It's October, Sage District!

It is a month begun by World Communion Sunday, a worldwide shared experience of the Eucharist.  I've read it summarized nicely in this phrase: "At its best...World Communion Sunday serves two purposes: it is both a joyous and meaningful partaking in Jesus’ sacred meal with his friends and a mind-opening exposure to different Christian traditions from around the world."  As we witness to a fractured world, this sacrament is one of many ways to bring us together.  

October is a full month, read on to learn of opportunities to help those in need through aid, preparation, and in ministry throughout the district, conference, and jurisdiction.  

-Terri Bartish, Sage District Administrative Assistant

This Month's Articles:

Speaking from the Heart - October
Pastoral Care Institute Offered
Support Needed for Disaster Relief
Early Response Training in October
Pocatello UMC to offer Disaster Resilience Workshop
2017 Bishops Symposium: a 3-Part Experience
Dave Hargreaves to Retire From Sawtooth Camp
O-I Reconciling United Methodists to Gather
Messy Church Conference October 20-21
Western Jurisdiction Sponsors Church Vitality Workshops

Speaking from the Heart - October, 2017

Oct. 1st was World Communion Sunday.  It carries with it a subversive message for the world.  The message is, we are one body in Christ.  At the table, we are all served the same thing--a small piece of bread and a little bit of juice.  We are all one and it is enough.  It is a subversive message because we are anything but one.  And we are far from having enough as long as one child in the world is hungry. 
We are a divided world, we are a divided nation, we are a divided church.   We are divided even when we are all welcome at the table.  Even though we are fed the same thing and the same amount.  All of us are part of one body no matter our status, race, gender, identity, orientation, age, politics-- yet we are divided. 
When we approach the table, no one asks us if we are faithful in our marriage or celibate in our singleness before we receive the holy meal.  We are invited and we simply need to come to the open table.   Jesus shared this meal with one who would betray him, another who would deny him.  Yet, he stayed with them, loved them, shared bread and wine with him, and gave his life for them.  It’s a subversive message of love and grace and reconciliation.  And many of you reading this participate in Holy Communion despite our differences. 
This morning, Oct. 2nd I woke up to the shocking news of a mass shooting.  Another heart wrenching act of violence that has rocked the nation.  And we want it to stop.  We want to blame someone and something.  We want to fix things to protect ourselves.  We want to be in control.  All our hearts are breaking together, in communion, because innocent lives were lost and damaged.  A 64 year man was on a suicide mission and we do not know why. 
We do know that Jesus weeps with us.  We humans break God’s heart pretty regularly.  And the subversive message of Jesus is that our response to violence is love and reconciliation and grace.  
I yearn for our churches to teach the subversive message of Jesus and be part of forming courageous disciples who speak truth to power, protest injustice with respectful non-violence action, who treat the other with dignity and respect. 
What if your church adopted the most troubled area of your community and pledged to engage the people there in conversation with curiosity?  What if following Jesus was just as important as worshiping Jesus?  What if all were truly welcome as part of your congregation and mission?  What if your church was a place where everyone encouraged one another?  What if your church practiced loving your enemies, your neighbors, each other, and yourself?  What if we truly knew how to be relevant and real on Sunday mornings, as if our life depended on it?  What if our daily spiritual devotion was centered on the question, how can I be in communion with humanity and all of creation?   What if we were more concerned with loving than being right?
Today, I hold all of creation in my breaking heart.
Gwen Drake

Pastoral Care Institute Offered

The Spiritual Care Departments at St. Luke’s and Saint Alphonsus invite you to participate in the new Institute for Pastoral Care, which will be held at the Boise St. Luke’s Medical Center on Friday, October 27th, from 8:30am – 2:30pm.

Anyone who provides pastoral care will receive excellent information from these focused presentations and discussions. We have observed that congregations are relying more and more upon lay ministers and trained volunteers to provide support to their hospitalized members. With this in mind, the Institute for Pastoral Care has been planned especially to be a strong resource for this audience.

The cost for the day is just $10/person, which includes lunch, snacks and materials. Won’t you join us, and bring your team?  Your RSVP by October 17 will greatly help with planning. Here is a copy of the flyer, which outlines the topics of discussion and offers contact information.

Bend UMC fills Cleaning Kit

Support Needed for Disaster Relief

United Methodist Committee on Relief (UMCOR) is urgently requesting that churches support them by providing cleaning buckets and hygiene kits for use in Texas, Louisiana, Florida and other areas following hurricanes Harvey and Irma. Churches can assemble kits locally and/or provide financial gifts to UMCOR Advance giving fund #901440 for materials to be purchased and assembled at UMCOR depots.  Bishop Elaine has asked churches throughout the Greater Northwest Episcopal Area to give special offerings in support of hurricane relief efforts and Early Response Teams.

A volunteer is willing to help by collecting buckets across the conference and will transport them to the UMCOR West Depot in Salt Lake City. With a higher expected volume of material to transport, several churches have volunteered to act as collection points for areas around the conference. The following Sage District churches are serving in this way:

For drop off hours and information, contact the individual church or Donna Waltman, UMCOR Depot Liaison at or 503-622-3226. If your church is not near a collection point, or might be able to serve as one, also contact Donna.

Instructions for making buckets and kits are available on the UMCOR web site.  You can read more here about bucket and kit relief efforts.

Early Response Training in October

The Oregon-Idaho Conference’s Disaster Response Team will be offering a training for Early Response Team members on Saturday, October 21, 8:30 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. at Portland’s First United Methodist Church.
In the aftermath of Hurricanes Harvey and Irma, United Methodist’s are looking for ways to respond and support those in need. Joining an Early Response Teams (ERT) is one of the ways to help. By being part of a trained team that works through a coordinated network of faith-based and government responders, ERTs are a key part of the stabilization necessary to help people begin the process of rebuilding their homes and lives.

ERT training gives you the skills, understanding, and certification to work on a short-term team to reach out. Because both the interest and the need are high, the usual $25 fee for this training is being waived. Come for free to learn more about what ERT teams do and how you can respond. 

Register online now, download a brochure to share with your church, or contact Becky if you have questions about ERT training.  If you would like to host ERT training at your church, contact Becky Platt

Pocatello UMC to offer Disaster Resilience Workshop

Closer to home, United Methodist Volunteers in Mission will be offering a free training at Pocatello UMC.

This training is titled “Be Ready: Making Your Church Disaster Resilient” and offered on Saturday, October 14, at Pocatello First United Methodist Church, 200 N 15th Ave, Pocatello, ID. It will begin at 10:00 a.m. and  conclude at 2:00 p.m.  Lunch will be provided.  Please arrive 15 minutes early to check in. Please register by Friday, October 6.

This workshop will provide you with tools and a planning format to help you prepare your church, both as a building and as a congregation, to be resilient and able to serve a place of safety and hope during and after various sorts of emergencies and local disasters.

The workshop includes many handouts and links to resources for you to take back to your church to aid in your planning and preparation.

To find out more information, here is a link.  Or you can contact Michael Scarlett or Becky Platt

2017 Bishops Symposium: a 3-Part Experience

This year's Bishop's Symposium will look a little different than past years. It is offered in three different venues, three different styles and in three different places! Here is a full description of the event, as offered on the Greater Northwest Episcopal Area website. In a nutshell, the theme is a play on words with the old joke line "A pastor, an Imam and a Rabbi walk into..."  with a goal of generating interfaith relationships and understanding. There'll be a November 4 gathering at Seattle First UMC, one at the Northwest Leadership Institute held March 7-9 in Boise, and then an opportunity for independent presentations in local communities. Check out the above link for more information, and a trailer of a film that can be used for independent study. As of our publication, there is not yet a registration link established. We'll keep you informed!


Dave Hargreaves to Retire From Sawtooth Camp

After 46 years of leadership at Sawtooth Camp, Dave Hargreaves is retiring this coming April, 2018. 

In the late 1960’s, a young teacher asked to be considered for the manager’s position at Sawtooth Camp, when Luther Koonce retired after his many years. The committee thought a young man just starting out might not stick with it long enough and they were looking for some continuity. Eventually, he got the job and moved to Sawtooth Camp with his wife Karen and his then infant daughter Lori!

For Dave Hargreaves, leading Sawtooth Camp for 46 years became his life work and the focus of a ministry of developing new disciples. Dave and Karen shared this life and ministry together until her sudden death in 2011.

Besides raising two children, Lori and Bill, many would agree that Dave also significantly shaped the lives of at least 250 young adults who served on staff for a summer or more, and positively influenced some 22,000 campers, volunteers, and guests at Sawtooth through his witness and leadership. The leaders who were nurtured at Sawtooth Camp are now providing leadership to churches and communities all over this conference and beyond!

Here is the full article on Dave's career and pending retirement.  Many Blessings, Dave!

O-I Reconciling United Methodists to Gather

On October 14, the Oregon-Idaho Reconciling Methodists will meet at St. Paul's UMC in Milwaukie, Oregon.  The gathering will feature a "Bystander Workshop" which will introduce participants to proactive ways to be a supportive presence in racially or socially difficult circumstances.  The workshop will be led by Rev. Terri Stewart, a Pacific Northwest Annual Conference Elder. The day will also feature a potluck luncheon. The flyer offering more details and registration information is available here

Messy Church Conference October 20-21

There is still time to register for the “Getting Messy in the USA” Messy Church national conference at Community UMC in Huntington Beach, CA on October 20-21! If you are thinking of starting a Messy Church or have been worshiping as Messy Church for a while, this is an opportunity you do not want to miss.

Lucy Moore, the founder of the Messy Church global movement and Martyn Payne from Messy Church UK will be our plenary speakers.  Stephen Fischbacher, a Scottish composer who founded Fischy Music will be providing fantastic music. You will also get learn of the launch of Messy Church USA and how you can stay connected after the conference.

Although the conference officially ends after a bonfire on the beach on Saturday night, you are welcome to stay for Sunday worship with Lucy, Martyn, Stephen and the Messy Church USA planning team.  Register today here

Cost for Conference is $120 and includes three meals and multiple snacks.

Housing Options: There are a limited number of "home-stay" options with members of Community UMC so register today!

If you need more information contact Roberta Egli at or call her at 541-760-3909.  


Western Jurisdiction Sponsors Church Vitality Workshops

We are called to make disciples of Jesus Christ for the transformation of the world.

The mission field around us is not the one we came from and not the one our church was designed to reach. How will we faithfully fulfill our calling in these changing times?

Route 122 is the nationwide movement of United Methodist leaders devoted to faithfulness in the mission. Workshops will focus on a variety of specific challenges in leading congregations into greater vitality. Download and share the event flyer with leaders who could use a supportive peer learning community that addresses the challenges and shares insights of various unique ministry assignments.

Read here to learn more about this event from the Western Jurisdiction's website.


Sage District Office of the Oregon-Idaho Annual Conference
1505 SW 18th Ave, Portland OR 97201(503) 802-9225 ~