May 14, 2020
Church is open sign

“Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the former heaven and the former earth had passed away, and the sea was no more. I saw the holy city, New Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, made ready as a bride beautifully dressed for her husband. I heard a loud voice from the throne say, "Look! God's dwelling is here with humankind. [God] will dwell with them, and they will be [God’s] peoples. God will be with them as their God. [God] will wipe away every tear from their eyes. Death will be no more. There will be no mourning, crying, or pain anymore, for the former things have passed away.""(Matthew 25:37-40 CEB)
Dearest Siblings in Christ,

What day is it? My wife Amy and I are asking each other this more frequently as we stay at home for longer and longer. But things are changing, slowly and, I pray, carefully. One thing is clear, things will be different when we can begin to leave our homes and gather once more. We must be ready for the change that has taken place, but which we have not fully experienced yet. Yes, I wrote the word -- change -- that causes fear and anxiety for many and has been a stumbling block for innovation and even health and survival for congregations throughout time.
Like it or not, change is what we will be dealing with when we once again gather together. Simple changes like one door for entering and another for leaving the building. Significant changes like no singing when gathered for in-person worship. For now and into the future things have changed and will change. It’s time to help folks get comfortable with this and learn to live with it.  Change defines this time in history.
I want to share what a friend and clergy coach wrote about leading in a time of significant change:

  1. Clarify your own thoughts on the issue at hand, whether the change is about worship, structure, leadership, music. Spend some time alone to think about it.
  2. Think through when and where to appropriately share your thoughts. Stay as clear and as calm as you can when you do so.
  3. Connect with people in key leadership positions, both paid and volunteer. Work on relationships constantly.
  4. Watch for triangles that develop at times of change – for those who pull you in to resolve difficulties or for those who leave you out of important conversations. Don’t get too emotionally caught up in these triangles. Avoid complaining about others, which creates more triangles.
  5. Observe how people express their views about the change. Those who can define their position in terms of themselves are more mature than those who say “you should,” or “you shouldn’t” or “they always” or “they never.” This will give you a clue as to those who are more mature than others.
  6. Fill your role and stay in it. For pastors: be fully present in leadership and provide necessary oversight for the change. For staff members: do your job, relate appropriately to staff and church members, and stick to your area of responsibility. For lay leaders: be clear on what your volunteer role is (and isn’t) and carry it out. Don’t invade other people’s space.
  7. Keep your sense of humor. It will help you and others get through this time more easily. (But watch for sarcasm, which is an anxious response.)
  8. Be a learner: about yourself, about others, about what happens in a church at times of change. Those who are open to learning manage change better. Recast the challenge of change as a learning opportunity.
  9. Notice any complaints or criticism which come your way. Avoid getting defensive.
  10. Pray about the change and for those involved in it –those you agree with and those you may disagree with, those who are functioning well and those who are not.
    (© Margaret Marcuson, Marcuson Leadership Circle, 3439 NE Sandy Blvd., #102, Portland, OR 97232, United States)

As you help folks get ready for whatever comes next in this strange time we find ourselves in, remember to breathe, to pause, to pray. Remember that we are in this together. Remember that God is with us. And, remember that change is life and to live is to change.

Signature: Tim 

Tim Overton-Harris
Cascadia District Superintendent

P.S. The Bishop has directed us to continue to keep our buildings closed and suspend gatherings, including in-person worship, through June 15th.  See more in the right hand column of this newsletter.  I am hosting a Cascadia District discussion online on May 24 of what we will need to do to prepare for when we can gather again.  See below for details and how you can register.

Let's connect -
opportunities to be in conversation with the DS

In April, DS Tim held "Let's Connect" Zoom gatherings on Tuesday and Sunday evenings.  He is continuing that in May, but the clergy and lay pastors meeting is shifting to Monday evenings beginning May 4.  The Laity meeting will stay on Tuesday evenings.

Tim will continue to share the latest updates on the church's response, as well as engage in a time of fellowship and prayer. Learn more by clicking the links below:

Mondays @ 7 p.m. for clergy and 
lay pastors

Tuesdays @ 6:30 p.m. for laity

Wednesday Webinar with the Bishop Offered Weekly

Bishop Elaine JW Stanovsky, along with other Conference leadership and local church clergy and lay people, offer fellowship, inspiration, and practical guidance for ministry in these days in a weekly webinar on Wednesday mornings.The hour-long (or so!) webinar begins at 9 am PDT. Clergy and laity from across the Greater Northwest Area are invited to participate.

This coming week, Wednesday March 20, Bishop Elaine and others will lead in Part 3 of the series:  Ministry in the New Normal.

There are a lot of decisions laity and pastoral leaders must consider before opening their church doors once more for ministry and worship. The goal of this series of webinars will be providing resources and information to help church leaders make healthy, responsible decisions. This won't be about following a timetable or checklist, but helping leaders to faithfully discern the time we are in and how to respond accordingly.

Click here to register for next Wednesday’s webinar 

You can find recordings of past webinars on the GNW Area's Vimeo site:

A Cascadia District Conversation on "What's Next"

District Superintendent Tim Overton-Harris has scheduled a Zoom meeting for 

  • local church pastors
  • Board/Council chairpersons
  • SPRC chairpersons or representatives
  • Finance chairpersons or representatives
  • Trustee chairpersons or representatives

to discuss details, concerns, and suggestions about how to prepare for gathering again in our church buildings.  

Sunday, May 24th

2-4 p.m.

Click here to Register

You can join by computer (best), smart phone (good) or by regular phone call (you can't see, but you can hear and talk).  You will receive connection information after you register.  We hope you will join us for this very important discussion!

Resources - a curated list

A lot of resources are being offered to help you be church in these new days.  I'm collecting a curated list on the district web page.  I hope that it helps you find what you are looking for!  Check it out here:

Here are some new resources this week:

  • A link to the recorded webinar which took place on Wednesday, May 13 on stewardship and church budgets.  Lots of good stuff in this - again!  These webinars are a great resource -- brought to you by our connection. Click here.
  • CDC guidelines for re-opening faith communities.  Click here.
  • Check out all the information at

If you can't find something there that you know you saw . . . somewhere, contact me and I'll see if I can find it for you! or (503) 581-3969

Grace and peace in Christ,


Linda Grund-Clampit
Cascadia District Administrative Assistant

How Are We Helping? 
In So Many Ways!

Continue to support your local church financially. 

Our buildings are closed, but the church is open and still doing ministry!  Your tithes and donations are critical to continuing that work

Greater NW Area Fund for Families

The money in this fund will be distributed through local churches to the need they see across our episcopal area (Oregon, Idaho, Washington and Alaska), like the Grocery Gift Card Grants

UMCOR Sheltering in Love Giving Campaign

This fund will assist vulnerable communities in the United States and around the world  It is Advance #3022612. You can give through your local church by putting the advance number in the memo line of your check or give online.



This week in the
Cascadia District
May is Asian Pacific Islander American Heritage Month!  Click here for a cool infographic with lots of info (and cool graphics!)

Monday, May 18

Let's Connect for Clergy
and Lay Pastors

an opportunity for conversation and fellowship with the DS via Zoom

Tuesday, May 19

Let's Connect for Laity
an opportunity for conversation and fellowship with the DS via Zoom

Wednesday, May 13

Webinar: Ministry in the New Normal #3 - Our Church Life Beyond the COVID-19 Crisis

Thursday, May 21

Cascadia District Committee on Superintendency

Looking Ahead

Sunday, May 24

Cascadia District Webinar: Where We Go From Here
for local church leadership

Monday, May 25

Memorial Day - Conference & District Offices closed

Let's Connect for Clergy
and Lay Pastors

an opportunity for conversation and fellowship with the DS via Zoom

Tuesday, May 26

Let's Connect for Laity
an opportunity for conversation and fellowship with the DS via Zoom

Tuesday, June 2

Suburban Ring Colloquy

High Desert Colloquy

Wine Country Colloquy

Wednesday, June 3

Open Door Churches Colloquy

Thursday, June 4

Molalla and Pudding Rivers Colloquy

North Coast Colloquy

Sunday, June 14

Cascadia District Celebration
Virtual Meeting

Prayer Calendar

May 10 - 16

Willamette UMC
Pastor Kathy Boyes
Lay Leader Chris Heilman

May 17 - 23

Wilsonville UMC
Pastor Dylan Hyun
Lay Leader Bruce Waldo

May 24 - 30

Woodburn UMC
Pastor Kalina Malua Katoa
Lay Leader Debbie Nickel

See the full prayer calendar

UM Church Buildings Closed and In Person Gatherings Suspended Through June 15

On May 13th, Bishop Stanovsky released a statement extending the building closure and suspension of in-person worship through June 15th:
"As bishop of the Greater Northwest Area of The United Methodist Church, I am extending the suspension of in-person worship in United Methodist Churches and other ministries and the closure of church facilities to all but essential services throughout the Alaska, Oregon-Idaho and Pacific Northwest Conferences through June 15, 2020. This early in the phased reopening process, data on the spread of the virus is inconsistent and inconclusive. This date allows two more 14-day periods during which to assess whether COVID-19 cases are declining or increasing. Our churches will be on the leading edge of protecting public health, but not be on the leading edge of reopening at the risk of increasing exposures, infections and deaths."
Read the full notice by clicking here.
As part of the GNW Area Webinar on May 13th, Bishop Stanovsky explained her understanding of her authority and the process by which she is making decisions regarding building closure and suspension of in-person worshipYou can view that part of the webinar by clicking here.  It is about 12 and a half minutes long.

DS Schedule

Please let District Superintendent Tim know about significant events happening in your local congregation. 

Upcoming events in the District Superintendent's Schedule:

Monday and Tuesday evenings through May Tim is hosting "Let's Connect" Zoom gatherings.  Learn more by clicking the links below:

Mondays @ 7 p.m. for clergy and 
lay pastors

Tuesdays @ 6:30 p.m. for laity

Fri, May 15       O-I Cabinet
                          Transitions Re-
                               treat Team
Tues, May 19   Greater NW
                              Crisis Team
Weds, May 20  Cabinet Zoom
Thurs, May 21  Greater NW
                            Dean's Zoom
                         District Sup- 
Sun, May 24     What's Next 
Tues, May 26    Greater NW 
                               Crisis Team
Weds, May 27   Cabinet Zoom
Tues., June 2     Colloquies
Weds, June 3     Colloquies
Thurs, June 4     Colloquies

In addition to what is listed here, Tim is meeting with local church SPRCs by Zoom videoconference where an appointment change is anticipated.  


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 ~