November 28, 2018

You Don't See That Every Day: Surprises at Fall Charge Conferences

Sunset at Carus UMC

Sunset at Carus UMC

This photograph was taken at sunset as I stood at the entry of Carus United Methodist Church.  We sometimes experience our churches at sunrise for Easter services, but how often are we blessed by being present for a glorious sunset?

I was at Carus that evening to attend the joint charge conferences for Carus, Canby, Molalla, and Marquam United Methodist Churches.  The opportunity to see a sunset wasn’t the only event out of the ordinary that I experienced during charge conference season.  Here are a few that stand out for me this year:

  • District Superintendent Tim Overton-Harris planned group charge conferences where he believed there are possibilities for synergy between churches.  The charge conference in Nehalem demonstrated that his belief was justified.  Bay City United Methodist Church shared their plans to provide an after school art program for middle school students using the $500 micro grant from the Cascadia District Church Extension Society (CDCES).  The folks from Nehalem Bay United Methodist Church recognized that they have the same need for after school activities in their community and that their community is served by the same school district that serves Bay City.  The two churches started a conversation about providing the ministry together and alternating the location between the north end of the school district in Nehalem Bay and the south end in Bay City.  You don’t see two or more churches collaborating in ministry every day!  (Okay, unless you are in Salem.)
  • The presentations of the proposals for using the CDCES micro grants provided an amazing window into the ministry opportunities in each community and creative ways of addressing those needs.  The community of Madras United Methodist Church includes a prison.  Several people from the church are involved in ministry at the prison.  This involvement provided insight into the needs of those that are incarcerated and their families.  One of the needs identified was the need for “appropriate clothing.”  When I heard that phrase during the presentation, I thought about what we used to call church clothes vs. school clothes vs. play clothes.  But I learned that people travel, sometimes for hours, to visit family members at the prison only to be turned away for wearing things like an underwire bra!  Madras UMC is planning to stock a locked shed with things like sweat suits and soft bras without underwires in a range of sizes.  The combination to the lock will be given to family members turned away for inappropriate clothing.  The family members can come to the shed, located at the church, and take what they need, free of charge.  The only request is that they document what they took so that the stock can be replenished.  You don’t get to hear about the unique ministry challenges facing our churches every day!
  • The last thing that you don’t get to see every day that I’d like to lift up is our local church leadership.  Without the servant leaders in our churches, the buildings wouldn’t be maintained, the bills wouldn’t get paid, and our pastors wouldn’t receive support and guidance from their congregations.  The charge conference is an opportunity to see these leaders and thank them for serving as trustees, as members of the finance committee, and as members of the staff/pastor parish relations committee.  Frequently, in addition to these committees, which have required reports, other church leaders are present and can be thanked as well.

I hope that you took the opportunity to attend your local charge conference this year to see things that you don’t see every day, hear things that you don’t hear every day, and say things like “thank you” that we don’t say often enough.

Advent blessings!

Paula        Tim Overton-Harris photo

Paula Sadler
Cascadia District Lay Leader

Our Connection Makes Serving Others Possible

UMCOR Depot outside wall with sign


Eleven churches in Oregon and Idaho sent teams to the West Depot of United Methodist Committee On Relief (UMCOR) this past year.

The Depot is a warehouse and logistical hub in Salt Lake City, UT for relief supplies which go out all over the country and all over the world.  Going there as a team or an individual is eye-opening and fulfilling.  There are several openings for weekly work groups in 2019. All sizes of groups and all ages are welcome. You can contact Rev. Brian Diggs at 801-973-7250 or by email to book your next mission trip. Brian is in charge of the logistics but it would be good for you to take a mission trip under the umbrella of UMVIM (United Methodist Volunteers in Mission).

Louise Kienzle is the UMVIM coordinator in our conference. You can reach her at or 541-701-0511 and she will tell you all the advantages of the UMVIM connection.   This sounds like another layer of administration but it's added protection in these uncertain times. It's easy to access and will give leaders peace of mind to know that they have the backing of a bonafide organization.
Check out the website for complete information on mission opportunities at West Depot and other organized UMVIM trips planned for 2019. You and your church can also create relief kits to send to the depot.  Go to for the list of kits and kit supplies listed under "RELIEF SUPPLIES".
Keep UMCOR and its world wide mission in your prayers this Advent season.

Donna Waltman
UMCOR West Depot 
Transportation coordinator

Upcoming events in the District Superintendent's Schedule:

Nov. 28-29           Cabinet meetings
Dec. 5                  Metanoia Peace House Charge Conference (Columbia District)
Dec. 6                  Joint Meeting of District Superintendents and District AAs
Dec. 8                  Healthy Boundaries Training, Eugene
Dec. 9                  Sherwood Local Church Assessment
Dec. 11-13           Cabinet meetings, Des Moines, WA

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!  Tim is also occasionally available to preach at your church!  You can e-mail him at

Advent begins the church year, and it begins our Episcopal area-wide focus on the theme of crossing over, from death to life, from despair to hope, from fear to trust in God leading us ever onward to the future God has planned for us.

Learn more and find all the resources at



This week in the
Cascadia District

Nov. 29

Communion at District Office

Advanced Lay Servant Class via Zoom teleconference

Looking Ahead

December 6
District & Conference offices closed in the afternoon for staff Christmas Party

December 8

Healthy Boundaries Workshop in Eugene

Finance/Stewardship Workshop in Eugene

December 9

Sherwood Local Church Assessment Meeting

December 11-13

Cabinet Meeting


Prayer Calendar

Nov. 25- Dec. 1

McCabe Chapel UMC
Ken Johnson, Pastor
Bob Harris, Lay Leader

Dec. 2 - 8

Molalla UMC
Carol & Kevin Seckel, pastors

Dec. 9 - 15

Christ's Church: Methodist and Presbyterian United, Monmouth
David Prichard, pastor
Linda Scheirman, Lay Leader

See the full prayer calendar


Spruce Up Your Online Presence for the Holidays

Holiday Time is time to spruce up -- and while you are sprucing up your building and getting ready for visitors, don't forget about your web presence.

People looking for a church at which to spend the holy days are likely to begin their search online.  Be sure your presence there is attractive, welcoming, and makes it easy to find the information they are looking for.

Every local UM Church has a web presence at Find-A-Church ( To make sure that your information there is current and to add to the bare bones of what auto-fills there from the denominational database:

  • Go to and search for your church
  • At the bottom of that page, click on "update church information"
  • Follow the prompts
  • You can create a very detailed site if you want!

If you have your own church website, be sure that the worship service times (including any special holiday worship times and events) are prominently displayed on the home page.  Also make sure that the basic contact information is there on that home page as well.

Don't neglect your church's electronic front door!  Make it easy for folks to find you and find out the basics of coming to be with you or contact you!


Contact us

DS Tim Overton-Harris

District Lay Leader
Paula Sadler

District Administrative Assistant
Linda Grund-Clampit

Check out the Cascadia District webpage:

Find us on Facebook

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