November 22, 2017
Happy Thanksgiving from the staff of the Oregon-Idaho Conference and District offices. We hope this is a time of joy for you and your family. But we also recognize that the holiday season can be a time of challenge and difficulty for many people.
We hold you in prayer and rejoice in the knowledge that God will be with you, wherever your journey is taking you.
Here are a few short news items for you to be aware of.
Greg Nelson, Director of Communications
Each annual conference in The United Methodist Church is being invited to participate in a special week of prayer for the work of the Commission on a Way Forward, the outcomes of their discernment and the special General Conference in 2019. The first conference, North Carolina, started in January 2017.
The Oregon-Idaho Conference will hold their week of prayer December 10 – 16, 2017. Each church is asked to promote this special time of prayer.
Resources for the prayer time can be found on the conference website at www.umoi.org/PrayForward, and on the upper room website at UMCprays.org.
Learn more at the www.umoi.org/PrayForward website and help your church be part of this special focus for building an inclusive and unified church.
Easy ways to share gratitude
While Thanksgiving Day happens each November in the U.S., thanking God is a spiritual discipline we should not limit to a single day. Make this season more about giving than receiving. Get tips about how to make giving thanks an everyday part of your life in this UMC.org article.
Current Tax Bills Cannot Be Biblically Defended
WASHINGTON — Monday the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the USA (NCC) issued the following statement condemning the tax cut proposals currently under consideration in the U.S. Congress:
The tax bills currently before the U.S. Congress are designed to make the rich richer and the poor poorer. Additionally, they add $1.5 trillion to the national debt. These tax plans cannot be biblically defended.
“The rich rules over the poor, and the borrower is the slave of the lender. Whoever sows injustice will reap calamity, and the rod of anger will fail (Proverbs 22:7-8, NRSV).” These words of warning from Holy Scripture serve to remind us that over time, those in power who steal from the poor will weaken the body politic and invite chaos. “Oppressing the poor in order to enrich oneself, and giving it to the rich, will lead only to loss (Proverbs 22:16, NRSV).”
The National Council of Churches prays our elected leaders heed these ancient words of wisdom which bear witness even today. Our lawmakers have a responsibility to care for the entire citizenry, not just those with the means to influence tax policy.
Appalachian Trail chaplain completes journey
SPRINGER MOUNTAIN, Ga. (UMCOM) — The Rev. Matt Hall was joined by friends and supporters for the last mile of his 2,200-mile hike of the Appalachian Trail. Hall, the 2017 chaplain appointed to the trail by the Holston Conference, crossed the finish line Nov. 19. Asked what he would do the next day, he replied, “Probably go for a run and catch up on some reading.”
Read the full story from United Methodist News Service with photos from Mike DuBose.
Summary of Council of Bishops meeting
The Council of Bishops met at Lake Junaluska in North Carolina last week to receive an interim report from the Commission on a Way Forward, elect new officers, and prepare for the 2019 Special Session of General Conference, among other things.
From the president’s address to giving feedback on the interim report of the Commission, the bishops stressed the importance of the mission of God, the guidance of the Holy Spirit and the love of Jesus Christ in The United Methodist Church.
Read a summary report of the meeting on umc.org with links to more information.
An interview with Simon Moya-Smith on Here and Now.
… On this specific day, it's the complete opposite of what we teach our youth and what's taught to us and what we value. …