May 14, 2019

The Times They Are a Changin'

Bob Dylan wrote a song entitled “The Times They Are a Changin’” and this is how it ends:
Come mothers and fathers / Throughout the land
And don't criticize / What you can't understand
Your sons and your daughters / Are beyond your command
Your old road is / Rapidly agin'.
Please get out of the new one / If you can't lend your hand
For the times they are a-changin'.

The line it is drawn / The curse it is cast
The slow one now / Will later be fast
As the present now / Will later be past
The order is / Rapidly fadin'.
And the first one now / Will later be last
For the times they are a-changin'.

We need to realize that we have entered one of the moments in time when a great shift is taking place. The “old road is rapidly agin’” and it doesn’t get us to where God calls us to be. Our white Euro-centric way of living, being, and doing just isn’t helping us anymore. “The times they are a-changin’” and if we don’t help them change, we will find ourselves broken down on the side of the road while the world speeds past us to new and unbelievable places.
We’ve been focusing on the theme “We Make the Road By Walking.” It has become clearer over the last several months that a battle is raging between what some feel was a reality that they want to see continue and those who object to that perceived reality and want to make a new road. This is happening within the UMC, within the Christian world, within all faiths and across all cultures. Like it or not, the road we have walked will lead us nowhere and a new road is needed.
I like Bob Dylan’s lyrics because they don’t dismiss those who walk the old road. The line, “Please get out of the new one if you can’t lend a hand,” says there is a place for those who have been walking the old road, but that place isn’t leading; it is lending a hand.
I have been convicted by my white, heterosexual, middle class, male privilege. I don’t hate myself or my culture or even my world view. I just have become acutely aware of the fact that this world as it has been operating for these last 500 or so years has been dominated by those who look, think, and believe as I do. It isn’t all bad. Those 500 years have had good things come from them and major steps have been taken that are worthy of noting. But, the systems and ways of colonialism and the binary way we have viewed people and life no longer serve the greater good. You just have to look at the gridlock in the UMC, in our government, in international relations to see that this is true.
So, what can a white, heterosexual, middle class, older male do? I can lend a hand, but also get out of the way. This year at Annual Conference we will elect one lay and one clergy delegate to the 2020 General Conference. I want us to elect people that are not like me – people of color, women, LBGTQ+, younger, poorer – people we need in making the new road.
In other places and circumstances of life I need to step back and allow those same folks to take positions of authority and power. From my position of privilege, I need to be willing to move or let move into leadership people whom we might have held back before because they “weren’t ready” as defined by the old road. I need to help create places and spaces where these new road construction workers can have the resources and support they need to build that road. I need to come to a clearer understanding of what my privilege does for me, does to others and how I can use it for the common good.
And I believe that what I need to do is what many others who look and think and act and believe like I do also need to do. I encourage us all to read, to study, to open our hearts and minds and spirits to new revelations and to listen carefully to the voices of those new road construction workers. Like it or not, the “order is rapidly changin’” and we all have a decision to make: get run over or lend a hand.
God bless!

Tim Overton-Harris
Cascadia District Superintendent

Oregon-Idaho Annual Conference Session
June 12-15   Eugene

Register online by May 28th to avoid paying the late registration fee! (the late fee is $50 for members who register online May 29 through June 4)

If you have already registered, you can update your registration up through June 4th.

After June 4th any registrations will have to be done onsite at check-in on Wednesday, June 12th in Eugene.  A late registration fee of $75 will apply to members who register onsite.

Check out all the latest information at

Be sure to sign up for the Cascadia District Lunch on Saturday!  We hope you will join us for a time of celebration of all you are doing with your micro-grants!

Hotel Room

Lodging is a separate process from registering for the conference.  The rooms set aside at a special conference rate at both Hotel Eugene and Home2Suites are all sold out.  If you still need to arrange lodging:

  • You can contact Sally Blanchard at to be on a list to contacted in case of cancellations at Hotel Eugene
  • Contact your district office if you have room you are willing to share with a roommate, or if you would like to see if there is someone who is willing to have a roommate
  • Search for other accommodations in Eugene, such as Motel 6, Air B&B, friends/family in the area.  

Cascadia District Lunch

We're going to celebrate what has been accomplished with the micro-grants!  There is a deadline of May 15th to send in a progress report . . . We're especially looking for pictures and a brief (2-3 sentence) description to share with others at the District Lunch.  Send them in to Linda at

Child Care at Annual Conference - Register Now

If you will need child care during the Annual Conference Session, contact Terri Bartish at the Sage District Office: or 503-802-9225 this week!

Safe Sanctuaries and Abuse Prevention Training

Every congregation is required to provide an annual training for their staff and volunteers working with children, youth, and vulnerable adults.  Take advantage of this training on Wednesday June 12th in Eugene led by the Conference Safe Sanctuaries Team!  Check out the details and register here.


There will not be a collection of relief kits or supplies for UMCOR at the Annual Conference Session in Eugene in June. 

There will be a pickup at the various collection point churches around the Conference in October.  There are openings for individuals or groups to work at UMCOR Depot West in Salt Lake City this summer.  Contact Brian Diggs, Depot Coordinator, at  directly or Donna Waltman, O-I Conference Depot West Travel Coordinator, or 503-622-3226, for more information.


 All the information you need is at or call the district office with your questions!

Please let District Superintendent 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

Upcoming events in the District Superintendent's Schedule:

May 14-16          GNW Cabinet Meeting in Des Moines, WA
May 22                GNW Cabinet Meeting
May 23-24           Transitions Retreat
May 29 - June 2  Vacation Days
June 5                 GNW Cabinet Meeting
June 11-15          O-I Annual Conference Session - Eugene
June 17-23          Vacation Days
June 24-26          Cabinet Retreat
June 27               Cascadia District Church Extension Society Meeting
June 30               Preach and Worship at Tillamook UMC

Tim is also beginning consultation meetings with churches regarding pastoral appointments effective July 1, 2019



This week in the
Cascadia District

May 15

Please send in your MicroGrant report and a couple of pictures!

United Methodists across the District are loving God and loving neighbor!

Looking Ahead

May 23

Communion at District Office

May 23-24

Greater NW Area Transitions Retreat

June 12

Safe Sanctuaries and Abuse Prevention Training

June 12-15

Annual Conference Session
Eugene, Oregon


Prayer Calendar

May 12 -18

Warrenton UMC
Pastor Kathy Matthews
Lay Leader Anne Stark

May 19 - 25

Willamette UMC
Pastor Kathy Boyes
Lay Leader Chris Heilman

May 26 - June 2

Wilsonville UMC
Pastor Dylan Hyun
Lay Leaders Bruce & Mary Waldo

See the full prayer calendar


Bulletin Covers Available

Newberg FUMC gets pre-printed color bulletin covers from Cokesbury.  Their order leaves them with about 50 extra each Sunday.  They would love to share these with another congregation who can use them, rather than just recycle the paper.

Contact the Newberg FUMC office at or (503) 538-5404 to let them know you are interested!


Leading Ideas Newsletter

Are you looking for some great ideas and resources for bringing your congregation's ministry up a notch?

The Lewis Center for Church Leadership is a "think tank" on best practices in ministry at Wesley Theological Seminary in Washington, D.C. The Lewis Center is committed to helping congregations and denominations thrive and grow by providing ideas, research, resources, and training for vital and fruitful leadership. 

They put out a weekly free e-newsletter called Leading Ideas which " offers articles by thoughtful, cutting-edge leaders on subjects you care about — navigating change, reaching younger people, financing your ministry, communicating effectively — to help you be the leader God is calling you to be."

Browse past issues and subscribe for future Leading Ideas in your in-box by clicking here.

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 ~