November 1, 2018 - All Saint Day

Dear Reader,

As I look over the stories that have found their way into this week's UM Connector, I clearly see the dual nature of our church life and the relationships involved.

First, is how the church relates to society around us and the communities where we live. We can see that in stories about working to provide affordable housing, advocating for immigrants, supporting schools in Zimbabwe, dealing with the pain and loss of a family member, and seeking justice and peace for a murdered LGBTQ person.

Second, is the internal conversation about how we organize our church and respond to the call for including all people in the church at all levels. Currently, that debate is about LGBTQ people. With the recent judicial council ruling on some of the proposed plans for a way forward, groups are looking at how to respond, inform, and influence the process as the February 2019 General Conference nears.

These two things are connected. If the church can't resolve its differences of inclusion, how can it fully open its arms to a world in need of a voice of love, justice, and grace?
Greg Nelson, Director of Communications


Churches gather to address affordable housing

housing summit photo

What does the church bring to the affordable housing crisis happening today? Turns out it’s more than just hopes and prayers. In October over 40 congregations were present for a summit on affordable housing. They talked about what they could bring in term of land, passion, skills, imagination, and money to the effort to change the situation.
Portsmouth Union Church in Northwest Portland, Oregon where they are tearing down part of the building to create affordable housing hosted the summit.
Read more on the conference website.


Making the road by walking – a CrossOver blog

Bishop Elaine Stanovsky has invited the Greater Northwest Area to join her in exploring a year of Crossing Over to LIFE, beginning with Advent, December 2, 2018.

In preparation, a variety of authors have penned blog posts on the topic of crossing over. This week Rev. Carlo Rapanut from Alaska shares a message of being suddenly thrust on a journey that he didn’t expect.
To make sure you hear everything about the CrossOver year, subscribe to the special mailing list for blog posts and other information. Learn more about the CrossOver year on the Greater Northwest Area website.

Greater NW Pride

In his latest blog post, Rev. Brett Webb-Mitchell reflects on the recent internment of the remains of Matthew Shepard at the National Cathedral in Washington, DC.

Twenty years after his death, Shepard was laid to rest in a note of grace for him, and maybe for other LGBTQ people.

Read it on the Conference website and subscribe to ensure you get it directly in your mailbox.

Inspiring Generosity

Cesie photo

In today's Inspiring Generosity Blog posting, author Cesie Delve Scheuermann steps away from her usual topic of financial stewardship and pauses to reflect on the giving of signs of love in a troubled week.

Read it on the conference website


United Methodists react to synagogue shooting

PITTSBURGH (UMNS) — As United Methodists responded to a deadly synagogue shooting, Bishop Cynthia Moore-Koikoi urged people to listen to God as they pray. United Methodists in the area immediately reached out to rabbis and synagogues to find out how they could help, while others attended vigils.
Read the rest of this United Methodist News Service story.

Young visitor makes impact on Zimbabwe students

Zimbabwe school

MUTARE, Zimbabwe (UMNS) — Seeing a 10-year-old American girl giving an orphaned toddler a piggyback ride at the United Methodist Fairfield Children's Home moved many to tears. Eveline Chikwanah reports on what Mikayla Jaissle learned in her days at the Old Mutare Mission's orphanage and primary school.
Read the rest of this United Methodist News Service story.

Board opposes military at U.S.-Mexico border

WASHINGTON — A delegation from the United Methodist Board of Church and Society's board of directors walked across the International Gateway Bridge to meet with men, women and children fleeing violence in their home countries. The bridge crosses the U.S.-Mexico border between Matomoros, Mexico, and Brownsville, Texas. After the trip during their meeting, the board adopted a statement opposing the decision by the U.S. government to send troops to the border in response to the group of migrants traveling through Mexico to try to reach the U.S.
Read the full statement on the Church and Society website.

Court ruling propels GC2019 strategizing

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (UMNS) — The United Methodist Church's top court has clarified what parts of legislation heading to the 2019 General Conference pass constitutional muster. Advocates for various plans are now looking at how to change the plans to address the Judicial Council's ruling.
Read the rest of this United Methodist News Service report.

Video series helps guide talk among those who disagree

WASHINGTON (UMNS) — A new video series from the United Methodist Commission on Religion and Race offers a study program for talking about race, the church and human sexuality among people who disagree. The program features short videos of theologians, pastors, worship and lay leaders, biblical scholars and community activists — many of them people of color.
Learn more in this United Methodist News Service story.

Western Methodists speak out for One Church Plan

WMJM logo

The Western Methodist Justice Movement (WMJM), an independent organization focused on carrying out justice activities in the Western Jurisdiction and the world, has released a statement supporting the One Church Plan as a way forward for The United Methodist Church.

Rev. Frank Wulf, convener of the Western Methodist Justice Movement, says that “while WMJM recognizes that the One Church Plan is not perfect, we also recognize that it represents a significant step forward in ending The United Methodist Church’s longstanding discrimination against LGBTQ persons.”

Read the press release
Read the full statement

Mountain Sky, Alaska Delegates endorse One Church Plan

DENVER — The Mountain Sky General Conference delegation and cabinet have written an open letter supporting the One Church Plan, while a majority of the Alaska Conference delegation supports the plan. One Church is one of the plans heading to the 2019 General Conference. Mountain Sky encompasses delegates from the former Rocky Mountain and Yellowstone conferences.
Read the Mountain Sky letter
Read the Alaska letter


Applications open for Global Mission Fellows

ATLANTA — The United Methodist Board of Global Ministries is taking applications from young Christian adults who are interested in becoming Global Mission Fellows. Applicants must be ages 20 to 30 and commit to two years of service. Global Mission Fellows work to address the roots of injustice. Early-access deadline is Dec. 3.
Learn more and get application information on the website.

Jesus’ Way of Radical Compassion

Training of Three-Fold Compassion Facilitators
Friday and Saturday, November 30 and December 1, 2018
at Portland First United Methodist Church

This three-part training is presented by Dr. Frank Rogers of The Center for Engaged Compassion (CEC) and the Claremont School of Theology. This is the first of three retreats that will include online and individual work between the face-to-face sessions. The training will focus on the teachings, practices and skills necessary to lead retreats, workshops, and congregational events. You needn’t commit to becoming a facilitator until after you have experienced the process in this first of three sessions.
The CEC’s approach to three-fold compassion is rooted in the spiritual path of Jesus and deepens persons’ experience of being loved by an extravagantly compassionate sacred presence, cultivates a healing and restoring self-compassion, and increases capacities to extend compassion to others, including those who suffer, those who are outcast, and those with whom we are in enmity.
A $50 registration fee will defray the costs of double occupancy lodging, meals and program expenses. This training is being sponsored with funds from The Collins Foundation grant in the Oregon-Idaho Conference and by the PNW Annual Conference. and is limited to the first 25 registered. Register by November 8 if lodging is needed.
Learn more and register on the conference website.


Magruder Choir Camp

Choir camp

Choir camp offers a wonderfully combined music and camping experience.
Adults who have never been to Camp Magruder on the Oregon coast will find it a rare treat. Ocean beach access, hiking trails, and wetlands are just a few of the wonderful features of this space. Then there is the music – it is a weekend of singing together and preparation for a concert on Sunday evening. Plus, there are wonderful meals, a variety of workshops, and a variety show. The only requirement to attend is a love of singing.
February 15 thru 18, 2019 will be the 34th year of Choir Camp. Now is not too early to start planning to attend. You can register online or for more information contact Sally Robertson at


Misused words in church debates

By Bishop Michael J. Coyner
… As I read the blogs, articles and even books about the current debates in our United Methodist Church leading up to the called General Conference in 2019, I notice that many words are being misused. Here are a few: …




This week in the
Annual Conference

Thursday, November 1
All Saints Day

Sunday, November 4

Daylight Saving
Time Ends
(Fall Back)

Action Assembly Charge Conference Portland-West

Friday, November 9

Hispanic Ministries and Immigration Summit

Saturday, November 10

Electronic Giving in the Church

Sunday, November 11

Action Assembly Charge Conference Portland-South
Greater NW Area Inspiring Generosity Conference Journal

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