January 14, 2020
Just Mercy movie poster

Just Mercy

The Cabinet of the Greater Northwest Area of the United Methodist Church have been doing cultural competency and emotional intelligence work each time we gather together. We started in January of 2019 and have had ten opportunities to go deeper into racism, privilege, cultural awareness, etc. and will have many more as we continue this work together.

We have identified inclusion as a key element for the future of the church in the Northwest and that roadblocks to inclusion include racism, sexism, privilege, etc. We all need to look at ourselves and our implicit biases and how we either benefit from the systems and structures of our society or are impeded by them. One way to confront these realities is to see it on the big screen.
At the Bishop’s request the Cabinet went to the movie “Just Mercy” together.

One reviewer has said, “This is a powerful and thought-provoking true-story. "Just Mercy" follows young lawyer Bryan Stevenson and his history-making battle for justice. After graduating from Harvard, Bryan might have had his pick of lucrative jobs. Instead, he heads to Alabama to defend those wrongly condemned, with the support of local advocate Eva Ansley One of his first, and most incendiary, cases is that of Walter McMillian who, in 1987, was sentenced to die for the notorious murder of an 18-year-old girl, despite a preponderance of evidence proving his innocence and the fact that the only testimony against him came from a criminal with a motive to lie. In the years that follow, Bryan becomes embroiled in a labyrinth of legal and political maneuverings and overt and unabashed racism as he fights for Walter, and others like him, with the odds-and the system-stacked against them.” (Written by Gregg Brilliant).
This movie is well worth the time and effort to watch but it will not be a fun and lighthearted evening at the movies. Go knowing that you will be challenged, frustrated, angered, offended and convicted. Go with a friend or two and be ready to debrief together afterward. Take a group from church and then have a time to reflect on what you saw and learned. I did a quick search and found this resource from the Roman Catholic Church that might help if you choose to do this:
I believe that this movie is a great way for us to get into these conversations and go more deeply into how our systems and institutions work and how racism and privilege can be seen as normative. And don’t avoid the pain of this by thinking that this kind of thing only happens in the deep South. We have a very clear history right here in Oregon of this very thing.
If we want to transform lives and the world, we need to be aware of where that work is needed, and this movie helps us identify just that.

.Signature: "Tim" Photo of Tim Overton-Harris

Tim Overton-Harris
Cascaid District Superintendent

Year End Reports Time!

As we transition from 2019 to 2020, it is time to work on the annual year-end reports.  They are:

  • The online statistical reports at 
  • Clergy Continuing Education Report
  • Full Church Membership Report
  • Parsonage Report (if your church has one, whether the pastor lives in it or not)

The reports are due January 31st. Find more information, report forms, and who is responsible for what at

Native American Fellowship forms in Salem

Native American Fellowship Banner

As part of the Open Door Churches ministry in Salem-Keizer, a Native American Fellowship has formed.  The first gathering was held Sunday, January 12th at Morningside UMC.  

The fellowship describes itself as "a community of people who braid together walking the Red Road and the Jesus Path.  We are a Native-led group gathering monthly to serve the local Native American community, grow together, and to put our wisdom into practice."  

The gathering includes smudging, children's story, sacred music, an opportunity to share spiritual experiences of all types, and a potluck meal.  All people are welcome.

When:  the 2nd Sunday of each month, from approximately 3 to 5 p.m.

Where:  Morningside United Methodist Church, 37674 12th St. SE, Salem, OR 97302

For more information contact Duane Medicine Crow at (503) 362-7085 or at 

Time to Apply for Scholarships for 2020-2021 Academic Year

The Annual Conference and the United Methodist denomination offers scholarships for higher education.  Check it out at  Applications will be open January 3 through March 1, 2020.  

New Online Payment Options for Apportionments and Benefit Billings

The Conference Finance office, in response to many requests, is now able to provide an online option for paying apportionments and benefit bills.  

An e-mail from Conference Treasurer Dan Wilson-Fey went out to all local church treasurers with information on December 21st.  If you missed it, check out the information by clicking here.

The new system will be in place January 15th.  Watch for more information coming your way today or tomorrow!

If you have questions, the following folks are your resources:

  • Questions about the decision to go to Online Giving?

     Contact – Dan Wilson Fey - – 503-802-9222

  • Questions about how to process a payment, look up a report or invoice or what form to use or where to send a payment?

     Contact – Andrea Cooper – – 503-802-9217

  • Questions about Benefit billing?

     Contact - Meg Kau – – 503-802-9224

  • Questions about the way your Shared Ministry Apportionments are calculated?

     Contact – Sandra Reinemer – – 503-802-9223

Please Give to Alaska Conference Travel Fund

At the Oregon-Idaho Annual Conference Session in June 2019, we committed to a special offering from our local churches to help lower the cost of Alaska Conference members who will travel to Puyallup, Washington for our shared Greater NW Episcopal Area annual conference in June 2020.  

At the 2019 Fall Cluster meetings, Cascadia DS Tim Overton-Harris distributed Alaska Conference Travel Fund pledge forms and asked that attendees would take them back to their local churches, have a discussion and then make a pledge.

It is now time to turn in those pledges.  Send a check to the Conference Treasurer, OR-ID UMC Conference Office, 1505 SW 18th Ave., Portland, OR 97201, with "Alaska Conference Travel" on the memo line. 

If you didn't have this discussion already, it's not too late!  You can give as a church or as an individual.  As a district we are trying to raise $3,500 as our share of the $30,000 hoped to be raised by the Oregon-Idaho and Pacific Northwest Annual Conferences for the benefit of our United Methodist family in Alaska.  

See also this story from last December, for the gift churches in the Alaska Conference have given to help with travel expenses for members of the Oregon- Idaho Conference who will also have a long trip and expense to travel to Puyallup in June, particularly members from Southern Oregon, Eastern Oregon and Idaho.

God gave generously to us, and in return we are moved by the Holy Spirit to give generously to others.  May the circle of sharing and mutual support surprise us with its strength and life-giving power!



This week in the
Cascadia District

Weds, Jan. 15

Cascadia District Retiree Luncheon with DS

Looking Ahead

Jan. 18-25

Week of Prayer for Christian Unity

Mon. Jan. 20

Martin Luther King, Jr. Day - District and Conference offices closed

Mon., Jan. 27

Cascadia District Superintendency Committee meeting

Tues., Jan. 28

Cascadia District Church Extension Society Board meeting

Fri., Jan. 31

Year End Reports are due


Prayer Calendar

Jan. 12-18

Oregon City UMC
Pastor Mike Benischek
Lay Leader Ted Thonstad

Jan. 19-25

Open Door Churches: Salem-Keizer UMs - Pastors:
Sandra Kimbrow
Dan Pitney
Alyssa Baker
Mario Gonzalez
Wendy Woodworth

Board Chair:
Vickie Plasker

Jan. 26 - Feb. 1

Open Door Churches: Salem-Keizer UMs - member church Salem First UMC
Lay Leaders: Ray Lewallen and Fran Eriksen

See the full prayer calendar

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:

Jan. 15       Cascadia District Retirees Luncheon 
Jan. 16        Conference Personnel Committee
                    Meeting with District AAs

Jan. 19       Yamhill UMC all-church celebration
Jan. 26        Molalla UMC all-church celebration
Jan. 27        Cascadia District Superintendency Committee
Jan. 28        Cascadia District Church Extension Society
Jan. 28-29    Common Table Retreat

In addition to what is listed here, Tim is meeting with local church SPRCs in Oct-Dec.  

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 ~