Benefit Wine Dinner

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On Saturday, April 6, journey through southern Europe with Taste of Excellence Catering and Cliff Creek Cellars. They will bring you a seven-course dinner, paired with wine, to benefit a retreat center in Portugal. The center is the vision and heart of our friends Josh and Risa Hobson.

Tickets for this culinary adventure are $89 per person and available here.

Learn more about the retreat center here.

Join the Journey, 3.17.19

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Question: Where do you think you are being called to move beyond where you are right now?

Answers:

  1. My life is in a state of change. I don’t know where I am going right now.

  2. To rest in God’s arms and feel secure through the business of purging and preparing for new roommates.

  3. More loving service.

  4. Learning to trust God in my work life, not just my personal life.

  5. Make sure that my attitude is pleasing to God - what is inside will surface.

  6. Write a book. YouTube channel with scripture. Deepened prayer.

Sneak Peek for this Sunday

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We were reading Matthew 5: 17-48 aloud during our worship design team awhile back and one of the team members said regarding the word about divorce “That sounds pretty harsh.” Indeed, everything Jesus says here can sound harsh. It was a limit setting, boundary establishing, Royal Law kind of message. He was not seeking to placate the ears of his hearers, but was establishing a new ethic around violence, sexuality, marriage, oaths, revenge and real love.

He is hard hitting especially against the culture of his time. The law-keeping leadership held to the letter but avoided the law’s intent at every level. They were freely willing to divorce their wives and remarry, for example, while considering themselves “law keeping.” Even while that very action decimated the woman’s life -- no protection, no covering, no hope, no future. They felt that oaths were fine, as long as connected to holy objects, but Jesus says otherwise.

They abusively treated others, especially the Roman oppressors, but Jesus calls them instead to “turn the other cheek” and “walk the second mile.” The meaning of this call was immense, it was a literal call to force the soldier to break the law through submission.

While this might sound harsh, it was revolutionary. And indeed, as we come to it in this era, is still revolutionary now. People love keeping the letter of the law. They love attaching themselves to one phrase or another, hold that, while ignoring what might be a greater, deeper, more meaningful point.

This is Jesus. He pushed the envelope. He was the liberal in that era. He was the progressive. He was the one accused of being a drunkard and glutton because he refused to follow the traditions of his time. What are we associated with? How are we following Him today? Do others look at us as being radicals? Are we helping to push the envelope with our culture?

In John Wesley’s time he was the radical. He was kicked out of the respectable Anglican pulpits because he was preaching in a style not appreciated -- calling for repentance and salvation, indeed! Even though it was considered vile to take the Word of God outside the walls of the church institution, that is where he took it. He preached to the poorest of the poor, those considered below the upright, wealthy church-going folk. And in doing this radical, visiting prisoners, feeding the hungry, nursing the sick to health, taking literally Jesus’ call to do so, England experienced a visitation of God, and a revival which saved it from revolution.

What might Jesus be calling us to be in this era that fulfills the spirit of what it means to be followers? How might this way look to those around us? Where is radical calling to us?

Hobsons Needing Help

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From Josh and Risa Hobson:

We are so excited we have a place to live!

This also means we have A LOT to get done before 
we have to be out of our current place on March 31st. 
 

We have several opportunities in the coming weeks for folks to come help with our moving and estate sale process. We will also be looking for childcare during many of these times. If you able to help with one or more of these, please email familiahobson@gmail.com or text Risa at 503-577-4355 so we can give you further details.

For dates and tasks, please visit https://mailchi.mp/4acb61520ee6/local-help-needed-for-move-and-estate-sale?e=19618d285a

Condolences

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Please pray for Joe Molesworth in the loss of his son, Keith, who died suddenly on Tuesday. Keith leaves behind two sons and a fiancee. No information is available yet on services.

Cards may be sent to:
Joe Molesworth
379 NE Hyde Circle
Hillsboro OR 97124

Our hearts go out to Joe and Keith’s family in this difficult time.

Celebration of Life

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The life of Justin Greco will be celebrated on Sunday, April 7, at the Edwards Center, 4375 SW Edwards Place in Aloha. The Center will be open from 10:00 am to 1:30 pm, with a service at 10:45 and lunch served at noon. You are encouraged to attend at any point that works for you.

Join the Journey, 3.10.19

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Question: What are words you associate with “masculinity” today?

Answers:

  1. Accountability, sacrifice, service, groundedness, self-control

  2. Strength, support, kindness

  3. Strong in faith

  4. Other - strength

  5. Men - strength, leader of family, heard more easily, power - say so

  6. Strong, brave

  7. Giving freely to others over their own desires

  8. “Boys will be boys”, strong, powerful

Sneak Peek for this Sunday

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Since July last Summer we have used our funds collected in our change bucket to support a mission called EPIK based in Portland which is disrupting sex trafficking around the world.  Founded by Tom Perez, EPIK and the 150 or so volunteers have been instrumental in lowering the incidences of trafficking. The Portland police are thrilled with the results. Guys encountered in the calls are forced to face the duplicity of their hearts and lives.  The lie that “no one sees” gets exposed and in the light of day some of these guys are repenting and seeking help. This is incredible. The stories abound.

Tom will be coming to share with us on the 10th of March, the first Sunday in Lent. Fitting, since in Lent we will be walking with Jesus toward the cross, walking through the most famous sermon he ever gave, which was most likely a compilation of how he spoke wherever he went.  This is found in Matthew 5-7. The beginning of this message, called the beatitudes, in Matthew 5, is famous also because it is so poetic in form. It is a series of “blesseds” which run counter to every cultural message then and now. Whereas the disciples might have been expecting a lecture on the best way to organize now that Jesus had a huge following, instead, Jesus began that the blessed ones were not the famous, popular, rich and healthy, but the “poor in spirit.”  Blessed, happy, those filled with “sheer joy” are those who are poor in spirit for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

Jesus didn’t begin a new religion that day, instead, He challenged his listeners to join in a whole new humanity.  

As Tom encountered sex trafficking and the kind of men that created the demand, and encountered Jesus, and the kind of man Jesus was and the kind of way of life Jesus promoted in this passage, Tom became convinced that this passage was a template for a new kind of way for a man to be a man in society.  He began to see in this passage a vital masculinity unlike what was practiced nor preached in the public forum.

Tom will share into this vision from this passage today.  This is a don’t miss Sunday. Don’t miss fellowship with others.  Don’t miss the connections. Don’t miss the opportunity to worship.   


Holy Week Worship Opportunities

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All events are in the Westside sanctuary, unless otherwise noted

April 14   Palm Sunday          8:15 and 10:00 am

April 15 Vesper Service      6:00 pm

April 16 Vesper Service    6:00 pm

April 17 Vesper Service    6:00 pm

April 18 Maundy Thursday    6:00 pm

Full Seder meal in the Westside Lighthouse; RSVP at signups.wumc.me.

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April 19
Good Friday Service 7:00 pm
Vermont Hills UMC
6053 SW 55th Drive Portland

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April 21 Easter!

Sunrise Service
6:30 am
Duffield’s House

Morning Watch
8:15 am

Easter Breakfast
8:45-9:30 am
In the Lighthouse

Easter Service
10:00 am

Join the Journey, 3.3.19

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Question: How has believing in Jesus impacted how you lived this week?

Answers:

  1. Jesus has given me strength in my faith when my church has let me down. Despite a decision I don’t agree with, I know Jesus loves me and all of us.

  2. Joy: news of new grandbaby due in July.

  3. I was encouraged to think about how I can reach out to others.

  4. I have been so grateful for my eyes that see, my feet that walk, my lungs that breathe the fresh air.

  5. He has allowed me to pray for others so I didn’t have to take anymore on myself.

  6. I know he takes care of me through all things.

This Thursday: EPIK Info Night

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A reminder that this event is happening this Thursday!

Learn more about this organization dedicated to reducing human trafficking in Portland.

On Thursday, March 7, from 8:00 - 9:30 pm, EPIK’s Program Director, Justin Euteneier, and intern Bradley Bettis will present an overview of the program and answer any questions. All adults are welcome to attend. The event will be held at Hair of the Dog Brewing Company, 61 SE Yamhill St, Portland.

There will also be a training opportunity in April for men to join the patrol team. More details to follow.

Men create demand. Better men can end it.

Sneak Peek for this Sunday

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Here is the meaning I find in the stories of John the Baptist, the virgin birth, Herod’s slaughter of the innocents, the ancestor lists, the coming of the Magi, and Jesus in the temple at age 12…  

Here is why Jesus’ parables, miracles, and teaching about hell are important to me…  

Here is how I respond to Jesus’ care for the multitudes and Jesus’ attitudes toward Caesar…  

Here is my understanding of the Kingdom of God…  

I believe in Jesus. I have confidence in Jesus. Here is what that means to me…  

How might you answer any one of these queries?  

This Sunday we are breathing in the middle of our walk through the book by Brian McLaren, We Make the Road by Walking, by actually doing just that. We are making the road by walking together, and sharing together from how we have been impacted along the way.  It has been a journey! We are talking a few months of passages, plus all the other scriptures you might have been reading. It is a great adventure.  

So come worship and hang together sharing in how God has been meeting up with you and through you in this world.  It is a rare day. Don’t miss out! Come!

Coming Together

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After the Special Session of the General Conference, it is more important than ever to gather together.

Our district is offering Table Talks 3.0, a time of worship and sharing Holy Communion together, as well as conversation about where we go from here.

The closest location is at Portland First UMC, 1838 SW Jefferson St, Portland, on Sunday, March 17, from 3:00 - 5:00 pm. To pre-register or see alternate dates and times, click here. They request that you register by March 10.

The General Conference Decision

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Dear Family - 

Jesus remains our focus as the church adopted what was titled the traditional plan at the General Conference(GC).  This decision came after the conference spent six hours in corporate prayer.  They’d sought God.   But what bothered my own heart the most was the dehumanizing language used of any of our LGBT siblings. The GC — in that regard— lost hold of the love of God. 

As people we have an incredible tendency to sort ourselves into categories of  “us and them.”  From those strongholds then we dehumanize our opponents, in order to affirm our own stance.  Dehumanization comes often with labels, making the “other” an object, not a person. And generally whomever comes out on top takes a superior stance to the ones who lost. Some of that happened at GC and some has continued since.  

There are no winners in these times. And as long as people are feeling threatened, endangered, that there will be some kind of witch hunt, Jesus gets lost. 

I think there is more going on internationally than this current decision.  And basically this plan changes nothing of what has been stated previously in the discipline. But as I said that decision was sadly accompanied by behaviors and words that didn’t help.  

This brings me to our recommitment to our calling as a local place that is safe for all people, a place to “come as you are,” to be authentic, to be valued and to be invited to meet the One who knows and loves you best, Jesus.  Every person is a man or woman of sacred worth, of God’s creation intent, and all of us are sinners, saved by grace, in need of God’s mercy.  The ground is level at the foot of the cross, even though that was not demonstrated at GC.  

Let’s remember Him as we walk forward to learn how He is urging the church forward in this era to be a place that embodies his love and his purpose in this world.  Love really is the answer (John 3:16-17). 

On Sunday we will take time to share together about His impact upon us, and share in prayer for the church and for one another, and share in a love feast. 

We remain a place of light and love and grace and of the demonstration of the mercy of God.  We remain a place focused upon the person of Jesus.  

Love for you— 

Pastor Brian