May 10, 2018

Dear Readers,

Last week at this time we were waiting to hear from the Council of Bishops about their recommendation on a Way Forward for LGBTQ inclusion. Now we’ve heard. According to most reports their recommendation for the “One Church” model was strongly supported.

But an unclear press release about the decision leaves room for a variety of interpretations. We can see that in how different bishops recounted the message to their conferences. Read what Bishop Elaine Stanovsky had to say to the Oregon-Idaho, Pacific Northwest, and Alaska Conferences. And read about what other reactions are in a United Methodist News Service story.

Less prominent in this week’s news, but troubling, is the failure to ratify two of five proposed constitutional amendments. Both dealt with enshrining gender equity into the church’s constitution. The reality is that women are still not treated with equality in the church.

A constitutional amendment requires a two-thirds passage by the membership of all annual conferences added together – not conference by conference – but the sum of all votes. Amendment One failed by less that 100 votes. Oregon-Idaho supported amendments 1,3, and 4, but did not reach the two-thirds margin for amendments 2 and 5. (see Oregon-Idaho votes below the article).

Have you been led by a woman in ministry? A pastor, a Sunday school teacher, a youth leader, a musician? This would be a good week to send them a note of thanks and appreciated – And don’t forget Mother’s Day!

Greg Nelson, Director of Communications


Bishop Stanovsky responds to Council of Bishops’ recommendation for future of the UMC

How very good and pleasant it is when kindred live together in unity! For there the Lord ordained his blessing, life forevermore. -Psalm 133:1, 3b
Today (Friday, May 4), the Council of Bishops strongly recommend that United Methodists stay together as ONE CHURCH.
Together, the council agreed to recommend that the 2019 General Conference make room for individuals, local churches and annual conferences to exercise conscience as they choose whether or not to ordain gay and lesbian clergy, or to perform weddings for couples of the same gender, by removing prohibitive language from the Book of Discipline, and letting Annual Conferences set standards for ordination, and same gender weddings.
This recommendation emerged out of honest anguish and disagreement, as well as patient listening and fervent prayer, as we met in closed session. We make this recommendation despite deep and painful differences in our understanding of God’s will for LGBTQ people and a recognition that the “contextual” teachings and practices of the church in one area not only makes ministry more difficult in other areas, but can cause real harm to people.
While forces around the world are sowing distrust and driving wedges to divide people against one another, we hope The United Methodist Church can be a witness to the whole world that people can live together in peace and love each other, despite profound disagreements, even as we continue to discern God’s will and way for the whole human family.

Annual Conference registration deadlines loom

May 18 is the last day to reserve a room at The Riverside Hotel with a reduced rate of $115 plus tax. Accommodations include continental breakfast, Wi-Fi access and free parking.

Business sessions, the laity gathering and workshops, and group meals will all be held at The Riverside Hotel.
Make a reservation with this special group rate by calling The Riverside Hotel directly at 208-343-1871 and ask for the "United Methodist room rate." 
Register for Conference by May 29 to avoid late fee
If you wait until May 30, Annual Conference members will be assessed a $50 late fee until June 5 when the fee increases to $75. Let us know as soon as possible if you will need childcare.
Clergy and lay members of the Oregon-Idaho Conference have until May 29 to register with no penalty. Registration confirms your attendance and provides a chance to order meals and sign up for workshops and learning events.
Fill out registration information at
Deadline to apply for Ministry Marketplace is May 21

Several spaces remain to showcase a ministry or mission or sell items in the Marketplace at Annual Conference. Tables cost just $40 for the entire event for United Methodist-related displays. Find the registration form on the Conference website, at

Youth pages still needed for Annual Conference

Youth in grades 9-12 you can apply to be a page during Annual Conference 2018 in Boise. Pages are youth who are friendly, reliable, and love to serve others.

Pages are a vital part of the Annual Conference sessions, helping to get information to members exactly when it’s needed. Pages will get to see how Annual Conference works, and worship, learn, and play with youth from all over Oregon and Idaho.

Rev. Dan Benson is the page coordinator and floor manager at the Annual Conference session. He is known for his big heart and sense of humor. He enjoys teaching the pages their duties and hangs out with them during the plenary (business) sessions. Contact him at
Apply to be a page and learn more about youth participation during Annual Conference on the Conference website.


Registration deadline for Holy Land pilgrimage tour extended

The deadline for registration for the “Pilgrimage Tour,” of Palestine and Israel has been extended to July 1. The trip is hosted by the Oregon-Idaho Conference Holy Land Task Force, and is open to United Methodists and their friends who wish to learn more about this sacred space that is home to the world’s three Abrahamic religions (Christianity, Judaism and Muslim).

From a boat ride on the Sea of Galilee to Bethlehem and Nazareth, the itinerary includes all the “traditional” Biblical sites. Pilgrims will also visit the ancient cities of Hebron and Jericho, as well as refugee camps in Palestine, and Israeli settlements to provide a variety of perspectives on the Occupation. 
Find more information on this tour, as well as registration information, on the Conference website or contact Dee Poujade at


Bishops’ proposal garners range of responses

The United Methodist Council of Bishops is getting a range of reactions to its recommended way forward for a denomination long divided around how to minister with LGBTQ individuals.

The bishops themselves have interpreted their action in different ways, and the denomination’s advocacy groups are making their varied perspectives known.
The Council of Bishops, by a majority vote, recommended what it is calling the One Church Plan “as the best way forward for The United Methodist Church,” according to a May 4 press release.
The plan would allow decisions about whether to ordain LGBTQ clergy or to officiate at same-gender unions to be made closer to the local level.
Read more of this story from United Methodist News Service.

But first, what plan did the bishops propose moving forward?

To find a way forward on the denomination’s homosexuality debate, bishops are recommending the church allow more freedom at the conference and local church levels.

Under what the Council of Bishops calls the One Church Plan, decisions about whether to ordain LGBTQ clergy or to officiate at same-gender unions would be made closer to the congregational level.
The plan would remove the restrictive language against the practice of homosexuality in the Book Discipline, the denomination’s policy book. The plan also adds assurances to pastors and conferences who in good conscience cannot perform same-sex weddings or ordain “self-avowed practicing” gay clergy that they don’t have to do so. Central conferences — church regions in Africa, Asia and Europe — could maintain current restrictions.
Read more of the first news story on the Bishops’ proposal from United Methodist News Service.

Church ratifies 3 constitutional amendments

The Council of Bishops now has authority to handle complaints against fellow bishops under a newly ratified amendment to the denomination’s constitution.

However, two of the five possible amendments — both addressing the equality of women in the church — fell short of the required support from annual conference voters.
Three amendments that contain more explicit rules around bishop and delegate elections did win the necessary vote.

Here is how Oregon-Idaho Conference votes were tallied:
Amendment 1 – 92 / 8%
Amendment 2 – 62 / 38%
Amendment 3 – 97 / 3%
Amendment 4 – 97 / 3%
Amendment 5 – 12 / 88%
Read more of this story from United Methodist News Service.

Church ready to welcome asylum seekers

The Rev. Bill Jenkins, pastor of the Christ United Methodist Ministry Center in San Diego, and other church leaders are gearing up to offer shelter to hundreds of migrants gathering at the border seeking asylum.

The migrants reached the border after a months-long journey, fleeing their homes in Central America because of violence. The group of about 300 began their trip to the U.S. in March, traveling atop freight trains, hitchhiking and walking.
So far, fewer than 50 have been processed by U.S. Customs and Border Protection, according to news reports.
Read more of this story from United Methodist News Service.

Water project empowers rural community in Zambia

“The help we have received is just amazing,” said Emeldah Malipilo, a resident of the Mwaiseni Community, which now has clean water and improved sanitation thanks to the Tudikwashi Health Care Project, an organization directed by United Methodist missionary Betty Tchala.

The Mwaiseni Community is one of many settlements in the Kitwe District of Zambia. With an estimated population of more than 20,000, the community has been facing challenges with clean water and sanitation for many years, said Malipilo.
The project includes six water taps for the community and six proper public toilets.
“I am so happy and I am very much certain that my fellow trained care providers are happy, too. From now onward, (there) will be enough water for the community, improved toilets and training on how to care for them,” she said.
Read more of this story from United Methodist News Service.

Wespath and GCFA Support Church Alliance Amicus Brief in Clergy Housing Exclusion Challenge

The Church Alliance filed an amicus curiae brief in the Seventh Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals in a case challenging the constitutionality of the cash housing allowance exclusion for clergy.

Wespath Investment Management is a member of the Church Alliance, and the General Council on Finance and Administration joined the brief as an additional amicus.


Celebrate Peace with Justice Sunday May 27

In Arizona border towns, communities facing social challenges are dramatically divided. In Liberian villages, citizens’ human rights are being violated. In local U.S. communities, women and girls are being bought and sold against their will.

Moved by Christ’s love to pursue reconciliation and peace, honoring the dignity of every individual made in God’s image, The United Methodist Church is unwilling to turn a blind eye to injustice.
Although individuals, and possibly even congregations, may lack the resources alone to effect change in a broken world, giving is vital for the UMC to continue its global ministries of reconciliation. Because of the Peace with Justice Sunday offering, the people of The United Methodist Church are able to make a difference together by sowing seeds — and yielding fruit — of peace.
Download resources for your church and find out more about Peace with Justice Sunday at


Eun Soo Park                                 

September 9, 1958 – May 5, 2018                        

Rev. Eun Soo Park died unexpectedly May 5, 2018. He is survived by his spouse, Heather, and children Ae Joo Park of Boston, and Young Joo Park of Cornelius. 

Rev. Park served at Beaverton: Grace Korean UMC and at Beaverton: Woori Korean New Start Church in the Oregon-Idaho Annual Conference. He also served as the Executive Director of the Oregon Korean Community Center in Beaverton.
A memorial service for Rev. Park will be held Saturday, May 12 at 11:00 am at Portland Korean United Methodist Church, 18788 SW Pilkington Rd., Lake Oswego, OR 97035. 
Friends may contact Heather Park at 7255 SW Hergert Rd., Cornelius, OR 97113 for condolences or more information.
Elaine Stanovsky, Bishop
Dan Wilson-Fey, Conference Treasurer and Benefits Officer


Imagine a world in which women...

Rev. Dr. Susan Henry-Crowe

                … Imagine a church that speaks unequivocally that women and girls are made in the image of God — a church that vows to uphold the dignity and sacred worth of women and girls in all spaces. …


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