November 9, 2017
Dear Reader,

Gun violence struck yet another church this week, this time in rural Texas. It turned nearby pastors into emergency chaplains and caused feelings of fear and insecurity to rise nation-wide.  See the commentary section below for 7 Practical Preparation Tips for churches.

There is much good news to share as well. Read about our Hunger Heroes, successful Exploration event, Christmas Hymns day and an opportunity for youth groups to enjoy a mountain weekend.

Sally Blanchard, Conference Project & Office Manager


Oregon Food Bank names Bethlehem House of Bread 2017 Hunger Hero

Linda Dove, center

At the October 21 Oregon Food Bank donor event Bethlehem House of Bread (BHOB) in Tigard was named one of the four 2017 Hunger Heroes for their collaborative efforts to advocate on behalf of and with families and individuals who are facing hunger.

Linda Dove, Pastoral Director of BHOB, was on hand to receive the Jerry Tippins Advocacy Award. She explains that in addition to continuing the food pantry, community garden, weekend backpack program for school children and other local programs at the ministry, she and others are active in advocating for poor people at local and state levels.  This year she and volunteers Pam May, Ginia Finch and Judy Emerson have met with Oregon Senators Jeff Merkley and Ron Wyden among others to advocate for the continuation of SNAP (formerly foodstamps), affordable housing and other poverty-related issues, which are in danger of losing their federal funding.

Dove said she thinks the Oregon Food Bank singled out Bethlehem HOB for this honor because "whenever they call and need someone to go to Salem to talk to people and advocate for hunger issues, we say yes!"

Read the article at Watch a short video on why Bethlehem House of Bread was chosen.

To learn more about Bethlehem House of Bread, a ministry of Tigard United Methodist Church, see their website or like their facebook page.


Save the date

"Inspiring Generosity in Your Congregation"

Grace Pomroy and Charles Lane

Rev. Charles Lane, author of Ask, Thank, Tell, and Grace Duddy Pomroy, author of Embracing Stewardship, will lead a conference on inspiring stewardship on Saturday, February 10 at Tigard United Methodist Church. This event is open to all in the Greater Northwest area. It is recognized to be especially effective for groups of three or more from a congregation. $50 per person or $150 for a group of three or more, including catered lunch and book. Save the date now and see more on the conference website.

Great Hymns of the Faith
Special Christmas Edition on Dec. 7

Collins Retreat Center, Eagle Creek, OR

"Great Hymns of the Faith" is a popular series of programs at the Alton L. Collins Retreat Center, exploring congregational song, theology, quirky hymnology tidbits--and food! Each year in early December the series includes a special Christmas edition, with a few Advent hymns for good measure. This year's program will be Thursday, Dec. 7, at 10:30 am at the Collins Retreat Center. All are welcome to join in favorite Christmas carols (old and new), as the Rev. Laura Jaquith Bartlett reveals the back story related to what we sing together in worship each December. Following the singing, a fabulous holiday meal will be served in the Center's dining room. Guests are welcome to stay through the afternoon to enjoy fellowship, stroll around the Center, and do some shopping at the Ten Thousand Villages Christmas gift display (Collins' honey, photo cards, candles, and other items will also be available).
The cost is just $18.50 for the day, including lunch. This event is a wonderful holiday outing, and it's a great opportunity to invite a friend or two to join you. Visit the Collins website for registration information or to download a flyer.

Exploration Event in Portland Guides Young Adults on Path Toward Church Leadership

A passionate group of approximately 300 young adults from across The United Methodist Connection gathered in Portland, Oregon November 3-5 to learn more about ministry in The United Methodist Church. Exploration provides these young adults with a space to explore ministry options, gain insight from those in ministry and connect and support others also considering ministry. Read more and view pictures of the event.


Pastors become chaplains after church massacre

Mourners participated in a candlelight vigil for the victims of a fatal shooting at the First Baptist Church of Sutherland Springs, Sunday, Nov. 5, 2017, in Sutherland Springs, Texas. A man dressed in black tactical-style gear and armed with an assault rifle opened fire inside the church in the small South Texas community on Sunday, killing and wounding many. The dead ranged in age from 5 to 72 years old. Read story on

Bishops called to navigate ‘off the map’

LAKE JUNALUSKA, N.C. (UMNS) -- United Methodist bishops find themselves “off the map” as they try to navigate a way forward through the church’s impasse over homosexuality, said Bishop Bruce R. Ough.

“There is currently no larger or intractable barrier to the mission, unity and vitality of The United Methodist Church than the matter of homosexuality,” the Council of Bishops president said November 6, in his fall address to 127 of his episcopal colleagues.  Read more on

Liberians asked to pray for peaceful election

MONROVIA, Liberia (UMNS) — United Methodist Bishop Samuel J. Quire Jr. is calling on fellow Liberians to keep the peace as they prepare to vote in the country’s presidential runoff election. Liberia’s supreme court has put the election temporarily on hold. Read more on

Refugees find community with German United Methodists

Bremen (UMNS) -- Churches in Germany are providing sanctuary, classes and programs — outreach benefiting the churches, not just refugees and migrants. Read more on


See Resources for New Advent Worship Series

Prepare for Advent and Christmas with the new “Coming Home” worship series. Christmastime and thoughts of home go together. Advent and the Christmas season are about another kind of homecoming – the homecoming of Christ to redeem and renew us, this earth and all creation. This year’s Advent and Christmas worship series embraces the secular seasonal metaphor of homecoming to wrap the challenging biblical texts that the season gives us. To get all the materials worship planners need to build this series, go to

Celebrate Global Migration Sunday

The United Methodist Church has set aside Sunday, Dec. 3, for churches to raise awareness of migrants and refugee needs. Discipleship Ministries has prepared special worship aids that are available, along with other resources, at The Upper Room is providing free copies of the devotional book, Finding Our Way, to use in outreach, hospitality and small group study. The devotionals are bilingual (English, Spanish, French or Arabic) and also can be used as a literacy tool. To order up to 100 free copies, call (800) 972-0433.

GBHEM Scholarship Application window is January 3, 2018 - March 7, 2018

The cost of college can be overwhelming to students and their families. Part of the preparation is searching for scholarship help.
Learn about United Methodist scholarships and apply here.
See materials related to UM Student Day November 26.


Winter Youth Retreat (Suttle Lake, Jan 13-15)

Youth groups are invited to come away to the mountains to enjoy a time to play and learn together. Think snow and look forward to the tubing hill, great worship times filled with singing, hikes by the lake, drinking hot chocolate together, and fun times. Your group will enjoy stronger relationships and shared memories, as well as connecting with others from around the state.

Churches will come together for large group times filled with singing, worship, recreation, and reflection.  A key note speaker will introduce a scripture and individual church groups will have the opportunity to be together during small group times to go deeper with these reflections. Free time opportunities will offer time to create, play, enjoy being outside, and time to relax. See more information for groups and register.


Churches and gun violence: 7 practical preparation tips

By Rebekah Simon-Peter

Gunshots rocked yet another church over the weekend. Sunday services in Sutherland Springs, Texas turned into a bloodbath, with at least 27 dead. Before that horrifying incident, the folks of this small town felt protected by their rural setting ...


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