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April 30, 2020
Person asleep at laptop

Pastoral Letter # . . . I’ve lost count
 
My body and my heart fail, but God is my heart's rock and my share forever. – Psalm 73:26 (CEB)
 
Greetings fellow siblings in Christ,
 
It is official; I have a severe case of Zoom Fatigue. It seems that I am averaging around 6 hours a day 5 days a week doing Zoom. It has gotten so bad that I don’t even want to Zoom with my grand kids. I am doing lots of self care and taking breaks and drinking water and all, but it does take a toll. I hope you are caring for yourself as well.
 
We all are aware that signs point to a lessening of restrictions on the horizon. This is good news.  But, as we contemplate some form of returning to gathering many things will need to be figured out and many policies and procedures will need to be in place before any gathering can happen.

I encourage you to start thinking about what you will need in place and on hand when the day comes that we exit the tomb and return to life. The Bishop has said maybe by Pentecost. That’s a month away. Do you have cleaning supplies, hand sanitizer, masks, gloves, toilet paper, etc. ready for the time when you can come together again? I know that getting any quantity of hand sanitizer is difficult and most places are telling you June before they can deliver it. You need to get these things in place before folks can gather.
 
The Greater Northwest Area leadership is working on guidance for us as we begin to plan for the return to gathering. The next Wednesday Webinar will begin a series on this subject. Resources will be rolled out and guidelines shared, so watch for those and be ready to implement.

One thing I would like to ask you right now: what have you learned about being church, doing worship, caring for one another, etc. while in this lockdown?

I know that I have learned many things, some of which I will continue to implement even after the restrictions are lifted. I have learned that some of the things we do and some of the ways we do things can shift and change and that we can do them better because of it. As Sir Winston Churchill is credited with saying, “Never let a good crisis go to waste.” Let’s not let what we have learned be forgotten. It would be a waste of a good crisis to come out of this the same as we went in. We can do things differently because things are different.
 
There is an old adage that it takes 21 days to form a new habit. But a recent study has described the 21-day habit formation formula as a myth. According to Phillippa Lally, a health psychology researcher at University College London, a new habit usually takes a little more than 2 months — 66 days to be exact. By the time we can gather in numbers greater than ten 66 days will have passed. New habits will have formed and some of them will be worth keeping. Figure out which ones are worth it, as well as what you haven’t done over the last 66 days that you can forget about doing again. Learning what change to keep will be one of the best outcomes from this stay-at-home-time we’ve lived through.
 
Please stay the course for now. Wait to hear when it is advisable to venture forth and gather. Follow the policies and procedures recommended by health authorities. Remember that the goal is to stay healthy and save lives, especially the lives of others.
 
I hope to see you at the next “Let’s Connect” (yes, by Zoom). 

Blessings and peace!
 
Signature: Tim 

Tim Overton-Harris
Cascadia District Superintendent
tim@umoi.org


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 6, Bishop Elaine and others will kick off a new 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 these next several 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.

Please visit this link to register for next Wednesday’s webinar.

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


How Are We Helping?  In So Many Ways!

Most of us are stuck at home.  As we watch the news about the suffering in our own communities, across the nation and around the world, we may wonder how we can help.

Jesus taught us that we can contribute the small fish or loaf of bread we have, and it combines with others' gifts as well as God's grace and becomes a feast for four thousand or even five thousand (Matthew 14, Matthew 15, Mark 6, Mark 8, Luke 9).

Your local church is continuing in ministry in your community.  It is important that you continue to send in your regular giving to support that work.  If you don't know what your congregation is doing right now, contact your pastor.  There may also be ways that you can be the hands and feet of Christ in safe, socially distanced ways. Marquam UMC has been distributing free masks made by a parishioner.  UM Open Door Churches of Salem-Keizer has held a weekly "Fill the Truck" food drive.  Check with your pastor or mission team about what you can do locally.

Grocery Card Grant Video

The Cascadia District Church Extension Society gave each district congregation $500 to use to provide food for their neighbors.  The Conference Ministry Leadership Team has funded grocery gift card grants.  DS Tim invited some congregations to apply for those grants.  Another round of applications will be opening soon.  If your congregation is interested in participating in that, contact DS Tim at tim@umoi.org

Fund for Families Video

You can support ongoing grants like the Grocery Card Grants  by giving to the 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)

And you can support the work of the United Methodist Committee on Relief across our nation and around the world.  UMCOR is well known and respected for funding going directly to the need (Their administrative costs are covered separately).  UMCOR has launched a giving campaign, “Sheltering in Love,” to 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. Read more by clicking here.

Through our connectional structure, we can reach out to help locally, across the Pacific Northwest, or across the nation and, indeed, around the world.  All of these efforts seek to assist those who are most vulnerable during this time.  There is much we can do, even while keeping others safe by staying home.


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: https://www.umoi.org/resources-for-a-time-of-pandemic

Here are some new resources this week:

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!  linda@umoi.org or (503) 581-3969

Grace and peace in Christ,

Linda

Linda Grund-Clampit
Cascadia District Administrative Assistant

 

UPCOMING EVENTS

This week in the
Cascadia District

Cascadia District UMs are making connections in their community to share hope and dollars to meet the needs of their vulnerable neighbors, using the CDCES grants.

Looking Ahead

Monday, May 4

Let's Connect for Clergy
and Lay Pastors

an opportunity for conversation and fellowship with the DS via Zoom

May 5 - 15

General Conference
RESCHEDULED
Aug 31-Sept 10, 2021?

Read more by clicking here

Tuesday, May 5

Cascadia Suburban Ring Colloquy

Cascadia High Desert Colloquy

Cascadia Wine Country Colloquy

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

Wednesday, May 6

Webinar: Ministry in the New Normal #1 - Our Church Life Beyond the COVID-19 Crisis

Cascadia Open Door Churches Colloquy

Thursday, May 7

Cascadia District Molalla and Pudding Rivers Colloquy

Cascadia District North Coast Colloquy

May 12

Cascadia District Committee on Ministry

May 21

Cascadia District Committee on Superintendency

 


Prayer Calendar

April 26-May 2

Tualatin UMC
Pastor Amy Overton-Harris
Lay Leader Rachel Elliot

May 3 - May 9

Warrenton UMC
Pastor Kathy Matthews
Lay Leader Anne Stark

May 10 - 16

Willamette UMC
Pastor Kathy Boyes
Lay Leader Chris Heilman

See the full prayer calendar


Worship Resources to Share

No matter the size of your church, making a service in the age of lock-downs and Covid-19 is difficult, and in some situations almost impossible. To help ease the burden, the Open Door Churches of Salem and Keizer will be sharing all the instrumental music, songs, and scripture readings we create each week online.

Any United Methodist Church is free to download these clips and use them in your own worship as you see fit, just use the link below, no account needed. This collection will continue to be updated weekly as long as we cannot meet physically for service.

Click here for the DropBox files

We hope this can be of help to some of the churches in our area, and if your church has videos they would like to share as well, please email brian_mackey75@hotmail.com to get added to the Dropbox folder and make this resource even more effective.

If you have any questions about how to use these videos to make a service for your own church also feel free to drop Brian a line at the email above.


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

Tues May 5      Colloquies
Weds May 6     Colloquies
Thurs May 7     Colloquies
                         Cabinet Zoom
Tues, May 12   Cascadia DCOM
Weds May 13   Cabinet Zoom

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
tim@umoi.org

District Lay Leader
Paula Sadler

jpcsadler@aol.com

District Administrative Assistant
Linda Grund-Clampit

linda@umoi.org
503-581-3969

Check out the Cascadia District webpage:
www.umoi.org/cascadia

Find us on Facebook

Cascadia District Office of the Oregon-Idaho Annual Conference
680 State Street, Suite 200, Salem, Oregon, 97301 ~ (503) 581-3969 ~ Cascadia@umoi.org