April 5, 2018

Dear Reader,

This is the “Annual Conference Session” edition of the UM Connector. Deadlines have arrived, information has been gathered, computers have been programmed, and now it’s time to make it all happen.
Our conference session will begin with the Memorial Worship Service on Wednesday, June 13 at First United Methodist Church of Boise. Greater Northwest Area Bishop Elaine JW Stanovsky will then present the episcopal address.
Information on registration, housing and legislation are below.
When you have questions about Annual Conference, the conference website is the place to go. Additional information will be added as it’s known, so check back at whenever you have a question.
So mark your calendar, book your room, and register. I look forward to seeing you there!

Greg Nelson, Communications Director


Annual Conference Registration Available

Registration is now available for the 2018 Annual Conference Session in Boise, ID. Bishop Elaine Stanovsky is continuing the theme introduced in 2017 of “Do this and you will live!” based on Luke 10:26-28. Her focus this year will be on the “Do What?” aspect of that message.

All members of the Annual Conference are asked to register online. This will confirm your attendance at the session and provide the opportunity to purchase meals and sign up for workshops and training experiences. Members should have received an invitation in the mail. All clergy are members of the conference as well as lay members elected by each local church and other conference and district leaders. Register online now on the conference website.

Guests are also welcome at the Annual Conference Session. All meetings are open, there will be inspiring worship, and workshops and training events are open to all. Guests are asked to register so that conference planners can provide adequate space in workshops and other events. Registration also allows guests to order meals. Guest Registration is available on the conference website.

Annual Conference will begin on Wednesday, June 13 at 7:00 p.m. with a memorial worship service and an episcopal address from Bishop JW Stanovsky. First United Methodist Church will host opening worship in the Emmaus center. On-site check-in will be at the Riverside Hotel from 3:00 – 6:30 p.m. that day.

Boise’s Riverside Hotel site of 2018 Annual Conference

The Riverside Hotel in Boise, ID will be the site for business meetings, meals, ministry marketplace and many events of the 2018 Annual Conference Session. A block of rooms is now available for conference attendees.
To book your room, call the hotel directly at 208-343-1871 and ask for the "United Methodist room block rate." The last day to reserve at the special rate of $115 is May 18, (subject to availability).

Legislative Assembly to meet April 14

The Oregon-Idaho Conference’s Legislative Assembly will meet on Saturday, April 14 at Lake Oswego United Methodist Church. Legislative Assembly is the first stop for legislative items submitted to the 2018 Annual Conference Session.

The Legislative Session will hear from spokespeople about each item, ask questions and gain an understanding of the issue as they review the proposed action requests and standing resolutions, consider amendments, and forward them to the full session with a recommendation. To date there are 16 items on the legislative docket for review. Submitted petitions can be found on the conference website.

The legislative assembly is made of over 30 representatives from the membership of annual conference. They represent key committees of the conference, districts, and ethnic and age groups. Guests are welcome to attend Legislative Assembly. Those who wish to purchase the mid-day meal can do so by registering online by April 11.

Ministry marketplace spaces still available for Annual Conference

Ministry Marketplace tables are available for groups to share about ministries of their church, conference group, or other organization. Non-profit businesses may also request a table. The Marketplace creates a place to learn about the diversity of our conference ministries and gather resources for use in local churches.

There are a limited number of tables available. Applications must be received and payment made by May 10.

Download the application form at


Public input needed on social principle revisions

The General Board of Church and Society is in the process of drafting a major revision of the social principles of the United Methodist Church and they are looking for review, comments and suggestions from every corner of Methodism – including the Oregon-Idaho Conference. This is the first major revision since the 1968-1972 quadrennium which was necessitated by the merger of the Untied Brethren and the Methodist Episcopal churches.

A draft of the proposed revisions for the social principles will be made public later in April and the public will be able to download a copy from the Board of Church and Society website, There will also be instructions for how to submit comments and suggestions.

In addition, there will be an opportunity to participate in a group discussion about the revisions on Wednesday, June 13 in Boise. This will be in the afternoon prior to the evening start of Annual Conference. The event will be held at Boise First UMC. The opening worship of Conference will also be at Boise First UMC, so participants will have time to eat and get back to the church the start of Annual Conference.

Learn more about the Social Principles on the Conference website.

BLOG: Never discuss politics or religion

Conference lay leader Jan Nelson shares her thoughts on why we, as a church, must start talking about politics and religion as we prepare for upcoming Table Talks around the Conference.

“The experience will be far more valuable if there is a diversity of opinions represented. I fear that people who perceive themselves to be in the minority on the main issue for the day will stay away. We can’t learn to talk about difficult subjects if everyone starts out in agreement. This event is for YOU, whoever you are and whatever beliefs and experiences you bring. Laity or clergy, old or young, whether you see yourself as a leader or not, there is a place for you at the table.”

Read more of Jan’s blog on the Conference website.

Find a Table Talk near you on the Greater Northwest Area website.


Bookkeeper / Office Assistant – Sherwood, OR
Director of Family and Program Ministry – Salem, OR

Get details on these and other opportunities on the conference website at


Volunteer marshals and pages sought for 2019 Special Session of the General Conference

NASHVILLE -- Volunteers can now apply online to serve as marshals or pages during the 2019 Special Session of the General Conference of The United Methodist Church. The denomination’s top legislative assembly will meet February 23-26, 2019 in St Louis, Missouri. 

Approximately 150 volunteers are needed to serve as marshals and pages during General Conference. Applicants must be able to serve all four days of the Special Session. 

Marshals will be part of the team that will assist delegates, guests, and staff with seating, checking credentials, providing information, and other duties as assigned.

Pages will assist delegates, staff, bishops, members of the Judicial Council and official guests with communication and other needs. They distribute approved materials and deliver printed information.  Pages should expect to do a great deal of walking.

Marshals and pages are responsible for their own travel and expenses. Those interested should submit an online application before the deadline of July 31. If you have additional questions, contact Dick Hooton at

A separate process will be opened at a later date seeking marshals and pages for the 2020 General Conference in Minneapolis, Minnesota.

United Methodists pledge to fight racism

Racism is still “rearing its ugly head” in the 50 years since the assassination of the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr., but nothing is a match for the God we love, Bishop LaTrelle Easterling said.

Easterling, episcopal leader of the Baltimore-Washington Conference, was one of several United Methodist leaders who spoke April 3 outside the United Methodist Building, on the eve of a rally expected to draw thousands to the nation’s capital in an event sponsored by the National Council of Churches.
Jim Winkler, president of the National Council of Churches and a United Methodist, said the rally launches the council’s Truth and Racial Justice Initiative which vows a multi-year effort to eradicate racism in the United States.
Read more of this story from United Methodist News Service.

United Methodists on 50 years without King

The Rev. Woodie W. White was in Detroit. The Rev. Melvin Talbert was in Los Angeles. The Rev. Gil Caldwell was in Chicago. And Clara Ester was in the parking lot of the Lorraine Motel in Memphis on the day the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. was assassinated.
All of these United Methodists leaders walked with King while he was alive and many more are inspired by his life today.
April 4, 2018, marks 50 years since the Baptist preacher and civil rights giant was assassinated while in Memphis, where he had gone to support black sanitation workers striking for better working conditions.
Read more of this story from United Methodist News Service.

Amid tumult of 1968, a church came together

The year 1968 convulsed with assassinations, riots, war in Vietnam and student protests against that war. The Troubles revved up in Northern Ireland, and Soviet tanks rolled into Czechoslovakia.
At a time when it seemed much of the world was violently splitting apart, a group of Wesleyan Christians peacefully and joyfully were coming together.
On April 23, 1968, two bishops followed by two children, two youths, two adults, six ordained ministers, two church officers and finally all 10,000 people present joined hands and repeated in unison:

“Lord of the church, we are united in thee, in thy church, and now in The United Methodist Church. Amen.”

With those words in a Dallas auditorium, the 750,000-member Evangelical United Brethren Church and the 10.3 million-member Methodist Church became one church. The merger also brought people together in another way: marking the official dissolution of the Methodist Church’s racially segregated Central Jurisdiction.

Read more of this story from United Methodist News Service.

2 churches vote to leave denomination

Members of two Mississippi congregations led by the same pastor have chosen to leave The United Methodist Church.

At First United Methodist Church in Louisville, Mississippi, 175 people present voted to withdraw their membership from the denomination, six voted to remain and one was undecided. All 22 people gathered at nearby Bevil Hill United Methodist Church voted to leave.
The congregations’ vote on March 25, Palm Sunday, follows two large Mississippi Conference churches — The Orchard in Tupelo and Getwell Road in Southaven — exiting the denomination in 2017. 
In all four cases, lead pastors expressed growing frustration with The United Methodist Church’s ongoing debate around how accepting the church should be of homosexuality.
Read more of this story from United Methodist News Service.

Prominent Houston pastor indicted for fraud, money laundering

The longtime pastor of one of the largest United Methodist churches has been indicted by a federal grand jury on wire fraud and money laundering charges connected to bond sales.
The Rev. Kirbyjon Caldwell, leader of the 18,000-member Windsor Village United Methodist Church in Houston, maintained his innocence at a March 30 press conference.

“As we move forward, the truth will prevail,” Caldwell said.

Caldwell is alleged, with businessman Gregory Allan Smith, to have bilked investors out of more than $1 million in sales of worthless Chinese bonds, according to a press release from the office of U.S. Attorney Alexander C. Van Hook, in Shreveport, Louisiana.

Read more of this story from United Methodist News Service.


Ministry discernment events offered across the Conference in May

Have you been experiencing that slightly thrilling, somewhat uncomfortable feeling that just might be God nudging you to make a difference in the world? Do you know someone who you believe God is calling into some kind of ministry? 

The opportunities to follow God’s call are many and varied, from lay preacher on Sunday morning to ordained addiction counselor on Saturday evening—and everything in between. A series of five events this spring will offer support and resources for persons who just might be discerning such a call. The locations include Eugene (May 5), Boise (May 15), Portland (May 18), Bend (May 19), and Albany (May 20).

Find them all on the conference calendar, along with links for a downloadable flyer to share with others, and an online registration form. Each event has its own coordinator, but for general questions contact Laura Jaquith Bartlett at

If you know someone who would benefit from one of these events, please send names/contact information to Laura. Check out the Conference calendar for more information on the upcoming events.


John Skien

July 28, 1928 -  November 25, 2017

Retired pastor John Skien died November 25, 2017. He is survived by his daughters; Lora and Jane.

Reverend Skien served at Summerfield, Houston: St. Paul, Newton and Bryan St. Paul’s, in the Texas Conference; Billings: Messiah, in the Yellowstone Conference; Salt Lake City: Centenary-Grace, Denver: Warren, Aurora: First, in the Rocky Mountain Conference; Lakeview/Paisley, Ministry to Urban Singles, Centenary in St. Louis, Jordan Valley, Cave Junction/Wilderville in the Oregon-Idaho Conference. He retired in 1993.
Services were held in December of 2017.
Friends may contact Lora Skien-Marshall, 1366 Hudson St., Denver, CO 80220 for condolences.

Myrtle Lamb

April 19, 1927 – February 1, 2018
Myrtle Lamb, widow of Retired Pastor, Eugene Lamb, died February 1, 2018.  She is survived by daughters Susan, Penny, Genie and Betsy; six grandchildren and seven great-grandchildren.
Pastor Lamb served at Yakima, Spokane: Lloyd, Vancouver, and Division of Chaplains in the Pacific Northwest Conference; Canby and Division of Chaplains in the Oregon-Idaho Conference; Norcross: First in the North Georgia Conference. He retired in 1992.
A memorial service was held February 19th in Georgia.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the World Global Missions by visiting

Elizabeth Liebman                             

May 17, 1934 – March 11, 2018
Elizabeth Liebman, widow of retired Pastor Edward Liebman, died March 11, 2018. She is survived by her sons; Scott and Matthew and daughter Katherine.
Pastor Liebman served El Monte – Potereo Avenue in the Pacific and Southwest Conference; Longview in the Pacific Northwest Conference; Jefferson/Turner, Stayton, Eugene: Asbury, Portland: Garden Home, Seaside and Junction City churches in the Oregon Idaho Annual Conference. He retired in 1998.
A memorial service will be held at Newberg Friends Church, 307 S. College Street, Newberg, Oregon, on Saturday, April 14th, at 11:00 a.m.
Friends may contact Katherine Bouvia at 3344 NE 74th Ave., Portland, OR 97213 for condolences.

Elaine Stanovsky, Bishop
Dan Wilson-Fey, Conference Treasurer and Benefits Officer


Jesus Christ Superstar, Where to From Here?

By Rev. Larry Hollon

       … Lest I sound cynical and pessimistic, it’s because I’ve visited dozens of faith communities over the past dozen years, evangelical, progressive, and middle of the road.
Preachers in flannel shirts and blue jeans, backed by praise bands singing an interminably repetitious version of “Our God is an Awesome God,” is a lot like being pummeled by marshmallows. If you swallow them it’s a sugar high that dissipates by the time you leave the parking lot. …


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