May 22, 2013
I’m getting today’s UM Connector out a day early to be sure that churches have the latest information about how they can respond to the tornado damage in Moore, Oklahoma. In reality it isn't just Oklahoma. In the last two days, some 24 tornadoes tore through five states: Oklahoma, Kansas, Missouri, Iowa, and Illinois. Last week there were tornadoes in Texas.
United Methodist Committee on Relief (UMCOR) and the United Methodist Volunteers in Mission (UMVIM) have response protocols in place to react quickly and work with local disaster response agencies. Your gift to the fund for US Disaster Relief will ensure that United Methodists will be there to help, at the beginning, and for the long term as these communities rebuild their homes and their lives. 100 percent of your special gift goes to the relief program because administrative costs have been paid by the One Great Hour of Sharing offering.
See the options below, and join me in being there through our support of UMCOR's response.
Greg Nelson – Director of Communications
This Week in The Annual Conference
Monday, May 27
Memorial Day - Conference office closed
Wednesday, May 29
Columbia Colloquy - Portland area
Friday, May 31
Last day to register for Annual Conference without a late fee
Saturday June 1
Lay Servant Ministries Advanced Training
Details on these, and other conference events, can be found on the conference website.
ANNUAL CONFERENCE NEWS
Bishop Hagiya Encourages Prayers for Oklahoma
Bishop Grant Hagiya has released this message to people of the Greater Northwest Episcopal Area:
I would ask you for prayers and support in light of the devastating tornadoes that have caused so much damage in Oklahoma. Please keep the people and organizations that have lost so much in your prayers. In speaking with Bishop Robert Hayes (Resident Bishop of Oklahoma), he remarked that none of the United Methodist churches were effected by the tornadoes, but some of their members have lost everything. Many of our Oklahoma churches are providing direct care for the survivors.
United Methodist Committee on Relief is on scene and providing their exceptional services. Please visit the UMCOR website for the latest information on how you can contribute to our connectional response. Let us continue to be in prayer, and donate generously for relief. ~ Bishop Grant
Oregon-Idaho Churches Change the World
Fifty-seven Oregon-Idaho Conference churches participated in the global Change the World by the United Methodist Church on May 18 and 19. From “Undie Sunday” collections, to community gardens to neighborhood cleanup efforts, United Methodists were reaching out to their communities.
It is Bishop Grant J. Hagiya’s intention to make the following appointments, effective July 1, 2013:
The Rev. Thomas “Ted” Myers to Rockwood and Cherry Park United Methodist Churches in Portland, Oregon. Myers currently serves the Rockwood congregation.
The Rev. Elke Sharma to Heppner United Methodist Church in Heppner, Oregon. Sahrma currently serves the Jacksonville United Methodist Deaf Faith Community Church in Jacksonville, Illinois (read an article about her ministry there).
The Rev. Janet Hanson to McCabe Chapel United Methodist Church in McMinnville, Oregon. Hanson will also continue her existing extension ministry appointment as Lead Chaplin and supervisor for Clinical Pastoral Education at Willamette Valley Medical Center in McMinnville. Hanson is a member of the Yellowstone Annual Conference.
In addition, Columbia District Superintendent Lowell Greathouse has announced the assignment of Norma Trimble as a Seminary Intern to the Wilshire United Methodist Native American Fellowship, effective June 1, 2013. Trimble is a student at Pacific Lutheran Theological Seminary in Berkeley, California, and her internship will be half-time as she works with both the Wilshire Fellowship and Augustana Lutheran Church. Gloria Marple will also continue to work with the Wilshire Fellowship.
A summary of appointment announcements can be found on the conference website at www.umoi.org/appointments
AROUND THE CONFERENCE
Food Safety Net at Risk!
Once again the US Congress is putting critical safety net programs at risk. Last week the Senate Agriculture Committee passed a farm bill that included a $4.1 billion cut to SNAP (formerly call food stamps). The House version of the bill cuts $20 billion. If these cuts go into effect, at least 400,000 SNAP households will lose about $90 a month in benefits. These supplemental programs are critical to families in Oregon and Idaho, an area of the country with some of the highest levels of food insecurity.
Your action is needed now. The senate will vote on the bill this week, so contacting Senators Merkley, Wyden, Crapo and Risch is critical. You can call them at 800-826-3688 and ask them to Support Senator Gillibrand’s efforts to restore cuts to SNAP.
When the house bill was voted out of committee, Rep. Kurt Schrader supported the bill with these drastic cuts. Especially if you live in Schrader’s district, please let him know you do not agree with these drastic cuts. He can also be reached via 800-826-3688.
Sing, Sing, Sing! In Boise
Singers from around the conference are invited to join with a mass choir of voices from Idaho’s Treasure Valley when they gather for the Annual Conference Ordination Service, June 22 at First United Methodist Church in Boise. Anyone who is interested should email Meredith Messinger at firstname.lastname@example.org with your name, home church, and voice part. Participants will need to attend rehearsal from 3 – 5:00 p.m. on June 22; the service will begin at 7:30 p.m. Plan to bring a folder, a water bottle, and your choir robe (or one can be provided for your convenience).
Campers Plan for Summer Fun and Christian Community
Camp registration numbers at Oregon-Idaho Conference camping sites are running ahead of last year’s enrollments – several events have wait lists. Campers are urged to get registrations in as soon as possible!
Already, 96 of the churches in the conference, plus 35 other churches that look to us for Christian camping ministries, are involved as campers and volunteer leaders. Lisa Jean Hoefner, Executive Director of Camp and Retreat Ministries shared, “I’m excited that the whole church can come together through our camp and retreat ministries – all ages – combining fantastic natural environments and experiences of Christian community – that’s what makes these ministries so powerful.” Church administrators, pastors, and treasurers can request a “church report” to be sent to the church office so that recruitment and camperships can be tracked. Contact the Camp Registrar, Geneva Cook at email@example.com for the report.
Transportation Offered for Relief Supplies
Churches or individuals who are preparing relief kits for UMCOR can contact Donna and Glenn Waltman to learn about ways to get kits to the UMCOR depot in Salt Lake City. The Waltmans will provide coordination of transportation, including connecting people at the Annual Conference Session in Boise, June 20-22. Contact the Waltmans at firstname.lastname@example.org or 503-622-3226.
The United Methodist Committee on Relief (UMCOR) reports that they are very low in their inventory of layette, sewing, and bedding kits particularly, but other relief supplies are needed as well. Learn more on the UMCOR website, and share with your church using this bulletin insert.
AROUND THE GLOBE
Bishop Hayes Urges Strength After Storm
OKLAHOMA CITY (UMNS) - Oklahoma Area Bishop Robert E. Hayes Jr. said bishops and other concerned United Methodists have called him to say they are keeping the storm-ravaged in prayer and are willing to help in any way they can.
“What I would like to say to the United Methodist community and beyond is that we grieve with those who have lost life and property not only in Moore and Newcastle but also on Sunday in Shawnee,” Hayes told United Methodist News Service. “These storms have devastated our state and have inflicted tremendous loss on our people … and just affected lives in ways we can only imagine.” Read the rest of this United Methodist News Service story.
Cash Donations Encouraged Over Clothing, Other Items
In times of crisis, there are kinds of help that do more harm than good. The challenge of any disaster is getting the right types of assistance into place at the right time. Rev. Richard Norman talks about the needs and responses that will happen in Oklahoma in the days and weeks ahead in this article.
You can give to Oklahoma tornado relief by giving through your local church to UMCOR Disaster Relief (Advance # 901670), online at the UMCOR websie or by texting the word RESPONSE to 80888.
Church Protects People and Pets
OKLAHOMA CITY (UMNS) — Think of United Methodist Church of the Servant as Oklahoma City’s answer to Noah’s Ark. Since at least 2006, the church has sheltered people and their pets in its 40,000-square-foot basement whenever dangerous storms draw near. “It’s just cleanup on aisle 3 when it’s all over,” said the Rev. Randy Schrauner, the congregation’s executive minister. “We just want to provide good care to our people and good care to our community. So (we take) all comers in a storm. We aren’t going to hold anyone back.” Read the rest of this United Methodist News Service story.
Jeffrey Kuan Named President of Claremont School Of Theology
The Board of Trustees announced today that the Rev. Dr. Kah-Jin Jeffrey Kuan accepted their invitation to be the seventh president of Claremont School of Theology, effective July 1. Dr. Kuan will succeed Jerry D. Campbell, who held the position for seven years.
"Jeffrey is a distinguished educator, scholar and minister who is deeply committed to the vibrant future of theological education," said the Rev. Dr. David Richardson, chair of Claremont's board. "His arrival at Claremont is well-timed for the continued development of this school and the vitality of the church in an increasingly globalized age."
"Claremont has a rich legacy and important role to play as a forward-looking theological school on the Pacific Rim," Kuan said upon his appointment. "As Claremont continues to explore the future of faith in a multireligious world, our location in Southern California and proximity to Asia will be critical for the future development of the School." Learn more about Dr. Kuan.
Church Vitality: What Is The Secret to Growing?
REDDICK, Fla. (UMNS) — The Rev. Russell Clark is a passionate man. As pastor of First United Methodist Church in Reddick, Fla., the go-getter likes to shake things up at the 105-member church. On Feb. 10, 2013, First Church increased its membership by a fourth. Twenty-six newcomers joined the church at one time. Read the rest of this United Methodist News Service story.
RESOURCES & OPPORTUNITIES
Summer Housing Opportunity in Ashland
The Wesley Foundation is working to reestablish campus ministry at Southern Oregon University. They have renovated a house one block south of the campus. With students gone for the summer they invite United Methodists to see and stay at the “Windsor House” any time between June 15 and September 15. The house has three bedrooms and five beds. While in Ashland, guests can enjoy the many plays, concerts and the natural beauty of southern Oregon.
For information or to make reservations, contact Resident Assistant Ria Moli at 541-325-2846 or sou.windsor.house@ gmail.com. Donations will be used to support the campus ministry.
RETREAT and CAMPING CONNECTION
Camp of the Week: Adventure Camps!
Are you hungry for some adventure in your life? Are you looking for an active and exciting way to engage with the environment?
On top of the faith exploration and community building pieces found in all our camps and retreats, the adventure and backpacking camps give you an opportunity to hike, bike, boat, and/or rock climb your way through God’s beautiful creation. It is a physically challenging experience, but at the end of the week you will be spiritually exhilarated! If this is your thing, or you know someone who would love the challenge, check out the selection below!
For Younger Kids
For Junior High/Middle School
For High School
Bishop Rosemarie Wenner, President of the Council of Bishops
United Methodist Church in Germany
“The Lord has sent me to comfort all who mourn” Isaiah 61:1.2
Together with many Christians in Germany I live with the Moravian Daily Texts. The watchword for Tuesday, May 21 is from Isaiah 61:1.2: “The Lord has sent me to comfort all those who mourn”. Since I saw the pictures of the terrible devastation through the tornado in Oklahoma City and elsewhere in the US, I am praying that God encourages the followers of Christ to comfort those who are most affected by the disaster. I ask United Methodists from my area and from all over the world to offer their prayers and acts of solidarity. Let us pray that God through the power of the Holy Spirit comforts those who are most affected, especially the families of the children and adults who died. And let us
support the United Methodists in those areas, so that they together with the Christian community and all people of good will, stay at the side of the bereaved and work hand in hand with those who lost their homes and strive to clean and build up a devastated neighborhood. May the Holy Spirit, comfort and advocate, guide us to share faith, love and hope with those in need.