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PNW News Digest #37 - November 14, 2019

Fresh Summit

Another Wild Week in United Methodism

By Patrick Scriven, Director of Communications & Young People’s Ministries (PNW)

Greetings from Los Angeles! I'm in the great state of California this weekend as a variety of leaders gather for the Fresh United Methodism Summit. Parts of the program will be live-streamed starting today at 4 PM. — you can find details on the gathering and the livestream on the WJ website.

It's been another interesting week to be United Methodist. Since the Western Jurisdiction's active bishops released their Declaration of Safe Harbor, more than 6,100 United Methodists have signed to support their action. If you haven't already seen the statement, you can read it here.

The Wesleyan Covenant Association met over the past weekend to continue their organizing for a new, traditionalist church. Leaders of the WCA believe that a breakup of The United Methodist Church is both inevitable and necessary. They have formally endorsed the Indianapolis Plan which calls for the formation of several new denominations.

A few days ago, Bishop Peggy Johnson, serving Eastern Pennsylvania, wrote to her conference that she will not refer complaints related to homosexuality to trial. You may remember that Bishop John Schol said much the same to the Greater New Jersey Conference when it met in special session last month.

In the West, our bishops have been explicit in their refusal to do harm, understanding this as a justice issue. Some Bishops including Johnson and Schol, are arriving at much the same conclusion. Still others issuing calls for a non-binding moratorium until General Conference 2020, like Council of Bishops President Kenneth H. Carter, clearly wishing to avoid harmful trials.

Yesterday brought the complicated news of a complaint resolved in the Iowa Conference against Rev. Anna Blaedel. The complaint was brought against her for acknowledging that she is homosexual by John Lomperis, a director of the Washington, D.C. based Institute of Religion and Democracy.

Finally, United Methodist News Service shared a story today on the eight conservative United Methodist bishops who are calling for "deep conversations" around a future with multiple "new ;expressions of Methodism."

Just another wild week in United Methodism.

All Belong Legislation

Group proposes legislation to 2020 General Conference making room for ‘All’

A group of elected delegates from conferences across the Western Jurisdiction have submitted legislation for consideration by the 2020 General Conference. The 19-member team proposed 27 legislative changes to the Book of Discipline "to better equip the full church to say “All Belong.”

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Greater NW & Other UMC News

Just Resolution

Complaint against gay Iowa elder resolved

A just resolution has been reached in a complaint against the Rev. Anna Blaedel, the Iowa Conference announced Nov. 13. Blaedel has faced several complaints after publicly embracing the description "self-avowed practicing homosexual" at the 2016 Iowa Annual Conference. The Iowa elder faced a church trial in the latest complaint.

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WCA Gathering

WCA looks toward new, traditionalist church

Leaders of the Wesleyan Covenant Association said a breakup of The United Methodist Church is inevitable and offered details of what a new, traditionalist Methodist church might look like. The group held its fourth global gathering, drawing about 1,000 to Asbury United Methodist Church, with an additional 2,000 watching by simulcast.

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CA Wildfires

Response to wildfires deepens with experience

United Methodist responses to the annual wildfires in California include immediate help such as gift cards and charging centers for electronics, to longer-term efforts to tend to the psyches of children who’ve been through traumatic events.

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Episcopal Finances

Bishops warned their funding imperiled

Church financial leaders sounded the alarm at the fall meeting of the Council of Bishops. Without any changes, the fund that supports the bishops will run out of money in five years.

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Global Ministries to Commission New United Methodist EarthKeepers for Environmental Stewardship 

Global Ministries will commission 67 new EarthKeepers from 23 conferences in an online service on November 19, 2019 at 8pm ET at Among those being commissioned is Barb Maynes, a lay member of First United Methodist Church, Port Angeles, WA.

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North Central Jurisdiction

North Central Jurisdiction repents of harm to LGBTQ people 

Delegates from the North Central Jurisdiction released a statement acknowledging and apologizing for harm to LGBTQ individuals in the past and for potential harm that could begin Jan. 1, 2020, when the Traditional Plan goes into effect. They also called for a moratorium on complaints related to same-gender weddings and LGBTQ identity and credentialing, and said they want to elect bishops in 2020 who will join in these commitments.

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COB Report

Council of Bishops: Carter reports on bishops’ meeting

Council of Bishops President Kenneth H. Carter has released his summary of the council’s recent meeting, including actions taken and reports received. Some of what he describes occurred in closed session. Carter also addresses the bishops’ priorities as discussions continue about the future of the church.

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CrossOver: Abundant Life Outside the Lines

In her post for the Greater Northwest Area’s CrossOver blog, the Rev. Mary Huycke shares how the very pattern-recognizing skill that we count on for so much can entrap us and others. She points to spiritual practice as key to gaining the freedom to encounter life as it truly is.

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Sharing is Scary

Sharing Church with People and other Scary Things

While attending last month's PNW Orders Gathering in Yakima, Rev. Mike Lawson had several chance encounters with a young person, a youth wearing a scary mask during the first encounter. Lawson wonders what we might discover, and be able to share, if we push past our fear of those outside our doors.

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Hispanic-Latinx Newsletter

Check out the New Hispanic/Latinx Newsletter

Early this Fall, new Director of Hispanic/Latinx Ministries Rev. Cruz Edwin Santos, began to meet and hear from Hispanic/Latinx leaders across the conference.

He is producing a quarterly newsletter with these leaders, providing a forum for them to tell their story and learn more about other ministries in the PNW.

Download PDF
Alaskan Veteran

Alaskan who served in both WWII and Vietnam honored in Veterans Day ceremony

Walter Fergus, a 94-year-old World War II prisoner of war and Vietnam War veteran, was presented a folded U.S. flag honoring him for his 28 years of service during a Veterans Day ceremony in the Glenn Massay Theater in Palmer Monday. Fergus is a longtime member of Christ First UMC in Wasilla and he served for many years as the church secretary.

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Beyond Bequests

Beyond Bequests: 3 Planned Gifts that Help Now

The Northwest United Methodist Foundation offers some guidance this week on bequest alternatives. “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...”"

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Funeral Flowers

Death is always hard… sometimes it is harder because we hide painful truths…

Rev. Peter Perry touches on a very important topic in a post to the First United Methodist Church of Olympia website. It was prompted by a recent eulogy he gave, and the request of grieving parents to "break down some of the stigma of mental illness and suicide."

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Deeper Conversations

Group of bishops calling for ‘deeper conversations’

Eight United Methodist bishops are calling for a new form of unity amid differences over human sexuality that seem to be pushing The United Methodist Church toward a split. The bishops, four active and four retired, signed a statement and offered it to the church, calling for "deeper conversations regarding new expressions of Methodist witness."

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Upcoming Events

Women in Ministry Retreat

Women in Ministry Retreat

February 2-4, 2020 | Rainbow Lodge, North Bend, WA

This annual retreat is a wonderful time for women in ministry (all clergy under appointment, lay-persons assigned, or retired) to come together for shared sisterhood, a slowing down of the pace to gear up for Lent and Easter season, a walk in the woods, sitting up talking or playing games, having all your meals cooked for you and cleaned up!, and just hanging out to get to know each other better.

Registration for the Full Retreat (2 nights, 5 meals) is $185. One Night (Monday lunch to Tuesday lunch; $128) and Monday Daytime only ($56, includes lunch & dinner) options are also available.

Visit the event page to learn more about this excellent opportunity!

Learn More & Register

Resources & Opportunities

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.

Learn More

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
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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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