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Revitalizing the Church

Letting go of old tradition leads to new connections at Oak Grove UMC

10/30/2019

Letting go of old tradition leads to new connections at Oak Grove UMC

A little more than three years ago the volunteers for Oak Grove United Methodist Church’s summer picnic were tired, the food was getting expensive, and there were only a few community members engaged, so they held what would be their last summer picnic in 2016.   But Rev. Heather Riggs said she and church members weren’t ready to give up on the idea of connecting with the community.   “In an effort to see if we could connect this great idea with our community, I went to the Oak Grove Community ...

Micro grant makes space for cyclists atop mountain

10/23/2019

Micro grant makes space for cyclists atop mountain

With cyclists coming and going through the hills surrounding Mountain Home United Methodist Church, members there decided to extend a little hospitality this past year. Using the well located on church property, members added a drinking fountain to the edge of their property near the road as a rest stop for cyclists. The church used a $500 micro grant from the Cascadia District Extension Society to pay for the project. “We did it because we’re a rural church on top of the mountain and there ...

Christ UMC hoping to build senior affordable housing

10/3/2019

Christ UMC hoping to build senior affordable housing

Sometimes a church goes out looking for a mission project and the project chooses them. That’s been the case for Christ UMC Cedar Mill on the west edge of Portland, where the congregation has been actively engaged in conversations about how to best use church property to better help the community it serves – and that happens to be affordable housing for senior citizens. While researching options on affordable housing, Rev. Ric Shewell said the congregation learned the property they own ...

Twin Falls UMC sponsors Drag Queen Theology event

10/3/2019

Twin Falls UMC sponsors Drag Queen Theology event

In Twin Falls, there’s a growing pocket of progressives who are working to be more loving and more inclusive and Twin Falls United Methodist Church has been doing its part to support these conversations. Most recently it resulted in a Drag Queen Theology gathering at the local Yellow Brick Café. Local drag queens performed a show while also answering questions in a pub-style question and answer session with Oregon-Idaho Conference LGBTQ+ Advocacy Coordinator, Rev. Dr. Brett Webb-Mitchell last ...

WakeUp Beaverton provides back-to-school help for refugees, immigrants

8/28/2019

WakeUp Beaverton provides back-to-school help for refugees, immigrants

In a year since its inception, the WakeUp Beaverton event hosted by First United Methodist Church has more than doubled the number of immigrant and refugee families it serves. As people chatted in Korean, Mandarin, English, Spanish waiting to pick up a backpack for their child or lining up to get food from the church’s monthly free food market or sought information on affordable housing options in Beaverton, local pastor Jefferson Chao took in the chaos with a smile. “I never pictured it to be...

Western Jurisdiction youth leaders invited to retreat in Oregon-Idaho Conference

8/28/2019

Western Jurisdiction youth leaders invited to retreat in Oregon-Idaho Conference

More often than not, the young people who walk into their weekly or monthly youth group meetings are carrying a lot on their heart. More often than not, the youth leaders assigned to work with their local youth feel isolated and alone in their work as they try to provide meaningful spiritual development for kids who have higher-than-ever rates of anxiety and depression. With support from other youth leaders, West Portland Pastor Christy Dirren has worked to put together a youth workers retreat...

Day begins work with Oregon-Idaho Conference

8/1/2019

Day begins work with Oregon-Idaho Conference

Already in her work as the Director of Connectional Ministries and Assistant to the Bishop, Laurie Day has learned what “other duties as assigned” really means in her job description. In just her second week in the office, Day found herself putting garbage bags over her legs and wading into a plumbing and sewer situation that temporarily shut down the office. “When you jump in with both feet you never know what you’re going to get into,” Day said with a laugh. “I appreciate the great team of ...

What exactly is ZeroTheology?

7/18/2019

What exactly is ZeroTheology?

I have been trapped in the clichéd, superficial, proposition based form of Christian religious life in North America for some time. I have also been familiar with Joseph Heller’s Catch­­­–22 for many years but it was not until a recent reading that I had an insight that provided me with a way out of this propositional, religious trap. The insight was that religious claims, as opposed to scientific or ethical claims, should be expressed only as Catch–22s because these paradoxes do not make ...

Summer interns serving communities across Greater NW

6/26/2019

Summer interns serving communities across Greater NW

This year the Greater NW Area Innovation Vitality team has expanded its summer internship program to different cities throughout the region. Young leaders of color are getting the chance to develop leadership skills while exploring the intersection of faith and social justice in various community settings. This summer, instead of being based in the Portland area, the group will expand to Boise, Salem, Tacoma and Seattle. Read the profiles written by the individuals chosen to be leaders and ...

Bishop's address calls for more love, blessing, salvation

6/13/2019

Bishop's address calls for more love, blessing, salvation

In this CrossOver year where the United Methodist Church has been discerning whether to stay together or split apart, Greater Northwest Area Bishop Elaine Stanovsky knows the church isn’t going to be the same. “General Conference (2019) sought to chart this new way forward,” she said in her opening episcopal address. “But it may turn out to be a tipping point that tears us in two.” Since that gathering in February, she said she’s heard from people at every point along the spectrum who feel ...

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