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PNW News Digest #34 - October 24, 2019

The Spiritual Practice of Being Something Else

By Patrick Scriven, Director of Communications & Young People's Ministry

Over the next week, millions of Americans will throw on a costume and pretend to be someone they are not. I, for one, will be an inflatable pink unicorn, which will be a delight to my children (I have no shame). It wasn't my first choice for a costume, but the commander-in-chief of my home vetoed my first selection as "too political."
I bought tickets yesterday for the Emerald City Comic Con in March. While I don't dress up, hundreds of visitors will, participating in something known as Cosplay, incarnating their favorite character from comics, fantasy, or gaming. It's always fascinating to see the fantastic costumes and creativity on display and to consider the motivation underneath.

I suspect that many of us enjoy costuming up for Halloween or more regularly because life can be something of a burden. By throwing on a different skin, we escape the day-to-day tasks we all have, the stress we carry, and perhaps even our regrets.

In the spirit of the season, let me suggest that putting on a costume can be a spiritual practice, if done in the right way...

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GC2020 Resources

General Conference 2020 News & Resources

As we continue on the path to General Conference 2020, we will be providing members with news and resources about the important conversations happening in The United Methodist Church.

Please keep this page bookmarked and share it with people in your congregation. We will work to keep it updated with essential content to inform the important conversations taking place across the area.

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Greater NW & Other UMC News

Lake Washington in the Seattle Times

Parking spots for the homeless in Seattle, finally. But at a thousand bucks a month?

As The Seattle Times looked into the remarkable expensive cost of proposed parking spots for people experiencing homelessness in Seattle, they came across a far more efficient example just a few miles away.

“Lake Washington UMC in Kirkland has been hosting up to 55 car-campers per night in its church parking lot since 2011 – which makes it one of the largest providers to the vehicular homeless on the West Coast. Its annual budget, incredibly, is just $20,000 [compared to $382K for 20-30 spots proposed by Seattle].”

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Port Orchard Revisited

The Port Orchard Tornado Revisited

It's been 10 months since a rare EF 2 Tornado wreaked havoc in Port Orchard, Washington.

Jim Truitt, Disaster Response Coordinator for the Greater NW Area, offers us a look back at the work that has been accomplished by numerous volunteers and intentional partnerships.

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Leadership Shift

Leadership Identification vs. Leadership Development

"While white institutions profess to needing this difference [perspectives, convictions], leaders of color are regularly met with resistance, hostility, and an agenda to assimilate."

Greater NW Area Dir. of Innovation for an Engaged Church, Rev. Dr. Leroy Barber, shares about a strategic shift being undertaken to allow young leaders of color to "bring their full self and gifts to ministry."

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Social Principles

GBCS Board of Directors Release Social Principles to the Church

Legislation for the revised United Methodist Social Principles has been submitted to the 2020 General Conference and is online in seven languages for review and discussion.

A writing team of more than 50 church members — from the central conferences in the Philippines, Congo, West Africa, Central and Southern Europe, Northern Europe and Eurasia and the five U.S. jurisdictions — worked on the document.

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GC2020 Logo

2020 General Conference Logo Unveiled

The Commission on the General Conference has unveiled the logo for the 2020 General Conference to accompany the theme, “…and know that I am God,” based on an excerpt from Psalm 46:10.

United Methodist Communications designed the logo, which is used to maintain a consistent visual identity for the 2020 General Conference.

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Volunteers needed for General Conference

Volunteers are needed for a variety of roles during the 2020 General Conference which will meet in Minneapolis, Minnesota from May 5-15, 2020. At this time, the following positions are open: recorders, channel “B” identifiers, and verbatim transcribers/copy editors.

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Accept or Question?

CrossOver: Accept or Question?

"As our life progresses, many aspects of our personality and outlook develop. That is also true of our faith life," writes Dave Burfeind in a reflection for the Greater NW Area CrossOver Study.

Burfeind is director at Lazy F Camp and Retreat Center outside of Ellensburg, WA.

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One Church Many Doors

“Doors to a New Hope” — New Hope Methodist /Presbyterian Church

New Hope Methodist Presbyterian Church began about 46 years ago when representatives of both denominations in Fairbanks decided to explore the possibility of establishing a mainline Protestant ministry in the growing community of North Pole, Alaska.

Pastor Curt Matz continues the Alaska Conference's "One Church / Many Doors" blog series with a look at this congregation with an ecumenical makeup.

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Ebony Bishops

Ebony bishops demand voice in church future

The Ebony Bishops are calling for African American clergy and laity to have a voice in The United Methodist Church's future.

"Our witness is grounded in our experience of deliverance from enslavement, Jim Crow, the exclusionary practices of the Central Jurisdiction and the ongoing discrimination in our world," said the bishops' statement.

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Give Love

Global Ministries’ End of Year Campaign Highlights Giving Love, Joy, Hope, and peace

Global Ministries, the worldwide mission and development agency of The United Methodist Church is inviting members to give love, joy, hope and peace through their year-end giving campaign.

Starting November 1, the agency will share stories of the transformational work and the ways financial gifts through The Advance impact lives.

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Pew Update

In U.S., Decline of Christianity Continues at Rapid Pace

Christians are still in the majority in the United States, but a shrinking one.

Pew Research Center telephone surveys in 2018 and 2019 found 65% of U.S. adults identify as Christian, down from 77% a decade ago. Meanwhile, the percentage of the religiously unaffiliated continues to rise.

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Wrong Bridge?

Opinion: Did GC 2020 Choose the Wrong Bridge for its Logo?

The logo for General Conference was released last week and it prominently features a bridge. This makes sense, according to the Rev. Jeremy Smith, given the metaphorical value of bridges and that 23 of them cross the Mississippi in the general area.

On his blog, Smith digs into the bridge metaphor, exploring what the different types — including one that tragically failed a few years ago — might offer to The United Methodist Church as model or caution.

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Upcoming Events

Boundary Training

Seven Rivers District offering Advanced Boundary Training opportunity

Wenatchee First UMC – Oct. 30, 9:30 AM to 4 PM – Presenter: Denise McGuiness

Seven Rivers District is offering this Advanced Boundary Training this fall to fulfill the boundary requirement for clergy. The advanced training is for clergy who have already participated in one or more boundary workshops in the past.

The class involves discussion of case studies prepared by the participants. These should be prepared prior to the training, based on a personal experience related to boundary issues. Please describe the incident, your actions, the outcome, and what you learned and/or might have done differently.

Learn More & Register

Substance Use Disorders - A Primer for Clergy

November 12, 1-4 PM (Register by Nov. 8) | ZOOM Webinar | $30

Addiction is rampant today, and churches are not immune. Learn how clergy can respond when addiction is present in the church.

The opioid crisis has dominated headlines in recent years, but addiction of any kind is a concern for families, communities, and even the church. Many of us do not understand the power that substances can have on people’s lives. Addiction to drugs, alcohol, or other substances can result in shame or blame and impacts every aspect of users’ lives. Loved ones suffer the pain and fear of watching their family member spiral out of control. Clergy may be confronted with people in their congregations who suffer with addiction and/or their family members (or ours) who need help knowing how to respond appropriately.

We may not be able to fix the problem, but with this webinar, we might be more informed, more supportive, and less judgmental. Topics addressed will be: What is a substance use disorder? What are the common signs and symptoms? How might we help the substance user or their family members? What resources are available for recovery?

Learn More & Register

Resources & Opportunities

Conference Journal now available for print on demand

Print copies of the 2019 Pacific Northwest Annual Conference Journal are now available to order online via Please use buttons below to order one or both of the volumes.

Each volume is $10 + shipping. Lulu often has discount codes available; currently LKAB317CD, entered during checkout, will earn you 15% off your order.

Digital copies of both volumes are available to download at no cost on the PNW Conference website. Conference members can email Patrick Scriven to request the password that is needed for Volume One.

ORDER Journal Vol. 1 - Conference Directory & Rules
ORDER Journal Vol. 2 - Reports & Actions
Student Day

United Methodist Student Day Pastor & Leader's Kit

Our connection allows us to provide essential scholarships to United Methodist students who seek financial support. These strong Christian leaders need our help to continue on the path of answering God’s call to further their education. Be a part of United Methodist Student Day on November 24 with the help of promotional resources, student stories and much more.

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Pastor Thank You

IDEAS: Saying 'I appreciate you' to pastors

October is a month for expressing appreciation to clergy and others who provide pastoral support. While the month is passing quickly, there are still meaningful ways and time to say “thank you” to those who preach and teach, who pray for you and are with you in times of great sorrow and great joy.

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The Pacific Northwest Conference Office of Connectional Ministries works collaboratively and creatively to serve the missional needs of United Methodist ministries in Washington State and Northern Idaho.

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