Lord, Make us one in you love!

Prayers from the Council of Bishops

Friends,   I have been at the Council of Bishops’ fall meeting this week. I thank you for your prayers for us.  You have been in my prayers.  This has been a critical week as we have considered a significant report from the Commission on a Way Forward.  Please receive and prayerfully consider the press release from our meeting as it provides information that will be foundational to a season of prayer and conversation we will have in our own California-Nevada Conference beginning with our ...

Migration — a personal reflection

Migration has been a part of my entire life and ministry. Perhaps it is because my father was an immigrant from Mexico who first came to the U.S. under the Bracero program in the 1940s. In the absence of men to work in the agricultural fields of South Texas because of so many men from the region serving in World War II, the U.S. established a program that allowed men from Mexico to come to the U.S. to pick up the work left behind by men at war. Bracero is derived from the Spanish word brazos, ...

Advocating for a Clean Dream Act

Friends,   As you know, I spent yesterday in Washington D.C. advocating on behalf of The United Methodist Church for a Clean Dream Act.  You may want to consider our United Methodist Resolution on DACA (Deferred Action on Childhood Arrivals) and the recent letter from our Council of Bishops on this matter.  To read the letter, click here.   While in D.C. I participated in two pieces of work, a press conference at the Capital and visits to Congressional leaders.  You can find my press conference ...

All Saints Day

Brothers and Sisters,   On this All Saints Day may the saints you have known in your life inspire you to be faithful disciples of Jesus Christ!   I am in Washington D.C. representing our United Methodist Church in advocating for a Clean Dream Act.  As United Methodists, we are called to join other persons of faith throughout this week in support of Dreamers.   Recently President Trump terminated the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program.  As United Methodists, we support DACA ...

In 2004, Bishop Minerva G. Carcaño became the first Hispanic woman to be elected to the episcopacy of The United Methodist Church, the second-largest Protestant denomination in the U.S. Today, she is one of 69 active bishops leading more than twelve million members of her denomination worldwide. She currently serves as Bishop of the San Francisco Area of The United Methodist Church, and is an official spokesperson for the United Methodist Council of Bishops on the issue of immigration. Bishop ...

Visiting Napa and Novato

October 18, 2017   Brothers and Sisters,   Today was another very meaningful day.  United Methodists from our beloved California-Nevada Conference continue to amaze me with their faithfulness.   Rev. Linda Caldwell and I traveled to Napa where we met with clergy and lay leaders from our churches in Napa, St. Helena, and Vallejo.  We learned new things about the impact of the fires.    Our youngest participant at any of our pastoral itineration visits this week was little Adeline who with her ...

Bishop Carcaño's Pastoral Itineration During the Wildfires

Visiting Napa and Novato October 18, 2017   Brothers and Sisters,   Today was another very meaningful day.  United Methodists from our beloved California-Nevada Conference continue to amaze me with their faithfulness.   Rev. Linda Caldwell and I traveled to Napa where we met with clergy and lay leaders from our churches in Napa, St. Helena, and Vallejo.  We learned new things about the impact of the fires.    Our youngest participant at any of our pastoral itineration visits this week was little...

Visit with the Mendocino Circuit

October 17, 2017   Friends,   I start this pastoral report with an apology.  In yesterday’s report, I forgot to acknowledge Rev. Jola Bortner, pastor of the Rohnert Park UMC where we gathered for the meeting with the Sonoma Circuit.  She was our host pastor who reminded us in these strange unsettling days that we are in Autumn.  The seasons affirm that we are held by God our Creator who gives us the steadiness of seasons.  The conditions left behind by a hot summer are now met by autumn colors ...

Visiting with Sonoma Circuit

October 16, 2017   Sisters and Brothers,   I pray this has been a blessed Autumn day for you.  As Rev. Linda Caldwell and I drove up to Rohnert Park to visit with pastors and leaders of the Sonoma Circuit, we saw beautiful trees with their changing colors, rolling beige hills, and grazing animals.   Soon enough though, we began to see the blackened earth where fires had burned the land.    The smoke that had gotten caught in our throats on Sunday in Santa Rosa, again became evident as we began ...

Visiting First UMC Santa Rosa Today

October 15, 2017   First United Methodist Church of Santa Rosa was full this morning; full of worshipers and full of faith.  The members of Christ Church United Methodist Church also joined them.  Using words from the Book of Job, Pastor Blake Busick gave witness to his dependence on and faith in God even in the worst of circumstances.  He and his family lost their home and all their possessions in this week’s fires, but with tender love for his flock he guided the congregation to trust in God ...

Donating to Wildfires and Continuous Prayer

October 14, 2017   Brothers and Sisters,   Grace and peace to you in the name of Christ Jesus!  I have finally arrived home.  I was delayed by almost a day because of airline mechanical problems, but I am home!  I am grateful to Laura Roberson and Sandy Royall for their work to get me home, and the travel agency that worked with them.   What I most want to share with you, though, is that the last leg of my flight today was from Atlanta and it was full of Red Cross Volunteers from many places in ...

Wildfire Response

October 12, 2017   Brothers and Sisters,   Grace and peace to you in the name of Christ Jesus.     Our area has been devastated by wildfires, but our United Methodist leaders have held steady in the confidence that God with us.  I hold up the example of Rev. Blake Busick, Senior Pastor at First UMC in Santa Rosa, who even while he and his family were evacuated and have possibly lost their home, led God’s people to open the doors of their church to provide refuge for those escaping the deadly ...

Death of Bishop Rüdiger Minor

Dear Brothers and Sisters,   One of the Bishops of our church, Bishop Rüdiger Minor of Germany, has died. In The United Methodist Church, bishops are bishops for the whole church.    From 1986 to 1992 Bishop Minor served the Central Conference of The United Methodist Church in the German Democratic Republic and then in the East Germany Central Conference of the unified Germany. He later served Eurasia from 1993 to 2005 after which he retired. He was the president of the Council of Bishops from ...

Prayers for the Caribbean and Florida Keys

Brothers and Sisters,   You are aware that another hurricane, Hurricane Irma, a category 5 storm, is quickly approaching the Caribbean. It is scheduled to affect Puerto Rico, Vieques, Culebra, and the Virgin Islands.  News reports the Florida Keys is also being evacuated at this time.   I have received a letter from Bishop Héctor F. Ortiz Vidal from the Iglesia Metodista de Puerto Rico asking for our prayers and solidarity during this time (Read Letter).   I invite you to join me in prayer for ...

Labor Day Message

Brothers and Sisters,   I am praying that all of you will have a blessed and restful Labor Day holiday.  Be safe and keep Mother Nature safe as well.   May we remember to pray together for all who labor, making the world a better place.  May we especially pray for those who labor in unsafe work sites, are paid unjust salaries, or are forced to work long hours and sometimes in several jobs to make ends meet.  Let us pray for those who will continue to labor while we rest.  May this Labor Day ...

Special Offering for Hurricane Harvey Relief, Sept. 3rd

Dear Brothers and Sisters,   We have watched this week as Hurricane Harvey continues to wreak havoc along the Gulf Coast of Texas and Louisiana.  I know that you join me in praying for those who are affected by this disaster.  In moments like this it is so important that we respond with prayers, but also with generous hearts.    With the support of our Council on Finance and Administration I am appealing to all of our California-Nevada Conference churches to gather an offering this coming ...

Sacramento District Name Change to Los Rios District

Sisters and Brothers, Grace and peace to you in the name of Christ Jesus!  I pray that this summer is bringing all of you some time for rest and renewal.  I am aware of those of you who work long hours and even several jobs to sustain your families and yourselves.  You are in my prayers, thoughts, and efforts in ever present ways.  I hope that the ministries of our churches are providing an oasis of rest from life’s burdens and renewal for your souls, every single one of you! The Cabinet and I...

A Reflection on Charlottesville, VA

43 “You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ 44 But I say to you, Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, 45 so that you may be children of your Father in heaven; for he makes his sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the righteous and on the unrighteous. 46 For if you love those who love you, what reward do you have? Do not even the tax collectors do the same? 47 And if you greet only your brothers and sisters, what ...

Bishop Carcaño's Statement Concerning Council of Bishops Meeting in the Philippines

July 19, 2017 Bishop Ciriaco Francisco     Bishop Jose C. Gamboa, Jr.                 Bishop Rodolfo Juan                               Bishop Benjamin Justo                          Bishop Emerito Nacpil                               Bishop Leo A. Soriano                             Bishop Solito K. Toquero                                          Bishop Pedro M. Torio, Jr.         Beloved Brothers,   It was with sadness that earlier today I received the announcement from our President, ...

Goto Appointed District Superintendent for El Camino Real District

It is with joy that I announce that I am appointing the Rev. Shinya Goto to serve as the next District Superintendent for the El Camino Real District effective July 1, 2017.  For the past five years, he has served as the pastor of San Jose First UMC.  Prior to this appointment, he served Wesley UMC in San Jose, and Madera UMC.   The Rev. Shinya Goto, 40, was born in Tokyo, Japan and immigrated to the United States at the age of 12.  He has lived in Southern California, the Bay Area, and Seattle....

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

*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

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

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

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

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

Bishop's Award 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

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

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

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

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

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

 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

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

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

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

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

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

"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

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.

Final 2016 Tithe Report

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

Meditation Based on Acts 3:1-10

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

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.

Meditation Based on I Corinthians 1:1-9

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

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

                                                            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

"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

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

"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

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 ...

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