Light Up the World! Presenters

Rev. Laura Jaquith Bartlett

Taizé Worship - A Contemplative Service
Laura will help shape our time together by offering a Taizé worship service on Friday evening. Taizé worship is contemplative and simple. It is not leader-driver or wordy, but features candles and other visual elements, along with short scripture passages, silence, and lots of singing. Taizé songs are short and repetitive, and lend themselves to a sense of meditation and reflection.
Rev. Laura Jaquith Bartlett has plenty of experience designing worship, having served as the Director of Worship & Music for the 2016 General Conference of The United Methodist Church, where she created and coordinated 27 services in 11 days! On a different scale, these days Laura leads a monthly Taizé service for the SE Portland Parish where she and her family are active, the Sellwood Faith Community. Laura and her spouse, Todd, spent almost 9 years at the Alton L. Collins Retreat Center; at Collins Laura helped lead a Taizé retreat a few years ago, and also founded and continues to lead the Great Hymns of the Faith series.

Charlie Collier, PhD

The Laity: God's Own People
You know (or have been told) that you are “a layperson.” But what does that actually mean? Is a lay person someone who is simply “not a minister” or “not a priest"? Is your identity as a member of the Body of Christ truly best understood in terms of your not being somebody else? Or is there something significant and profound about your membership in “the laity"? United Methodist layperson and theologian Charlie Collier will explore these questions and more during a 90-minute interactive session, from 11:00 – 12:30 on Saturday, April 29.

Charlie Collier lives at the 18th Avenue Peace House in Northeast Portland, is a member of Fremont United Methodist Church, and works as an editor for Wipf and Stock Publishers of Eugene. He has a PhD in theology and ethics from Duke University. He is married to Rev. Erin Martin, Columbia District Superintendent, and together they have four children, two adult daughters living in Lane County, and two boys, Elijah (12) and Rowan (9), who live with them at the 18th Avenue Peace House in the Irvington neighborhood.


Pastor Christy Dirren

Worship Where Everyone Has a Front-Row Seat
Inspired by the declaration in 1 John 1 of experiencing the Risen Christ through sight, touch, and sound, Christy will lead us in a hands-on time of worship. See Christ in each other and the space; feel renewal in the water; hear the Spirit speak through music and a conversation with Rev. Erin Martin; and feed your soul with a love feast. Each element can be shared and adapted to your own setting and 100% lay led.
Pastor Christy celebrated 32 years in ministry this past January – 26 in youth ministry and the past 6 as a local church pastor. Her forte is making space to get unstuck through intentional work towards a new future, and facilitating the bumpy, messy, Spirit-led transition to "what's next." She currently is appointed at West Portland UMC. Previous appointments included Metzger UMC, now Bethlehem House of Bread, a ministry of Tigard UMC; Pioneer UMC in St. Johns; and as the planting pastor of CrossBridge @. Her preferred style of worship is hands-on, interactive, and multi-sensory, integrating folks of all ages and stages. When not in the role of pastor, Christy serves on the board and as a volunteer with Catalyst NW, a non-profit construction charity; and on the board for the Mountainside Lacrosse program. No matter what has her attention, she can be found with markers, crayons, or other creative tools within reach! Christy’s most treasured role is that of mom to two boys – Wil, age 21 is a US Coast Guardsman stationed in Silverdale, WA and Ben, age 15 is a trumpet- and lacrosse-playing high school freshman.

Rev. Beth Ann Estock

Discerning God's Path
“What do we do with all of this?”  This question has been asked throughout our church history beginning with the apostles who were told to share the good news of God’s love and peace to the ends of the earth. Those early followers had something more powerful than a strategic plan; they were gifted with the Holy Spirit and then learned to listen and follow it to the ends of the earth. Beth will reintroduce some of the forgotten practices that help us to discern God’s preferred future for our lives and our communities of faith. 

Beth Estock has served rural, city, and suburban United Methodist churches in her 30 years of ministry in Georgia and Oregon. She led the development of the New Start Initiative in the Oregon Idaho Conference as the Director of New Faith Communities. She has created several house churches in Portland and is on the faculty of the Missional Wisdom Foundation in Dallas, Texas. She serves as the chair of the Columbia District Committee on Ministry and is a member of the District Missional Strategy Team. In 2016 she co-wrote Weird Church: Welcome to the 21st Century with Paul Nixon. Beth coaches leaders who are experimenting with new ways of being “the church” in the 21st century. She brings her gifts of deep listening as well as integral theory to all her work. She is a certified Associate Coach with Integral Coaching Canada and is a trained Prakriti yoga instructor. Beth blogs at


Kim Gorman

Camp IWannaBe

IWannaBe compassionate; IWannaBe understanding; IWannaBe accepting; IWannaBe loving; IWannaBe courageous – you get the picture. That is the approach staff and volunteers at Christ UMC-Cedar Mill and Westside UMC adopted a few years ago to fill the mission of a three day / five year summer program.  Since then IWannaBe camp has grown into a full ministry designed for children and youth dedicated to creating a foundation for them to be the best they can be.

Mini Camp IWannaBe will be at the Laity Retreat to serve kids age 2 through 5th grade with youth serving as leaders. The activities explore God’s world and God’s people through crafts, science, games, stories, practical role-play activities, and community service all focusing on God's Light and how we Light Up the World!. Learning to love God and ourselves so we can love others is a life lesson that will be instilled at Mini Camp IWannaBe.

Kim Gorman and Kimi Sloop, co-directors of Camp IWannaBe look forward to seeing you during the Laity Retreat!

Rev. Erin Martin

A Vision Forward
During a conversational worship service with Pastor Christy Dirren, Erin looks forward to talking about ways that we might ignite new ministry in our settings to magnify our light to the world.

Rev. Erin Martin is the District Superintendent for the Columbia District of the Oregon-Idaho Annual Conference. She is passionate about 21st Century ministry and disciple-making in the Wesleyan Way. Before becoming a DS, Erin pastored congregations in Eugene, OR and in Durham, NC. Now well-acquainted with pastoring in the “None” zone, Erin is committed to strategically identifying ways to cross the chasm between the churched and unchurched in our various neighborhoods and exploring ways within the Columbia District to embody authentic Christian community for a new millennium. Erin earned her Master of Theological Studies from Duke Divinity School and her Master of Divinity from Perkins School of Theology at Southern Methodist University. She is married to Charlie Collier, an Editor for Wipf and Stock Publishers, and together they live with their two sons, Elijah (12) and Rowan (9), in intentional Christian community at the 18th Avenew Peace House in Portland, OR.


Rev. Brian Shimer

Scripture Through a New Lens
During Brian’s session, we will explore Matthew 5:14-16 through a fresh lens. This is an opportunity to not only touch base with ways God is speaking around the world, but to experience the story of Scripture and see what happens when God's story impacts your own.
Brian Shimer has been a pastor in the United Methodist Church for 30 years. He currently resides in Beaverton, OR, with his wife of 36 years, Karen, who also is clergy in the UMC. They have four grown daughters, two sons by marriage, and four delightful, engaging grandchildren. Brian has spoken internationally on how God heals, prayed and counseled with many people and seen Jesus bring healing to many lives.  He is a trained Bible storyteller with the international organization Simply the Story, a lifelong learner, a man of joy, a student of the Scriptures, and an apprentice of Jesus.

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