February  8, 2018

Dear Reader,

Where is the church? I think it’s easy to say it’s in the building where you worship each Sunday. But I think that’s only part of the answer.
In this week’s UM Connector we read about Leroy Barber wanting to be part of a revival in our communities. For Janet Lahr Lewis the church is in an office in Washington D.C. where she advocates for the rights of Palestinians around the globe. And in Zimbabwe, it’s at a technical college where the church is supporting women entrepreneurs.

So where to do you see the church when you exit your building on Sunday morning?

Greg Nelson, Director of Communications


Barber ready for ‘revival’ as new congregational developer

Perhaps it’s time for a revival in the United Methodist Church.

At least that’s the word that keeps popping into the brain of Dr. Leroy Barber, the new developer of congregational vitality for the Oregon-Idaho Conference of the United Methodist Church.

“I’m getting this inkling about revival,” said Barber, who started his new position this week. “You have this hope and dream and you’re inviting everyone in.”

It’s a new revival path that he thinks the United Methodist Churches can head down – one of inclusivity, openness and connection.

“I have a belief that the church does have a role to play in society,” he said.

Read more of this story on the Conference website.

Global Missionary visiting churches next week

Janet Lahr Lewis, a General Board of Global Ministries missionary advocating for the Middle East in Washington D.C., will be visiting churches in the Oregon-Idaho Conference next week (Feb. 16-26) to update them on her work and the church’s role in the Middle East.

Her presentations are free and open to the public to attend.
The venues for Janet’s presentations include:
  • Sunday, Feb. 18 – Fremont UMC, 2620 NE Fremont Street, Portland - 10 am service followed by a meeting with participants in a planned Holy Land trip.
  • Tuesday, Feb. 20 – Medford FUMC, 607 W. Main Street, Medford, OR – 10 am. UMW presentation.
  • Wednesday, Feb. 21 – 5 pm presentation and potluck - Friends Meeting House, Corvallis, 3311 NW Polk Ave.
  • Thursday, Feb. 22 – Trinity UMC Portland, 3915 SE Steele – 10 am presentation and lunch.
  • Saturday, Feb. 24 – First UMC Salem, 600 State Street, Salem – 11 am presentation
  • Sunday, Feb. 25 – First UMC Portland – 12 p.m.


Inspiring Generosity: Tax codes, schmax codes

In her latest Inspiring Generosity blog post, Cesie Delve Scheuermann details some of the implications the new tax code will have on church giving.

"This is not a time to panic. However, it is time, to step up the storytelling, talk about your mission, believe in your cause, and remind people why their gifts are critical. Tax codes, schmax codes. Let the storytelling and thanking begin."

Read more of Cesie's latest Inspiring Generosity blog post.

Inspiring Generosity workshop in Tigard this weekend

Stewardship isn’t about paying the bills.

If there’s one thing the Rev. Charles “Chick” Lane and Grace Duddy Pomroy hope pastors and lay leaders take away from their workshop on Feb. 10 in Tigard, it’s that stewardship is more than making sure the lights stay on and the church building stays heated.

“I’m convinced paying the bills is not much fun," Lane said. "I think people want to hear what Jesus says about this.”

Lane is a retired Lutheran pastor who has been working in the stewardship field for the last 15 years. Pomroy is a self-described millennial who also works in the field. They recently co-authored the book “Embracing Generosity” which will be part of the packet of resources given to local church leaders attending the event.

Find last-minute details about the event on the Conference website

Climate speakers coming to Ashland in May

As climate change grows in our daily concerns, Rev. Richenda Fairhurst of First United Methodist Church in Ashland thinks clergy need to be involved. “Climate has become a moral imperative for people of faith,” she says, “The health and well-being of today’s children depend on us having the moral courage to address the consequences of climate change.”

To help ministers address the reality of climate change the American West, Ashland UMC will be hosting a Climate Speakers Network training May 1-3. It is open to all congregations in the western United States and their extension ministries, and offers faith leaders the opportunity to network, learn how to best support their communities and congregations, and process the hope and grief of climate work in a sacred sanctuary space.
Churches everywhere are faced with a unique challenge when confronting the climate crisis: ministers must determine how they can be of the most good to their communities; and congregations are often involved in local relief efforts, ministering to those who lose their homes or livelihoods to forest fires, floods, storms, droughts, and rising seas.

The three-day training will address these concerns and much more.

The event is free, but participants are asked to register by March 1. Get more details and register at Email for more information.

Appointment Announcement

Bishop Elaine JW Stanovsky's has announced the following appointment, effective February 14, 2018:

The Rev. Elaine Steele to Crossroads United Methodist Church, Kimberly, Idaho. Steele is a Retired Licensed Local Pastor and will serve the Kimberly community quarter-time. Crossroads is currently led by a lay leadership team and pulpit supply pastors.

A summary of appointment announcements can be found on the conference website at 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.


‘A Methodist Requiem’ offers history, analysis, hope

CHAPEL HILL, N.C. – The United Methodist Church’s fate is not a matter of life and death. But it may well be a matter of death and life.

So says the Rev. William B. Lawrence in his new book “A Methodist Requiem: Words of Hope and Resurrection for the Church.”

In just 127 pages, Lawrence covers the history of division within Methodism, the death of the small, northeastern Pennsylvania United Methodist church in which he grew up, and the current threat of denominational schism over how accepting to be of homosexuality.

Lawrence sugarcoats nothing. But he believes Methodism, as a Christian movement, has much to offer and will go forward, whatever else happens.

And he counsels United Methodists to keep the faith.

Read more of this story from United Methodist News Service

Church in Zimbabwe helps women start their own businesses

HARARE – The United Methodist Church in Zimbabwe has collaborated with Homelink for a workshop aimed at teaching women entrepreneurship skills.

The goal of the five-day workshop, held at Harare Institute of Technology, is to empower female church members to start their own businesses. The women learned how to draft their own proposals and secure loans from financial institutions.

Women were encouraged to venture into male-dominated projects such as commercial fishing and mining. One project focused on supplying disposable and eco-friendly packaging for takeout food at an affordable price.

Read more of this story from United Methodist News Service.

Former UM pastor turns in credentials, starts in new denomination

A former United Methodist pastor who told her congregation two years ago that she was a lesbian has turned in her credentials after serving a new church in a different denomination.

“I no longer have any formal relationship to the United Methodist Church,” the Rev. Cynthia Meyer, interim minister at Central Congregational Church, United Church of Christ, Topeka, wrote in a statement.

On Jan. 30, Meyer delivered her ordination certificates – for deacon in 1990 and elder in 1992 – to the Rev. David Watson, Five Rivers District superintendent.

Read more of this story from the Great Plains Conference web site.

Faithful giving puts Yellowstone Conference back on solid footing

The financial woes of 2017 are in the rearview mirror for Yellowstone United Methodist Conference.

The conference raised more than $100,000 in a special Harvest Time Legacy campaign and for the first time in a long time, the conference is paying 100 percent of general church giving.

“I am so grateful for the people of the Yellowstone Conference for their faithful giving! We came together during a time of great need and showed that we can make things happen as we bear witness as disciples of Christ,” said Bishop Karen Oliveto, leader of the Yellowstone and Rocky Mountain conferences, which make up the Mountain Sky Area.

For the fourth consecutive year, Rocky Mountain also paid 100 percent of their apportionments.

Read more of this story from United Methodist News Service.

New scholarships to help children in rural Liberia

TAPPITA, Liberia -- United Methodist Women in Liberia is reaching out to rural children with a new scholarship program approved at the group’s 71st annual session in Tappita, Liberia.
According to Pastor Rose Farhat, director of women’s ministries, the scholarship will be given to students attending United Methodist schools in rural parts of Liberia, especially those in high schools.
“We have been giving scholarship to undergraduate students and just added graduate school students recently,” she said.
Read more of this story from United Methodist News Service.


UMCOR Sunday coming March 11

A new year brings great potential for hope, generosity and compassion.

UMCOR Sunday, one of the most popular churchwide special Sundays with an offering, is on the horizon. Make sure it is on your calendar.

On March 11, 2018,  people are invited to join with thousands of other congregations across the connection in a special offering to support the United Methodist Committee on Relief. 

When congregations participate in UMCOR Sunday, they help cover the operating budget of UMCOR. 

Support on this day makes it possible for UMCOR to direct 100 percent of all other contributions to the projects our donors specify, instead of using this money on administrative or fundraising costs.
Read more about UMCOR Sunday and download resources at


John Wesley could have been a Jedi

By Christopher Fenoglio

… The more I read and learn about John Wesley’s convictions, hard work, and austere lifestyle, the more I believe Methodism's founder could have made an excellent Jedi. …



This week in the
Annual Conference

February 10

Embracing Generosity workshop

February 13

Columbia District church extension society

February 14

Ash Wednesday
Greater NW Area Inspiring Generosity Conference Journal

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