Salem-Keizer Churches Join Forces, Expand Outreach


Salem First Church is one of the six churches
joining forces.
Photo courtesy of the church.

By Mahalia Smith
Aug. 11, 2015 | UMNS

Six United Methodist churches in the Salem-Keizer area of the Oregon-Idaho Conference of the United Methodist Church plan to invest time and resources into a new, collaborative outreach.

Mark Bateman, chair of the United Methodist Ministries of Salem-Keizer, says the ministry is considering many new approaches.

“We understand that we need to be finding new ways of outreach and ministry,” he explained. “We need a change in activities, a change in the way we spend our time.” The ministry is looking for new areas in which to invest clergy leadership.

“By working together in key mission projects, it (the ministry) will be able to free time and resources for more outreach,” said Rev. Peg Lofsvold, superintendent of Cascadia District, “Internally, we’re working together on youth and pastoral care.”

Because the ministry started July 1, most ideas are still in the “conversation” stage. One in particular is outreach to the growing Hispanic community. Hispanic children make up 22.4 percent of Oregon’s school population and many are second or even third generation, said Lofsvold.

Read more about how we can be better together on the UMC.org website.