Thursday, July 9, 2020

Bishop Stanovsky announces dates for Annual Conferences to meet remotely online in September

On Wednesday, Bishop Elaine JW Stanovsky announced dates for the 2020 Sessions of the Alaska, Oregon-Idaho, and Pacific Northwest Annual Conference, with participants meeting remotely online in September. The sessions will be livestreamed with no registration required for “guests” of the conference. 

  • The Alaska Conference will meet 6-9 p.m. AKT, on Tuesday, September 15, 2020.
  • The Oregon-Idaho Conference will meet 2:30-4:30 and 6-8 p.m., PT, 3:30-5:30 and 7-9 p.m., MT, on Wednesday, September 16, 2020.
  • The Pacific Northwest Conference will meet 3:30-5:30 and 7-9 p.m. PT, Thursday, September 17, 2020.

FAQ accompanied the bishop’s letter to answer some expected questions about changes to the Annual, Western Jurisdictional, and General Conferences due to COVID-19 disruptions.

The bishop’s invitation was sent by email yesterday to persons with voice or voting privileges at Annual Conference. Please contact your respective district office if you did not receive this invitation and believe that you should have. Registration information will be available around the beginning of August.

Continue reading this post on the Greater NW News Blog.

Oregon-Idaho Conference

You’re invited: Exploring Ecumenical Partnerships workshop on Zoom

Saturday, July 25th, 2020 | 10am – 1pm

What would happen if we imagined life together?

Join us for a workshop on Zoom to talk about and explore ideas of how to grow the vitality of your ministry by partnering in mission with the ELCA, UMC, and Presbyterian churches. Come learn and explore with us if congregational renewal, redevelopment, or transformation by working with a partner church might be able to help grow the vitality of your ministry. 

Clergy and congregational leaders are encouraged to participate.

Learn more about this opportunity on the Greater NW News Blog.

Click here to RSVP today!

Inspiring Generosity: Be Kind

I haven’t done a movie review for a while. If you’re not into movies (the horror!), skip this section. For those who remember these two critics, I haven’t decided whether I’m Siskel or Ebert. Maybe, I’m both Siskel and Ebert. In any event, I’m only going to tell you about movies I love.

Today’s super-mini-review is “13th” (directed by Ava DuVernay, available on Netflix and free on YouTube). It’s about our criminal justice system (or injustice system as the case may be), especially as it relates to Black Americans. It’s devastating. It’ll make you furious. And it’s a necessary watch to fill in the gaps of things-some-of-us-would-rather-not-think-about. You may need to watch it in 30- to 45-minute sections to take it all in. It gets an unreserved “A.”

Now…on to kindness. Did you know that you can hold both righteous anger (see the movie review above) and kindness in your little old body? It’s true. On Sunday, I ran across an article in the science section (of all places) – “Being Kind Pays Off, Researchers Find.”

Continue reading on the Inspiring Generosity Blog.

Greater NW Pride: Hate Crimes, LGBTQ2S+* People, and the Church

On June 29, 2020, Christian Council, an Oklahoma City realtor, was beaten up and left unconscious by two people, Amery Dickerson and Bennett Stone, who used anti-gay slurs as they hit him in the head.

I have seen pictures of Christian’s beaten face on several of the LGBTQ+ sites that I go to daily, e.g.,,, and

Christian and a friend arrived at his home in an apartment complex. As they tried to park the car, a truck was in their way. They honked at the car blocking his parking space, and the truck moved, and after he parked, he got out of the car when two people approached him, who were waiting behind his car. 

Continue reading on the Greater NW Pride Blog.

PNW Conference

Clergy Wellness: Compassion Fatigue

By Rev. Joy Martin

Imagine my surprise when an accomplished organizational development author and speaker once told me, “Your problem is that you care too much.” I had just told him about the number of problems people were sharing with me and of their feelings of justified anger, hopelessness, pain or lack of purpose. At the time I did not believe I was able to hold and companion one more person so helpless. However, I actually did care about the people I was serving and wanted to walk with them through their struggles to find some light of hope again.

I can now label this experience as “compassion fatigue.” Instead of being open, compassionate and fully present to those I walked with, I was withdrawing into myself and looking outward for causes, instead of inward for solutions. My compassion “reserves” were low, while I felt over-burdened with the impacts of trauma I heard about on a regular basis.

Sooner or later anyone who truly cares about reducing the suffering in our world must reach out to listen to and understand the pain, lost hopes, and threats to another’s well-being.

Continue reading on the Greater Northwest News Blog.


Lay Servant Ministries Basic Course

The Lay Servant Ministries' Basic Course is being offered online through Zoom starting August 4 on Tuesdays from 2-4 p.m. PT. The final class is on September 1.

The offering is the foundational course for Lay Servant Ministries and a gateway for those called to be Certified Lay Servants, Lay Speakers, Lay Ministers. All participants must have a course book and attend all five sessions in addition to registering by August 1. The book is the only cost associated with this training.

More information and registration information is available on this flier.

Webinar Series - Dementia and the Church

More than 16 million Americans provide unpaid care for people with Alzheimer’s or other forms of dementia. An estimated 5.8 million Americans live with Alzheimer’s, and that number is climbing. How can churches respond? How can churches equip caregivers? What can churches do to be more welcoming of those with dementia?

The Committee on Older Adult Ministry is partnering with Discipleship Ministries to produce a webinar series to explore these questions. With four video now available, the Dementia and the Church webinar series continues with four new webinars beginning July 10, 2020.

Get information and register for the July 10th Webinar.

View schedule and watch past webinars.

"Leading in Crisis" E-Panel Discussion Series Continues Next Week!

The second offering in GBHEM's “Leading in Crisis” series is being offered on July 15th. “Setting next steps when your feet are weary," features Bishop LaTrelle Easterling of the Baltimore-Washington Conference, author Susan Beaumont and Rev. DJ del Rosario who serves as pastor of Federal Way UMC in the PNW Conference. 

This digital discussion series is presented in partnership with the Council of Bishops’ Leadership Development Team, and designed to help clergy and their congregations chart a path forward in the months ahead.

A recording of the first offering in the series is available to watch now.


Unsnarling US and church racial history

Methodism’s founder wanted to minister with Native Americans and abolish slavery. 

But decades after John Wesley’s death, a Methodist bishop was a slaveholder and a Methodist clergyman was responsible for one of the worst massacres of Native Americans in U.S. history

So what went wrong?

United Methodist historians and other leaders led a livestreamed denominational town hall July 1 to explore their church’s complicated and sometimes suppressed record on race.

Read more on the United Methodist News website.

Delegates: Use GC2020 delay for new vision

The Methodist movement first grew through small groups where people met to talk about their faith. 

An informal group of 15 current and former General Conference delegates hopes a similar approach will help foster a less contentious and more fruitful legislative gathering next year. 

The group is urging fellow delegates and other United Methodists to use the unprecedented pandemic-caused postponement of the denomination’s top lawmaking assembly to hold prayerful conversations in their churches about the denomination’s future. 

The group has released a statement “Out of Chaos, Creation: Seeds of a Vision for a Renewed United Methodism.”At two webinars July 7, group members discussed their statement and invited others to seek a “Spirit-inspired vision” for The United Methodist Church.

Read more on the United Methodist News website.

In trying times, churches extend their reach

When the pandemic threatened their predominantly African American community in North Nashville, Tennessee, members of Gordon Memorial United Methodist Church knew what they had to do: Re-tool for the new reality and increase capacity.

That meant finding a different way to feed and spiritually nurture the 50 older adults active in the church’s weekly Best Years program and the 150 homeless persons brought to the building for the same reason every Saturday, said the Rev. Paula Smith, Gordon’s pastor. It also means responding to the increased need as the pandemic’s economic impact grows.

A Sheltering in Love grant from the United Methodist Committee on Relief’s COVID-19 Response Fund is helping the members of Gordon Memorial accomplish that goal.

Read more on the United Methodist News website.

UMC Bishops welcome new Executive Secretary and Ecumenical Officer

The Council of Bishops of The United Methodist Church is pleased to announce that Bishop Bruce Ough and Bishop Sally Dyck will become the new Executive Secretary and Ecumenical Officer of the Council effective September 1, 2020.  Both were elected at the 2019 November meeting of the Council.

Bishop Ough will be succeeding Bishop Marcus Matthews as Executive Secretary while Bishop Dyck will be taking over the ecumenical portfolio from Bishop B. Michael Watson. The Executive Secretary serves as the operations officer of the Council and works closely with the President and Secretary to monitor actions of the Council and Executive Committee. The Ecumenical Officer is responsible for relationships with other denominations and/or ecclesial bodies. Both serve four-year terms.

Read more on the Council of Bishops website.


Time for Cross and Flame to go

by Rev. Edlen Cowley? | UM News Commentary | July 8, 2020

"But when I saw the United Methodist Cross and Flame, I didn’t think of John Wesley’s heart being strangely warmed, I didn’t think of the flaming tongues of fire resting on the Apostles in Acts 2. I didn’t think of how each tongue of the flame represents the former denominations that came together to form The United Methodist Church —  The Evangelical United Brethren and The Methodist Church.

My mind went back to that burning cross I saw on the side of the freeway — a symbol my mother told me was devised to cause fear in black people."

Continue reading on United Methodist News.

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