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Oregon-Idaho Conference youth ministry heads in new direction

1/10/2018

Oregon-Idaho Conference youth ministry heads in new direction

As local churches have changed shape and size over the years – shifting demographics, changing locations, less staff – so has the shape and size of youth ministry in the Oregon-Idaho Conference. As these changes have unfolded, one thing has become increasingly clear: Youth ministry in this Conference cannot be done with a top-down approach. “It’s not that churches don’t care. It’s just that they don’t have the resources,” said Christy Dirren, local pastor at West Portland UMC and new youth ...

Church, community leaders tackle racism with love in Nehalem Bay

12/21/2017

Church, community leaders tackle racism with love in Nehalem Bay

After a racial slur had been spray-painted across a local skate park and bigoted remarks targeted a mayoral candidate a year ago, one local resident knew something needed to change in the small coastal town of Nehalem, Ore. LaNicia Williams knew a conversation needed to happen, but she needed the help of someone in Nehalem and somewhere to make that happen. That someone ended up being the Rev. Steve Wolff and that somewhere became Nehalem Bay United Methodist Church. “All I did was say, ‘Hey! ...

Greater Northwest area earns $100K grant for shower trailers

12/20/2017

Greater Northwest area earns $100K grant for shower trailers

Finding lodging for Early Response Teams (ERT) and Volunteers in Mission (VIM) teams is always a challenge. The teams frequently find themselves sleeping on cots or air mattresses in a church, a school, or other facility with minimal amenities. The Conference ERT and VIM Coordinators in concert with the team leaders do their best to find lodging that is clean, climate controlled for the season, and provides adequate accommodations necessary to meet safe sanctuary requirements. Fortunately, our ...

Local UMVIM members answer call for help in Texas

12/6/2017

Local UMVIM members answer call for help in Texas

When a call came out from the Rio Texas Conference for help with relief efforts after Hurricane Harvey wreaked havoc on south Texas, Emergency Response Teams (ERT) from the Greater Northwest Area were ready to respond. Specifically, Oregon-Idaho Conference members Larry Johnson, Maggie Skyberg, Brian McKennett and Jerry Iervolino heard the call and joined ERT members from the Pacific Northwest Conference in the Corpus Christie area on Nov. 3. Team members reported numerous small, coastal ...

New staff hired, positions shift at conference center

12/6/2017

New staff hired, positions shift at conference center

The Oregon-Idaho Conference has hired three new staff members recently and re-aligned another position to meet the growing and changing needs of the churches and individuals that make up the conference. David Sneed has been hired as the accounts payable assistant in the finance department, Holly Dolan will serve as the registrar for camping and retreat ministries and Kristen Caldwell is the new communications associate. Sally Blanchard, who has been working for the Oregon-Idaho Conference for ...

Claremont explores move to Oregon

7/13/2017

Claremont explores move to Oregon

In a July 6 letter to the Claremont School of Theology community, and subsequent press releases from Claremont School of Theology (CST) and Willamette University, it was announced the schools have entered preliminary conversations on the possibility of housing Claremont School of Theology, one of 13 United Methodist Seminaries, within the campus of United Methodist-related, Willamette University in Salem, Oregon. In June, Claremont President Jeffery Kuan announced the school was facing ...

Information sessions give update on health insurance

4/27/2017

Information sessions give update on health insurance

The Oregon-Idaho Board of Pensions, which is responsible for overseeing conference health insurance plans, is moving forward on a revised set of health insurance offerings for clergy and lay employees in the conference. In 2016, they surveyed church leaders and plan participants about levels of service and controlling costs. At the 2016 Annual Conference the board shared a proposal for revising insurance coverage through an option of choices known as HealthFlex Exchange. Insurance costs for the ...

Bishop Oliveto inspires justice event

2/22/2017

Bishop Oliveto inspires justice event

Bishop Karen Oliveto, recently elected bishop of the Western Jurisdiction and presiding bishop of the Mountain Sky Area, was the opening keynote speaker for the Western Methodist Justice Movement (WMJM) conference meeting in Portland, Oregon February 17-20. Bishop Karen Oliveto (Robin Ridenour photos) Oliveto’s keynote inspired the 150 in attendance as she explored the nature of the divide that currently exists in society and in churches. She described one symptom of the divide ...

Bishop Crosses Threshold in Eugene

1/26/2017

Bishop Crosses Threshold in Eugene

Bishop Elaine Stanovsky spent Saturday, January 21 in Eugene, Oregon learning and connecting with people of the Oregon-Idaho Annual Conference. This is the fifth of eight Threshold Events she is holding across the Greater Northwest Area. Stanovsky started her day by connecting with students and Wesley Foundation Board members from the University of Oregon. She was able to hear from students about their experiences in college and with the Wesley Foundation as well as express her support for this...

Oregon-Idaho among 27 that pay 100%

1/26/2017

Oregon-Idaho among 27 that pay 100%

Nashville, TN – The General Council on Finance and Administration (GCFA), working with the 56 annual conferences in the United States, reports that twenty-seven annual conferences have paid 100% of their 2016 apportionments to the seven general Church funds.  This is a slight increase over the previous year during which 26 annual conferences reached this milestone.  The 2016 payout rate of 91.8% is the highest it has been. The 27 annual conferences are: Alaska, Baltimore-Washington, Central ...

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