Thursday, Nov. 7, 2019


As New 2020 Restrictions Loom, Western Jurisdiction Bishops Pledge Safe Harbor for LGBTQ+ Community

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WJ Bishops to set aside complaints against clergy accused of being gay or performing LGBTQ+ weddings; urge others to join them.

LAKE JUNALUSKA, N.C., Nov. 6 – As new restrictions loom against LGBTQ+ persons in The United Methodist Church, the five active bishops in the Western Jurisdiction (region of the United States) are offering a Safe Harbor to LGBTQ+ clergy and are urging bishops and other United Methodists to join them.

The bishops have asked their colleagues on the denomination’s Council of Bishops to sign their declaration and urged other clergy and laypersons across the church to join them in supporting the full inclusion of LGBTQ+ people in all parts of the life of the church. They made their request during the Council’s meeting at Lake Junaluska, N.C.

Their action comes as a series of new restrictions tightening the denomination’s prohibition barring LGBTQ+ persons from ordination as clergy goes into effect on Jan. 1.

“We intend to provide safe harbor for clergy under our care who may be at risk under the new provisions, prohibitions, and punishments,” the bishops said.

Read more of this story on the Western Jurisdiction website.

WJ Bishops issue declaration of Safe Harbor

Believing that when God surveyed creation on the sixth day, “God saw everything, and… it was very good,”ii

Trusting God’s promise, “I will pour out my Spirit on all people. Your sons and daughters will prophesy. Your young will see visions. Your elders will dream dreams,”iii

Assured that Jesus “came so that they could have life—indeed, so that they could live life to the fullest,”iv

Affirming Jesus’ words, “You will know them by their fruits,”v observing John Wesley’s practice of authorizing men and women lay preachers whose ministry bore fruit, and witnessing that God has called, gifted and blessed many LGBTQ+ persons for ministry,

Heeding Paul’s caution that “the letter kills, but the Spirit gives life,”vi
Engaging John Wesley’s question, “though we may not all think alike, may we not all love alike?”vii

Read the full declaration on the Western Jurisdiction website

Support the UMC LGBTQ+ Safe Harbor Declaration by adding your name.

Watch the story featured on Portland's KGW-TV.


A home for the homeless.' Camp established at Harmony United Methodist Church

Originally published in The World Nov. 5, 2019
COOS BAY — Tucked behind Harmony United Methodist Church sits an ever-shifting neighborhood of tents, trucks and RVs.

For the past six months, the church has offered refuge for local homeless, providing a safe place for them to stay in its parking lot located on the corner where Central Avenue curves into Ocean Boulevard.

Read more of this story on The World’s website.

Inspiring Generosity: Give thanks. No, really. Give thanks.

Cesie Delve Scheuermann is ready for Thanksgiving (not Christmas) and has a few simple tips to offer this year to help you give thanks for people in your local congregation who are making a difference.

“You are only limited by your imagination – and your intention. All these examples of gratitude take some planning. You have to look up an email or physical address, find a phone number, bake something, buy some stationery and stamps, or do something nice for a stranger. Take a few minutes now and plan out your Thanks-Giving strategy. Do it. It’s worth the effort.”

Read more of her blog on the Conference website.

One church, many doors: Eagle River Methodist Camp South East

Alaska Conference

Children and youth today live hectic lives. So many things–school, sports, television, smartphones, video games, and organized activities can crowd out the time for kids to be kids. Conversely, some children have to take a caretaker role in their families, or live in families affected by poverty and its myriad of ills- being a kid can be tough under those circumstances.
In today’s world, where can kids hike in the woods; get muddy, swing on a rope swing, spend quality time with caring adults, hike down a deer trail, play outdoor games, or sit around a campfire, sing, talk about life, and learn about Jesus Christ? Here in Juneau, we have such a place.

Eagle River Methodist Camp SE has been an active part of our community for 60+ years. A place for learning, communing with nature and growing in faith, and fun. A rare jewel in today’s world. We share our camp facility with the community, a truly welcoming retreat.

Read more about Eagle River Camp on the Alaska Conference website.

Employment opportunities

Administrative Assistant/Bookkeeper – Eugene, OR
Church administrative assistant – Portland, OR

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Church ratifies women’s equality amendment

After a revote, United Methodists around the globe have amended the denomination’s constitution to proclaim “men and women are of equal value in the eyes of God.”

The newly adopted measure also commits United Methodists to work toward ending discrimination against women and girls.

“While we still have much progress to make, this is an indication that we as a church do acknowledge and embrace women at every level of the church,” said Bishop Tracy Smith Malone, president of the United Methodist Commission on the Status and Role of Women. She also leads the East Ohio Conference.

Read more of this story from United Methodist News Service.

Church exit plan already in effect, court says

Legislation setting special provisions for United Methodist churches deciding to leave the denomination took effect immediately at the end of the special General Conference last February, the church’s top court has ruled.

In making that determination, the United Methodist Judicial Council at least temporarily bypassed the assertion from a Commission on General Conference investigation that improper voting meant the vote to substitute parts of Petition 90066, the disaffiliation petition, was null and void.

Read more of this story from United Methodist News Service.

Church continues to aid Cyclone Idai survivors

 United Methodists have rallied to help survivors of Cyclone Idai, continuing to provide aid for Zimbabwe’s affected families in the eastern districts of Manicaland and Masvingo.

The destructive March 15 cyclone affected more than 250,000 people in the Chimanimani, Chipinge, Mutare, Buhera, Bikita, Zaka, Gutu and Chirumanzu districts with an estimated 340 people killed and more than 250 more reported missing, according to ReliefWeb.

Church leaders and survivors said they have been overwhelmed with the kind gesture of support from various partners in their time of need.

Read more of this story from United Methodist News Service.

Five bishops pledge LGBTQ+ safe harbor

The Western Jurisdiction’s five active bishops promised to provide “a safe harbor” for LGBTQ clergy, despite new church restrictions set to take effect Jan. 1.

“We intend to provide safe harbor for clergy under our care who may be at risk under the new provisions, prohibitions and punishments,” the bishops jointly announced at the conclusion of the Council of Bishops meeting Nov. 6.

The bishops also invited their episcopal colleagues and other United Methodists to add their names to the declaration. They also put together a video to support it.

The Western Jurisdiction, which encompasses seven conferences in the westernmost United States, has long stood in opposition to denominational restrictions related to LGBTQ individuals.

However, bishops said they see a pressing need to speak up now.

Read more of this story from United Methodist News Service.


SCAM ALERT: Text scam hits local church

A text messaging scam that recently impacted United Methodist Churches in Georgia has hit a little closer to home.

Portland First United Methodist Church reported to police that a text scam was sent using Rev. Donna Pritchard's name and asking for a "favor" and the purchase of gift cards for unspecified hospital patients.

Staff at Portland FUMC report that there appears not to be a data breach of their website, but they've informed their congregation via email about the scam.

If you or anyone in your church receives a similar text message with your local pastor's name attached, please DO NOT respond. Call your local church instead to verify the text message contact and report it to local authorities.

Global Ministries, UMCOR and The Advance invite you to give love, joy, hope and peace by offering a year-end gift.

Throughout the remainder of 2019, you will hear stories of the ways generosity is transforming the lives of people around the world. These transformations only happen because of your commitment to this life-giving work. Please explore these powerful stories and support further mission.

Together in mission with you, Global Ministries:

  • has over 400 missionaries serving in more than 70 countries
  • partners with more than 300 hospitals and clinics providing accessible healthcare
  • applies a faith-based approach to sustainable development
  • supports a global network of disaster responders

Find more information on the Global Ministries website.


Margaret M. Walker

August 7, 1921 – October 31, 2019                              
Margaret M. Walker, surviving spouse of Rev. Paul D. Walker, died October 31, 2019. Margaret is survived by her sons, Paul L. (Marti) and Jim (Carrie), 8 grandchildren, and 13 great grandchildren. She was preceded in death by her son, Andrew Walker, her daughter, Diane Allen, and her brothers, Norman and Owen Lance.
Reverend Paul D. Walker served at Kellyville, Jenks and Idabel in the Oklahoma Conference and at Hood River, Hood River-Pine Grove and Sherwood-Ebenezer in the Oregon-Idaho Conference. He retired in 1991.   
A memorial service will be held on Saturday, November 30, 2019 at 10:30 a.m. at Central United Protestant church, 1124 Stevens Dr., Richland, WA 99354, (509) 943-1143.
Memorial contributions can be given to CUP at 1124 Stevens Dr., Richland, WA 99354 or Tri-Cities Chaplaincy Hospice, 2108 W. Entiat Ave., Kennewick, WA 99336.
For more information and to offer condolences, friends may contact Paul L. Walker at
Elaine Stanovsky, Bishop
Dan Wilson-Fey, Conference Treasurer and Benefits Officer


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