March 22, 2019
Western Jurisdiction's Response to this moment in the life of our United Methodist Church
For the full letter, click here.

The Mission Cabinet of the Western Jurisdiction, composed of the bishops, directors of connectional ministries, and leadership team chairperson, receives and wholeheartedly embraces the statement of the Western Jurisdiction Leadership Team, recognizing in it the shared values of the West, and the longing for the home God calls us to share with all.

Many persons across the theological spectrum are feeling the deep pain of our beloved United Methodist Church. We have found much encouragement and hope in the actions and statements of like-minded United Methodists around the world including progressives, moderates, and conservatives alike, who no longer recognize the church they have long called home.

They are not alone. You are not alone. We are not alone. Inspired by these words and actions, we commit to partnering with others across our global connection in nurturing and developing structures to sustain the new life that is springing forth. Working together, forming diverse coalitions of grace and love, is what it means to be United Methodist.

Continuing our response to the harm of the 2019 General Conference and responding to the shared passion of the leaders gathered in Portland, the Mission Cabinet holds the following statements and commitments in common:
  • If found to be constitutional and put into practice, the restrictive, punitive provisions of the legislation passed at General Conference will cause continuing harm to many, especially LGBTQIA+ members of the body. We stand in opposition to this harm because "if one member suffers, all suffer together" (1 Corinthians 12: 26) in the body of Christ.  Even across theological divides, many faithful United Methodists understand that the legislation is contrary to our Wesleyan tradition of practicing God's extravagant love and grace. We strive to embody this love and grace and seek to do no more harm.
  • We affirm the courage and integrity of our Boards of Ordained Ministry who diligently inquire of our candidates for commissioning or ordination based on their gifts for Christ's ministry as delineated in ¶335 of the 2016 Book of Discipline. We encourage our Boards to continue to base their examination on their understanding of our Triune God and God's call rather than on sexual or gender identity of candidates for ministry.
  • We affirm that Christ calls people who have different understandings of the Bible and Christian tradition to "maintain the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace" (Ephesians 4: 3). We will strive in this moment to be a church, the body of Christ that holds in tension our theological diversity even as we engage in dynamic, life giving and transformational ministry with and for all persons. As the Church has focused on the cries for full inclusion of LGBTQIA+ people, urgent concerns of other parts of the body have not received the same attention. We commit to work to become a place where the voices of all segments of the Church who desire to live respectfully and peaceably together will be heard and honored.
  • We are committed to provide a Safe Harbor for clergy in our conferences as well as across the connection who face the threat of complaints and/or the loss of credentials because of their sexual orientation, gender identity and/or ministry with and for our LGBTQIA+ siblings.
  • We will support those clergy who, after prayerful discernment, choose to conduct same-gender marriages and those congregations who choose to host same-gender weddings.
  • We will in our own pastoral ministries to laity and clergy continue to learn and grow in our understanding of the ways in which we have been "reluctant followers of Jesus Christ in his mission to bring all persons into a community of love" (Preamble to the Social Principles of The United Methodist Church). We commit ourselves to this journey of learning and growing.
  • We also affirm that this is a God-inspired kairos moment, and that there may come a time when opposing sides determine in the Spirit of Christ, that they cannot remain together. God may call us, in God's own time, to create a new form of Methodism for the 21st Century and beyond. This new creation must be rooted in our Wesleyan tradition, embodying grace and founded upon God's revelation in scripture. We are already listening for God's voice and considering options in this regard.
  • Recognizing that the annual conference is the "basic body" of United Methodism (¶33, Article II of the Constitution of The United Methodist Church), we commit as ministry leaders on a jurisdictional level to working in committed partnership with the leaders of the various Annual Conferences of the Western Jurisdiction. As we prayerfully determine the appropriate next steps in our individual and unique contexts, we will carefully and respectfully listen to those with whom we serve, prayerfully acknowledging that although our pace may vary, we will lead our conferences to walk in the same direction.
As we make our way back home to create the Church where all are truly welcome, we invite you to partner with us. If you share our vision and our hopes, we invite you to join in the conversations that will be convened to listen to many voices and explore the possibilities for the future. Every United Methodist who shares our vision for a Church that truly, and finally, opens its hearts, minds, and doors, offering a home for all God's people, has a responsibility to do what they can from where they are. We are stronger together! If you would like to engage with what we are doing, visit onechurch4all.org to learn more, send us a message, and stay in touch. At times when we pause to listen intently for God's word for this moment, we ask for your patience. And as we move in partnership with others and with you, we ask for your prayers, even as we pray without ceasing for you and our beloved Church.

The Mission Cabinet of the Western Jurisdiction
The College of Bishops
Directors of Connectional Ministries
Chairperson of the Leadership Team
 
In This Issue
Open Door Churches newsletters are sent out every other Thursday.
Open Door Churches Webpage

Our webpage is live!!  Go to  opendoorchurches.org to see information about 
each of the churches and ways you can be involved.
Discipleship Group Lenten Study
Living the Way of Love: A 40-Day Devotional by Mary B. Sullivan
 
During Lent we're exploring the book  Living the Way of Love: A 40-Day Devotional by Mary B. Sullivan. Reflections follow the practices of The Way of Love: Turn, Learn, Pray, worship, Bless, Go, Rest. Each devotion includes a passage of scripture, a story, and reflection questions. We'll be rotating through each practice so that each is covered once a week, going deeper into the practice throughout the forty days.

The following locations are conducting the same study:

Tuesdays - 1:30 p.m. - beginning March 12
Morningside UMC - 3674 12th St. SE, Salem

Tuesdays - 6:30 p.m. - beginning March 5
First Salem UMC - 600 State Street, Salem

Thursdays - 10:00 a.m. - beginning March 7
First Salem UMC - 600 State Street, Salem

Thursdays - 1:30 p.m.beginning March 7
Trinity UMC - 590 Elma Ave SE, Salem  

Please contact the location's office by mid February to let them know you will be attending so that they may reserve a book for you. (Cost of book is $10). More information and reservation forms are also included in the Sunday worship bulletins.
 



From Lament to Communion

God created us for community.  Across the theological spectrum of our United Methodist connection, we are dismayed by the tension and hurt revealed at the Special General Conference.  Instead of finding a way forward together, we find ourselves even more painfully separated. 

Table Talks provide an opportunity for us to come together around the table of grace to share our feelings with one another, to connect as brothers and sisters in Christ, to hear from General Conference participants, and to imagine fresh contours of our faithfulness
as United Methodists.

Participants will covenant to Stay Curious, Be Kind, and to Listen with the same amount of passion with which they want to be heard.  The gathering will include sharing in holy communion together.

The Cascadia District is hosting five Table Talk gatherings mid-March into April (marked with an asterisk below). District Superintendent Tim Overton Harris will be present at all of these. Table Talks hosted by other districts are also available and may be more convenient for you. 
Following is a list of Table Talks in or near the Cascadia District:
Now is the time for community conversation. We need your voice at the table.

Find more information, see all the offerings across the Greater Northwest, and register at 
greaternw.org/table-talks

Please register at least a week prior to the event of your choice so that we can be prepared for you.  There is no cost. 

Morningside Rummage Sale
Friday, March 29th, 9 - 4 and
Saturday, March 30th, 9 - 3
 
Check out this amazing rummage sale at Morningside next weekend! Treasures await your discovery in this annual fundraiser.
 
Holy Week Services Schedule
  • Open Door Churches Maundy Thursday - Thursday, April 18th (Morningside UMC), Worship Service 7:00 PM
  • Open Door Churches Good Friday - Friday, April 19th (Keizer Clearlake UMC), Worship 7:00 PM
 
Open Door Churches Youth Group March Schedule 
 
Youth Group for the month of March will be at First UMC, 12:30-2. Join us for conversation, delicious lunch, and games!  
Mark your calendars for some great youth group activities!
  • March 24 youth group at FUMC
  • April 13 Saturday of service
  • April 21 Easter Brunch
  • April 26-28 Confirmation Retreat @ Suttle Lake
  • May 19 Confirmation/Youth Sunday
For more details about youth group activities visit their Facebook page here. 
 
Open Door Churches Young Adults
March Schedule
 
The Open Door Churches Young Adult Group is made up of college students and young professionals ranging in age from 18-29 who are exploring questions of faith together. The group meets every Wednesday evening from 7-8:30, usually at IKE Box. Please look at our Facebook page for specific dates, times, and places.

Thank you for your continued support of The Open Door Young Adults. Please contact Pastor Alyssa at   alyssabaker08@gmail.com 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.