Happy New Year!

Let the season of light begin! As we move from the good news of Christ’s birth to the season of Epiphany, we have the opportunity to begin once again.

This is our reminder that we live and love under the glow of God’s grace and mercy and we are called to share our light with others.

As the new year continues to unfold, be looking to your UM Connector for stories on programs and ministries within the Oregon-Idaho Conference that are torches of light in our local communities and across our Conference.

In the quote famously used by Nelson Mandela from Marianne Williamson’s book “A Return to Love: Reflections on the Principles of A Course in Miracles” we are reminded: “As we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same.”

May you be ready to share the flame of your torch in 2018.

Kristen Caldwell,
Communications Associate

Editor’s note: Communications Director Greg Nelson is in Africa on an UMVIM trip. Please send news items and information requests to


New Columbia, Crater Lake assistants join the team

Recently two new faces joined the team for the Oregon-Idaho Conference to serve as administrative assistants for the Crater Lake and Columbia Districts.

Sara Ross will serve as administrative assistant for the Columbia District, working out of the Portland office with District Superintendent Erin Martin. Sheri Konowitz is working in the Crater Lake office in Eugene with District Superintendent John Tucker.

Both come into these new positions with vast experience in administration, event planning, social media management and more.

“When I moved I wanted to think seriously about work that would not only pay the bills, but inspire me,” Ross said.

“I’m excited to work for an organization that has vision,” Konowitz said.

Read more of this story on the Conference website.


Clear Appointment Openings

A list of churches that are open for appointment can be found on the Greater NW Area website. As appointments are announced and the appointment process unfolds, new clear openings will be added to the list. See the latest.

Blog post: Inspiring Generosity - year in review

In her latest installment of Inspiring Generosity, Cesie Delve Scheuermann highlights her top seven blog posts of 2017 dealing with generosity and the church.
She looks ahead to the Inspiring Generosity workshop for churches happening Feb. 10.


LGBTQ advocacy coordinator – Portland, OR
The Oregon-Idaho Annual Conference is hiring a new, part-time staff member (20 hour/week) to help the annual conference further its commitment to creating an environment of full inclusion within the life of our church.

For more information on jobs visit


Human Relations Day resources available for Jan. 14

On Jan. 14, 2018, thousands of United Methodist communities will come together to receive a special offering. This is a time to continue the ministry of Jesus Christ and help all God’s children realize their potential.

Financial support shared during this special offering will strengthen our U.S. outreach programs as well as community-development programs near you.

Over the years, on Human Relations Day, churches have collected thousands of dollars that went toward making a real difference in communities across the United States. Get a glimpse of the impact through this list.

A list of ready-to-use resources is available on There is a downloadable pastor’s kit so that churches have what they need to celebrate Human Relations Day and inspire generosity.

This first Special Sunday of 2018 allows the church to invest intentionally in people society can so easily forget. Human Relations Day is an exciting opportunity for the body of Christ to embody generosity and invest in those who need hope and help in the fight for justice and equality.

Bishop: Support United Methodist president-elect in Liberia

MONROVIA, Liberia – Liberia Area Bishop Samuel J. Quire Jr. is calling on all Liberians, especially United Methodists, to support President-elect George Manneh Weah.

Weah, a United Methodist and former soccer star, is expected to be sworn in Jan. 22, taking over power from President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, who also is a United Methodist. Weah was elected by more than 61 percent of the vote over his rival, Vice President Joseph N. Boakai, during a Dec. 26 presidential runoff election.

“I will roll up my sleeves to join the new government to do whatever I can to disabuse the minds of our young people in this country of the vices that do not represent peace,” Quire said at a Dec. 31 program marking his 365 days in office as bishop of The United Methodist Church in Liberia.

Read more of this story from United Methodist News Service.

Church provides medicine for jail inmates

Members of the New Hill Burning Bush United Methodist Church distributed medicines to inmates at Camalig Meycauayan City Jail in Bulacan, Philippines.
The city jail, designed for just 90 detainees, has more than 200. Jails in the Philippines have space for housing 20,746 prisoners, but are actually housing 126,946, according to the Philippines Commission on Audit.
The overcrowding puts inmates at risk of acquiring communicable diseases like respiratory infections and boils, the commission said.
Pastor Jose Michael Villena, administrative pastor, said that God's faithfulness led the church to do mission and service.
"Because of what God has done for us, we offer our lives back to God through a life of service," he said.
Read more of this story from United Methodist News Service

A New Year's letter from the Council of Bishops

To the People Called United Methodists:

Grace and peace to you as we embrace the New Year.

The joy of Christmas and the gift of Emmanuel – God with us – gives us the confidence to face the future with hope.  This hope is born of our faith in the Living God.  Thus, as we enter the New Year we affirm that God who started a good thing in us will see it to fruition.

As United Methodists, we are at a precipitous moment, uncertain about our denomination’s future.  Yet, we do know that we have been raised up as a people to share in God’s mission by spreading scriptural holiness across the globe.  And, we know that God knows what form this mission will take in the future.

As a Council of Bishops, we have been in unceasing prayer, asking God to open our hearts and minds to discern what God would have us do to lead our global movement.  We thank you for your earnest prayers and invite you to continue to pray for the Commission on a Way Forward and the Council as our work continues and we prepare for the 2019 Special Session of the General Conference.

Read more of the Council of Bishop’s letter from President Bruce Ough via


Church holding “No Joke!” documentary and discussion

In conjunction with Martin Luther King Jr. Day events, Nehalem Bay United Methodist Church will be showing the documentary film “No Joke!” on Saturday, Jan. 13 at 4 p.m.

The film tells the story of three clergymen—a Rabbi, an Imam, and a preacher— who forge a lasting friendship that doesn’t require abandoning the unique beliefs they each hold.

Following the film, there will be a meal and World Café style discussion moderated by the Rev. Steve Wolff. The church is located at 36050 10th St. in Nehalem. For more information contact Wolff at



This week in the
Annual Conference

Intercultural Training Workshop - Jan. 9.
Greater NW Area Inspiring Generosity Conference Journal

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Oregon-Idaho Annual Conference Conference Office: 1505 SW 18th Avenue Portland, OR 97201
503-226-7931 ~ 800-593-7539 ~ 503-226-4158 (fax)