BlogPosts

Watsonville First UMC Tithes $200K in Support of Africa University and Conference Mission

6/9/2017
*By Dr. Larry R. Hygh, Jr.   "The saints that have gone before us worked in the church and this is an opportunity for us to give back," says the Rev. Robin Mathews-Johnson, pastor of Watsonville First United Methodist Church (UMC).  Watsonville First UMC is giving more than a tithe (tenth) from the $1.5 million in proceeds they received from the sale of property the church owned.  "The gift has been received by us from the work of the former leaders, and now we're passing it on," says ...

Statement About Judicial Council Decision No. 1341

4/28/2017
April 28, 2017   Friends,   Earlier today the Judicial Council of The United Methodist Church released its decision on the declaratory ruling that the South Central Jurisdiction requested when Bishop Karen Oliveto was nominated, elected, consecrated and assigned as a bishop of the church last July.  The Judicial Council determined that it did not have jurisdiction over her nomination, election, or assignment, but did have jurisdiction over the matter of her consecration to the office of bishop ...

Faith Sign-On Letter to Governor Brown and the CA State Legislature

4/20/2017
Brothers and Sisters,   In this season of Eastertide, I invite you to consider joining me in supporting the Faith Sign-On Letter to Governor Brown and the CA State Legislature – A Call to Compassion, Courage & Common Humanity.  We remember that Jesus was imprisoned and executed for his stand for love and justice for all God’s children.  On the cross he continued to extend compassion to those who had also been judged and imprisoned and were crucified with him.    We should do no less.  Please ...

Prayers for Bishop Karen Oliveto and The UMC

4/19/2017
April 19, 2017 Dear Brothers and Sisters,   Greetings during this Easter season in which we continue to celebrate the Resurrection of our Lord and Savior, Christ Jesus.   I write to ask you and all our congregations in the California-Nevada Conference to join me in a time of prayer this weekend, and throughout next week as the Judicial Council, the highest judicial body or "court" of The United Methodist Church, hears arguments on the validity of the election of Bishop Karen Oliveto at the ...

Video Message about Africa University ACS Offering

4/18/2017
To view the Africa University Annual Conference Session offering video, click on the photo below:

Bishop's Award 2017

4/17/2017
April 17, 2017   Dear Brothers and Sisters, Grace and peace to you in this season of Eastertide! What a blessing it has been for me to be serving in the California-Nevada Conference in this day and age.  I am inspired by the witness of the faithful disciples of our area.  I can see why previous bishops established an award to recognize laypersons who have demonstrated outstanding service in their local church and beyond the local church.  As we prepare for the 2017 Session of the ...

Bishop Carcaño's Easter Sunday Reflection

4/15/2017
Easter Sunday        John 20:1-18   Brothers and Sisters,   Christ is Risen, Risen indeed!   As the sun arises on this day our faith arises to remember and proclaim our faith.  The tomb was empty because our Lord, Christ Jesus, was risen from the grave.   Mary was the first to go to the tomb of Jesus that first Easter morning.  She found it empty.  She assumed that someone had stolen Jesus’ body.  She was a smart woman so immediately she knew that the task of finding Jesus’ body would take all ...

Good Friday Meditation

4/14/2017
Good Friday Meditation                                        John 19:16b-42   Today we remember the execution of Jesus and his slow, painful, cruel death.  We look back upon the crucifixion of our Lord and think, how barbaric.  Are we any less barbaric today?  Children have deadly chemicals poured down upon them from God’s good sky in Syria.  The U.S. follows by dropping a bomb over Afghanistan; a bomb never used before and so big it has to be put in the belly of a particularly large aircraft ...

Maundy Thursday: The Only Worthy Response

4/11/2017
The Only Worthy Response                                                   John 13:1-17, 31b-35 As Maundy Thursday approaches with you I am reminded of the washing of feet.  According to John 13, Jesus washed the feet of his disciples before the last meal he shared with them.  Over the generations since Jesus did this, Christians have memorialized his actions through the symbolic washing of feet.    I remember Maundy Thursday worship services when I have washed other peoples’ feet.  There was ...

Lenten Meditation: Matthew 21:1-11

4/7/2017
Matthew 21:1-11   Yesterday, I held baby Presley for the very first time.  He is the son of Toua and Lei Yang, and a new member of our family of faith.  He is a precious child who already shows signs of leadership!         Surrounded by his parents and our Cabinet I had the great privilege of praying for him.  I chose to keep my eyes open as I prayed for him, looking right at him as I rested my hand on his little heart.  He met my gaze and never let me go.    Since praying for Presley I have ...

Lenten Meditation: John 11:1-45

3/31/2017
Lenten Season Meditation for April 2 John 11:1-45   The Gospel reading for this coming Sunday is the story of the resurrection of Lazarus.  It is a powerful story full of the love of friendship and the incredible return of Lazarus from death to life.  It is a miracle of life-transforming dimensions!    As Christians, we believe that Jesus was resurrected, but do we believe that we can be resurrected from the many deaths in our lives; from suffering and dead ends, to healing and wholeness, hope ...

Lenten Meditation: John 9:1-41

3/24/2017
 1 Walking down the street, Jesus saw a man blind from birth. 2 His disciples asked, "Rabbi, who sinned: this man or his parents, causing him to be born blind?"  3 Jesus said, "You're asking the wrong question. You're looking for someone to blame. There is no such cause-effect here. Look instead for what God can do.                                                 John 9:1-3, Eugene Peterson’s translation   John 9:1-41 is the Gospel Reading for this coming Sunday in this Season of Lent.  The ...

Lenten Season Meditation Based on Exodus 17:1-7

3/18/2017
Lenten Season Meditation                                 Exodus 17:1-7 In the story in Exodus 17 we get to see how God’s people sometimes act.  The Israelites had been set free from their slavery.  For 430 years, they had labored and suffered under the cruel rule of the Egyptians.  Their cry for compassion and justice is heard by God alone who acts in their behalf.  It is only through the merciful intervention of God that they experience freedom. The adventure of freedom comes with ...

The Lord is Your Keeper

3/6/2017
Western Jurisdiction Bishops Offer Lenten Reflections To the People of the Western Jurisdiction of The United Methodist Church, and to the ends of the earth, Fulfilling our charge to “To guard, transmit, teach, and proclaim … the apostolic faith as it is expressed in Scripture and tradition, and … to interpret that faith evangelically and prophetically” (BOD, 2016, ¶ 414.3), the bishops in the Western Jurisdiction will offer messages of faith each week of Lent, with the prayer that God will ...

Ash Wednesday Reflection

3/1/2017
Psalm 51:1-13   Yesterday I woke up at 4 am.  It wasn’t the sound of an alarm clock that woke me up, or the movement of the stars shining through my window.  I believe it was the Holy Spirit calling me to pray.  So I prayed, and prayed and prayed.    The Holy Spirit has awakened me before, nudging me to pray.  Most times I have had a sense of what I needed to pray about.  But not this time.  Instead it was the overwhelming feeling that I just needed to pray.    I prayed for my family, for you ...

Love and Support to Our Muslim Brothers and Sisters

2/16/2017
February 3, 2017 A Message of Love and Support to Our Muslim Brothers and Sisters Beloved Ones, We bring you greetings in the name of your brothers and sisters of the 370 United Methodist Churches that live and serve across Central and Northern California and Northern Nevada.  Our hearts are burdened by the discrimination that you our Muslim brothers and sisters have experienced in the last few days.  We recognize that recent Executive Orders signed by President Trump that have stopped the ...

Stand in Solidarity with Refugee and Muslim Communities

2/2/2017
Brothers and Sisters,   On Friday, January 27, President Trump issued an executive order halting the entire U.S. refugee resettlement program for 120 days, indefinitely barring Syrian refugees and prohibiting admissions from seven majority-Muslim countries.  In response, people across America are organizing for solidarity with Muslim communities and refugees.   I will be participating in this national effort, and I urge you to join me.    Tomorrow, February 3, across our nation, individuals and ...

Hope UMC - South San Francisco, CA

1/25/2017
"We see giving our tithes as the involvement of our church in mission in the world," says the Rev. John Current, Sr., pastor of Hope UMC in South San Francisco.  The church paid their Conference tithe in full for 2015 and 2016.    Current says the 2015 fiscal year was the first time in recent memory the church has been in the black financially.  "It's an indicator that we have opened ourselves to the movement of the spirit in many other ways…We remain a congregation of hope for the world even in...

Prayers for The Commission on a Way Forward

1/20/2017
Brothers and Sisters,   At the 2016 General Conference of our United Methodist Church, the Council of Bishops was asked to help the Church find a way forward on the concern of human sexuality within a commitment to our unity.   In response to this request the Council of Bishops has organized a Commission on a Way Forward.  The link below provides further information about this Commission, its mission and vision and the scope of its work.   http://www.umc.org/who-we-are/commission-on-a-way-forwar...

Final 2016 Tithe Report

1/19/2017
The final tithe report for 2016 for churches has been posted.  To view the report, click here.   

Meditation Based on Acts 3:1-10

1/19/2017
Mediation delivered during the Conference Strategy Summit last Saturday, January 14, based on Acts 3:1-10. The Summit included the Core Team, Cabinet, member of the four mission focus areas, chairs of organizations, and Conference staff.   This passage from Acts is one of my favorite passages of holy scripture!  It is full of courage and boldness!  It is wondrous and marvelous as it reveals what God is able to do!  It shows us who we, you and I, as disciples of Jesus, are and can be.    ...

Prayers for The Commission on a Way Forward

1/19/2017
Brothers and Sisters,   At the 2016 General Conference of our United Methodist Church, the Council of Bishops was asked to help the Church find a way forward on the concern of human sexuality within a commitment to our unity.   In response to this request the Council of Bishops has organized a Commission on a Way Forward.  The link below provides further information about this Commission, its mission and vision and the scope of its work.   http://www.umc.org/who-we-are/commission-on-a-way-forwar...

Meditation Based on I Corinthians 1:1-9

1/18/2017
Mediation delivered during Conference Center Worship last Wednesday, January 11, based on I Corinthians 1:1-9. I have been waking up every morning to the sound of the congressional hearings being held to determine whether President-Elect Trump’s nominees for critical positions in our government will be confirmed.  I am attuned particularly to the voices of protest that arise out of the audience.  This morning it was a woman begging the congressional leaders to think through their decisions to ...

Bishop Carcaño's National Sanctuary Statement

1/17/2017
National Sanctuary Press Conference, January 17, 2017        Statement of Bishop Minerva G. Carcaño   Thank you for the opportunity to be with you on this morning.  I want to share that United Methodists stand firmly with our immigrant brothers and sisters who continue to face the harsh treatment that the U.S. has given them for far too long while they labor in our fields, care for our elderly, build and clean our homes, and serve us at the tables of our favorite restaurants.    With other ...

Remembering the Dream

1/16/2017
                                                            True peace is not merely the absence of tension; it is the presence of justice.       Martin Luther King Jr.   I wonder where the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. would place his hard and diligent work today?  I think about this question every year this month when we stop to honor Dr. King.  I think about it every time racism raises its ugly head.  I thought of Dr. King daily through the recent Presidential campaign and especially now ...

San Ramon Valley UMC – Alamo, CA

1/12/2017
"We understand that the church is made up of more than the local congregation…We are connected to churches around the world…This is one way we can support the church's mission throughout the world by tithing," says the Rev. Luke Ham, associate pastor of San Ramon Valley UMC.  Ham, in his sixth year appointed to the congregation says a commitment to the Conference tithe starts with good leadership from laity because pastors come and go.    "It comes out of a spirit of being thankful for all that...

Christmas Message from Bishop Minerva G. Carcaño

12/23/2016
Beloved Brothers and Sisters,   As I write to you it is raining in Sacramento.  Having lived with you these past years of drought that have affected all of our area, I am reminded of God’s faithfulness.  God does not forget us or forsake us.  On this day our thirst is quenched and the groaning earth is comforted as the windows of heaven are opened and God’s grace pours out upon us.  All around us the signs of God’s eternal love for all of God’s children and creatures abound!   There is no ...

Durham UMC – Durham, CA

12/20/2016
"It (Conference Tithe) demonstrates the strength of our faith and the commitment of our service," says Pastor Lance Smith of Durham UMC in Durham, CA.  He says, "It's important to tithe because it's critical to give back, and to sacrifice…You have to give joyfully…It's part of our cheerful obligation.  We know that as we do that we're going to get so much more back."   Smith says 10 to 12 years ago the church had about eight members, now they average 49 in worship.  He says, "We've taken in 16 ...

Letter from Conference CFA Chair to Pastors, Church Treasurers, and Lay Members of ACS about Conference Tithe

12/20/2016
The Council on Finance and Administration (CFA) continues to hear pleas from local churches that we clarify how to calculate the exact amount which will complete your tithe for 2016. CFA requires all 2016 tithes and second-mile giving payments be received in the Conference Treasurer, Diane Knudsen's, office by noon, January 13, 2017. CFA also applauds that as of December 15, 2016’s total tithing was more than the total for December 15, 2015.  Also, more churches are completing their annual ...

Centenary UMC Modesto

12/15/2016
"We live in covenant with one another based upon our Book of Discipline. The Conference tithe is part of that covenant," says the Rev. Bob Collins, pastor of Centenary UMC in Modesto.  Centenary fully tithed last year, and is on track to do so again this year.  "We do our very best to send in our tithe because of that covenant.  That covenant says 'I've got other brothers and sisters around the world who are depending on me."   Centenary is an active church, involved in ministry (activities for ...

Wesley UMC Bakersfield

12/7/2016
"We all share in ministry to the world…It's not just the local church it's the connection," says the Rev. Anne Schlesinger, pastor of Wesley UMC in Bakersfield, about the church's commitment to the conference tithe.  She says, "It's biblical and we want to feel connected. We love God."   In addition to the conference tithe, the church participates in extra mile giving.  Their ministry includes a food pantry and yearly pumpkin patch in which they give away coats to anyone who need them.  The ...

First Taulanga-U UMC Sacramento

12/1/2016
"Go deep into your hearts and see how much Go has loved you, and return love to God," says the Rev. Kataii Tapa, pastor of First Taulanga U-UMC in Sacramento. In 2016, this Tongan congregation has gone beyond the 10 percent conference tithe and is at 26 percent.    "Traditionally we come from the island and we do tithing annually…it is returning our love to God from our individual and family life," says Tapa.  "We call it Misinale," she says.  The term comes from Tonga where they would select a ...

UMC #GivingTuesday - November 29, 2016

11/22/2016
  Download Bulletin Insert Dear Friends, As we approach the holiday giving season, UMC #GivingTuesday is an opportunity to celebrate the spirit of cheerful Christian giving by making a donation through The Advance. Nov. 29, United Methodists once again are invited to extend the spirit of giving thanks into the Advent season by participating in UMC #GivingTuesday. When you make an online donation Nov. 29, you will “GIVE LIGHT. GIVE LOVE. GIVE LIFE.” Last year on UMC #GivingTuesday, United ...

a Post-Election Message from Bishop Carcaño

11/11/2016
Brothers and Sisters, We have lived some difficult months in this country; months of growing hostility among political leaders, with the lashing out at others in extreme ways, and not just at political opponents.  Racism, misogyny, xenophobia, a disregard for the economically poor, and all too often a lack of honesty, have characterized the race for the presidency.  It brought out the worst in us for all to see. During this year as I traveled across the country and to other parts of the world, ...

Pioneer UMC Auburn

11/9/2016
Pioneer UMC in Auburn anticipates being at 100 percent of their 2016 conference tithe by the end of December.  "This represents an amazing transformation," says the Rev. Dave Samelson, Great Northern District Superintendent. Three years ago Pioneer UMC was severely in the red financially and unable to pay practically any of their conference tithe.  "The church also had to move from their pastor being full-time to three-fourths time," says Samelson.    Samelson says, "The church had a long and ...

First UMC Tracy

11/3/2016
"If you want to serve just your community, you should join a congregational church…we're (United Methodists) able to affect not only our community, but the world through our connectional system," said the Rev. Kim Brown Montenegro, pastor of First UMC Tracy. When Montenegro arrived four years ago, the church did not have a history of doing a stewardship campaign.  They now base their budget off of the stewardship campaign.   "We switched from giving what we had left over, to tithing first," said...

The Conference Tithe

11/1/2016
Bring the full tithe into the storehouse, so that there may be food in my house. And thus put me to the test, says the Lord of hosts; see if I will not open the windows of heaven for you and pour down for you a blessing until there is no more need…… Then all nations will count you happy, for you will be a land of delight, says the Lord of hosts.  Malachi 3:10, 12   Brothers and Sisters,   Grace and peace to you in the name of Christ Jesus.  What a joy it is to be in ministry with you!  You are a...

Bursting Out Of the Tomb – WJC2016 Memorial Service

7/15/2016
1 Corinthians 15:51-52   — “Listen, I will tell you a mystery! We will not all die, but we will all be changed, in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised imperishable, and we will be changed.” (Read more)  

Episcopal Ballot #3

7/15/2016
There is no election on the third ballot of the Western Jurisdictional Episcopal Ballot. There were 93 votes cast and 62 were needed for an election.   Result of the third Western Jurisdictional Episcopal Ballot: Rev. Karen Oliveto – 37 votes Rev. Dottie Escobedo-Frank –27 votes Rev. Walter "Skip" Strickland –12 votes Rev. Donna Pritchard –7 votes Rev. Frank Wulf –5 votes Rev. Siosifa Hingano -4 votes Rev. Lyda Pierce –1 vote The Rev. Bener Agtarap withdrew prior to the ballot.  

Museum tour a step in healing relationships with indigenous peoples

7/15/2016
On July 14, delegates of the 2016 Western Jurisdictional Conference experienced an “Act of Repentance” as part of The United Methodist Church’s commitment to build healing relationships with indigenous peoples. Attendees toured the Heard Museum of Native Cultures and Art in Phoenix to learn about ancient practices and current issues related to the treatment of Native Americans in the United States. The emphasis of this museum is the heritage and living culture of the peoples of the Southwest ...

Western Jurisdiction Challenged to “Not Grow Weary”

7/15/2016
“For it is church that we are called to be, not the church that includes some of us, but the church that includes all of us,” said Bishop Warner H. Brown, Jr., California-Nevada Annual Conference resident bishop, during the Episcopal address opening the Western Jurisdictional Conference at the DoubleTree by Hilton in Scottsdale, Arizona meeting July 12 to 16. Brown’s sermon was entitled, “Do Not Grow Weary,” based on Luke 9:23-26, and Galatians 6:7-10. (Read more)  

California-Nevada Conference Episcopal Nominee

7/8/2016
The Rev. Dr. Karen Oliveto, senior pastor of Glide Memorial UMC in San Francisco, is the Episcopal nominee from the California-Nevada Conference. For more information about Oliveto, click here.  

Episcopal Candidates for the Western Jurisdiction

7/8/2016
For a list of the episcopal candidates for election in the Western Jurisdiction who have been endorsed by one of the annual conferences of the Jurisdiction, click here.  

Episcopal Elections 2016

7/8/2016
Jurisdictional conferences meet to elect new bishops to serve the denomination. The 2016 episcopal elections will take place across the U.S. from July 13-16, 2016. For more information, and to follow the elections, click here.  

Western Jurisdictional Conference Stream

7/8/2016
The Western Jurisdictional Conference to be held July 13 to 16 in Scottsdale, AZ, will be live streamed. To view the stream, click here.  

What is a Jurisdiction?

7/8/2016
In the United States of America, The United Methodist Church is divided into five areas known as jurisdictions: Northeastern, Southeastern, North Central, South Central and Western. These provide some program and leadership training events to support the annual conferences.  Every four years the jurisdictional conferences meet to elect new bishops and select members of general boards and agencies. Annual conferences located outside the United States are organized into central conferences, much ...

What is a Jurisdictional Conference?

7/8/2016
The quadrennial meeting of clergy and lay delegates from the annual conferences within the boundaries of one of five U.S. jurisdictions: North Central, Northeastern, South Central, Southeastern and Western. Jurisdictional Conferences convene every four years. The business includes the election and assignment of bishops.  

Church ends membership in reproductive health coalition

5/20/2016
PORTLAND, Ore. (UMNS) — The 2016 General Conference voted to withdraw United Methodist membership from the Religious Coalition for Reproductive Choice. The church was a founding member of the organization in 1973. Kathy L. Gilbert has the story. Read story and post a comment  

Page 1 of 4 1 2 3 4 next