Lessons from a Sabbatical

Part 3 “CHURCH & CULTURE” Remember that finger motion rhyme we learned as kids? It was called, Here is the Church.  It went something like this… Here is the church (fold hands, fingers inside)And here is the steeple (index fingers up)Open the doors (thumbs apart)And see all the people (wiggle inside fingers) That was so fun to do! Sadly,…

Lessons from a Sabbatical

Part 2 “REFLECTION & DIRECTION” Another takeaway from our Sabbatical was the need for reflection. Reflection doesn’t solve problems; in fact, sometimes it reveals them. A Sabbatical is not a cure-all for all that ails us, but a time to seriously think through where you are in life and what God has for you in…

Lessons from a Sabbatical

Part 1 “REST & RENEWAL” Taking a Sabbatical is a privilege. Most people don’t have the time nor resources to take an extended time off. I want to thank the Conference and the team that made it possible for us to take nine weeks off. Our Sabbatical centered around four important elements: Renewal, Family, Insight,…

Staying out of HARM’s Way

by Linda Myers A few years back, we took a guided hike along the San Andreas Fault. Somehow I ended up in front of the line, leading the way. The guide ran up and said, “You’d better let me in front since I know how to spot snakes that are hiding along the trail. That…

Pray For One Another

COVID has led some people to think they don’t need to be part of the church family. They say they are getting everything they need online or on their own. Guess what? The Bible says that’s impossible. There are no Lone Ranger Christians. Every metaphor of the church is about others. We are the “body…

The Art of Disagreeing

Tensions are on the rise. As the crisis of the pandemic continues, the social unrest and racial tension build, and the election looms large on the horizon, we all find ourselves with less and less margin. It’s as if we are water up to our ears just making it through the day, making any minor…

Finding Unity

Biblical over Political In the chaos and unrest of today’s America, it’s easy to lose our way. Each voice seems more demanding than the last, each appears to have a nugget of truth, and each one seems to stand in opposition to the other. As Christ-followers, how do we find our way? We find God’s…

We Just Don’t Get It!

We just don’t get it. I’m saying that as a white person…we don’t get it! We don’t get how widespread discrimination is in our society. We don’t get the fear and frustration that people of color are feeling. We don’t get how scary it can be to be pulled over by a cop hoping you’ll…

Church For Us (Part 1)

I’m amazed that anyone shows up for Sunday Worship! Why? Because everyone has a different opinion. The room is too hot (or too cold); the sermons are too long (or too short); the music is too loud (or too listless); the greeters aren’t friendly enough (or too gushy), and the list of preferences goes on…

Great Quotes from our Midwinter Retreat

This week is our annual Midwinter Retreat in Newport. It’s a time when pastors and ministry leaders and their spouses carve out time to take a deep breath and reconnect—with each other and God.  Our speaker this year is Rick McKinley. He is the founding pastor of Imago Dei in Portland, Oregon. With our theme…

What Holiness Looks Like

Holiness is drawing closer to God. That’s the desire of every believer, isn’t it? The Psalmist yearned for that as he prayed, “Who may dwell in your sanctuary? Who may live on your holy hill?” (Psalm 15:2). He summarizes the answer with two words: those who are ‘blameless’ and ‘righteous.’ A person who desires to…

Missions and Chaos

By Wayne Schock Wayne Schock is our Conference’s Director of Cross-Cultural Outreach. If your church is looking for someone to help you reach out to immigrants and various ethnic groups in your community, this is the guy you need to talk with. I’ve asked Wayne to share a bit about his experience in missions and…