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Camp Lodestar: A Week of Peace Focus for Youth

By JB Brayfindley Communications Assistant   Vertical Play Pen, Leap-of-Faith, and Double-Trouble – all part of the high rope course at Camp Lodestar – were the most popular and challenging activities of the summer for campers. This year 40 campers, grades three through nine, attended the July 14-20 camp. There were also 10 campers in 10th and 11th grades who were Leaders in Training (LIT) and were paired with a counselor to act as a leader and mini counselor for their assigned cabins. (Last ...

Camps Aren’t Only for Summer!

By Tina Heck  Director of Reservations and Communications   United Camps, Conferences & Retreats (UCCR)   Enjoy fall and winter seasons at your United Methodist camping and retreat centers! While Monte Toyon is fairly well booked, there are still some weekend dates available – and Camp Lodestar has plenty of weekends in October and November available for your youth group, Scouts, or crafting, music, quilting, or choir retreat. Or perhaps a family reunion in the beautiful Sierra foothills this ...

Musical 'Doors Open' Comes to Sacramento

Doors at First United Methodist Church in Sacramento will open on Saturday, September 7 for a performance of Doors Open, an LGBTQ-themed musical that’s based on a song that’s based on The United Methodist Church slogan.    The musical is the brainchild of playwright-composer Mark Teagle, who created it for churches that are wrestling with the subject of LGBTQ community. The Sept. 7 performance is sponsored by the Methodist Pride Collective (made up of members of several local United Methodist ...

UMVIM Team Leader Training Scheduled for October

The California-Nevada United Methodist Volunteers in Mission (UMVIM) Team Leader Training is being offered Saturday, October 26, 2019, 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., at Los Altos UMC, 655 Magdalena Avenue, Los Altos, CA 94024. UMVIM Team Leader Steve Elliot, a veteran of many trips, will facilitate.    UMVIM Teams can serve close to home or travel to faraway destinations around the globe to work with host communities. They address a wide variety of needs such as disaster recovery, medical, justice, ...

‘Families Belong Together’: Church World Service Calls for Loud Voices

Church World Service is calling for all people of faith and conscience to tell Congress, “loudly and clearly,” that their constituents want funding for detention, deportation, and border militarization to be cut in favor of “prioritization of human needs, community-based, non-restrictive alternatives to detention, and relief and support to communities.”  The “Families Belong Together” campaign comes as Congress considers the level of funding for border control for fiscal year 2020. It calls ...

Council of Bishops Offers Grants for 2020 Local Ecumenical and Interreligious Ministries

The Council of Bishops provides leadership for the ecumenical and interreligious ministries of The United Methodist Church. To that end the COB is offering three (3) grants, each in the amount of $1,000, to groups within annual conferences for special projects designed to strengthen ecumenical and/or interreligious relationships.   Preference will be given to groups within annual conferences that have been elected to lead in Christian unity and interreligious relationships. Projects selected ...

Council of Bishops Offers Scholarship for Bossey Program

The Ecumenical Institute was founded by The World Council of Churches in Switzerland in 1946 as an “ecumenical laboratory,” bringing together students of ecumenism from across the Christian community. The Council of Bishops (COB) is pleased to offer an annual scholarship to one student to participate in the “Complementary Certificate in Ecumenical Studies” (CC) through Bossey in conjunction with the University of Geneva.   A total amount of $10,000 will be sent to Bossey on behalf of the chosen ...

First United Methodist in Bakersfield Partners with Teachers in Title I Schools

This year, 240 students from various schools throughout Bakersfield will receive a free “homework kit” through their teachers who are a part of First United Methodist Church in Bakersfield.     “When the teachers pass the kits out to their students, the students will know that somewhere in Bakersfield there are many 'church folks' who care about them,” says Julie Vawter, director of administrative services at First UMC. “In addition, the teachers receive a $50 gift card to GW School Supply store...

Los Rios Lay Servant Ministries Training 2019

Los Rios District Lay Servant Ministries will offer two Basic Lay Servant trainings and one on Preaching in 2019. Cost per class is $25 (includes lunch).   Basic Lay Servant Training will be offered Saturday, September 14 at St. Paul's United Methodist Church, Vacaville with Akasha Fakava as instructor – and on Saturday, September 21 at First UMC, Sacramento with Rev. Matthew Pearson as instructor.   The Lay Servant Ministries Preaching class will be offered on Saturday, October 12, 2019 at ...

Petaluma UMC Fall Kickoff Celebration to Feature Dedication of Plaque by Native Sons of the Golden West

Petaluma United Methodist Church will celebrate 78 years at its current location and 170 years as a congregation during its fall kickoff celebration on Sunday, September 8. As part of the festivities the grand officers of The Native Sons of the Golden West will present the pastor, Rev. Eric S. Dale (at right), with an historic plaque recognizing the congregation as one of the oldest in Petaluma and a living part of California history.   Dedication of the historic plaque will take place at 11:30 ...

Bishop Carcaño to Speak at Evolving Faith Conference

The 2019 Evolving Faith Conference will be held October 4 and 5 at the University of Denver in Denver, Colorado. The two-day event will feature more than 20 inspirational speakers, including Resident Bishop of the San Francisco Area, Minerva G. Carcaño (below). Held in the Magness Arena of the Ritchie Center on the college campus, the conference starts on Friday at 7 a.m. for registration and concludes at 6 p.m. Saturday. Tickets are available online. Visit the Evolving Faith Conference 2019 ...

First UMC Reno Brings in Brian McLaren for ‘Shining Lights’ Symposium

First United Methodist Church of Reno will host renowned Christian progressive and global activist Brian McLaren for a daylong symposium, Shining Lights on a Guided Path, on Saturday, October 12, 2019.   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, a mobilizing collective rooted in a just and generous Christian spirituality. This event will focus primarily on the ideas presented in his book, ...

JJ Warren Discusses Inclusivity with Cal-Nev Churches

By JB Brayfindley  Communications Assistant   "My passion is for our church to stay together," JJ Warren said, while on a speaking tour in the California-Nevada Annual Conference.   The young, openly gay certified candidate for ministry – best known for the ardent speech he delivered on the floor of the 2019 General Conference – spoke at a worship service during Walnut Creek UMC"s celebration of its 25th anniversary as a Reconciling Congregation (RC) this month, and, "He shared hope," according ...

Rancho Cordova UMC Opens New Food Bank Distribution

By JB Brayfindley  Communications Assistant   On Tuesday, August 20 the dreams of many members of Rancho Cordova United Methodist Church were realized, when the church launched its first monthly Peoples’ Pantry Food Bank distribution.    “We have always had a heart for service to the community and have frequently felt that we couldn't accomplish as much as we would wish,” said Rev. Elizabeth Brick, the church’s pastor (at right).    “The heart and soul behind The Peoples’ Pantry came from the ...

Good Samaritan UMC Youth Fellowship Group Celebrates 50th Anniversary

By Sue Schroeder Larson  Good Samaritan UMC   Ninety people from all over the United States gathered at the Good Samaritan United Methodist Church in Cupertino, California August 2-4, 2019 to celebrate the 50th anniversary of their high school Youth Fellowship (YF). These YFers – all now adults in their 60s – rejoiced in the opportunity to reconnect, sing, give thanks, worship, and cherish memories as they created new ones.     Their youth leader, Ernie Bringas, arrived at the church in 1969 and...

MARCHA Wraps up 48th Annual Meeting

The National Hispanic/Latino Caucus for The United Methodist Church and the Methodist Church of Puerto Rico, MARCHA (Metodistas Asociados Representando la Causa Hispano Americana, or Association of Methodists Representing the Cause of Hispanic Americans) held its 48th annual meeting August 1-4 in Philadelphia under the theme, “The Extraordinary Power of God: Tesoros en Vasos de Barro” – Treasures in Vessels of Clay. The intended message: That while as humans we are fallible and prone to ...

Three-Part Fall 2019 Webinar Introduces Churches to NETworX Anti-Poverty Model

The Conference Committee on Children and Poverty and its partner, NETworX USA, will host a three-part webinar beginning in September to introduce the NETworX anti-poverty model to congregations and communities all over the California-Nevada Annual Conference. The webinar series is sponsored by the United Methodist Rural Advocates and offers participants CEUs, as well as a better understanding of holistic poverty and working with families.    The series will be offered on Sept. 12, Oct. 3, and ...

'Out of the Ashes': Community UMC in Lower Lake Breaks Ground

By Cate Monaghan Interim Director of Communications Community United Methodist Church in Lower Lake, CA burned down during the Clayton Wildfire in 2016. Finally, on Sunday, August 11, 2019, ground was broken for a new building.   “Out of the ashes, we will rise” proclaimed a banner as Great Northern District Superintendent Blake Busick, Pastor John Pavoni, and Lake County Supervisor Moke Simon led the groundbreaking ceremony.    The main church building, the parsonage, and the classroom ...

Press Release: Diverse Group of United Methodists Explores Separation

For Immediate Release August 19, 2019   HERNDON, VA:  A group of theologically diverse United Methodists met at Floris United Methodist Church in Virginia on Friday and Saturday to continue seeking a way to resolve the impasse on the ordination of LGBTQ members and the blessing of same-gender marriages in the denomination. Organized by bishops from Central Conferences, the meeting was attended by Tom Berlin and Junius Dotson, representing Centrists; Jan Lawrence and Randall Miller [of the ...

September 'Faith Service Xtreme!' Youth Event: An Opportunity for Hands-on Service

By JB Brayfindley Communications Assistant   “FAITH SERVICE XTREME! is like a weekend Sierra Service Project or a taste of a weekend Volunteers-in-Mission,” according to Rev. Dr. Felicisimo (“Fel”) Cao, California-Nevada Annual Conference Director of Camping and Young People’s Ministry.   In previous years the event was titled “Faith Xtreme,” but recently its title was amended by the Conference Council on Young People’s Ministry to include the word “service.”   “The intention is to provide a ...

Fires Force Evacuations Within Cal-Nevada Conference

A Message from Cal-Nevada Disaster Response Coordinator Sonja Edd-Bennett  As you've likely seen, there are several fires happening around the Conference, with at least two forcing evacuations yesterday.    Patterson Fire – Twitter #PattersonFire – started off Patterson Road, south of Placerville, in El Dorado County near Diamond Springs in rural, but populated, area.  CalFire reports at 7 a.m. Friday 8/16/19 – fire at 35 acres; containment 40%.   Crews will continue working through the day: ...

Rebuilds Start After 2017 Northern California Firestorm

United Methodist Committee on Relief (UMCOR) rebuilds have begun for October 2017 Northern California firestorm survivors. This includes destroyed areas in Santa Rosa, Mendocino, Lake, and Napa counties. In Mendocino County, UMCOR is partnering with Hope Crisis Response Network to rebuild homes, beginning in Redwood Valley and Potter Valley.     Steve Elliot, who has been providing United Methodist Volunteer in Mission (UMVIM) training, assembled the first volunteer rebuilding team. They spent ...

Wesley Bakersfield UMC Protests Detention Center

"When I went in there, the women were in their beds with sheets over their heads; they wouldn't even get up, and didn't want to talk with anyone," Reverend Anne Schlesinger, pastor of Wesley United Methodist Church in Bakersfield, California said after visiting the Mesa Verde Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) Detention Center. "The stories that come out of there are horrible." Wesley UMC is located just 4.4 miles from the detention center, less than a 10-minute drive away. The church ...

General Conference Commission Takes Action Following Task Force Review

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE August 10, 2019 Lexington, Ky.: The Commission on the General Conference voted this week to implement new registration and credentialing procedures for General Conference delegates to safeguard against the possibility of unauthorized voting. The Commission made the decision based on the results of an independent investigation into allegations of voting improprieties at the 2019 Special Session of the General Conference. A task force was convened to oversee the ...

Final Call for 2019 Peace Award Nominees

If someone you know exemplifies Courage, Creativity, and Consistency, you may want to nominate that person for the World Methodist Peace Award, sponsored by the World Methodist Council (of which The United Methodist Church is a member). However, you must act now: Applications submitted by August 20 will be considered for this year. Any application received after August 20 will be reviewed later for consideration in 2020.    Please note that all supporting documents must be included.    The ...

MARCHA Laments Violence in Texas, Ohio

MARCHA, Methodists Associated Representing the Cause of Hispanic Americans, has issued a statement lamenting the loss of precious lives to hate and violence over the past weekend in El Paso, Texas and Dayton, Ohio.    “We pray for peace and comfort for the families and communities mourning these senseless tragedies,” the statement reads.    “We are alarmed by how the evils of white supremacy, racism and xenophobia continue to spread through all levels of our nation and society, and the lack of ...

Pray for the Peaceful Reunification of the Korean Peninsula This Sunday (Aug. 11)

Each year, Christians are invited to join in a prayer for peace and reunification of the Korean Peninsula. Prepared by the National Council of Churches in Korea and the Korean Christian Federation, the prayer is traditionally prayed on the Sunday before 15 August every year – which in 2019 is this Sunday, August 11.    The 15th of August, celebrated as Liberation Day in both North and South Korea, marks the date in 1945 when Korea won independence from Japanese colonial oppression, yet ...

Remembering Hiroshima and Nagasaki

August 6 and 9, 1945 changed the world forever. And in this 74th year since the bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, all Methodists and people everywhere are urged to pray for world peace.    “We are in prayer for the victims and survivors of Hiroshima and Nagasaki,” said World Methodist Council General Secretary, Bishop Ivan Abrahams, “and we pray that peace will come to this broken world where nuclear weapons cease to exist, rather than be proliferated, which remains a constant and serious ...

Sacramento UMC Joins Hands With Local Organizations For Border Relief Efforts

By JB Brayfindley Communications Assistant "We all recognize the disaster at the U.S.- Mexican border," said Doug Treadwell, chair of the Reconciling and Social Justice Committee at First United Methodist Church in Sacramento. In response, his committee assisted more than 60 people from various organizations to come together on Saturday, August 3 for a hygiene kit assembly party at First UMC. "Through the generosity of Sacramento area United Methodists, Placer Women Dems, RATT Pack, ...

Walnut Creek UMC Marks Reconciling Anniversary, Extends Invitation to Hear JJ Warren

This Sunday, August 11, Walnut Creek United Methodist Church will mark its 25th anniversary as a Reconciling Congregation. The celebration will begin with worship at 9:30 a.m., featuring JJ Warren as guest preacher, and will be followed by a luncheon at 11:15 am.   Warren, a 2019 graduate of Sarah Lawrence College just outside New York City, will be attending Boston University School of Theology in the fall. He is a certified candidate for ministry in The United Methodist Church and has worked ...

JJ Warren Preaching Tour Comes to California

JJ Warren, the young, openly gay certified candidate for ministry who delivered an impassioned speech on the floor of the 2019 General Conference, has scheduled appearances at four churches in the California-Nevada Conference in the first two weekends in August. He is on a preaching tour titled, "Forward Together: Reclaiming Our Church Through Radical Love," encouraging churches to "move forward toward God's unconditional love," prior to beginning his studies at Boston University School of ...

Bishop Carcaño Responds to Mass Shooting in Gilroy, Calls for Gun Control

Bishop Minerva G. Carcaño has posted a special message in response to the mass shooting at the Gilroy Garlic Festival over the weekend.    “We mourn the deaths of four persons, including the perpetrator, and the injuring of many others,” the bishop writes, adding that prayers have been extended “from as far as Cuba.”  Pastor Hwapyoung Kang was able to determine that all members of Gilroy United Methodist Church apparently escaped harm in the tragedy, the bishop reports.   She concludes: “Let us ...

Cal-Nevada Japanese American UMC Caucus Responds to UM Immigration Task Force Call for Action

"Never Again" Is NOW By Rev. Roger Morimoto Japanese American Caucus, California-Nevada Conference of The United Methodist Church It’s been more than seven decades since the Japanese in America experienced racism penned by their own President. At that time 120,000 were forced into camps with barbed wire and guard towers because of their race. It mattered not that many were born in America, or that no crimes had been committed. The land of the free, indeed! We turned this injustice into a ...

Deadline Is Near to Apply for Peace With Justice Grants

The deadline to apply for a Peace With Justice Grant of up to $2,000 is right around the corner: August 15, 2019. The money is available to United Methodist churches and organizations for projects that support Advocacy and Justice Actions. We, who call ourselves Methodists, are called to works of justice: To discover why the homeless are homeless and why the working poor don’t make a living wage, to stand with those who have no voice in our system, to address underlying causes of injustice, and...

Gratitude in Action – Endowment Board Expands Ministry with Increased Gift

By Jenny Copello  Development Coordinator/Exec. Asst., The Endowment Board   At the Friday afternoon plenary at this year’s Annual Conference Session (ACS) of the California-Nevada Conference of The United Methodist Church, Endowment Board trustee Rev. Michael Yoshii presented the board’s annual grants to the Board of Pensions and Retired Clergy Association. Board of Pensions accepted a check for $1,800,000 (a $200,000 increase since 2017), and the Retired Clergy Association accepted a check for...

CUIR Launches Survey of Ecumenical, Inter-religious Activity

What are you doing ecumenically and inter-religiously? The Committee on Christian Unity and Interreligious Relationships (CUIR) wants to know! Please take a few minutes to complete this simple survey:    The survey results will help the committee know how to better serve the conference and how to celebrate and learn from already established ecumenical and inter-religious relationships. It also will help Bishop Carcaño know where her presence might be ...

UMDF Loan Helps Valley Faith UMC Grow Children’s Ministry

Valley Faith United Methodist Church in Sunnyvale, California has received a loan from United Methodist Development Fund (UMDF) and is using it to support a building project for the church’s children's ministry.    Valley Faith’s story is the subject of an article on the UMDF website, and of a 3-minute video.   Read “The Right Fit.”   Watch video about the project here.   

'New Way Forward' Group Is Formed

For Immediate Release July 19, 2019 Central Conference bishops convene diverse group to address impasse in The United Methodist Church CHICAGO - A group of prominent United Methodists met in Chicago on Friday, July 19, 2019, to seek new ways to address the impasse regarding full inclusion of LGBTQ persons in The United Methodist Church. This meeting was called by Central Conference bishops for the purpose of creating space for open and frank conversation where all parties could  dialogue and ...

UMC Churches Support International Vigil

By JB Brayfindley Contributor to Instant Connection "I think that it is important for people of faith to take a stand that is consistent with the values that we learn from the Gospels, from Jesus, and from our faith traditions," said Sharon Delgado, a retired United Methodist pastor from Nevada City, while standing alongside other protestors on Friday, July 12 during Lights For Liberty: A Vigil to End Human Detention Camps, at the Yuba City County Jail in Marysville, California – the last ...

The 'Secret Life' of a Cal-Nev Deacon

This week UM News reporter Jim Patterson profiled a California-Nevada Annual Conference deacon, Rev. Mike Friedrich, who has a "secret life" as a comic book writer of renown. An excerpt of the story, which also features a quote by Rev. Michael Yoshii and photos by Cal-Nev's own Paul ("Spud") Hilton, follows. Deacon went from superheroes to God By Jim Patterson July 15, 2019 | UM News For a United Methodist deacon, the Rev. Mike Friedrich has a whole bunch of crime and violence in his past. ...

Richmond Church Hears Philippines Human Rights Message

As a “Just Peace Philippines” congregation, First United Methodist Church of Richmond offers at least one Sunday sermon per year on the human rights situation in the Philippines. On June 23, Nikki Salde-Azzam of Buena Vista UMC in Alameda, a member of the California-Nevada Annual Conference's Philippines Solidarity Task Force, preached at FUMC Richmond and shared the story of Elijah (from 1 Kings 19:1-15a), calling attention to how it parallels the experiences of Filipino human rights advocates....

Church Tithing through June

By Diane Knudsen Executive Director of Finance and Administration, CA-NV Annual Conference Did you know our churches calculate their own tithe amount each month, based on that month’s church income? Churches send their tithe checks to the conference office within the first two weeks of the following month. Apportionment statements are printed and mailed to every church on the 15th of the following month. You can find a current list of tithes by church every month at

Mission Handcrafts Project Takes in Nearly $2k at This Year's ACS

The Mission Handcrafts project reports gross sales of $1,904 during the 2019 California-Nevada Annual Conference Session (ACS). The amount to be sent to mission projects from that sale is $1,106, making a total of  $110,372 raised to date for projects around the world. As a result of the sale at Annual Conference, Advance Special 00430A in Bolivia will receive $330; $289 was raised to support the United Methodist Volunteers in Mission (UMVIM) India projects of the Davis United Methodist Church;...

San Francisco UMCs Poise for ICE Raids This Weekend

United Methodist churches in San Francisco are on alert in the face of Immigrations and Customs Enforcement (ICE) raids reportedly planned for this weekend. UM News quotes the Associated Press as saying the immigration sweep would target 10 major cities, including San Francisco.    “We have now learned that ICE will be conducting raids in multiple cities, including ... Atlanta, Baltimore, Chicago, Denver, Houston, Los Angeles, Miami, New Orleans, New York, and San Francisco,” Bishop Minerva G. ...

California-Nevada Hosts Spanish Language Bootcamp for Western Jurisdiction / Plantación y Crecimiento de Congregaciones Hispano-Latinas

Planting, growing, and developing congregations in the Hispanic-Latino community is critical for The United Methodist Church. As Spanish-speaking populations continue to grow across the western United States, developing great leaders and teams in our new and existing congregations is key to reaching these communities with the love and grace of Jesus Christ.    With that imperative in mind, the California-Nevada Annual Conference will host a Spanish Language Bootcamp for the entire Western ...

Legislation Enacted at 2019 Annual Conference Session

The people of the California-Nevada Annual Conference acted to “reject and condemn” the Traditional Plan approved at this year's Special Called General Conference, when the 2019 Annual Conference Session was held June 19-22 in Modesto, California.    The Traditional Plan not only retained language in The Book of Discipline prohibiting LGBTQI+ individuals from ordination or marriage in the church, but also imposed harsh penalties on clergy who defy those restrictions.   Item 18, “Resolution on ...

Panel Focuses on Trans Asylum Seekers

“We don’t have to deal with ICE,” they say, but there's a long list of other roadblocks that confront Trans Asylum Seekers and their sponsors. During a recent panel discussion at First United Methodist Church in Sacramento, sponsors fielded questions about what it takes to assist asylum seekers once they are in the United States.  "Sometimes they just need a ride to the doctor, to the store, to a court appointment," said one sponsor, who encouraged attendees to commit to accompaniment if they'...

Peace With Justice Grant Applications Are Due in August

August 15, 2019 is the deadline to apply for a Peace With Justice Grant. Up to $2,000 is available to United Methodist churches and organizations for projects that support Advocacy and Justice Actions. We, who call ourselves Methodists, are called to works of justice, to discover the reasons that the homeless are homeless, why the working poor don’t make a living wage, to stand with those who have no voice in our system, to address underlying causes for injustice, and to make our world a better...

United Methodists Called to Action on Behalf of Migrants

Declaring, “We cannot be silent in this hour. The voice and actions of The United Methodist Church must be heard and experienced in this moment,” three agency general secretaries have joined Bishop Minerva G. Carcaño, chair of the denomination’s Immigration Task Force, in calling United Methodists to action on behalf of migrants – including those who have sought Sanctuary in UM churches.   The Call to Action was released at 10 a.m. PDT today (July 9, 2019) and details several steps people can ...

Application Deadline Nears for Foundation Executive Director Position

The California-Nevada United Methodist Foundation has set an August 1, 2019 deadline to receive applications for the position of executive director.   The foundation’s board of directors announced the retirement of Foundation Executive Director Susan Peters, effective at the end of the 2019 calendar year, in mid-June.   Peters has served in that capacity for 10 years and has guided the foundation’s growth from management of $31.5 million in assets to more than $70 million in assets, according ...

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