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PNW News Digest #30 - September 26, 2019

How is your vision?

How is your vision?

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

I recently read about a teenage boy who went blind because of the lack of diversity in his diet. Pringles, white bread, heavily processed meats, and french fries were his staples from elementary school onward. He was 14 years old when he first saw a doctor because he was perpetually tired. 

Despite presenting as relatively healthy, medical staff noticed that the boy had low levels of vitamin B12 and anemia. He was given injections of the vitamin and offered dietary advice. Despite these interventions, he soon began to experience issues with his vision and hearing, and by the age of 17, he had permanent vision damage and several other ailments to contend with.

There is a lesson here that extends beyond the food we place into our bodies. Too often, we find ourselves comfortably surrounded by the familiar. Our desires to fit in and belong can isolate us from the different life experiences, and ways of understanding the world, that could bless us (and stretch us). This lack of diversity in our lives impacts our vision just as it did for this young man.* It takes intentional effort to break free of the comfort food of our social media echo-chambers, monolithic social networks, and, yes, political parties.

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Greater NW & Other UMC News

Holding Each Other Up

Clergy Wellness Corner: Holding Each Other Up

In a post for the Clergy Wellness Corner, Rev. Lara Bolger talks about the importance of finding support for the hard work of ministry.

Especially "during this tumultuous time in the life of our denomination" she argues that clergy "can really hold each other up."

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Battle Ground UMC sells 5 acres to Habitat

Battle Ground church sells 5 acres to Habitat for Humanity

Battle Ground Community UMC is selling 5 acres of property significantly below market value to Evergreen Habitat for Humanity to develop for "permanently affordable" housing.

“I am so proud of my church because they really believe that they have to actually love their neighbor, not just say that they are going to love their neighbor,” Battle Ground UMC Pastor Susan Boegli said.

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N.E.W. Plan would create 4 denominations

The advocacy group UM-Forward is proposing legislation to General Conference that would dissolve The United Methodist Church and form four new denominations.

The group identifies the new churches as traditionalist, moderate, progressive and liberationist.

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Plans for GC2020

United Methodists float plans to split denomination after LGBTQ vote

The United Methodist Church’s deadline for petitions for our next General Conference passed last week.

Emily McFarlan Miller with Religion News Service provides this overview including synopses of the major (likely) proposals that delegates will consider.

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GC2020 Process

What comes after GC2020 petitions deadline

The deadline to submit legislation to the 2020 General Conference is now in the rearview mirror.

Heather Hahn reports on the process ahead as a fuller picture emerges of what options will be before the denomination’s top lawmaking assembly.

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COB: Black leaders discuss future of UMC

Council of Bishops: Black leaders meet to discuss future of United Methodist Church

Dozens of key African-American laity, clergy and episcopal leaders met in Chicago last week to discern and map out the future of the Black Church in The United Methodist Church as a prelude to the 2020 General Conference.

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Desert Southwest Special Session

Desert SW: Open Minds, Open Hearts, and Doors Wide Open

The Desert Southwest Conference held a special session on Sept. 14. During the gathering, voters adopted eight resolutions including one calling for a moratorium on LGBTQ+ related complaints, investigations and trials. The resolutions are aspirational and shape the year-round work of the annual conference.

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Patterns of Hope

CrossOver: Patterns of Hope

Nature and our lives are full of patterns, many that are helpful and even beautiful, others less so.

In her post for our CrossOver study, Rev. Donna Pritchard reminds us that not all patterns are fixed or permanent. She asks if now might be the time for a change, or the moment to create a new pattern altogether.

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One Church Many Doors

“Neighbors Out the Front Door” — Aldersgate UMC

Despite challenges endemic of an economically-stressed neighborhood, Aldersgate UMC has been finding new ways to reach out and serve its community. They recently were licensed by the State to provide needed and affordable childcare for 30 children.

Rev. Karen Dammann continues the Alaska Conference's "One Church / Many Doors" Blog Series by sharing the story of this church in Juneau.

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VIDEO: UMCOR: Global Migration

UMCOR continues to work with refugees and migrants worldwide despite staggering statistics that make it “a key challenge in the years ahead.”

But, as a new video explains, migration is not going away and in helping to alleviate the suffering, the church has an opportunity for transformation “into something greater.”

Watch Now
Return of Land

Church Returns Land To Wyandotte People

With tears in his eyes, Chief Billy Friend of the Wyandotte Nation of Oklahoma accepted a land deed from Thomas Kemper, top executive, General Board of Global Ministries.

Nearly 600 people present at the Sept. 21 ceremony rose to their feet and applauded while Wyandotte from Oklahoma, Kansas and Michigan lifted celebratory cries.

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Church in Liberia gets malaria medication

Church in Liberia gets malaria medication

The health department of The United Methodist Church in Liberia received $40,000 worth of malaria medications and other supplies donated by the General Board of Global Ministries.

The shipment is among the donations through the church’s Imagine No Malaria initiative, a part of Global Ministries’ Abundant Health program.

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Stewardship Survey Takeaways

Clergy: You Need to Talk about Money

Stewardship consultant Cesie Delve Scheuermann recently finished reading the Lake Institute's "National Study of Congregation's Economic Practices" and she has some takeaways.

Just one of those takeaways? Talking about money is likely to increase generosity.
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The circuit preacher was an idea of the frontier past. Now it’s the cutting-edge response to shrinking churches.

In an increasing number of places, rural and even urban, pastors are bringing back an old-fashioned concept: the circuit preacher.

The Washington Post looks at how this model has become resurgent as mainline denominations adapt to secularization and other trends.

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Upcoming Events

Gathering of the Orders

PNW Gathering of the Orders 2019

Wesley UMC, Yakima, WA| October 8-10, 2019 | $50

This year's PNW Gathering of the Orders will be held Oct. 8-10, 2019 at Wesley United Methodist Church in Yakima, Washington. The theme this year is "From Desperation to Radical Love." Chitra Hanstad, Executive Director of World Relief Seattle, will serve as our keynote speaker.

The gathering is for Elders, Deacons (including provisional elders and deacons), Local Pastors, Certified Lay Ministers, and Lay Persons Assigned.

Learn More & Register
ERT Basic Training

Early Response Team Basic Training

Edmonds United Methodist Church | October 26, 2019 | $25

Be ready when the next disaster strikes to help those most in need. The Early Response Team Basic Training will prepare you on ways to clean out a flooded home, haul debris, sift through ashes and work alongside survivors while staying safe. The class is taught by United Methodist Committee on Relief (UMCOR) certified trainers and includes examples of recent missions, hands-on activities and an opportunity to meet people with a passion to serve. Anyone 18 years or older is welcomed to attend.

Registration fee is $25 and includes all training materials, lunch, and snacks. Deadline for registration is Friday, October 18.

Learn More & Register
Boundary Training

Seven Rivers District offering Two Advanced Boundary Training opportunities in October

Yakima: Wesley UMC – October 24, 9 AM to 4 PM – Presenter: Sue Magrath
Wenatchee First UMC – Oct. 30, 9:30 AM to 4 PM – Presenter: Denise McGuiness

Seven Rivers District is offering two options for Advanced Boundary Trainings this fall to fulfill the boundary requirement for clergy. This is the first of those options. 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. This study should be typed out and e-mailed to the presenter so that it can be forwarded to all participants prior to the training. Please submit this to the presenter by Thursday, October 17.

Learn More & Register - Oct. 24
Learn More & Register - Oct. 30
Connecting Neighbors

Connecting Neighbors

October 5, 2019 | Kennewick First UMC | $10

This emergency preparedness training through UMCOR has three areas of focus – personal and home readiness, church readiness, and readiness to serve your neighbors in case of an emergency. This workshop is being taught by Wendy Riddle and David C. Riddle.

Online pre-registration is required. A $10 workshop fee includes all materials, snacks and lunch. Deadline for registration is Friday, September 27.

Learn More & Register

Resources & Opportunities

World Communion Sunday

Celebrate World Communion Sunday on October 6th!

You are encouraged to share with your congregation the ways they can participate in World Communion Sunday on October 6.

This Special Sunday offering funds undergraduate and graduate scholarships for racial-ethnic persons. Resources for World Communion Sunday are available online and are free to download.

Download Resources
Implicit Bias Course

Implicit Bias: What We Don't Think We Think

The General Commission on Religion and Race has produced a free online course for leaders, preachers, and congregations who want to learn and teach about implicit bias.

"By taking an intentional look at implicit bias... we can question perceptions and break down the barriers to reaching full inclusion, diversity, equity, and community."

Learn More & Enroll
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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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