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Revitalizing the Church

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 ...

Fremont UMC, neighbors answer the question of HOW?

12/12/2019

Fremont UMC, neighbors answer the question of HOW?

How can we help folks who are homeless? The need is so overwhelming. In the interest of taking at least a step in answer to the question, Fremont United Methodist Church in Portland used the online Nextdoor app to invite their Irvington and Alameda neighbors to provide gift bags for folks without housing. HOW (Hand Out Windows) gift bags contained a small flashlight, small pack of wet wipes, socks, hand warmers, TriMet hop pass, and a granola or protein bar. The team packed 100 bags and about...

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 ...

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