October 18, 2012
Greetings from Washington D.C. I’m attending the United Methodist Association of Communicators meeting. This morning we heard from Diana Butler Bass about the latest research on trends in Christianity and Spirituality. She is seeing some interesting trends, that differ from the narrative we are currently using. Hmmm…
This afternoon we will hear from former White House Press Secretary Mike McCurry. Mike is a committed United Methodist who has been key in the Imagine No Malaria campaign. We served on the United Methodist Communications board together. Mike is co-chair of the Commission on Presidential debates. He should have some interesting things to say.
I learned a new insight yesterday, listening to Erin Hawkins, General Secretary of the General Commission on Religion and Race. She was talking about how we can be culturally competent. As she talked about our shift away from being “representational” in our church committees (at many level) she share two things: (1) Even when we put people in representational position, they don’t always “represent” and (2) Access to influence is more important than “representation”.
Enjoy this week’s UM Connector.
Greg Nelson – Director of Communications
This Week in The Annual Conference
Saturday, October 20
Crater Lake District Advanced Lay Speaking Class
Columbia District: Emergent Issues in Church Leadership - Tigard
UM Volunteers-In-Mission Training - Forest Grove
CLD Training – Florence
Sunday, October 21
Tuesday, October 23
Columbia District: Emergent Issues in Church Leadership – Tabor Heights
Wednesday, October 24
Cascadia District Committee on Ordained Ministry
Columbia District Committee on Ordained Ministry
Thursday, October 25
Columbia District Board of Church Location & Bldg
Columbia District: Emergent Issues in Church Leadership - Gresham
Friday, October 26
UMW District Officers Training Event, Caldwell ID
Saturday, October 27
OR-ID UMW Conference Annual Meeting, Caldwell ID
UMW Executive Meeting Caldwell, ID
Details on these, and other conference events, can be found on the conference website.
ANNUAL CONFERENCE NEWS
Bishop Hagiya Shares Pastoral Letter on Oregon Casino Proposal
Voters in Oregon are being asked to approve constitutional changes and changes in law to allow the first private casino in the state. Although proponents have recently stated they will halt their advertising campaign, those opposing the spread of gambling in the state need to continue to be vigilant.
The United Methodist Church has a long standing position of opposing gambling and the harm it can inflict on communities and families.
As voters prepare to mark the ballots they will receive in the mail next week, Bishop Grant Hagiya has written a pastoral letter on the subject of gambling. In it he shares his concern for the predatory nature of Casinos saying, “They make huge profits for owners from the gambling losses of our most susceptible neighbors.”
Bishop Hagiya urges church members to “help your churches and your communities take a serious look at the whole picture of the effects of gambling and the introduction of private casinos to Oregon, which could impact our communities for decades to come.”
View or Download the letter
See the Conference Website for other information and resources on this issue.
Dean of the Cabinet Kim Fields has announced that Sue Peeples has been assigned to the Union United Methodist Church in Union, Oregon as a Lay Person Assigned. This will be a less than quarter-time assignment for Peeples, who is a Certified Lay Speaker.
AROUND THE CONFERENCE
Administrative Assistant – Portland
West Portland United Methodist Church is seeking a part-time administrative assistant. See it and other openings at www.umoi.org/classified.
AROUND THE GLOBE
It’s Time to Update Your Church’s Find-A-Church Profile!
National Rethink Church advertising for The United Methodist Church will begin on November 4, moving people to view church profiles on Rethinkchurch.org. Is your church's 2012 Advent information up-to-date?
A new section on Find-A-Church called “A Different Kind of Christmas” helps you add information quickly around five ministry areas. You can customize and add other ministries as usual.
And new IP address detection capabilities will display a customized listing where visitors can find church-hosted Advent events to get involved. Additionally, churches that update their Find-A-Church profiles with special Advent activities—such as service events, free meals and candlelight services—will be prioritized above others on the homepage when a visitor in their area lands on RethinkChurch.org.
Churches will automatically get email alerts telling you when your church’s profile is viewed on rethinkchurch.org – helping you gauge how many may be searching for a church in your area.
Update now at www.find-a-church.org/advent. For more information on how United Methodist Communications promotes the church through advertising, go to www.umcom.org/differentkind.
Communion Returns to Friendship Park
This Sunday October 14, at 1 pm two pastors – one standing in Mexico and one in the United States – will serve communion at Friendship Park, the historic meeting place on the U.S.-Mexico border. This past week officials from San Diego Border Patrol confirmed that the Park – which in 2009 was shut down as part of a massive border build-up – will be open and accessible to the public on Saturdays and Sundays from 10 am to 2 pm. “We have agreed with Border Patrol officials that nothing – including communion elements – will be passed through the fence,” said Rev. John Fanestil. “But by breaking a single loaf of bread in the United States and carrying half of it to Mexico, we hope this sacramental celebration will serve as reminder that in the sight of God the peoples of the two nations are one.” For more on this story visit the projects Facebook page.
10-Fold Fair Trade Week
The last week of 10-Fold, starting October 28, will focus on fair trade. Be sure to click and be counted to trigger a $1.00 donation to support fair-trade programs. Tune in all week long to learn more about how you can use your purchasing power to support fair trade and help farmers and producers worldwide.
Bishop Faults Jurisdiction’s Gay Issue Stand
INDIANAPOLIS (UMNS) — Indiana Area Bishop Michael J. Coyner has identified what he sees as flaws in the Western Jurisdiction’s stand against The United Methodist Church’s teaching on homosexuality. In his Oct. 15 E-pistle to the Indiana Annual (regional) Conference, Coyner took exception to the Western Jurisdiction’s actions in three ways. Read the rest of this United Methodist News Service story. (See the commentary below for another view.)
Ads Go up in D.C. Metro Stations
WASHINGTON (UMNS) — United Methodist Women and the United Methodist Board of Church and Society are among the organizations supporting billboards in three D.C. metro stations in response to an advertising campaign that they consider to be anti-Muslim. The ads, arranged by Shoulder to Shoulder, are similar to those sponsored by United Methodist Women in the New York subway system. Read the rest of this story.
RESOURCES & OPPORTUNITIES
Making Communion Fully Available to People with Celiac Disease or Gluten Intolerance
A new helpful article about how to offer communion to the growing population that have issues with gluten containing products has been posted on the General Board of Discipleship website.
Rethink Church offers Advent Advertising and Church Resources
This fall and winter, RethinkChurch plans to run a very exciting advertising campaign that focuses on the real meaning of Christmas. Seekers will be presented with local church Advent activities/services when they land on the website. Make sure your Find-A-Church profile is up to date with Advent activities.
You can also download a free sermon series based on Mike Slaughters book “A Different Kind of Christmas” This non-lectionary sermon series will help you cultivate "A Different Kind of Christmas" within your own congregation to touch local community and the world. See a video presentation and learn more.
Final Webinar in 2012 Series Focuses on Ending the Year with Strong Stewardship
Thursday, November 8, 6:30pm CT
In the Financial Homestretch: Ending the Year Strong You've worked hard to guide the financial life of your local church through these tough times. Now that the finish line is in sight, it's not time to rest but to pick up the pace and finish strong! Join us for some ideas that may help you finish the year with celebration, not disappointment! Learn more and register online.
5 Sections to Include On Your Church Website
Your website is more than a resource for members. It’s also a fun place to show potential visitors how God is at work in your church. Learn the essentials for an engaging website. Watch a video to learn about these 5 things.
RETREAT and CAMPING CONNECTION
See Camping Videos Online
We’ve organized all the links to our various camp videos on one webpage at gocamping.org/videos.
Watch them to bring back great summer memories, or show them at your church or group to look ahead and begin planning your next event or retreat. Churches, this time of year is a great time to plan for fund raisers to help send your congregation’s members to church camp.
Winter Youth Retreats: a reminder...
You need two wings AND understanding to fly: An open letter responding to Bishop Coyner’s letter re: the Western Jurisdiction
By Jeremy Smith (Smith is associate pastor at First United Methodist in Portland, Oregon and writes the blog “Hacking Christianity”.
…This reflects a common presumption: the Traditionalists take the bible more seriously than Progressives. That the reason the Western Jurisdiction has fallen off the ecclesial cliff is that they do not do the theological reflection necessary to stay on the rigid path.
However, that is not the case…