July 10, 2018
Revival Tent

Revival? Really? In the UMC?

I want to write about my changing understanding of revival and about the Ordinary Revival events which are happening in our conference.
When you say “revival” I see in my mind’s eye a tent with a lot of music and preaching. It is stuffed with people who have come to have their faith reignited, or find healing, or to be inspired to live a faithful life. Often there is an evangelism element, people bring their friends and family members in hopes that they will be moved to give their lives to Christ. Usually the revival goes on for several days. I remember passing these tents on Martin Luther King Blvd. in northeast Portland when I was a kid.
I looked up the word “revival” and found this definition: an improvement in the condition or strength of something; an instance of something becoming popular, active, or important again; a new production of an old play or similar work. The understanding of revival which I am coming to and want to claim is more in tune with this definition than with the image from my childhood.
Think about it, if we want to truly talk about making disciples of Jesus Christ for the transformation of the world we need to improve and strengthen the Christian faith community. We need for religion to become active and important again. And, we need to share the old, old Gospel story in a new way.
The old stereotype of revival doesn’t present something renewed and strengthened, it echoes beliefs and doctrines that are better left to the past, and it does nothing to present the Gospel in ways that are authentic and relevant today in this time and place.
I want a revival, a strengthening and improving of the Christian faith community that is inclusive and innovative and authentic. I want a revival that helps make Christ popular again, active again, important again in peoples’ lives and in our world. And I want a revival that presents the Good News of Jesus Christ in ways that can be heard and understood by people that cannot hear or understand what we have been saying and doing in the past.
To be revived is to be resuscitated, to wake up. A revival is a way to wake ourselves up and to resuscitate the Christian faith. Not by resurrecting the past but by moving into the future with innovation and inclusivity, sharing the love of God and Christ without stipulation or restriction. That’s what a revival means to me now. I believe that the revivals – the Ordinary Revival – happening this summer are exactly what I want revival to mean.

Michelle Lang & Stillwater at Ordinary Revival in Portland

Musicians at Ordinary Revival in Portland

Ordinary Revival is a new ministry of the Greater Northwest Area Innovation Team which is rooted in worship, storytelling and discussions that are taking place across the area this summer. It arose from the observations of our newly hired Director of Congregational Vitality, Dr. Rev. Leroy Barber. “We need a spiritual renewal and a church renewed.” The church is looking to engage new people in new places -- and new leaders, too.
The Ordinary Revival series is about connecting churches to serve the greater communities in which they exist, while also bringing in voices from outside of the church. “We’re purposefully diversifying the crowd – making it racially diverse – and bringing in people who aren’t part of the traditional church,” Barber said.
The Ordinary Revival series include worship and celebration, with a lot of music incorporated as well as roundtable discussions. Also included in these events are workshops on everything from community organizing to rural church vitality to race and equity.
I want to STRONGLY encourage you, your church, a handful of your friends, anyone and everyone to attend an Ordinary Revival this summer. They are happening in Eugene (Aug 24-25), Spokane (Sept. 7-8), Boise (Sept. 14-15), Seattle (Sept. 21-22), and the Tri-Cities (TBA). Any one and every one of these would be worth attending. You will begin to sense and see the possibilities of what the UMC can be and you will come away with practical ways to engage your community as disciples of Jesus Christ transforming the world.



Tim Overton-Harris
Cascadia District Superintendent

Ordinary Revival: Love Your Neighbor in Action

Read about the recent Ordinary Revival Event in Portland.

Register for an Ordinary Revival Event at

Upcoming Events:

Eugene   August 24-25    Wesley UMC

Spokane   Sept. 7-8

Boise       Sept. 14-15      Boise FUMC

Seattle     Sept. 21-22

Tri-Cities   date to be determined

Upcoming events in the District Superintendent's Schedule:

July 15            Worship and Preaching at Fossil UMC
July 16            Conference Personnel Committee Meeting
July 22            Present and Future Ministry Conversation at Amity FUMC
July 29            Tillamook Co-operative Parish event
July 31            Candidacy Summit
Aug 5              Present and Future Ministry Conversation at Fossil UMC

Tim will also be meeting with clergy one-on-one throughout July and August.
Please let Tim know about significant events happening in your local congregation.  He may or may not be able to attend, but he would like to know about them!  You can e-mail him at 


Cascadia All- District Fall Event - Sat., Sept. 22nd

On Saturday, September 22nd the Cascadia District will hold an event in Salem for all clergy and members of our district churches!

In the morning there will be a time for clergy to gather, the all-district fall kick-off colloquy.

At noon there will be a catered lunch for lay and clergy with a program by the Cascadia District Church Extension Society (CDCES).  The Extension Society is an example of our connectional system, with churches supporting other churches through the Extension Society Asking (has your church paid theirs?  Check with your treasurer!) and the legacy of resources from closed churches.  The CDCES gives loans for building improvements and grants for new ministry.  Check it out by clicking here!  CDCES is also the source for the New Places for New People micro-grants given to each Cascadia church and ministry setting.  If you haven't heard about that yet, ask your lay member to Annual Conference!

In the afternoon there will be an event for clergy and laity on engaging in dynamic ministry in our communities!

More details coming soon!

Save the Date!!
September 22, 2018

Fall leaves graphic




This week in the
Cascadia District

July 12-23
Linda on vacation - District Office closed, but Tim is working!

Looking Ahead

July 26
Communion at District Office at noon

Aug 24-25
Ordinary Revival Event in Eugene

Sept. 14-15
Ordinary Revival Event in Boise

Sept. 22
Cascadia District Event for All!
Save the Date!

Prayer Calendar

July 8-14

Astoria FUMC
Rebecca Patterson, Pastor
Sue Hicks, Lay Leader

July 15-21

Banks Community UMC
Margot Thompson, Pastor
Mariana Knifer and
Dave Bernel, Lay Leaders

July 22-28

Bay City UMC
Dave Hurd, Pastor
Roberta Bettis, Lay Leader

See the full prayer calendar

Contact us

DS Tim Overton-Harris

District Lay Leader
Paula Sadler

District Administrative Assistant
Linda Grund-Clampit

Check out the Cascadia District webpage:

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