July 9, 2019
Apollo 11 launch 7-16-1969; NASA
apollo 11 launch

Moon Shot

God made the stars and two great lights: the larger light to rule over the day and the smaller light to rule over the night. Genesis 1:16 (CEB)
We are in the midst of the celebration of the 50th Anniversary of the Apollo 11 moon landing. There are specials and programs on just about every channel and platform. Last night I watched one with my grandkids. They were interested but not mesmerized like I was 50 years ago. This got me thinking about how we got to that “one small step for man, one giant leap for mankind” moment and how it might have something to say to the people and churches of this district and the wider UMC.

60 years ago, humankind had just started to reach beyond our atmosphere. Sputnik had orbited the earth and humans had ventured beyond the bubble that provides us life. President Kennedy famously said: “We choose to go to the moon in this decade and do the other things, not because they are easy, but because they are hard, because that goal will serve to organize and measure the best of our energies and skills, because that challenge is one that we are willing to accept, one we are unwilling to postpone, and one which we intend to win.”
Over the next decade things happened, and we got to the moon. But we got there by the blood, sweat and tears of hundreds of thousands of people. We got there through the unsung efforts of black women mathematicians and migrant engineers. We got there because of assembly line workers and young people pushing the envelope. We got there because we were willing to work together to accomplish something none of us could do alone. We got to the moon because we gave people a task and stepped away to let them figure out how to get that task done. We honored creativity, innovation and risk. We invented new systems. We moved away from the accepted and embraced the out-of-the-box. We didn’t let the rules of what had been overshadow the emerging new possibility.
I know it wasn’t perfect and that a lot of people were in it for the money, for the glory, for nationalism, for patriotism, and for a host of other self-serving reasons. I know that money was spent in ways that are embarrassing to admit and that choices were made to fund the moon program that could have been used to feed the hungry. But still, something worth emulating took place as we worked to meet the challenge of getting to the moon. We allowed what was possible to be the driving force. We let the caution, “we’ve never done it that way before” become the motto. We deliberately set the safe, mundane and known aside and allowed our men and women to dream dreams and have visions and figure out how to make them real.
I think that it is time we did these same things in the UMC. I think we have operated in such a way as to let the safe, mundane, and known rule us. We haven’t paid attention to the voices of the young or people of color or those outside the accepted channels. We have downplayed innovation and required folks to fit our expectations of what the church needs to be. It’s time we choose to be the church God envisions us to be and to do other things, not because they are easy, but because they are hard, because that goal will serve to organize and measure the best of our energies and skills, because that challenge is one that we are willing to accept, one we are unwilling to postpone, and one which we intend to accomplish.
Shoot for the moon!

Tim Overton-Harris
Cascadia District Superintendent

Celebration of MicroGrants

At our Cascadia District Lunch at the close of the 2019 Annual Conference Session, we celebrated all the creative and life-enhancing ways local churches in the district made use of the MicroGrants which were distributed to local church and other Cascadia District ministry sites at the 2018 Annual Conference Cascadia District lunch.

As one pastor watched the slides go by with photos and brief descriptions of the various projects, he said, "I like these.  I like some of these more than what we are doing!"

We are better together -- sharing ideas and inspirations!

To continue the celebration and to help inspire you with more ways your congregation might be able to reach out to new people in new ways, we'll be highlighting some of the microgrant projects over the next couple of months in the district newsletter, on our FB page, and on our district website.  

Wilsonville UMC prepared two community dinners, partnering with local high school students who weren't part of the church.  Learn more by clicking here.

 (And click here for an expanded story about the Open Door Churches: Salem Keizer project which was featured in our last newsletter) More to come in the weeks and months ahead!

 Cascadia District Fall Event - September 28

Get it on your calendar!

What we know now:

  • When:  Saturday, September 28th from 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
  • Where:  MICAH Building, downtown Salem, OR
  • Who should attend? 
    • All local church clergy plus at least one lay person from the congregation; more lay folks are welcome!
    • Clergy in extension ministry and retired clergy are also welcome!
    • People from outside Cascadia District are welcome!
  • What will happen?
    • Focus on Inclusion, Innovation, and Multiplication
    • Workshops and large group time together
    • And Cascadia District Extension Society Annual Meeting over catered lunch
  • Leaders?  Members of the Greater Northwest Area Innovation Vitality Team
    • Rev. Dr. William Gibson, Director of Innovation for a New Church
    • Kristina Gonzalez, Director of Innovation for an Inclusive Church
    • Rev. Dr. Leroy Barber, Director of Innovation for an Engaged Church
    • Read their bios by clicking on this link.

More information and registration to come!
Save the date and watch for more details

We never intend to exclude, but somehow we end up in churches with groups of folks who look an awful lot like us.  How can we expand our insight and skills so that we are better at inclusion? How can we communicate to folks who are different than we are that we value them, will make space for them, and help them thrive?

The Cascadia District Extension Society - Can You Help?

The Cascadia District Extension Society exists to support local congregations and their ministry.  Using funds received from local churches through Askings and from closed ministries, the Extension Society provides grants and low-interest loans for new ministries and for repairs and maintenance of church buildings.  

All local church clergy, lay leaders, and one other person from the local church are members of the Society, and have a vote at the Society's annual meeting, which will be part of our Cascadia District Event on Saturday, September 28th in Salem.  A small executive committee, which is elected at the annual meeting, meet regularly throughout the year to review grant and loan requests and manage the funds.  

Would you or someone you know be able and willing to serve on the CDCES executive committee?  Please complete the Nominations Form you will find at this link to let the committee know you are interested!  They are looking for persons from across the district, from different types of ministries, and different sizes of churches.  Send the form to or mail c/o Cascadia District Office, 680 State St., #200, Salem, OR 97301.




This week in the
Cascadia District

?July 12 -13

Mission u - Boise

Looking Ahead

July 19 - 20

Mission u - Lake Oswego

August 2-3

Mission u - Roseburg

August 9-10

Mission u - Burley, ID

August 14

Cascadia District Board of Church Location and Building 

August 22

Cascadia District Commitee on Superintedency

Sept. 2

Conference and District Offices closed

Sept. 28

Cascadia District Event for Clergy and Lay Leadership

Oct. 12

Mission Celebration - Tigard

Prayer Calendar

July 7-13

Astoria First UMC
Pastor Rebecca Patterson
Lay Leader Chuck Albright

July 14 - 20

Banks Community UMC
Pastor Margot Thompson
Lay Leaders Mariana Knifer 
and Dave Bernel

July 21-27

Bay City UMC
Pastor David Hurd
Lay Leader Roberta Bettis

See the full prayer calendar


Still sharing the AC Session experience with your congregation?  Or, if you didn't attend, curious about what happened?  See all the resources at

Job Opportunities

Tualatin UMC and Salem First UMC are both looking for musicians.  Tualatin wants a worship pianist/accompanist and Salem FUMC wants a Director of Music Ministries.  Check out both opportunities at

DS Schedule

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:

July 10   Common Table Retreat
July 16   Conference Personnel Committee
July 17 - 31   Vacation
July 28   130th Celebration at Marquam UMC
July 30  Candidacy Summit
Aug 13  Conference Personnel Committee
Aug 14 District Board of Church Location and Building
Aug 18  Preaching at Astoria
Aug 22  District Committee on Superintendency
Aug 25 Table Talk in Bend


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 ~