Wednesday, June 12, 2019

Dear Reader,

This is the first of the daily UM Connectors you’ll be reading now through Saturday as we head into our Annual Conference gathering in Eugene.

Please be in prayer for your church’s lay delegates, clergy and the Conference as a whole as we discern a whole lot of things.

We’ll be updating you about legislation, delegations, celebrations, ordination and several other things over the next few days.

But for now, here are some news items and reminders for you as many of you make your way to Eugene!

Travel safe!
Kristen Caldwell, Communications Associate


Caldwell named interim Conference Director of Communications

Kristen Caldwell has been named the Interim Director of Communications for the United Methodist Church in the Oregon-Idaho Annual Conference, beginning July 1. During this time, the Greater Northwest Area will be reviewing its current communications approach and explore how to be more collaborative in developing an area-wide communications strategy.
Caldwell’s writing will be recognizable to people as she has served as the Conference’s Communications Associate for the past 18 months, writing stories about churches and people for the website and weekly UM Connector newsletter.
She has 15 years of experience working as a journalist and political communications director. A transplant from the Mountain Sky Conference, Caldwell served as the Imagine No Malaria field coordinator for the Yellowstone Conference in 2013-2014 (under Bishop Elaine Stanovsky’s leadership), and visited Angola in 2012 to support the work of local United Methodist Churches in rebuilding their country after a 27-year civil war.

Read more of this story on the Conference website.

Abundant Health a priority at Annual Conference

The Abundant Health initiative embodies this year’s Annual Conference theme “Love like this” by promoting a healthy heart, strength, being and mind.

To that end, the Abundant Health ministry team is offering three programs during Annual Conference to help keep individuals practicing good health.

  • Gentle Chair Yoga for beginners, led by certified yoga instructor and UMOI staff member Sara Barger. There will be a morning stretch from 7 to 7:30 a.m. Thursday-Saturday and an evening relaxation from 9 to 9:30 p.m. Thursday and Friday. This class will be held in the Wilder room, which is right next to the ballroom where plenary session are being held.
  • Walking groups, led by Rev. Dave Thompson, will be held from 7 to 7:30 a.m. Thursday-Saturday. Individuals wanting to participate must be at the Abundant Health table in the ministry marketplace area no later than 7 a.m.
  • Well-Spring, a quiet place for prayer and restoration, will be available through the Annual Conference, in the Mezzanine Studio A. Individuals needing time apart for prayer, reflection and restoration are encouraged to visit the Well-Spring quiet space, which will be open from 11 a.m. to 9:30 p.m. Thursday and Friday and 7:30 to 11 a.m. on Saturday.
  • In the Plenary on Friday, plantable peat pots can be found on tables. These pots, will include art supplies and Snap Pea seeds. They are a gift to those attending this Annual Conference Session, from OR-ID UMC Abundant Health Initiative.  You are welcome to enjoy all the creative art items, and to take any of them home with you, when you leave. People are encouraged to take home the plant-able pots and the Sugar Sprint Snap Pea seeds. Two pots and four seed packets, per table, have been provided.  If you need more pots or seeds, please ask those beside you, or check at the Abundant Health Table in the Ministry Marketplace.

Can’t make it in person to AC? Catch the Livestream

The four plenary sessions and the closing worship and reading of appointments will be available to watch live online. Recordings of the sermons from the Opening Worship, Memorial Service, and Commissioning and Ordination Service will be available soon after the conference.

Visit and follow the YouTube link at the top of the page to watch the sessions, which will be held Thursday morning, a townhall Thursday afternoon, plenary sessions Friday morning and afternoon, as well as Saturday morning’s plenary and closing worship.

Electronic giving available during offerings at AC

Special offerings will be taken during three of the four worship services being held at Eugene First United Methodist Church during Annual Conference and participants have the opportunity this year to give in a couple different electronic formats.

At each of the worship services at the church, there will be representatives with PayPal card readers ready to accept electronic payments. Participants can also give online through and designate which special offering they are contributing toward.

This year’s special offerings will be 1) to assist our brothers and sisters in the Alaska Conference with travel costs to attend the Greater Northwest Area gathering of all three conferences in 2020; 2) Provide financial assistance for the Committee on Native American Ministries’ annual Native American culture Huckleberry Camp held at Camp Magruder; 3) Eugene’s Egan Warming Center. The Egan Warming Center is a coalition of community members representing service providers, religious congregations, nonprofit support agencies, social activist communities and local government who have come together to ensure that homeless people in Lane County have a warm and safe place to sleep when temperatures drop below 30 degrees between November 15th and March 31st.

Appointment announcements

Greater Northwest Area Bishop Elaine JW Stanovsky has announced her intention to make the following appointment, effective July 1, 2019:

Rev. Gregory Johanson to Jefferson United Methodist Church in Jefferson, Oregon.

Johanson is a retired member of the New Jersey Conference, currently living in Mill City, Oregon. His appointment to Jefferson will be quarter-time.

A summary of appointment announcements can be found on the conference website at A list of clear openings for appointment can be found on the Greater NW area website.

Employment opportunities

Director of Music Ministries and Sanctuary Choir- Salem, OR

Find more employment opportunities at


UM Church opens credit union in east Africa

The United Methodist Church in Kenya is empowering its members and the community at large with the opening of the new United Methodist Church Savings and Credit Co-Operative Society. It is the first church-based financial institution in the East Africa Episcopal Area.

Church and community members gathered at Kayole St. John’s United Methodist Church to celebrate the milestone, with Bishop Daniel Wandabula presiding.

The mission of the United Methodist Church Savings and Credit Co-Operative Society is to promote a savings culture and provide affordable credit and sustainable financial solutions to members and stakeholders.

 “The formation of the church credit union was driven by the need to develop an association where United Methodists in East Africa could work together to promote their economic interests through a pooling of resources,” Wandabula said.

Read more of this story from UM News Service.

LGBTQ deacon ordained by New York Conference

The Rev. Lea Matthews called her ordination day “joyful,” but still fraught with “complexity and complications,” since she is the latest LGBTQ person to be awarded credentials in violation of rules in the United Methodist Book of Discipline. 

Matthews was ordained June 9 during the New York Annual Conference at Hofstra University in Hempstead, New York.

“I had to hold the complexity of the moment, which was the larger context of the denomination being in absolute crisis,” Matthews said in an interview with United Methodist News. “To know that as I stepped onto that stage and knelt down, so many of my queer siblings across the connection are not able to do that and have been greatly harmed or explicitly excluded.”

Read more of this story from United Methodist News Service.

Ramping up response to US spring disasters

A small Missouri congregation has been feeding those trying to stop the mighty Mississippi from spilling over its banks.

A United Methodist pastor in Dayton, Ohio, is seeking justice along with disaster care for low-income tornado survivors.

Both are part of the extra effort United Methodists are making in a number of states to respond to a record-setting tornado and flood season.

Many of this spring’s tornadoes typically have an immediate, localized response, said Catherine G. Earl, director of disaster response and U.S. partner relations for the United Methodist Committee on Relief.

Increasingly, however, creative solutions are being required to address incidents of more frequent flooding and work with communities to maintain affordable and safe housing, she added.

Read more of this news story from United Methodist News Service.



This week in the
Annual Conference

Wednesday, June 12 - Saturday, June 15

Oregon-Idaho Annual Conference Session.
Greater NW Area Inspiring Generosity Conference Journal

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Oregon-Idaho Annual Conference Conference Office: 1505 SW 18th Avenue Portland, OR 97201
503-226-7931 ~ 800-593-7539 ~ 503-226-4158 (fax)