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Play’s the Thing: When Was The Last Time, You Made Room In Your Life For Play?

2/27/2020

Play’s the Thing: When Was The Last Time, You Made Room In Your Life For Play?

In the world of “grown-ups,” play can seem frivolous, immature, and a waste of time. Many may still hear echoes of dire warnings from childhood: “What will people think if they see you . . .” And yet, when you see children playing – soaring on a swing or gliding down a slide – don’t you long for those carefree days?   Life as a grownup can be overwhelming, particularly for clergy, who may be cast in the role of a super-hero.  Some may feel compelled do it ALL -- whether it takes 40, 60, or 80 ...

Madras UMC provides support, encouragement for local inmates

2/26/2020

Madras UMC provides support, encouragement for local inmates

Editor's note: KH's initials are being used in this story to protect his privacy. When Rev. Nancy Slabaugh Hart moved to Madras in 2017, she was pleasantly surprised to know the church was partnering with Central Oregon Community College to provide educational programs at the minimum-security Deer Ridge Corrections Center, but chaplaincy wasn’t what she was after. “I certainly have the skill to be helpful. But, I wanted to help the men in the education department with a wider range of options—...

Newman UMC rainbow flag brings hope to Grants Pass

2/26/2020

Newman UMC rainbow flag brings hope to Grants Pass

  Newman United Methodist Church in Grants Pass, Oregon, took another step in their journey to be a welcoming and inclusive congregation to LGBTQ+ people. The Church council at NUMC was in unanimous agreement after General Conference 2019 that the church needed to be clear in its welcome to all people regardless of their sexual orientation or gender identity. Beginning Feb. 4, 2020 Newman UMC began flying a rainbow pride flag from its main entrance. There was concern among some church members ...

Personal essay: An inmate's journey to a second chance

2/26/2020

Personal essay: An inmate's journey to a second chance

By KH Deer Ridge Correctional Institution inmate Editor's note: KH has been mentored by Rev. Nancy Slabaugh Hart of Madras UMC. Read more about their work together on the Conference website. His initials are being used because of confidentiality concerns. I grew up in a typical middle-class neighborhood in New Orleans. The houses were nicely kept up; the parents had good careers; and the children could ride their bikes in the neighborhood and feel safe. One block away, were the projects: large ...

OR-ID Holy Land Task Force 'horrified' by Trump peace plan

2/19/2020

OR-ID Holy Land Task Force 'horrified' by Trump peace plan

The members of the OR/ID Holy Land Task Force were horrified by the announcement of the “Deal of the Century/Peace Plan” recently announced by the Trump and Netanyahu administrations. We know that many share in our dismay.  Some have commented on the timing of the announcement – midstream in Trump’s impeachment trial and preceding Netanyahu’s third attempt to retain his position as Israel’s prime minister in the face of recently filed corruption charges.  Others are struck by the incongruity of ...

Conference assisting with eastern Oregon flood relief

2/12/2020

Conference assisting with eastern Oregon flood relief

Larry Johnson headed out the door on Wednesday of the Oregon-Idaho Conference Center in order to get to Pendleton, Oregon, by the late afternoon to assist with flood relief. “This would be the first time I know of, that we’ve responded in Oregon,” said Johnson, who is the Conference’s Emergency Response Teams coordinator. He plans to be in Pendleton for a Multi-Agency Resource Center (MARC) gathering on Thursday to aid those who had to evacuate their homes due to flooding or suffered ...

Portsmouth Union earns $2.35 million for affordable housing project

2/12/2020

Portsmouth Union earns $2.35 million for affordable housing project

What started more than five years ago as a ministry to the local neighborhood is finally taking root on the grounds of Portsmouth Union Church in north Portland. The church, a combined United Methodist and Disciples of Christ Church, is the recipient of a $2.35 million grant from Oregon Housing and Community Services to build an affordable housing apartment complex on its grounds. “I can’t even begin to describe how excited we are,” said Rev. Julia Nielsen. Portsmouth Union Church is one of ...

Churches Partner with Clackamas County for Shelter

1/30/2020

Churches Partner with Clackamas County for Shelter

Where do houseless people go when it’s freezing, stormy or flooding? What if they could go to church?   “When we first talked about the possibility of providing shelter at Oak Grove United Methodist, we knew the need existed in our community and that we had enough space in our building to share, but lining up enough volunteers to staff the shelter all night long for much of the winter was too much,” said Pastor Heather Riggs. “Temporary shelter regulations require that someone be awake all ...

Roseburg pastor, wife donate 200 pounds of turkey celebrating weight loss

1/30/2020

Roseburg pastor, wife donate 200 pounds of turkey celebrating weight loss

For Rev. Dave Thompson and his wife, Kim, the journey to better health has been a long and winding road full of milestones to honor along the way, most recently with the purchase of 200 pounds of turkey. The 200 pounds of turkey, purchased for the local food bank in Roseburg, Oregon, where they serve First United Methodist Church, honored the combined 200 pounds of weight the couple has lost in the last year-and-a-half. “Our journey began with a simple prayer. For too long we had focused on ...

Rose City Park UMC seeks community through new gospel chorus

1/9/2020

Rose City Park UMC seeks community through new gospel chorus

As we enter into a new decade, Kita Montgomery hopes to bring the Rose City Park community together through the Rose City Gospel Chorus. She envisions this group as offering their talents to the local community by performing in a wide range of places from festivals to nursing homes. In Montgomery’s estimation, community singing allows for a blending and bonding that builds up solidarity and morale among those participating. “Our community needs to bond more than before. We’re not as socially ...

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