June 8, 2017
Annual Conference is about connection. It’s the time when we come together to connect the church and invite the Holy Spirit to join us in connecting, sharing, listening, learning, and conferencing together. Without the Holy Spirit, it would just be a meeting. But instead it’s Church. Even when we disagree, it’s Church.
So when over 800 members of the Oregon-Idaho and Pacific Northwest Conferences gather next week, you might want to keep track of what’s happening. Fortunately there are many ways to do it. You can come in person to the Red Lion at the River hotel in Portland, or you can follow online in several ways.
The website www.GreaterNW.org/AC2017 has all the details. Including links to streaming video and social media, news updates, downloads of the Conference Handbook and the Conference Schedule.
Greg Nelson, Director of Communications
Worship is highlight of Annual Conference
Each year the Annual Conference brings inspiring worship from across the conference. This year that will be doubled with leaders and planners from across two conferences working to create inspiring worship. All worship events are open to the public and will also be available via live streaming video feed. All worship will be at the Red Lion on the River Hotel, 909 N Hayden Island Dr. in Portland (Just east of I-5 at the Jantzen Beach exit 308). The live streaming link will be posted at www.greaternw.org/AC2017. Here are the worship events:
- Wednesday, June 14, 7:00 p.m.: Installation Service of Bishop Elaine JW Stanovsky. Bishop Stanovsky will deliver the message. This service will feature a youth choir and handbells.
- Thursday, June 15, 7:30 p.m.: Memorial Worship Service. Remembering clergy, spouses, and laity in the life of the conferences. Rev. Shalom Agtarap will deliver the message.
- Saturday, June 17, 2:00 p.m.: Commissioning and Ordination Service. Celebrating the ordination of two elders, one deacon and the commissioning of 11 provisional elders and three provisional deacons. Rev. Jeremy Smith will deliver the message, accompanied by the Battleground High School Jazz Band.
General Conference Delegates
weigh in on Constitutional amendments
Jan Nelson, Conference Lay Leader and head of the Oregon-Idaho Delegation to the 2016 General Conference Session has written a blog post with insight and recommendations about the constitutional amendments being voted on in every annual conference this year. For a part of the United Methodist Constitution to be changed, the proposal must pass a vote of General Conference by a two-thirds margin. Then it must be ratified by two-thirds of all voting members of the 131 annual conferences around the globe. Read her post, and read about the amendments.
AROUND THE CONFERENCE
Celebrate in blue at river blessing
All Annual Conference participants are invited to wear blue on Saturday at Annual Conference. Following the Ministry Alive workshops, we will gather at the riverside to bear witness to the suffering of God’s creation, blessing the Columbia River along with the hotel workers who care for travelers along its banks.
If you or your church has large swaths of blue fabric that can be used as part of this service, please clearly label them with your name and phone number and bring them to Annual Conference. We will return them during lunch after the river blessing.
The Ministry Alive workshops begin at 9:00 a.m. and the River Celebration begins at 11:15 a.m. Both are open to everyone and will be at the Red Lion on the River hotel. Questions? Contact Jenny Phillips, PNW Minister for Environmental Stewardship and Advocacy at firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Preschool Teacher – Portland: Christ United Methodist Church on the west side of Portland is seeking a lead preschool teacher.
- District Youth Ministry Coordinator: Columbia and Cascadia districts are seeking a youth ministry coordinator to support and resource local churches and strength youth ministry and relationship to communities.
Learn more about these and other opportunities at www.umoi.org/classifieds.
Called to Love
Called to Love, the workshop on creating places of safety in United Methodist Churches, will be held at two locations this fall.
Called to Love helps churches create a place of safety, warm welcome and acceptance that can make all the difference to gender-nonconforming young people, adults and their families. The workshop offers a place to learn more about gender and gender conformity. Leaders for this event will be Revs. Jim and Bonnie Parr Philipson, retired Oregon-Idaho clergy.
Registration deadlines: Wed. Sept. 13 for Madras event; Wed. Oct. 18 for Gresham event
Registration is online to learn more about this life giving ministry. Cost is $5 per person and will help cover lunch, refreshments and materials.
Child care for younger children (up to age 8) will be provided upon request if made when you register. For more information contact Bonnie Parr Philipson at RevBonnie@hotmail.com.
It is Bishop Elaine JW Stanovsky's intention to make the following appointment, effective July 1, 2017:
- The Rev. Amanda Gayle Reed to the Gooding United Methodist Church in Gooding, Idaho. Reed is an elder from the West Virginia Conference who will serve three-quarter time. Pastor Teresa Adams, who currently serves in Gooding, will be taking a position at a United Methodist Church in Durango, Colorado.
- In addition, Columbia District Superintendent, Rev. Erin Martin has announced the intention to assign Gigi Siekkinen as a half-time Intern at The Dalles First United Methodist Church in The Dalles, Oregon. Siekkinen is currently a second year student at Claremont School of Theology in the Masters of Divinity degree program and will be pursuing licensing as a local pastor. It was previously announced that Alyssa Baker, who previously served as the Intern in The Dalles, will be assigned to the Open Door Churches partnership in Salem-Keizer, Oregon.
A summary of appointment announcements can be found on the conference website at www.umoi.org/appointments.
AROUND THE GLOBE
UMC Bishops Ask Trump to Reconsider Decision to Withdraw U.S. from Climate Accord
WASHINGTON, D.C. – The Council of Bishops of The United Methodist Church is asking U.S. President Donald Trump to reconsider his decision to withdraw the United States from the Paris Climate Accord.
In a statement released June 2, Council President Bishop Bruce R. Ough said the decision by President Trump was disheartening and would worsen the state of this planet already exacerbated by overconsumption and misuse of resources. "The decision further isolates the United States from critical and essential climate and energy use conversations and negotiations."
Bishop Ough said the bishops of The United Methodist Church were speaking in continuity with the church's stance as articulated in In Defense of Creation, Scripture, the Book of Discipline and the Book of Resolutions. "It is our responsibility to take care of this planet we live on, this beautiful gift from God, the Creator of all things seen and unseen."
Bishop Ough urged President Trump to rejoin the efforts of nearly 200 countries that have agreed to voluntarily reduce their carbon emissions.
Bishop Ough said The United Methodist Church will continue to call for bold leadership and advocate for policies rooted in justice and sustainability. "By caring for God's people and God's planet, we offer ourselves as instruments of God's renewing Spirit in the world calling for social and environmental holiness. We will do this by challenging those whose policies and practices neglect the poor, exploit the weak and harm the environment."
Read Bishop Ough's statement in its entirety.
Global Ministries names new creation care staff
ATLANTA —The Rev. Jenny Phillips, most recently minister for environmental stewardship and advocacy of the United Methodist Pacific Northwest Conference and a creation care leader in the denomination, is joining the staff of the United Methodist Board of Global Ministries, effective July 1. Read more on the UMCmission.org website.
Results from Wespath's work with oil giants
GLENVIEW, Ill. — Wespath Benefits and Investments, the United Methodist pension agency, filed and actively supported successful shareholder resolutions asking the world’s largest oil and gas companies for greater transparency on how they are preparing for a low-carbon future. Under these resolutions — which received overwhelming shareholder support — Chevron, Occidental Petroleum and ExxonMobil will provide detailed reports assessing the impact of climate change. Harvard Business Review said the ExxonMobil resolution, in particular, suggests the investment community has reached “a tipping point” in the recognition of climate risks. Read the Wespath press release, and the Harvard Business Review article
Church and Society launches new website
A clear identity, different look and more easily navigated content are features of a new website launched this week by the United Methodist Board of Church and Society. The site also will encourage viewers to take action on social justice issues. Read the rest of this United Methodist News Service story.
Transgender person commissioned as deacon
ST. CHARLES, Ill. (UMNS) — The Northern Illinois Conference on June 4 commissioned an openly transgender individual as a provisional deacon. The Rev. M Barclay is believed to be the first openly “non-binary trans person” to become a United Methodist deacon. Read the rest of this United Methodist News Service story.
LGBTQ candidate not recommended for ordination
WASHINGTON — The Baltimore-Washington Conference board of ordained ministry didn’t recommend a married lesbian candidate for deacon for ordination after taking a recent Judicial Council ruling into consideration. The board chair said a task force will “review our policies and procedures to ensure that we appropriately examine our candidates.” After the decision not to recommend T.C. Morrow — who was recommended in 2016 — Philip Wogaman, an elder for nearly 60 years, turned in his clergy credentials. He said his “heart breaks” for Morrow and others “who have been excluded as a result of bad church law, applied legalistically and hurtfully.” Read more on the Baltimore-Washington Conference website. [Editor’s note: Wogaman is the brother of former Oregon-Idaho Lay Leader, Thomas Wogaman.]
Iowa Conference announces just resolution
DES MOINES, Iowa — The Iowa Conference announced that a complaint under church law has reached a just resolution. The complaint by the conference cabinet was against the Rev. Anna Blaedel, who officiated at a same-gender wedding in April. All involved have agreed to issue an invitation to the Iowa Conference and broader United Methodist Church to “strive to live lives marked by faithfulness and integrity, and seek to build a more just and loving church and world.” Read jthe oint statement.
Gary “Gus” Miller
July 20, 1940 – May 28, 2017
Retired pastor Gary Miller, died May 28, 2017. He is survived by his son, Jonathan Miller; one grandson and one granddaughter.
Pastor Miller served at Hamersville, Belpre-Rockland, Monroe and Miamitown in the West Ohio Conference; Wendell/ Hagerman, Hermiston and Albany in the Oregon-Idaho Conference; Omak Riverside in the Pacific Northwest Conference. He retired in 1994.
Online condolences to the family may be shared at eberlefisherfuneralhome.com.
Elaine Stanovsky, Bishop
Dan Wilson-Fey, Conference Treasurer and Benefits Officer