May 30, 2019
Moving Forward to What's Next
Thoughts from Bishop Elaine Stanovsky
I just returned from two gatherings that I believe will shape the future of Methodism for years to come. Taken together, they could mark a turn toward LGBTQ+ persons being fully recognized, included and honored in Methodism in the future, whatever form it takes. More than 900 people participated in one or both of the two events, including leaders from the Greater Northwest.

As you know, the actions of General Conference 2019 stirred up deep distress within The United Methodist Church. Many are asking: how do we live in a church that has adopted values and rules that we believe are not Christian? Do we stay and try to change the Church? Or is Jesus, who makes all things new, leading us to create a new expression of Methodism that is more faithful to the gospel? It feels like we are in a great season of sorting out how much diversity can remain united, and what are the limits beyond which some may have to leave.
The first gathering, Our Way FORWARD brought together justice-seeking communities to hear one another, recognize their shared oppression, and speak their call and commitment to a new Methodist movement that will act for justice inside the Church and in the world. As intended, people of color and LGBTQ+ United Methodists organized and led the event, with a deep commitment to creating a Church in "radical solidarity" with oppressed people.
Around 350 persons attended this event, with 19 of our fellow United Methodists present from the Greater Northwest Area. I was the only bishop present. Here's what I experienced.
This gathering was church. It was church in the way it intentionally included many voices in the planning and leadership, and in the way it made space for people to be present in the fullness of their beings. It was church in the way the host congregation prepared, welcomed, fed, honored and protected participants. It was church in the depth, passion and beauty of worship. It was church in the prophetic proclamation of the liberating love of Jesus Christ, in the midst of misrepresentation, rejection and agony. It was church through shared sorrow and grief, the bold claim of baptism, the celebration of the goodness and fragility of God's creation and gathering at the table of grace.
CLICK HERE to read Bishop Stanovsky's complete article... 

In This Issue
Open Door Churches newsletters are sent out every other Thursday.
Open Door Churches Webpage

Our webpage is live!!  Go to to see information about 
each of the churches and ways you can be involved.
Open Door Churches Town Hall Meeting 
Sunday - June 9 - 3:00 p.m.
FUMC - Micah Building
Open Door Churches Board would like your input on leadership needs for our ministry.  We know that two of our clergy will be retiring next year. This is a good time for us to re-imagine how we staff our congregations. Please join us for a "Town Hall Meeting" on Sunday, June 9, 3:00 p.m. in Taplin Hall, the Micah Building of First UMC. It will be a time to hear from you what you think is important as we look towards our future.
Open Door Churches' next Board Meeting is on Monday, June 3rd at 6:00 p.m. at First UMC. Representatives of each church's SPRC are asked to attend this meeting.

Wendy's Summer Schedule: Annual Conference, Vacation and Renewal Leave
June and July will have a different rhythm for me this year. Between Annual Conference, vacation and renewal leave, it will be an interesting time. I will be here on Sundays: June 2, 9, 16 and 23.
Ordained United Methodist clergy have the opportunity once every 4 years to have a 4 week renewal leave in addition to vacation time (per the Book of Discipline.) In our annual conference, we are granted 30 days of vacation each appointment year, of which 4 can typically be Sunday's.
I will be combining vacation days and 4 weeks of renewal leave in June and July. During this time, I will be reflecting on the completion of my first 25 years of local church ministry and discerning how I want to continuing answering my call to ministry for the remaining 10 years (plan A.) How have I answered God's call thus far that has been fulfilling, meaningful to people' lives, brought people into a closer relationship with God and challenged people to ask how they are called to be in ministry? What is God calling me to continue doing and/or what new things is God placing upon my heart as I continue in ministry for approximately the next 10 years? To aid in the reflection, I will be reading the books pictured below.
Some of this time I will be camping, some I will be at home and during one week I will be at a 3-D fabric art workshop outside of Leavenworth, Washington.
There are addition books I will be reading as well.
  • June 1-10       Focus on orders of worships, sermons for June, preparing for Board of OrdainedMinistry and and Annual Conference.
  • June 11-12      Board of Ordained Ministry Meeting
  • June 12-15      Annual Conference
  • June 16-18      Finish Orders of Worship for July
  • June 19-20      Vacation Days
  • June 23           Worship with Morningside and Sunday of Service
  • June 24-July 31  Vacation and Renewal Leave
During this time, pastoral care will be available through the Open Door Churches Clergy: Dan Pitney, Sandy Kimbrow and Alyssa Baker. There is a great line-up of preachers for the Sunday's I am gone: Mark Bateman, Jan Nelson, Sandy Kimbrow, Jeff Lowery and Alyssa Baker. Alyssa Baker will also lead the Face to Face Service. I am in gratitude to all of their assistance as I have this time away.
Blessings, Wendy 
Confirmation and Youth Sunday

Is there a moment you remember when you confirmed with God that you loved Jesus and wanted to walk with him? Coming soon on May 19th at Salem First at the 8:45 service then a confirmation recognition at the 11:15 service and then June 16th at 10:30 a.m. at Morningside will be one of those times for several of our youth. These two dates are both Youth Sunday and Confirmation Sunday when our youth make their first profession of faith. This will be a special time in the lives of our confirmands (those making their profession) and it is our blessing to be a part of their day as we renew professions of our own.

The youth in this year's confirmation ceremony are:
  • Austin Gienger - FUMC
  • Erika Bateman - FUMC
  • Elisabeth Rich - FUMC
  • Sophia Miller - FUMC
  • Lauren LeRoy - FUMC
  • Aeson Pargas - Morningside
Let's celebrate our youth and support them in whatever ways we can as they take these important next steps in their lives of faith!
Are You Ready for Vacation Bible School 2019?
"Who's My Neighbor?"
Mon - Thu, August 12th to 15th
9:00 AM to 12:00 PM
Open Door Churches Vacation Bible School (VBS) is happening again this year and we will be holding one week of it at Morningside.

All kids from age 3 to 5th grade graduates are invited to four days of fun-filled adventure, faith exploration and discovery and making new friends. Each day as they sing, craft, snack and use their imaginations, the kids will learn more about themselves and what makes each and everyone unique, special and, yet, the same!

Online registration is encouraged this year (if possible) but paper registration forms will be available soon, if needed. CLICK HERE for a link to the online registration website.

Volunteers are still needed, too! If you have a heart for kids and want to help make sure our kids have a fun and meaningful VBS experience this summer, let Christopher know you are available ASAP!

New Sermon Series:"Boldly Stepping Out"
June 23rd to September 1st
As we near the end of our current sermon series, we look forward to our new series, "Boldly Stepping Out."  

Join us each week as we explore the many ways our faith inspires us, supports us and allows us to live life boldly - within our community and the world, in the face of adversity and opposition, and when we need change in our life.

This series is sure to fill our souls and give us courage to boldly step out!

Open Door Churches Youth Group May Schedule 
We have lots of great opportunities for our youth as we quickly approach a busy summer filled with mission trips and summer camps. This month we'll meet at Morningside United Methodist Church from 12:30-2 p.m. for our Sunday youth groups but we'll start meeting on Tuesdays beginning June 18th. Join us for conversation, delicious lunch, and games!     

Mark your calendars for some great youth group activities!
  • June 2 Youth Group @ Morningside UMC
  • June 9 Youth Group @ Morningside UMC
  • June 16 Confirmation/Youth Sunday @ Morningside
  • June 18 Summer Youth Group Begins (Tuesday) - Locations TBA
  • August 12-16 Vacation Bible School @ Morningside
For more details about youth group activities visit their Facebook page here.  
Open Door Churches Young Adults
June Schedule
This past month the Open Door Church Young Adults took a closer look at our membership vow to promise to faithfully participate in a local congregation through their prayers, presence, gifts, service, and witness. Each week we looked closely at each of these ways of participation and talked about how we live them out. We also gathered for a night of fun at Pastor Alyssa's for pizza and watching the Blazer game. Several of our young adults are looking forward to participating in Union Gospel Missions Walk for Hope in June.  
The Open Door Young Adult group meets on Wednesday's from 7-8:30.  Thank you for your continued prayers and support of the Open Door Young Adults.  
Please contact Pastor Alyssa at with any questions.  

Check out our group's Facebook Page: CLICK HERE 

Come Visit!
We, as Open Door Churches, are a wonderful community together. To continue building our relationships, it's good to visit each other. If you would like to visit one of the other Open Door Churches, here are all our Sunday service times:
  • Trinity - 9:30 a.m.
  • Morningside - (Face to Face) 8:30 a.m.,10:30 a.m.
  • Salem 1st - 8:45 a.m. and 11:15 a.m.
  • Las Naciones - 12:30 p.m.
  • Keizer Clear Lake - 10 a.m.