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.
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 www.umoi.org/ac
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!
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 email@example.com 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 firstname.lastname@example.org
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: email@example.com 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 firstname.lastname@example.org directly or Donna Waltman, O-I Conference Depot West Travel Coordinator, email@example.com or 503-622-3226, for more information.
All the information you need is at www.umoi.org/ac 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 firstname.lastname@example.org
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