November 28, 2017
Paula Sadler

Paula Sadler
Cascadia District Lay Leader

Indispensable (Part 1)

A number of years ago, my local church went through the ReVisioning process to help us understand the needs of our community and how to better meet those needs.  We met in small groups that used set questions to guide the discernment process.  A couple of those questions have stayed with me.  The first of these questions is, "What elements are essential for worship?"
During our group discussion, some people named the Bible, others the cross, and still others choir robes as necessary for real worship.  I've had some experiences since then which have informed my own answer regarding what is essential for worship.
While attending Annual Conference one year at Willamette University, I decided to attend worship before the day's activities began so that I could properly center myself for the work ahead.  The early morning worship was held before breakfast in the chapel on the Willamette campus.  When I and my friends arrived that morning, we found the chapel locked.  So we waited on the large porch.  Soon our worship leader arrived.  He contacted campus security and was informed that someone could come to unlock the chapel -- in about half an hour.  Worship was only scheduled to last half an hour!  So the group had a decision to make: skip worship or carry on as planned without access to the chapel and its resources.  Worship happened that morning with the prepared message and only the first verses of hymns, sung from memory.  That worship experience stands out in my memory as being especially meaningful and heart-felt.
On another occasion, after a worship service which incorporated all of the tangible resources, including communion, I overheard a participant complain that the screen had been left down during communion so that images of bread and wine could be projected.  The participant was unhappy that the cross at the back of the chancel had been blocked by the screen.  They voiced their complaint only a few feet from the young volunteer who provided sound and projection support for the service.  That young man no longer volunteers to provide tech support.  I have often wondered if he overheard the criticism and, if he did, how he felt.  It seemed to me that the complaints valued symbols over substance.
When reflecting back on these two worship experiences, I can only conclude that no thing is indispensable for worship.  Worship is a state of mind.  It is about loving God and each other.
Now as I think about the question of what is needed for worship, I keep in mind what Jesus carried with him during His ministry...only love.


Paula Sadler
Cascadia District Lay Leader

P.S. - Next time I'll reflect on the question: Would the community notice if the local United Methodist Church disappeared?

Bishop Elaine Stanovsky - video link

Praying Our Way Forward - December 10-16

For many years The United Methodist Church has struggled about how to be church together when we do not all have the same understanding along the issues of human sexuality, especially homosexuality. At General Conference 2016, this issue came to a head and in order to find new ways to address our struggles, a Commission on a Way Forward was created. This 32-member body is composed of clergy and lay delegates from 9 countries and 4 continents. They were given the task of examining and revising paragraphs in the Book of Discipline dealing with LGBTQ inclusion in the church and exploring options that help to maintain and strengthen the unity of the Church. They have been meeting often and will bring their proposals to the Council of Bishops and a special General Conference to be held in St. Louis on February 23-26, 2019.

 As The United Methodist Church works, struggles and envisions a way forward as a denomination, we have the opportunity to play an active role – by praying for the work of the Commission on a Way Forward.  Each Annual Conference is invited to be in prayer for this effort called Praying Our Way Forward. The Oregon-Idaho Annual Conference’s week to pray is December 10-16.  
This is a special holy time to lift to God the work of the Commission on a Way Forward, the future of our denomination, and the work that God is doing through each of us and our local churches and ministries.  

Each person in The United Methodist Church is invited to be in prayer in any way that you feel called to. Prayers for each day of our prayer week are available if you would like them. You can find those prayers and other resources at   

The way forward as a denomination can feel a bit uncertain. This time of Praying our Way Forward is a way to remind us to surround this work with the power of the Holy Spirit.  We hope you will participate!

Watch the short video from Bishop Elaine and other Conference Leaders about this time of praying together.



This week in the
Cascadia District

Nov, 28

Giving Tuesday

Dec. 3

UMC Global Migration Sunday

Dec. 4

Deadline for Appointment Advisory Forms in to District Office

High Desert Colloquy, Madras

Looking Ahead

Dec. 5

Far North Colloquy, Tigard
North Valley Colloquy, Newberg

Dec. 7

Coast Colloquy, Nehalem

Dec. 10-16
Oregon-Idaho Conference Praying the Way Forward

Dec. 15

Deadline for Clergy Sexual Ethics Policy online test and Annual Disclosure Form


Prayer Calendar

Nov. 26-Dec. 2

McCabe Chapel UMC
Pastor Ken Johnson
Lay Leader Bob Harris

Dec. 3 - 9

Molalla UMC
Pulpit Supply

Dec. 10-16

Christ's Church: Methodist and Presbyterian United, Monmouth
Pulpit Supply
Lay Leader Linda Scheirman

See the full prayer calendar

A Reminder

Test and Disclosure Form Deadline is
Dec. 15

Thank you to those who have completed and passed the required conference sexual ethics policy online test for 2017! 

The deadline for successfully completing the online test and filing the disclosure form is December 15, 2017.  

The instructions for those who need to fulfill these requirements were sent out by email on November 9, 2017 (in case you need to recheck your inbox or look in your spam folder!).  If you need the information again, contact Linda in the Cascadia District office.
May your Advent season truly bring you hope, peace, joy and love, 
Janet Farrell
OR-ID Board of Ordained Ministries
Administrative Assistant
(503) 802-9215

Contact us

DS Tim Overton-Harris

District Lay Leader
Paula Sadler

District Administrative Assistant
Linda Grund-Clampit

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Cascadia District Office of the Oregon-Idaho Annual Conference
680 State Street, Suite 200, Salem, Oregon, 97301 ~ (503) 581-3969 ~