left last year! I especially liked the swimming at camp. I made it out to the deep end for the first time. I met some new friends and my counselor was nice. I also really liked playing capture the flag, and the guava hunts at campfire were really funny! I do hope I can go again next year.
(4th grade camper at Magruder)
- Thank you so very much for sharing with me the extraordinary and indescribable beauty of this place and for your extravagantly warm hospitality. Everyone here has been so welcoming, so kind and so gracious. These woods and these people have made my retreat experience truly special and memorable. My body, soul and senses have been nourished and renewed.”
(Retreat participant at Alton L Collins)
A Farewell to Jenny
It is with sad hearts we report that Jenny the donkey has passed away. She was born in 1983 to Carolyn, the donkey at Magruder. While Jenny was the most stubborn of our current donkey friends, she was much loved by all the people she came in contact with. Jenny helped children and adults to experience a bit of God’s creation at camp that they might otherwise never know. Her sneaky treat stealing and jealous tendencies will be missed by us all. Visit campmagruder1945.blogspot.com/ for more photos and information.
Amy Wood, Magruder Program Director
Metrics: A Tool for Learning, Not Judging
By Lovett H. Weems, Jr.
…Fruitfulness is vastly different from success. Goals help fruitfulness, but fruitfulness does not require attainment of all our goals. Fruitfulness is not about personal or congregational glory but the advancement of God’s reign…