January 3, 2013
Welcome to a new year, a year full of new opportunities and new challenges for us all.
This week’s UM Connector seems to reflect that contrast; as we share about a lawsuit against the conference, the continuing work to recover from Superstorm Sandy, and opportunities for spiritual development and mission engagement.
And for all the church polity geeks (you know who you are) who have been waiting for the 2012 Book of Discipline, it’s now available from Cokesbury and for download to your Kindle.
It’s a new year. Let’s transform the world. One little piece at a time.
Greg Nelson – Director of Communications
This Week in The Annual Conference
Tuesday, January 8
Crater Lake Coastal Colloquy
Wednesday, January 9
Crater Lake Lane Colloquy
Crater Lake Mid-Valley Colloquy
Thursday, January 10
Crater Lake Rogue/Klamath Colloquy
Crater Lake Umpqua Colloquy
Friday, January 11
Tumbleweed area Colloquy Epiphany Party
Saturday, January 12
CLD Training - Portland
CLD Training - Florence
CLD Training – Salem
CLD Training - Burley
Details on these, and other conference events, can be found on the conference website.
ANNUAL CONFERENCE NEWS
Lawsuit Against Conference Alleges Abuse by Pastor
A lawsuit has been filed against the Annual Conference for alleged abuse by William Walker when he was pastor of First Eugene United Methodist Church. Walker served the church from 1982 to 1992 and died of AIDS in 1992. The suit by “Jack Doe” alleges that he was sexually abused as a youth in 1984.
Bishop Grant Hagiya has established a legal response team to respond to the lawsuit. He and other conference leaders take such allegations very seriously. Hagiya shares that, “I am deeply grieved by this situation and pray for all those who were directly involved.” Providing places of safety is a key value for the conference and each church is now required to have a safe sanctuary policy to provide for the protection of children and vulnerable adults. More information on the safe sanctuaries program is available on the conference website at www.umoi.org/safesanctuaries.
AROUND THE CONFERENCE
Memorial Service Announced for Smith
A memorial service of Word and Table for Rev. Nevitt Smith who died on December 14, 2012, will be held at First United Methodist Church, 175 North Main Street, Ashland, at 2:00 p.m. on Saturday, January 12, 2013. Clergy sisters and brothers are invited to wear vestments and process into the worship service. A reception will follow.
Ecumenical Ministries of Oregon Offers Video Online
The recording of the 2012 Collins Lecture "God's Economy" with Professor Gary Dorrien is now available on EMO's website.
With high levels of unemployment and underemployment in this country, a growing divide between those on the upper and lower economic margins, and economic uncertainty throughout the world, one question becomes increasingly important: “How do people and communities of faith respond to the economic crisis in our midst, which is impacting so many people and communities?” It is vital that faith communities come together to discuss how to respond to today’s profound political and economic changes and challenges, while meeting the spiritual and material needs of their members and the broader community. The 2012 Collins Lecture by Prof. Dorrien provides a timely opportunity to pursue these issues. Watch the video.
AROUND THE GLOBE
Hurricane Sandy Update
In late October, Hurricane Sandy brought destruction to the Caribbean before wreaking havoc in the United States. Coming at the end of the Atlantic hurricane season, Sandy swept through Cuba, Haiti, Jamaica, and the Bahamas, and then caused massive damage in the eastern United States, especially New Jersey and New York.
UMCOR has provided more than $180,000 in immediate disaster-response grants and thousands of cleaning buckets, while hundreds of UMCOR-trained Early Response Team members have been helping families to clean out their ravaged homes.
Disaster recovery often takes months, sometimes years—as recovery from Superstorm Sandy is expected to. The support that UMCOR provides—in the form of disaster funds, relief supplies, and training for long-term recovery volunteers—is crucial. By helping neighbors help neighbors over the long haul of recovery, together we embody the Lord’s compassion for those who are afflicted by catastrophe and crisis.
Please keep the care going. Gifts may be made to Hurricanes 2012, UMCOR Advance #3021787 through your local church. To give an immediate $10 donation, text the word RESPONSE to 80888.
After Sandy, Maryland Town Quietly Suffers
According to Jim Truitt, months after Hurricane Sandy swept up the US East Coast, black mold is creeping up the soaked drywall and beams in many Crisfield, Maryland homes. Truitt and a team of volunteers raised money to travel to Crisfield from Washington state. All have received the Early Response Team training of the United Methodist Committee on Relief (UMCOR).
Meanwhile, the Rev. Rich Walton, disaster response coordinator for the Peninsula-Delaware Annual Conference, finds another damaged home nearly every day. “Today alone, we discovered five more damaged homes,” he said, “and my guess is that there are 350 damaged homes so far.” Read more of this UMCOR story.
United Methodists of Note Who Died In 2012
In 2012, church members marked the passing of a number of United Methodist leaders who made significant contributions in their Christian walk. Read the rest of this United Methodist News Service story.
RESOURCES & OPPORTUNITIES
New Official United Methodist Publications Available from Cokesbury
Following changes by the 2012 General Conference, several new publications are now available from Cokesbury.com. The Book of Discipline, Book of Resolutions, Guidelines for Leading Your Congregation brochures, and Social Principles booklet have all been updated and are now available online. The Book of Discipline is also available for Kindle from Amazon.com.
Deepen Your Spiritual Life - Live Poor Among The Poor
Amigas del Señor Methodist Monastery in Honduras offers summer and year-long experiences for women. Prayer practices include worship, singing, scripture reading, silent meditation and more. A summer program will be June 26 – August 15, 2013. Participants will join in the monastic life of the sisters and focus on spiritual formation. The cost is $500 and participants will need to provide their own airfare to San Pedro Sula, Honduras. Contact Sister Alegría at email@example.com and learn more about Amigas del Señor on the conference website.
Sierra Service Project Sends Youth and Young Adults to Central America
The Sierra Service Project has sent teams of young people to serve and learn in Central America since 2003. These are challenging, life-changing and extremely rewarding experiences for mature young people eager to grow in faith and understanding. These projects focus on social justice. Participants immerse themselves in the culture of Nicaragua and Guatemala, two of the poorest countries in the Western Hemisphere, working alongside community members in both rural and urban settings.
Registration is now open for two different service opportunities with SSP in Central America. The first team will spend 10 days in Guatemala, working in two different small communities. The second team will spend a similar time in Nicaragua living and working in one small, rural community. Both teams will be about 12 participants along with an experienced SSP leader.
The cost of each program is $1,175 plus airfare from Los Angeles. Limited scholarship assistance is available. For more information about these experiences, visit the SSP website or call the office at (916)488-6441.
RETREAT and CAMPING CONNECTION
Julia Kayser writes weekly Global Health articles for UMCOR, and this week she featured Suttle Lake’s radical hospitality for the Women of Wisdom campers. She looks forward to interviewing Jane Petke, the director at Suttle Lake Camp, and writing a longer story about the camp in the future. She says, “I love writing about Suttle, because I have such warm memories of being on staff!” Read more on the UMCOR website.
December 25, 1963 – December 28, 2012
Donita Brudevold, wife of retired pastor, Keith Brudevold, died December 28, 2012. She is survived by her husband, Keith; many step-children, and step-grandchildren.
Pastor and Mrs. Brudevold served Heppner United Methodist Church in the Oregon-Idaho Conference, before retiring in 2008.
A private memorial service is planned. Friends may contact Keith Brudevold, 2698 Brooks Ave. NE, Salem, OR 97301.