blogposts

Ishinomaki

5/17/2011
Mother Nature is alive and well in Japan. Last night around midnight she rumbled a lullaby in a slow rhythmic fashion and then shook us awake at about 6 a.m., gently urging us to get up.   Wow, what a day yesterday was! We returned to our project in Ishinomaki after an hour and a half’s ride from Sendai, passing several military convoys on the way. In the residential areas the self-defense forces have set up water points with public baths and have scattered portable toilets throughout the ...

A Small World Discovered in Japan

5/14/2011
Feeling at home today as I remember a few first names of people who also greet me by name.    We even had a little California style “roller” this morning (aftershock).    The team is also discovering personal friends and connections here to people and places all over the world: a local man whose mother lived in Santa Rosa, California, near Norm’s house; a friend I met in Haiti; and a man who lived near Rev. Motoe’s church in Sacramento.

Celebrating the Sabbath

5/14/2011
It’s the Sabbath…. So we took a rest on the blog.   We went to church with one of our UMC missionary staff, Jonathan from Florida, who gave the sermon in Japanese at the Nasu-shiobara Church, a very small church with about 12 attending. He spoke about where we store our riches and how the emphasis on material goods has changed much since the earthquake. It is an opportunity for many to feel God’s love and joy.   Afterward, we joined the Asian Rural Institute’s participants and staff for a lively...

New Friends at ARI, Japan

5/13/2011
Finally we are getting used to the time zone and we woke up around 6 a.m. for our work! The schedule of Asian Rural Institute is well organized and they start their day at 6:30 a.m. with a group exercise (radio taiso). They had a brief meeting to assign volunteers and staff to the morning shift before breakfast and our team transplanted egg-plant sprouts in the green house. During the meeting one of the staff explained to us about the Fukushima nuclear Power Plant’s meltdown. We thought about ...

"So That We May Live Together" (Japan)

5/12/2011
Found out the rain we’ve been having is due to Typhoon #1, the official name here in Japan for the first typhoon of the season. Today we gathered from our various lodging places and met up at Shibuya Station in Tokyo for the official start of the physical side of this trip - that is, the volunteer work. It was a good warm up just lugging our bags up and down elevators, escalators, and o to trains. But thankful the energy conservation measures have eased a bit and we didn’t have to face too many ...

Japan Assessment Team Arrives Safely in Tokyo

5/10/2011
Greetings from Tokyo, Japan! We are the Assessment team from the United Methodist Church, USA (also working with United Methodist Committee on Relief – UMCOR). Last night, we have arrived safely after eleven hours flight from San Francisco.  Today marks two months since the big Earthquake. We are here in Japan to share love of God and lay foundations for future Volunteers in Mission teams (more information on this website http://calnevumc.org/news/detail/2688). We will be meeting church ...

Hinche, Haiti March 27-April 7, 2011

4/19/2011
I and the rest of my team have been back in the States for over a week now.  For the most part I've readjusted, but when I look at photographs from our trip, I feel like I'm looking at another home.  We only had internet access when we were at the Guest House, so I kept a journal instead of updating a blog.  For all the frustrations, I'm ready to go back.  There is so much to gain emotionally and spiritually in Haiti, and there's so much left to do.   UMVIM Haiti Trip, 2011 Sunday March 27, 2011...

Easter: Time to Join the Movement of God's Mission

4/18/2011
Some staff members were sitting around a table last week discussing program matters. The meeting reached a point in which the business they were there to take care of had been attended to, but they continued to talk. Organically, the talk shifted and they began to pour out their hearts about the desire they have for a renewal of vitality within The United Methodist Church and this Conference. One of them said, rather wistfully, that she wished there were a formula we could call upon, similar to ...

ACS 2011_Bishop's Welcome

3/18/2011
March 18, 2011 Dear Sisters and Brothers in Christ,   I look forward to greeting you as we gather together in Sacramento, California June 15-18 to celebrate the 163rd Session of our California-Nevada Annual Conference. This year our theme will be "Be, See, Do: Joining the Movement of God's Mission," as we engage in a time of rich and meaningful holy conferencing. We will worship together under the leadership of Jorge Lockwood and be inspired by our guest speaker, Reverend Adam Hamilton, who ...

The Morning After the Great Quake in Japan

3/11/2011
March 11, 2011 Once again we are reminded of the natural forces that are part of our planet. Our hearts are full for the losses of so many in Japan from the earthquakes themselves and the tsunami. What devastation we are witnessing: in buildings toppled, land covered with debris, ships tossed around like toys. The human losses are too many to count. Our shock quickly inspires prayer as our hearts reach out to brothers and sisters across the waters.   Today after-quakes continue to occur in Japan...

Lent Is 'a Very Good Place to Be'

3/10/2011
I was told this story by a staff member. During Lent a few years ago a friend of hers, a faithful Roman Catholic, opened a conversation about Lent and expressed such jubilation that the staff member has never completely forgotten it. What has remained with her especially is the friend's concluding words, spoken with a contented smile: "Yes, Lent is a very good place to be."   The staff member had not thought of Lent in those terms – as a place of being, a center for existence, a destination. But...

Alise

2/24/2011
(Originally published in Side-By-Side newsletter, Summer 2010 edition.) When I first arrived at Friendship Park nine years ago, Alise growled and yelled at strangers when they came through the gate. She sat with her friends near the front of the park. It was a rough bunch of scary looking characters, lots of prison tattoos, obviously folks who camped out, who trusted very few outside their circle and kept their guard up. Alise, a white woman in her thirties at that time, had crazy blond ...

The Great 50 Days – A Mission of God's Movement in the World: Day One

2/18/2011
For the next 50 days you are invited to immerse yourself in the story of the church becoming a movement of grace transforming the world. What you are about to read is very dangerous, even subversive. It is the story of the power of Christ's resurrection set loose in the world through the fire of the Holy Spirit. It is a story that is: Dangerous to systems that perpetuate crushing poverty and poor health; Subversive to a world bent on violence and war; Deadly to the forces that keep people ...

ACS 2011_Bishop's Award Guidelines

2/7/2011
  Dear Colleagues in Christ,   I am writing in celebration of the work and service of lay people within the California-Nevada Annual Conference.   One of the very special moments at Annual Conference is announcing the recipient of the Bishop's Award. Each year I will seek to present this award to a layperson that has demonstrated outstanding service both in their local church and beyond the local church. Service beyond the local church may be in the annual conference, the general church, the ...

Fiji Team Leader Blog: August 2010

8/14/2010
August 14, 2010 Greetings in Christ's Wonderful Name from Navuniyaro Village, Lutu, Naitasiri in the Fiji Islands. Virisila, Don, David and Nancy have all arrived well in Fiji on Saturday (14/08/10) as scheduled. They rested in Suva for the night, had Mass in the morning for Nancy and traveled to their project site at 8.30 a. m. Had welcome service at 11 a.m. and offered their traditional 'kava' presentation in the afternoon. Today they have started on their project for the Church Stairs ...

Easter Week In Istanbul

4/17/2010
Spending Easter week in Istanbul with my sister was an experience beyond our expectations. In spite of having visited several middle-eastern cities over the past two years, I was taken by surprise at how different Istanbul is.   It is a unique city straddling the Bosphorous Strait. An amazing mixture of east and west, where you can find European style cafes lining the streets as well as an exotic spice bazaar and splendid mosques. In spite of the grandest mosques I have ever seen, e.g the Blue ...

Easter Season in Palestine Recalls Joy, Suffering of Jesus' Last Week

4/1/2010
The approaching Easter celebration and the services leading up to it have created an atmosphere of reflection and anticipation here. On Palm Sunday children brought beautiful handheld arrangements made of woven palms and bright flowers to church, where they were blessed. Today the Archbishop of the Syrian Church came to Bethlehem where he performed a service which included the washing of feet of twelve men from the congregation. The Patriarch of the Greek Orthodox Church from Jerusalem will ...

Mothers' Day in Palestine

3/22/2010
Today is Mothers' Day in Palestine and fortunately I was invited to teacher Hanah's home for a fabulous lunch. Three kinds of barbecued meat were accompanied by tabouleh salad, filled pasties, a fresh salad, another kind of flat dough topped with a meat mixture, and various vegetables. It was a traditional Palestinian meal. For dessert we had a Black Forest cake, which just made a perfect ending to this afternoon. It was a privilege to spend the afternoon with this family. There were several ...

Returning to Our Calling

3/11/2010
Dear Sisters and Brothers, I greet you in this season of Lent looking forward to the celebration of God's astounding act of resurrection in Jesus Christ.   Over the past year and a half I have been listening closely as I have travelled across the Conference. I have heard stories of faith and faithfulness in our churches and extension ministries. I have heard, as well, the pain and worry of economic troubles and the loss of heart that plagues many in our midst.   These are difficult times. The ...

One Great Hour of Sharing

3/10/2010
We deeply appreciate the outstanding work that the United Methodist Committee on Relief is doing in Chile, Haiti, and other areas with recent disasters. This coming Sunday you have an opportunity to help UMCOR do its job. The One Great Hour of Sharing offering, which is normally held the Sunday before Palm Sunday, is the reason we are able to promise that 100 percent of every gift goes to the disaster response being supported. Please be generous, as you give people an opportunity to share in ...

Passion in Jesus Christ, Compassion for All

2/25/2010
  "Passion in Jesus Christ, Compassion for All" is our Conference vision here in the California-Nevada region of The United Methodist Church. What that means is that we endeavor to be a people who open our hearts to the world and welcome our brothers and sisters, wherever they're from – and who open our minds to cross the boundaries that divide us, just as the doors of our churches are open to all. But church is not just a building; it is a place of connection. Church is here, in this site, this...

Putting a Human Face on Human Relations Day

1/12/2010
This Sunday, January 17, we celebrate Human Relations Day – the first of six Special Sundays in The United Methodist Church, when special offerings are taken for specific purposes. Human Relations Day was established by the 1972 General Conference to promote support for the Community Developers, United Methodist Voluntary Service, and Police-Community Relations programs. Traditionally observed on the Sunday before the observance of the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.'s birthday (though a local ...

Thanksgiving - A Celebration of Collaboration

11/17/2009
We think of Thanksgiving, first and foremost, as a time for giving thanks to God - and as Christians that indeed should be our first impulse. But historically, Thanksgiving had a secondary significance that often is overlooked, and that is the need for community that it exemplified. Oh, sure, we recognize that Thanksgiving (more than any other holiday, perhaps) is a time for reunion and celebration together as family and friends. But what we think of as the first Thanksgiving, in 1621, was more ...

Trio of Disasters Calls for Our Response

10/2/2009
Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,  I come before you again to ask your prayers and support. This time it is for members of our community who have been dealt a terrible blow. This week, as you no doubt are aware, a trio of natural disasters wreaked havoc on the homelands of many of our Conference members.   On Sunday, Typhoon Ketsana struck the island of Luzon in the Philippines. At least 246 people perished and nearly half a million others were displaced when flash floods and landslides ...

A Season of Change: Working Into a New Way of Being

9/10/2009
Summer is dying and fall is upon us – a time when, in the way that God ordained, nature cycles into its time of rest. It is a very different time for the church – a time, instead, of great activity as charge/church conferences and open houses are held, a new season of children's and youth ministry is launched, and as we move toward all the activities surrounding Advent and Christmas. In the church, fall is a time of rebirth.    This year it is especially so, as we look at how we can live ...

A Call to Prayer

8/24/2009
"Bear one another's burdens, and thereby fulfill the law of Christ," wrote the Apostle Paul to the churches of Galatia. (Galatians 6:2, NAS) It is with heavy heart that I ask you to join me in taking up the burden of our Tongan brothers and sisters, who mourn the loss of so many lives on August 6 when the ferry Princess Ashika sank while en route to the northern islands of Va'vau. Sunday August 23 was a National Day of Prayer for the Tongan community in North America.   As many of you know, the ...

What If We Rethink Church?

4/17/2009
Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ, I want you to join me on a mental journey. To a different reality: to where church . . . is not a building, but a concept. To where church is not just a place we go, but something we do. To where church is no longer a noun . . . and open is not an adjective, but a verb.   I want you to Rethink Church. Not in terms of what it is, but of what it could be.   Eight years ago, The United Methodist Church began telling the world that "our hearts, our minds, our ...

Resetting Our Framework for Ministry

3/19/2009
The theme for last year's General Conference was "A Future with Hope." Over the last six months I have been traveling around this Annual Conference establishing or reconnecting relationships with laity and clergy. I have been observing and listening deeply. There are many exciting ministries and numerous examples of excellence in leadership among our clergy and laity. The things I am seeing and hearing encourage me to believe that we have reasons to look hopefully to the future of our ...

'A Beautiful Symphony of Brotherhood'

1/16/2009
Dear Sisters and Brothers in Christ: When the voters of this nation elected Barack Obama, on November 4th, to be the next President of the United States, many were responding to his promise of "change" – however that may have been defined in the mind of each voter.   Today, it is change that we have. When President Barack Obama takes the oath of office on January 20, 2009 – one day after the holiday created to honor Civil Rights leader Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. – this country will have its ...

Has Hope Ever Been in Greater Need?

12/17/2008
Dear Sisters and Brothers in Christ, The Latin root of the word "Advent" means "an arrival" – a term suggestive of expectation, of hopeful anticipation. Christians understand that the birth of a baby in a stable in Bethlehem 2,008 years ago was - and is - the fulfillment of that hope. And surely at no time in many generations has this country been in greater need of that. As Advent gives way to the celebration of the birth of our Savior, we cannot escape awareness of the desperate circumstances ...

A Greeting From Bishop Brown to the People of the California-Nevada Annual Conference

11/1/2008
A video greeting from Bishop Warner H. Brown, Jr. to the people of the California-Nevada Annual Conference is available to download from this website. Bishop Brown recorded the message as he began his third month as Episcopal leader here. Churches are invited to download the video and play it for their congregations.   It is available in three different QuickTime versions: high quality (best choice for projecting to a congregation), quick-download (best choice for most online viewing), and ...

A Message From Bishop Warner H. Brown, Jr.

9/1/2008
Dear Sisters and Brothers in Christ, May God’s Grace and Peace be upon you.   It is with great joy that I begin my work here as your Episcopal leader. The California-Nevada Annual Conference has been home to me and my family for more than 20 years, and we are delighted to be able to live and work among you again.   I eagerly anticipate the time to renew friendships and develop new ones as we move forward together in ministry, building on the work already begun.   I have already learned that you...

1/2/1918
Dear God:  may we pray for all Believers, earnestly and faithfully at this time of urgency in our church. May we pray and do as Nehemiah who asked great things of a great God after he heard of the terrible demise of the Jews when they returned to Jerusalem. Nehemiah 1:1-10.may we rely on him and open our eyes, Lord to the needs of this commission and help them become passionate and creative problem solvers who bless others, amen

Bishop Carcaño Statement Concerning Council of Bishops Meeting in the Bishop Minerva G. Carcaño

Beloved Brothers,   It was with sadness that earlier today I received the announcement from our President, Bishop Bruce Ough, that our Council of Bishops would not be meeting in the Philippines next year as had been planned, due to continued terrorist activity in the country.  My greatest concern is for all of you and your families for I am aware of your bold courage in this situation.    Please know that I am praying for all of you and all our Filipino brothers and sisters in the Philippines ...

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 ...

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