Thursday, Nov. 14, 2019

Greetings from Southern California!

I’m here, along with several other representatives from the Oregon-Idaho Conference and the Greater Northwest Episcopal Area to attend the Western Jurisdiction Fresh United Methodism Summit.

A lot will be reviewed over the next few days, and we invite you to be in prayer with us as questions are asked, futures discussed, hopefully, deeper connections are made with one another.

In addition to being in prayer, you can keep up with Fresh United Methodism Summit on the Western Jurisdiction website: While there, also feel free to subscribe to the Western Jurisdiction email list so you can keep up-to-date with news coming from this summit as well as other news items.

There are other great stories to check out this week, locally, too! Stay engaged. Stay in touch!

With grace and gratitude,

Kristen Caldwell
interim communications director


Abundant Health workshops on elder care this month

To address the needs of elder care in local churches, the Oregon-Idaho Conference Abundant Health team is offering two upcoming training opportunities with healthcare experts.

The first workshop will focus on helping older adults stay safe and healthy “Preventing Falls in the Fall” with Jeanne Brandt, family and community health educator with the Oregon State University Extension Service in Linn and Benton Counties.

The workshop will be held Nov. 22 from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. at Spirit of the Valley UMC in Halsey, Oregon. Brandt teaches community members about healthy homes, healthy aging, and food safety and preservation. She holds degrees in home economics education and family resource management from Oregon State University; and certificates in gerontology, from Portland State University, and aging-in-place, from the National Association of Homebuilders.

Read more of this story on the Conference website.

‘All Belong’ group introducing legislation for GC2020

Western Jurisdiction, November 8 – The statement of the five Bishops of the Western Jurisdiction (“Safe Harbor Declaration”) released earlier this week is in accord with the values of our Jurisdiction and reflects our General and Jurisdictional Conference delegations’ commitment to creating a church which truly welcomes all.

To that end, a group of elected members of the Western Jurisdiction General and Jurisdictional delegations proposes for consideration by the 2020 General Conference, 27 legislative changes to the Book of Discipline which share our practices of inclusion to better equip the full church to say “All Belong.” Proposed legislation and petitions for changes to the Book of Discipline were submitted on September 18, 2019.

These provisions would remove barriers and support greater inclusion of diversity in our United Methodist Church. Implementing these changes will restore Wesleyan accountability, open the church to the movement of the Holy Spirit, restore the church’s ability to fund ministry to which it is called, and equip the church for the work for full inclusion.

Read more of this story on the PNW Conference website.

Western Jurisdiction hires new project manager

The Western Jurisdiction Mission Cabinet is pleased to announce that Gwen Bortner has been contracted as a project manager for the next 11 months. Serving in a part-time capacity, Bortner will collaborate with existing leaders to provide appropriate support and assistance to the Annual Conferences, Mission Cabinet, Leadership Team, and grassroots movements within the jurisdiction as they determine how best to embody a wholistic, inclusive expression of United Methodism. She was selected from a field of 37 candidates.

Read more of this story on the Western Jurisdiction website.


Sign on to WJ Safe Harbor declaration

More than 5,000 names have been added to the Safe Harbor declaration issued last week by the Western Jurisdiction College of Bishops last week. The declaration was made during a Council of Bishops meeting last week and focuses on the WJ College of Bishops’ intention to provide Safe Harbor for LGBTQ+ clergy and clergy candidates as well as clergy who have performed same-sex weddings when the punitive impact of the 2019 General Conference Traditional Plan go into effect Jan. 1.

You can still sign onto the declaration via the Western Jurisdiction website.

Bequests: 3 planned gifts that help now

Most planned gifts don’t benefit the church until after a beloved member passes away. But as we enter a time of year associated with generosity and giving thanks, you should be aware that there are other types of planned gifts that can benefit your church immediately. These gifts can also have great tax advantages for the donor. If one of your members wants to make a planned gift whose impact they can see during their lifetime, here are three options to consider. 

Read more of this story from the Northwest UM Foundation website.

Inspiring Generosity: 6 takeaways from ‘Gender and giving across communities of color’

In this week’s blog, Cesie Delve Scheuermann dives into a new report on gender and giving across communities of color and what that means for the church. Offering her own personal tips after reading through things.

“As people of faith, we have a lot to learn from this report. Understanding what motivates people to give across gender, race, and ethnicity shows the amazing expanse of God’s people. We are not all alike – and that’s the beauty of it.”

Read more of Cesie blog on the Conference website.


WCA looks to new, traditionalist church

Wesleyan Covenant Association leaders say a breakup of The United Methodist Church is necessary and inevitable, and they want to be ready.

“We are preparing for the launch of a new Methodist church in the aftermath of General Conference 2020. We see the Wesleyan Covenant Association as a bridge to this new church,” said the Rev. Keith Boyette, WCA president.

Boyette was among those speaking at the WCA’s fourth Global Gathering, held Nov. 9 under the title “Transformed.”

The event drew about 1,000 people to Tulsa’s Asbury United Methodist Church, with another 2,000 watching via simulcast at 86 locations around the U.S. and in other countries. 

Read more of this story from United Methodist News Service.

Response to wildfires deepens with experience

Richard Bolman finally collapsed at his daughter’s house in Sebastopol, California, after a day of cutting trees away from power and water lines at his farm in Sonoma County.

“I decided to move from the chair I was in to the floor with no help,” said Bolman, 77, a member of Windsor Community United Methodist Church in Windsor, California. “Passed out.”

The diagnosis was heatstroke caused by dehydration. He and his wife, Marilyn, decided to hire workers to do the rest of the work getting their home and property ready for when power is turned back on. The Bolmans, like many of their neighbors, are recovering from wildfires.

“My wife says, ‘If it’s going to cost us either way, we’ll do it by saving your life and we’ll pay somebody else to do it,’” he said.

Read more of this story from United Methodist News Service.

Help for Haitians stymied by political unrest

Roadblocks, massive daily protests against the government, gun-toting gangs and shortages of food and water are facts of life these days in Haiti. 

For now, United Methodists with longtime ties to the embattled nation say it is tough to intervene with any effectiveness.

“The mood of the Haitian people right now is sadness and disappointment,” said Brulan Jean-Michel, manager of the Methodist Guest House in Pétion-Ville, near the capital and largest city of Haiti, Port-au-Prince. “Adults and kids are depressed. The businesses are closed. Schools are closed. The roads are blocked.”

Read more of this story from United Methodist News Service.


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