Spirit Alive: Better Together


Spirit Alive is a twice a month blog that looks at different aspects of mission and ministry throughout the Oregon-Idaho Annual Conference of the United Methodist Church and beyond.

March 28, 2017

Signs of Life:

Being Together Can Make a World of Difference

After writing his widely read book, Bowling Alone, in which he discusses the many ways that American society has been losing its sense of collective identity and association, Robert Putnam went on to write another, less read book entitled, Better Together. In that book, Putnam describes examples of communities and groups across the country that are involved in activities that prove we are "better together." It was his way of saying that when we look around it is important to remember that not everyone is "bowling alone." Some people are making a difference in the world by how they work with others collectively for the common good.

Well, as I often try to do in Spirit Alive, I'd like to point us in the direction of a real life example that not only demonstrates creativity and innovation, but which also reminds us that we are "better together."

The United Methodist Ministry of Salem-Keizer is such an example. It is affectionately known as UMMSK, to those involved. In this case, coming together as six congregations and an Hispanic New Start demonstrates what is possible when we think about ministry in new and exciting ways. And when this is done across an entire region, such as Salem-Keizer, something special takes place.

Take a look at what they are up to at UMMSK

 Watch or download on Vimeo

As you can see, when we work beyond our individual congregations, we can be "better together"...and in the process show the larger community what it means to be people of faith today!

Let us walk in the light of God's love,


Spirit Alive is a twice a month blog and email by Rev. Lowell Greathouse, Mission and Ministry Coordinator for the Oregon-Idaho Conference. It seeks to identify where the spirit is alive in our congregations and communities. Check out past editions, or subscribe to the email list.



Lowell Greathouse
Lowell Greathouse is the Mission and Ministry Coordinator for the Oregon-Idaho Conference of the United Methodist Church. He looks for places to find where the spirit is alive and help them grow in vitality and fruitfulness. Share with him at lowell@umoi.org