News


Dealing with tragedy

ERT volunteers needed in Saipan

5/15/2019

ERT volunteers needed in Saipan

It takes more than 20 hours to fly there, but the people of Saipan are in desperate need of trained volunteer emergency responders to help them as they struggle to rebuild after Typhoon Yutu ripped through the area last fall. Larry Johnson, a member of the Oregon-Idaho Conference Emergency Response Team (ERT), recently returned from a two-week work trip there. As a commonwealth of the United States, the Federal Emergency Management Association (FEMA) is looking for volunteer organizations ...

Oregon-Idaho missionaries see border crisis up close

5/8/2019

Oregon-Idaho missionaries see border crisis up close

There’s nothing quite as heartbreaking as stumbling across a grave of a young migrant infant in the desert. But that’s what Oregon-Idaho Conference missionaries and volunteers Evelyn Erbele, Teri Erbele and Louise Kienzle got to see when they took an up-close tour of the U.S./Mexico border in early April near Nogales, Ariz., and Mexico. “You just can’t describe it. There is nothingness, but this heat and wind and then you come across a grave,” Evelyn Erbele said. “And you realize you’re in ...

Greater NW churches respond to GC2019 with messages of frustration, apology and love

3/6/2019

Greater NW churches respond to GC2019 with messages of frustration, apology and love

As soon as Rev. Barbara Nixon saw the votes tallied at General Conference that would ensure that The United Methodist Church would re-affirm and double-down on the unequal treatment of LGBTQ people within the church, she was on the phone ordering a banner for Corvallis First UMC. The sign, which was posted in the church’s front yard later that evening, reads: “We denounce the immoral decision of the global United Methodist Church. We stand with LGBTQ persons unconditionally.” Corvallis has ...

UMCOR and disaster response

1/28/2019

UMCOR and disaster response

When disasters strike in the United States or Internationally, the United Methodist Committee on Relief (UMCOR) responds.   But unlike past practice, UMCOR no longer accepts donations designated for specific disasters or location. Instead, all donations for disasters go into two common pools, either for U.S. Disaster Response (Advance # 901670) or International Disaster Response (Advance # 982450) so they can be prioritized within those areas of ministry. This practice creates a fast and ...

Training opportunity for churches on addressing mentally ill

1/23/2019

Training opportunity for churches on addressing mentally ill

Community resources are often scarce for people facing acute mental illnesses – and more frequently churches are becoming first responders in this crisis.   According to a survey recently conducted by the Oregon-Idaho Conference Abundant Health team, most clergy from the Conference indicated that while the interactions with the mentally ill have increased, but they don’t always know how to respond appropriately.   Pastor Tim Winslea of Montavilla UMC, also a registered nurse, is inviting clergy ...

UMCOR West Depot seeking volunteers for spring, summer 2019

1/23/2019

UMCOR West Depot seeking volunteers for spring, summer 2019

Located in the heart of downtown Salt Lake City, UMCOR West Office and Depot seeks to be a vital part of the work and vision of the United Methodist Committee on Relief.  As a part of UMCOR’s Relief Supplies division, UMCOR West builds, shelves, and distributes relief supplies to areas in the United States that have been affected by natural disasters.  In 2018, the UMCOR West Depot addressed floods, hurricanes and most notably fires that burned across the western U.S. As a result, the depot is...

I am not a divider, am I?

1/17/2019

I am not a divider, am I?

1995 Medford Mail Tribune Headline I serve a church in Ashland, Oregon. We are on the very southern edge of the Oregon/Idaho border, yet in one incident in our local church life, we were brought into the very center of one of the most important global conversations the greater church has had in the last 50 years—whether or not to ordain and fully include LGBTQIA people in the church.   Rev. Richenda Fairhurst This past All Saints Day, we had a chance to remember two of our most precious ...

Early Response Team from Oregon-Idaho Responds to Hurricane Florence

10/24/2018

Early Response Team from Oregon-Idaho Responds to Hurricane Florence

Larry Johnson at an ERT Fair earlier this year Larry Johnson and Tom Ettelson of Mt Home UMC in Sherwood, Oregon are traveling to North Carolina as part of a United Methodist Early Response Team to help with local recovery after Hurricane Florence, which struck North Carolina on September 14th. Larry is the Oregon-Idaho Annual Conference Coordinator of the Early Response Team program.  Both Larry and Tom have been through the Early Response Team Training, which is a collaborative effort of ...

Emergency Preparedness ministry available in Oregon-Idaho Conference

10/17/2018

Emergency Preparedness ministry available in Oregon-Idaho Conference

Planning for a disaster or preparing for an emergency might seem like a self-fulfilling prophecy that no one really wants to come true. However, The United Methodist Church through the Oregon-Idaho Conference believes in equipping churches and individuals with the right tools and training to be the hands and feet of Christ in crisis and conflict. This ministry is primarily done through Early Response Teams (ERT), an effort promoted by the United Methodist Committee on Relief to respond to ...

Items being collected for UMCOR West Depot starting Oct. 15

9/19/2018

Items being collected for UMCOR West Depot starting Oct. 15

Starting October 15, local volunteer Steve Matthews will be traveling through Oregon and Idaho to pick up supplies to deliver to the United Methodist Committee on Relief west depot in Salt Lake City. Matthews will pick up supplies from collection point churches (listed below).   Churches are encouraged to collect supplies for the sewing room at the West Depot.   UMCOR West Depot coordinator Brian Diggs said the sewing room continues to be a vital part of the United Methodist mission in Utah ...

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