Karen on the labyrinth
Quite a few of us from the Sage District made the long trek to Eugene for Annual Conference in mid-June, just in time for a heat wave! Those who survived such a long journey, praised God in opening worship without air conditioning, and successfully navigated their way through The Graduate Hotel are to be commended for their fortitude! To all who supported Annual Conference members (with prayers, encouragement, and financial generosity through local churches), please receive my heartfelt thanks.
After conference, I participated in a long-standing tradition of fleeing to the Oregon Coast for a few days before returning to the high desert that I dearly love. I’m from a family of beach-combers, which means saltwater is a reliable means of renewal for me. This year, my husband Ed and I had the unexpected gift of experiencing “Circles in the Sand” three mornings in Bandon, OR. I’ve long loved labyrinths, but I’d never seen one quite like this—nor will anyone else again, ever! Denny Dykes, retired meditation and metaphysics teacher, creates one-of-a-kind, labyrinth-like paths in the sand in Bandon about 60 days every year.
I have always had a strong preference for experiencing labyrinths alone. If there were others on the path at the same time, I’d sometimes just wait them out or at least thoroughly tune them out. At Circles in the Sand, I walked this path in the way my first day, but noticed at the end how strangers who’d just completed the path were interacting joyfully, sharing their gratitude for the experience, reflecting together on what it was like for each of them. Beautiful moments of community were happening! On the second day, I took all of you with me on the path. At each turn I’d move on to the next congregation, lay leadership, pastor, and community, starting with Ashton, ID and ending with La Grande, OR, praying my way through the labyrinth and the district. It caused me to notice how Circles in the Sand were being enjoyed by all ages, all at the same time. It also made for an especially joyful, life-giving prayer walk!
Whether your summer includes sea and sand, mountains and rivers, theme parks and ice cream, far-off adventures or stargazing in your backyard, may it be a season of renewal when you can breathe deeply and experience the Spirit giving you life!
Peace of Christ,
Rev. Karen Hernandez
Sage District Superintendent
PS. Speaking of what’s life-giving, check out this article that’s got a different twist on self-care. There’s even a link at the end that may be especially important for clergy needing a couple of online hours of continuing education or support.
Where Is the DS?
July 7 Preaching at Jerome UMC
July 8 Connecting with our interns in Boise
*July 9 – 28 Vacation
*July 29 – Aug. 3 Young Clergy Women International conference (Atlanta, GA)
*If you have an emergency or need a DS July 9 – Aug. 3, contact Crater Lake DS John Tucker or Columbia DS Erin Martin. Contact info for all conference staff is available here: www.umoi.org/conferencestaff
Key Details from 2019 Annual Conference in Eugene
In case you missed them, please note these important items and opportunities that were named at Annual Conference and/or at the Sage District Breakfast.
- Quarterly Zooms for pastors and laity—Beginning in September, DS Karen Hernandez will offer a Zoom opportunity each quarter. (Zoom is an online video conferencing program. Anyone with an internet connection or phone can participate.) Watch for dates, links, and phone numbers, which will be shared in this newsletter and on the Sage District Facebook page.
- Sage pastors gathering at Sawtooth Camp—all Sage pastors (clergy and lay pastors, those appointed and assigned with retirees welcome!) will gather at Sawtooth Camp from midday Thursday, Sept. 19 through midday Friday, Sept. 20. The whole camp is reserved for those who would like to stay through Saturday late afternoon, and families are welcome to join as early as 1 p.m. on Friday.
- Sponsoring Alaska Annual Conference members—Annual Conference 2020 will be in Puyallup, WA and will include Oregon-Idaho, Pacific Northwest, and Alaska! This is a wonderful opportunity!...but it has a significant price tag for our kindred traveling from Alaska. The bishop is seeking individuals, groups, or congregations who wish to sponsor an Alaska Annual Conference member. Each sponsorship is $1,000. Click here to make a donation to “Alaska Delegation Fund” or contact Karen (email@example.com) for more info. You can also click here to see info and/or support and/all Annual Conference offerings.
A Word from your Lay Leader
This time of year makes me think of Vacation Bible School or church camp. I had an opportunity this past week to help a friend out with Vacation Bible School. I wasn’t sure that I was up to the challenge as I still felt like I was recovering emotionally and physically from the Annual Conference session in Eugene.
The theme of the week was Put On The Armor of God. Now I’m sure that many of you are familiar with this letter that Paul wrote in Ephesians. As you might guess the children taught me more than I taught them. Their eyes are wide open to the possibilities of a Christ filled life and they are listening and truly hearing God’s words. As adults we sometimes have our eyes closed and our ears plugged.
As I awaken in the morning and start my day I will make sure that I am wearing the Belt of Truth, Breastplate of Righteousness, Boots of Peace, Shield of Faith, Helmet of Salvation, and the Sword of the Spirit. And continue to pray always. For me this brings a new meaning to me getting dressed for the day!
Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. Ephesians 6:11
Workshops coming to Pocatello and St. Paul's Idaho Falls July 17
Julia Frisbie from the Northwest United Methodist Foundation will be offering two free workshops on July 17.
In Pocatello at noon she will teach a Ways to Give workshop. She will cover a variety of tax-wise gift vehicles (including bequests, gifts of life insurance, life estate reserved, charitable gift annuities, charitable trusts, bargain sales, stock gifts, and IRA rollover gifts).
At St. Paul's UMC in Idaho Falls at 7 p.m. Julia offer a Will Writing workshop. She will cover what's in a will, how wills actually get carried out, and how to write a good one. She has invited a local estate attorney to be present to answer technical questions and take referrals.
If you have further questions, please contact Julia at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Links and Resources
- Donna Boe writes from Pocatello that she has many great materials available to local churches from the General Board of Church and Society. Covering all areas of social justice and the church, the materials include Faith and Facts cards, brochures, posters, and tool kits for civic engagement. Contact Donna, email@example.com, if you'd like more information.
- Boise will be hosting summer interns this year! If you missed the article in the UM Connector, here is a link.
- The Northwest United Methodist Foundation has great information on their Positive Social Purpose Lending Program.