WJ Bishops Pledge Safe Harbor for LGBTQ+ UM Clergy, Seek Support

By Western Jurisdiction UMC   LAKE JUNALUSKA, N.C., Nov. 6 – As new restrictions loom against LGBTQ+ persons in The United Methodist Church, the five active bishops in the Western Jurisdiction (region of the United States) are offering a Safe Harbor to LGBTQ+ clergy and are urging bishops and other United Methodists to join them.   The bishops have asked their colleagues on the denomination’s Council of Bishops to sign their declaration and urged other clergy and laypersons across the church to ...

Watch video: WJ Bishops declare Safe Harbor to LGBTQ+ clergy, candidates

In powerful testimonials, the active United Methodist bishops of the Western Jurisdiction explain why they have taken the bold step of pledging Safe Harbor for LGBTQ+ United Methodist Clergy and candidates, and for those officiating at same-sex weddings. #UMC4All   To learn more and to support the bishops' declaration, visit:

Leadership Development Surveys Due Tuesday

Have you completed your Leadership Development Survey yet? This survey has been distributed to clergy and laity in the California-Nevada Annual Conference of The United Methodist Church as the first step in identifying a leadership plan intended to help the local church grow and cultivate leaders to help make more disciples for the transformation of the world.   The survey takes approximately 15 minutes to complete and all responses will be kept confidential. Your participation is appreciated, ...

Apply for funding to support your campaign to interrupt the school-to-prison pipeline

The application deadline is November 15, 2019    The Office of Racial Justice invites United Methodist Women members and groups to apply for funding to help support local organizing campaigns to interrupt the school-to-prison pipeline. United Methodist Women members are eligible to apply for work happening at any level of the organization, including circle, unit, district, conference and jurisdiction. United Methodist Women may also apply for funding to support work that is happening ...

Core Team Talks Strategic Plan, Structural Change, WJ Summit at October Meeting

By Cate Monaghan Interim Director of Communications “We felt there was good connectional, authentic conversation there,” chairperson Kathi McShane reported at the Saturday (Oct. 26) meeting of the conference Core Team, referencing listening sessions at the 2019 Annual Conference Session that the Core Team planned and coordinated.   Afterward, “We compiled and reviewed comments and distilled them into themes and values,” she continued, “which made their way into Listening to Your Church’s Voice....

Conference Core Team Advances Strategic Planning Process

During these fall months, the Core Team, through your district superintendent, has asked that each local church in our conference respond to three questions as a follow-up to our listening sessions at annual conference.   Here is a short video, hosted by Core Team chairperson Rev. Kathi McShane, that will help your congregation understand better how these three questions and your candid responses will help shape the future of our annual conference.          When your team is ready to share your...

California-Nevada Responds to Latest Fire Threat

“This morning brought good news for those of us in Northern California, and many reasons for continued prayer!” says Sonja Edd-Bennett, disaster response coordinator for the California-Nevada Conference of The United Methodist Church.   “Overall, the Kincade Fire is up to 60% containment and many areas are repopulating,” she reports. Although the northeast section of the fire zone continues to threaten, “The feeling overall is one of cautious optimism.”   The fire forced evacuation of 185,688 ...

Cal-Nev Pastors Evacuated Due to Kincade Fire, Church Services Cancelled

Sunday church services were cancelled yesterday at Sebastapol, Forestville, and Windsor United Methodist churches and at Christ Church UMC in Santa Rosa, and there was only one service at First UMC, Santa Rosa due to evacuations. More than half of Sonoma County is under mandatory evacuation as the Kincade Fire continues to blaze, only 5% contained after four days.    Rev. Schuyler Rhodes, superintendent of the Los Rios District, has been in touch with pastors in the affected zone and, with ...

Domestic Violence Workshop to Help Bring 'Shalom'

By Rev. Michele Robbins Pastor, Ukiah UMC The topic of domestic violence can be difficult to talk about, especially for those of us who know the pains that come when someone you love is in an abusive relationship. Being open to share about these experiences can help others who are caught up in the emotional roller coaster of having a family member or friend in a domestic violence situation. This is why I call the educational and empowerment work that I do to help end domestic violence my heart...

Historic Campground Returns to Life

LITTLE RIVER —The sound of children laughing, playing, and singing can be heard in the forest once again. Mendocino Redwood Retreat, formerly the Mendocino Christian Camp, is being resurrected. The non-profit campground, which opened in 1986 on Albion-Little River Road, has been largely underutilized in the last several years, but new leadership is bringing about new life. Earlier this month, the Board of Directors for the camp approved a new mission statement: Encounter God, Enjoy Camping, and...

Building Bridges of Understanding with Native American Communities

Memorial United Methodist Church in Clovis, California invites you to attend a special event, “Building Bridges of Understanding with Native American Communities,” this Saturday, October 26, 2019, from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. on the grounds of Academy Methodist Church.   Academy is located at 10677 N Madsen Ave., Clovis, CA 93619, which is a few miles north east of Clovis, just off Highway 168.   Sponsored by Memorial UMC under the advisement of leadership from the North Fork Mono Tribe, the event ...

Campbell UMC Celebrates 22 Years as Reconciling Congregation

In recognition of its 22nd year of being a Reconciling Congregation, Campbell United Methodist Church has invited Rev. Dr. Israel (Izzy) Alvaran, Reconciling Processes and Western Regional Organizer for the Reconciling Ministries Network, to preach on Sunday, October 27 at its 10 a.m. worship service. His sermon, “All are Welcome, but ...” is based on a study of Acts 8:26-40. At 11:30 a.m. in the Fireside Room, Alvaran and Campbell UMC's Pastor Alyss Swanson will give a short presentation on ...

Point Pleasant Offers Help for Depression Through Sunday Sermon

Point Pleasant United Methodist Church in Elk Grove, California will feature David Woods Bartley as guest preacher this Sunday, October 27, on the subject “Reconstructing a Life Divided into a Life United – How to Build and Maintain Mental Health after Hardship, Tragedy, or Trauma.”   Bartley is a TEDx Talk speaker whose personal story includes directing a nationally recognized nonprofit and battling a life-threatening mental illness. He tells it this way:   “On August 31, 2011, I was going to ...

Registration Opens for Gathering of the Orders

Registration for the 2020 Gathering of the Orders retreat is open now on the California-Nevada Conference website. The gathering will take place January 28-30, 2020 at Asbury United Methodist Church in Livermore, California.   In keeping with the Book of Discipline, Bishop Minerva Carcaño calls the Orders to gather for a time of retreat, learning, and strengthening relationships with each other while continuing on the journey of ministry. The bishop’s invitation extends to elders, deacons, ...

Growing Young Cohort Meets for First in-Person Summit

Teams from the 30 churches selected to comprise the initial Growing Young cohort participated in their first in-person summit on Friday and Saturday, October 11-12, 2019 at St. Mark’s United Methodist Church in Sacramento. The cohort, a partnership between Fuller Youth Institute and the California-Nevada Conference Offices of Congregational Development and Young People’s Ministry, engages the teams in a yearlong process of discernment and designing and deploying ways to create a more vital ...

Conference Mission Focus Area Conveners, Committee Chairs Meet

By JB Brayfindley Communications Assistant “It’s great to know that everyone is working towards the same goal,” said Marsha Maloof, the newly appointed chair of the Subcommittee on African-American/Black Ministries, about the recent orientation meeting of the California-Nevada Conference Mission Focus Area (MFA) conveners and committee chairs. The October 9, 2019 gathering at the conference offices began with an opening worship service led by Rev. Fel Cao. There followed a series of ...

2020 Gathering of the Orders Workshops

The planning team for the 2020 Gathering of the Orders is seeking clergy interested in leading 60- or 90-minute workshops. Gathering of the Orders will take place Jan. 28-30 at Asbury United Methodist Church in Livermore, California under the theme “Casting Our Nets,” based on John 21:1-6. Workshops are scheduled for Wednesday afternoon, Jan. 29. If you would like to lead a workshop please contact Rev. Ken Schoon,, or Rev. Jacey Pickens-Jones, jacey.johnsonpickensjones...

Church of the Mountains Anniversary Receives Press Attention

By Cate Monaghan  Interim Director of Communications The Church of the Mountains United Methodist Church in Truckee, California celebrated its sesquicentennial (150 years) on September 29, an event that garnered press attention. The Sierra Sun newspaper reported on the milestone (October 4 edition, page 9), quoting Rev. Donna Farrell, pastor, as saying “We want the next 150 years to be 150 years of total inclusion of all people.”   Church of the Mountains is in the final stages of becoming ...

Volunteers Being Recruited for Fiji UMVIM trip

A team of volunteers is being assembled for a United Methodist Volunteers in Mission (UMVIM) trip to Temple Methodist Church in Nasinu, Fiji (near Suva) to assist with the construction of a new worship sanctuary.   The date for the trip has not been set.   Interested? Here’s what you need to know:   The building frame is a typical commercial structure of red iron, rebar-reinforced, formed concrete, and concrete block construction, with a metal roof, and interior framing and flooring of wood, ...

Support UM Men, Scouting Ministry 'Give Day' on Mon. Oct. 21

The General Commission on United Methodist Men is expanding its mission to enable all men and all youth to have an on-growing relationship with Jesus Christ. The biggest challenge however, is that the funding needed for both men’s and scouting exceeds income projections. Give Day will be observed on Monday, Oct. 21, 2019 and represents a one-day gifting opportunity for new and current supporters to provide financial support for men’s and scouting ministries throughout all levels of The United ...

Shasta County Interfaith Forum Prepares for Interfaith Thanksgiving Service

By Tara Macy Cal-Nev Committee on Christian Unity and Interreligious Relations The Shasta County Interfaith Forum, based in Redding, California, is a local organization consisting of congregations of faiths as varied as Ba’hai, Buddhist, Mormon, Methodist, Catholic, Sikh, Islam, and Quaker, to name just a few. It exists to promote understanding and appreciation of religious diversity in the community and to work together for the benefit of the local area. The forum supports local events such as...

Inspirational Memoir on Healing and Faith Is Released

How one woman recovered –and found new ways to thrive – after a devastating accident caused a traumatic brain injury is the core of an inspirational memoir just released that already is garnering critical acclaim.   The book is Sleep, Pray, Heal: A Path to Wholeness and Wellbeing, by Rev. Donna Fado Ivery of the California-Nevada Conference of the United Methodist Church. A book launch was held on Saturday evening (Oct. 12) at Book Passage Bookstore and Cafe in Corte Madera, California. Fado ...

2020 ACS Theme Set, Conference to Move Back to Sac in 2021

By Cate Monaghan Interim Director of Communications The Commission on the Annual Conference Session has resolved to adopt the theme chosen for the 2020 General Conference, “And Know That I Am God,” taken from Psalm 46, as the theme for the 2020 gathering of the California-Nevada Annual Conference of The United Methodist Church. The unanimous decision was made at the commission’s October 10 meeting.    The commission, chaired by Rev. Gary Pope-Sears, welcomed three new members: Kim Hines, ...

Utilities’ Proactive Power Shutoffs Heighten Memories of Devastating 2017 Wildfires

By Cate Monaghan  Interim Director of Communications, CA-NV Conference of The UMC  It was two years ago this week that a series of 250 wildfires erupted in Northern California and spread so quickly – owing to severe fire weather, or “red flag,” conditions – that each had swallowed up from 1,000 to 20,000 acres within a single day. The Northern California firestorm, North Bay Fires, and Wine Country Fires would consume some 245,000 acres, claim 44 lives, and destroy nearly 9,000 structures ...

Joyful Healer Celebrates 20 Years of Ministry on the North Coast

By JB Brayfindley  Communications Assistant    One of the results of the United Methodist Church New Church Development effort under Bishop Melvin G. Talbert more than 20 years ago is the United Methodist Church of the Joyful Healer (UMCJH) in McKinleyville, recently celebrating two decades of ministry. More than 60 people attended a special worship service on Sunday, September 8, 2019 recognizing 20 years of ministry for the church. Guest pastor Kathryn Dunning from Eureka UMC performed six ...

CA House Campus Ministry Begins New Year at UC Davis

By Sara Tillema  Director and Campus Minister, CA House    The new academic year is in full swing at CA House (Cal Aggie Christian Association), United Methodist-affiliated campus ministry at UC Davis. Welcome Week has brought a flurry of retreats, dinners, and mixers, and along with it an influx of university students ready to dive into the 2019-2020 program year.     On the first day of school, September 25th, students gathered in the Great Hall at CA House for our first Open Table Multifaith ...

Davis UMC Supports 'CA House' Campus Ministry at UC Davis

The Reverends John Moore, Kristin Stoneking, Maggie McNaught’ and Clay Ballard are some of the names that come to mind when one reminisces about previous campus ministers at the University of California at Davis. This fall and next spring, the current director and campus minister at Cal Aggie (CA) Christian Association, Sara Tillema; her spouse and PhD candidate Aron Tillema; John Knight; and Davis United Methodist Church pastor, Rev. Brandon Austin are facilitating a Bible study at Davis UMC. ...

Cal-Nev Contingent Attends Leadership Institute in Leawood

More than 30 people from the California-Nevada Conference of The United Methodist Church attended last week’s Leadership Institute at Church of the Resurrection in Leawood, Kansas. Among them were the conference’s executive director of Connectional Ministries, Rev. Jorge Domingues, and General and Jurisdiction Conference delegates Rebecca Bernstein, Elizabeth Brick, Randall Miller, Gayle Shearman, and Kristin Stoneking.   The annual event drew some 2,500 people from around the country, including...

Last Chance: Register Now to Attend ‘Shining Lights’ Symposium with Brian McLaren

Time is running out to register for Shining Lights on a Guided Path, taking place on Saturday, Oct. 12 at Reno-Sparks Convention Center, with breakout sessions at various locations in the two cities. The daylong symposium featuring renowned Christian progressive and global activist Brian McLaren is hosted by First United Methodist Church of Reno.   A former college English teacher and pastor, McLaren is an Auburn Senior Fellow, the author of more than a dozen books, and a leader in Convergence, ...

Attend Doors Open Musical at Lynnewood UMC

Doors Open, an LGBTQ-themed musical, will be performed at Lynnewood United Methodist Church, 4444 Black Avenue in Pleasanton, Sunday, Oct. 20 at 7 p.m. The musical is the brainchild of playwright-composer Mark Teagle, who created it after wrestling with the subject of LGBTQ community with reference to the UMC slogan of "Open Hearts. Open Minds. Open Doors." For more information contact Lynnewood UMC at (925)846-0221.  Download flyer here.  

Course for Lay Servants Offered in Bay District This Month

The two-part course using the text, "Lay Servants as Christian Transformational Leaders," is scheduled for two Saturdays, October 26 and November 16, 2019. The sessions will be held from 9:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. at Hope United Methodist Church, 115 El Campo Drive, in South San Francisco. Lunch is provided. Bay District Lay Servant Ministry Coordinator, Dee Anne Paron, will serve as the course leader. The course is a guide for Lay Servants seeking to be more empowered to lead their congregation ...

Part 5 in Series: Korean Joint Youth Retreat, Monte Toyon Camp

This article, focusing on Korean Youth Retreat and Monte Toyon Camp, concludes a series on Cal-Nevada Annual Conference camps. Corrected 10/9/19 By JB Brayfindley Communications Assistant Korean Youth Retreat Gives Opportunity to Renew Faith The Korean Caucus of the California-Nevada Annual Conference held its annual Summer Joint Youth Retreat (Unity Retreat) July 28-31 at Old Oak Ranch in Sonora. Coming from 12 Korean United Methodist churches, 121 youth and 53 college volunteers joined ...

Come Dream with Us! An Invitation to Lead in the California-Nevada Conference

By Lee Neish  Vice chair, Cmte. on Nominations and Connectional Leadership Development  Our denomination is facing challenges unprecedented in our lifetime. The need for listening, learning spiritual leaders – both lay and clergy – across our annual conference has never been greater. How we chart our course over the next four years will greatly determine the effectiveness of our mission to empower congregations to make disciples of Jesus Christ, and to transform lives in local and global ...

Part 4: Fijian Caucus Youth Camp Speakers Reflect on 'Call to Me' Theme

(Continuing a series on California-Nevada Annual Conference camps.) By JB Brayfindley  Communications Assistant   The Fijian Caucus Youth Camp (FCYC) is the brainchild of the California-Nevada Conference’s Fijian Caucus, which organized the first one in 2016. It was held that year at Silver Spur Christian Camp. This summer, the fourth annual edition of the FCYC took place at Camp Lodestar in Wilseyville. Thirty-nine campers, representing five United Methodist churches in Sacramento, Palo Alto,...

You May Continue to Give to Annual Conference Offering

Even though an Annual Conference Offering was taken at Annual Conference Session (ACS) in June, it doesn’t mean that the ability to give – as a church or as an individual – ended there. You still may donate online to support the urgent and long-term development needs of Davuilevu Theological College in Fiji.   Visit the 2019 ACS page on the conference website and click on 2019 Annual Conference Offering for information and resources about Davuilevu, including bulletin inserts.  

2019 Moon Lectures: Provocative, Progressive, Enlightening

By JB Brayfindley  Communications Assistant   This fall, on each second Friday of the month, St. Mark’s United Methodist Church in Sacramento is hosting a four-part lecture series to showcase contemporary insights from dynamic speakers and progressive Christian authors and community leaders. The series kicked off on September 13 with Jose Antonio Vargas, a Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist, acclaimed filmmaker, advocate, and leading voice on immigration issues. More than 250 people attended the ...

Registration Has Opened for New Clergy Boundary Trainings

Clergy of the California-Nevada Annual Conference are to take Clergy Boundary Training once a quadrennium. Registration is open now for classes scheduled in the remainder of 2019 and the first half of 2020.     November 18, 2019 – Clergy Boundary Training 101, at the Conference Center, 1350 Halyard Dr., West Sacramento, CA 95691.    May 13, 2020 – Clergy Boundary Training 101, at Pinole UMC, 2000 San Pablo Ave., Pinole, CA 94564.    June 11, 2020 – Clergy Boundary Training 201, at St. Paul’s ...

Cal-Nev Retired Clergy Association Is Anything but Retiring!

By Carolee Catterall Chair, RCA Pastoral Response Team Despite what images its name may conjure up, the California-Nevada Conference Retired Clergy Association is a dynamic group! The retired clergy of our conference are continuing to be an active and contributing part of our shared ministry, and the association – thanks in large part to the Endowment Board – is able to serve retired clergy and spouses in many and varied ways. One of our committees is Relational Care and in the same category ...

Black Leaders Meet to Discuss Future of The UMC

Council of Bishops For Immediate Release September 22, 2019 CHICAGO - Dozens of key African-American laity, clergy, and episcopal leaders met in Chicago on Thursday and Friday to discern and map out the future of the Black Church in The United Methodist Church as a prelude to the 2020 General Conference. Organized by the Ebony Bishops and facilitated by the General Commission on Religion and Race (GCORR), the meeting brought together leaders of the different constituencies of the Black Church...

New Task Force Launches Forums Series with Presentation on Militarism, Global Climate, Migration

On Wednesday, October 2 at noon, the newly created Task Force on Criminalization of Children & Youth will host a presentation by Nick Buxton titled, “Whose Security? Militarism and the Global Climate and Migration Crises.”   The presentation, based on Buxton’s book, The Secure and the Dispossessed, will share how the military-industrial complex and corporate interests share a common vision to address global climate and migration crises. Unfortunately, according the Buxton, this vision is ...

Compassion Week Expands in Los Altos

Volunteers will extend compassion to their neighbors and serve the community through 100 projects in the San Francisco Bay Area during Compassion Week 2019, September 30-October 6. Up to 3,500 people are expected to give their time throughout the week to complete vital acts of service and social justice that enable individuals and families to build a stronger and more empathetic community. Numerous volunteer opportunities are still available and open to all regardless of age or faith. ...

Conference Core Team Listens for Voices of Churches

The Core Team of the California-Nevada Annual Conference is seeking input from each local church, to help develop a Vision and Strategic Plan for the conference for the 2021-24 Quadrennium.   District superintendents are communicating with each of their churches, asking that they engage in conversation around three prompts and enter responses online by the end of this year.    Each DS is providing directions for how they would like their churches to engage with the process.   At the core of the ...

Conference Welcomes New Pastors

By JB Brayfindley  Communications Assistant    Lunch with the district superintendents and Zoom conferencing with California-Nevada Conference Lay Leader Micheal Pope and Core Team Chair Kathi McShane were two of the many activities on the agenda at New Pastor Orientation, hosted at the conference center in West Sacramento on September 10.   Eighteen pastors attended – three of them, transfers from another conference. Included in the group were certified lay ministers, local pastors, and ...

General Secretary Extends Thanks to Cal-Nevada

General Secretary Thomas Kemper of the General Board of Global Ministries (at right) has written Bishop Minerva Carcaño, thanking her for affording him time during this year’s Annual Conference Session to recognize the anniversary of 200 years of United Methodist mission.   He also thanks the bishop for “graciously including the commissioning of new missionaries,” noting that Hesed Soriano Lim found it to be “very meaningful” to begin her mission service by being blessed by the Cal-Nevada ...

Noteworthy Community Event: 100 Men Campaign

The Sacramento Regional Family Justice Center is inviting all area men to take a stand against domestic violence by participating in the 100 Men Campaign rally, Thursday, Oct. 3 at noon on the steps of Memorial Auditorium in Sacramento.   Rev. Faith Whitmore, a retired elder in the California-Nevada Annual Conference, is CEO of the Family Justice Center.    “Through greater awareness of this issue and by advocating for violence prevention at the community level, men from all walks of life are ...

PSR, Lynnewood UMC Launch Progressive Faith Lecture Series

Next month Lynnewood United Methodist Church will begin a new partnership with Pacific School of Religion (PSR), seeking to advance progressive religious values and thought in Pleasanton, California through a series of lectures – one of which includes an interactive singing workshop.   The inaugural lecture in the series, “I Can Hear My Neighbor Crying: Sounding Theology, Resounding Social Change,” will be given by professor Sharon Fennema and feature an interactive singing workshop. It will ...

Western Jurisdiction to Host ‘Fresh United Methodism’ Summit in November

What will the future of The United Methodist Church look like in the coming years? Who is shaping that vision, and what are the most important values?   From November 14 to 16, 2019, the Western Jurisdiction (WJ) Mission Cabinet is hosting a Fresh United Methodism Summit consisting of the WJ Leadership Team, WJ Workgroup Leaders, 2020 General Conference delegates from the WJ, and other emerging leaders. Beginning with reports from each Annual Conference and several WJ workgroups, attendees will ...

A New Thing: New Church Start Academy 2020

Doing "what we’ve always done” may or may not be working, but it’s easy. Breaking out of that pattern requires boldness and vision – and it’s scary. But when God calls us to something new, God also empowers us to do it.    You may be one of those persons God is calling to plant a new church or to start a new one right where you are. If that’s the case, the Committee on New and Vital Congregations (CNVC) wants to partner with you – because the work of starting new things in a local church ...

10th Annual Kumi Benefit Dinner: Oct. 4 at Chinese Community UMC, Oakland

On October 4, Chinese Community United Methodist Church in Oakland will celebrate 10 years of support for Kumi Christian Visionary School, the primary school built in the village of Kumi, Uganda through a unique partnership with a Christian NGO. To mark the occasion and advance this ministry, the church invites everyone to experience a delectable eight-course Chinese banquet and hear stories of:  how this grass-roots mission began;  the building process;  navigating the "unpaved roads” of ...

California-Nevada UM Foundation Hires New Chief Exec

The California-Nevada United Methodist Foundation has hired a new executive director. The Foundation Board of Directors reports that David Malloy (left) has been tapped to succeed Susan Peters (at right, below), who in June announced her retirement after 10 years of service, effective at the end of 2019.   Malloy is a fourth generation United Methodist and a graduate of the University of North Carolina at Pembroke, where he received a bachelor's degree in communications with a public relations ...

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Open hearts. Open minds. Open doors.