Announcement on New Dean of the Cal-Pac Appointed Cabinet

It is with joy that I announce the new Dean of our California-Pacific Appointed Cabinet: Rev. Melissa Roux MacKinnon.
Rev. MacKinnon will also be moving to the North District after serving the East District for the last four years. Melissa brings the rare leadership combination of very strong administrative and detail skills along with high Emotional Intelligence and strong relational skills. She has brought her leadership and vision to our Cabinet and annual conference in so many ways, and we look forward to her continued leadership in the years to come!

Be the Hope,

Bishop Grant J. Hagiya
Los Angeles Area Resident Bishop

UM Dailies, Publications, and Media

Recordings of the 37th Annual Session, downloadable video files, programs of the worship services, select presentations and photos are now available at calpacumc.org/ac2021.

The UM Dailies, legislation, and other documents and publications of the Session are available at the Conference Secretary page at calpacumc.org/secretary.

AC2021

Statement on Episcopal Assignment

Greetings in the Joy of our Lord Jesus Christ!

Just as we find ourselves in unprecedented times in our daily lives, so too our United Methodist Church finds itself in a similar circumstance. The acceleration of change that all of us face is both unsettling, but also provides us the opportunity to reset our direction and vision in an entirely new way.

The global pandemics have put us all in a giant holding pattern, especially when it comes to our church polity. With the postponement of General and Jurisdictional Conferences, we have been unable to do the work of the church in a predictable manner. After more than 17 years in active episcopal leadership, my colleague and friend, Bishop Robert Hoshibata has desired and decided on his retirement this coming October 2021.

Unfortunately, we cannot replace him through our election process until our next regular session of Jurisdictional Conference – projected to meet in 2022. The Western Jurisdiction College and Episcopacy Committee has determined that I give interim oversight over the Desert Southwest Annual Conference until we can elect new bishops. This does not mean that our two annual conferences will be merging. Both conferences will retain their autonomy and independence. There are several pastors in our connection serving multiple congregations and there are bishops being asked to oversee larger areas and multiple annual conferences.

Here in our California-Pacific Annual Conference, in anticipation of an episcopal transition in 2020, we have already established an Executive Team that will orient and work with a new Bishop. It will consist of our Lay Leader, Executive Director of Connectional Ministries, Executive Director of Finance and Administration, Executive Director of Human Resources, Director of Innovation and Communications, Dean of the Cabinet and Assistant to the Bishop. The Desert Southwest Annual Conference has also established a Transition Team to work on these same issues. We are preparing for our futures. California-Pacific’s capable team will now work with me in oversight of the annual conference as I take on this expansion of another annual conference.

I have gone through a similar situation in 2012, when the Western Jurisdiction had to downsize from 6 bishops to 5, and I was given oversight of the Oregon-Idaho Annual Conference in addition to the Pacific Northwest and Alaska Annual Conferences. I know somewhat of what it means to take on a second annual conference and a much larger territory. However, I also know the workload that it involves, and I will need your prayers and understanding in this new assignment. This will mean a greater collaboration and more responsibility of our present conference leadership, but it is a model that may be necessary for our long-term future.

Please keep our two annual conferences, respective leadership, and myself in your prayers. Hopefully, this will be of a very short duration, but we will only succeed if God grants us the strength, insight and wisdom to enable this to happen. Feel free to ask any questions to my office or your own District Superintendent, who is committed to make this work.

Thank you always for your prayers and support!

Be the Hope,

Bishop Grant J. Hagiya
Los Angeles Area Resident Bishop

Bishop Arichea, Bible scholar, dies at 87 (UM News)

by Heather Hahn
June 1, 2021 | UM News

Bishop Daniel C. Arichea Jr. — a Bible scholar who championed full inclusion of LGBTQ people in church life — died June 1 in Taguig, Philippines, of complications related to COVID-19. He was 87.

As a Bible translator, Arichea helped make Scripture more accessible to people in multiple countries, including his native Philippines.

“Bishop Arichea was a courageous voice for justice for all of God’s children, especially LGBTQ persons,” said Council of Bishops President Cynthia Fierro Harvey, who also leads the Louisiana Conference.

The Rev. Amy Valdez Barker described Arichea as a visionary leader. When she was the top executive of the Connectional Table, the denominational leadership body in 2014 invited Arichea to speak on a panel about the Bible and homosexuality.

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Call for School Supplies for Sherman Indian High School

The Committee on Native American Ministries (CONAM) of the California-Pacific Conference is collecting school supplies for Sherman Indian High School in Riverside, California. Sherman Indian High School is one of four residential schools for Native Americans still operated by the Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA), now under the division of Indian Education.

The school has a limited budget, and the students most often come form great distance, making it difficult to arrive with much more than basic clothing. The school staff has reached out and let CONAM know of the usual needs with plans to re-open to students this coming August.

The following are items being collected:

  • School supplies, such as
    • college ruled notebook paper
    • college ruled composition books/notebooks
    • #2 pencils
    • colored pencils
    • 3-ring binders
    • 3-ring binders / notebooks
    • (other school or art supplies also welcome)
  • Student personal supplies, such as
    back packs

     

    • large beach towels for field trips & everyday use
      XL Twin comforters
    • (personal hygiene items also welcome)
  • Snacks
    • Many students find the BIA’s federal food program rather limiting, especially those participating in sports, and other extra curricular activities. Many have provided cheese & crackers, peanut butter & crackers, peanut butter, ramen packages, and other shelf-stable snack items.

Items may be brought to Native American UMC, 800 S Lemon St, Anaheim, CA 92805. For information and arrangements, please call 714.535.2429 or email the office at naumcoffice@aol.com.

In 2019, the Cal-Pac Annual Conference filled two large SUVs and three medium SUVs with donated goods. After Conference, several more churches brought items to Native American UMC in Anaheim for pick up by Sherman IHS staff and NAUMC delivery to the school.

For questions, please contact Rev. Gregory Douglass at greatscottrev@aol.com.

West District Leadership Training 2021 – Part 2

“Leading With Possibilities”

The West District invites all clergy and local church leaders to participate in this year’s leadership workshops.

Please gather at 8:30 AM PDT, with an opening at 8:45 AM.  We will then have a Grounding Session together, followed by a Learning Session (choose from 2 options).

For those who miss the Opening & Grounding Sessions, a recording of them will be rebroadcast at 11:00 AM.

Please RSVP to any and all Sessions you wish to attend.

Workshop Sessions:

Grounding Session (8:45 – 9:30 AM PDT): “Equity, Advocacy and Belonging” by Giovanni Arroyo

Exploring the impact of structures and systems when they are shaped by those most affected

Learning Session (9:35 – 11:00 AM PDT) Option 1: “Writing Your Story” by Susan Shankin & Sara Volle

We all have a story to tell. Explore the fundamentals of memoir writing, storytelling, and learn about strategies for launching your project from idea to completion. This workshop will include time for participant sharing and Q&A with the co-facilitators.

Learning Session (9:35 – 11:00 AM PDT) Option 2: “Effectively Leading Others During a New Normal” by Linnie Carter, Cynthia Butler & Sabrina Richardson

Linnie Carter will focus on leading work teams; Cynthia Butler on leading spiritual teams; Sabrina Richardson on leading children.

Learn about the workshop leaders here.

The Zoom links for the Grounding Session and Learning Sessions are included in your confirmation email. 

  • Technical requirements: To participate in Zoom meetings, participants must have a reliable Internet connection, and a laptop, tablet, or smartphone device that can download and install the Zoom app. A web or phone camera and a microphone are highly recommended, although some users may call in via phone if a mic is not available.

For questions about this event, contact the West District office at westdistrict@calpacumc.org or 562.429.1441.

RSVP NOW

New Podcast Focuses on Anti-Racism As Christian Discipleship (GCORR)

“Expanding the Table,” a new video podcast series from the General Commission on Religion and Race (GCORR), will debut on Tues., June 1, 2021. Series guests will focus on how individual Christians and church-based entities can and should engage the work of racial justice-making and anti-racism.

Guests for the first podcast—titled “Racism, Police Reform and Faith”—are the Rev. Kirk Lyons of Brooklyn, N.Y., and the Rev. Jeremy Wicks of Traverse City, Michigan. Both United Methodist pastors are leading community-wide conversations and demonstrations that call attention to implicit and explicit racial bias experienced by Black and Brown people at the hands of police officers. Both are bringing together church, community, and law-enforcement members to seek solutions.

Lyons and Wicks will talk about their work as an outgrowth of their understanding of the Gospel of Jesus Christ and offer ideas for how Christian communities may learn more and get involved in local police reform and anti-racism efforts.

Read the Full Story

Response to the Derek Chauvin Verdict

But let justice roll down like waters, and righteousness like an ever-flowing stream. – Amos 5:24

Like most of you, I have been following the Derek Chauvin trial with deep concern and sadness. It seemed very apparent to me that George Floyd did not have to die, and Derek Chauvin needed to be held accountable. The fact that a jury of his peers reached that conclusion gives me a glimmer of hope that we can make the necessary changes so this doesn’t happen again and again. However, this one verdict does not make this the norm, and we have to continue to press the case that Black Lives Matter, period. It is up to all of us to keep pressing our law enforcement, political and justice systems to make the reforms necessary that Black and Brown people are not singled out and subject to violence and death.

We have to remember that this verdict represents the basement and not the ceiling of what needs to take place in our nation. It is the start of justice, but only the start. All of us need to be held accountable. All of us need to feel the complicity of racial violence and unnecessary deaths. All of us need to repent!

There is no true victory in today’s verdict. The only victory would have been that George Floyd didn’t die, and since we cannot change that reality, a victory would be that there will be no more unnecessary George Floyd’s deaths for others.

Nor does this change the reality of fear for Black and Brown people in our society. We have to name that fear, and do everything we can to alleviate such fear in the future. The fact that many of us do not have to have “that conversation” with our children about how to deal with the police in order not to be hurt or killed, speaks volumes of how we are so insulated from this fear. Yet our Black and Brown siblings face this fear every single day.

We need to continue to pray for George Floyd’s family and also for Derek Chauvin. We can hate the crime that he committed, but we are taught never to demonize the person. We need to pray for his soul and for the confession and reform that is possible. Justice has been served, but we have to wait for final sentencing. We are far from over this.

The trial of Derek Chauvin is over, but our work for justice and righteousness has just begun.

Be the Hope,

Bishop Grant J. Hagiya
Los Angeles Area Resident Bishop

Holy Week Devotionals 2021: Easter

Holy Week 2021 continues with a devotional from Bishop Grant J. Hagiya.

Watch Devotional Now

Holy Week Devotionals 2021: Saturday

Holy Week 2021 continues with a devotional from Rev. Sandra Olewine, incoming South District Superintendent.

Watch Devotional Now

Holy Week Devotionals 2021: Friday

Holy Week 2021 continues with a devotional from Rev. John Farley, South District Superintendent.

Watch Devotional Now

Holy Week Devotionals 2021: Wednesday

Holy Week 2021 continues with a devotional from Rev. Melissa Roux MacKinnon, East District Superintendent.

Watch Devotional Now

Holy Week Devotionals 2021: Thursday

Holy Week 2021 continues with a devotional from Rev. Moonyoung Lee, Hawaii District Superintendent.

Watch Devotional Now

Easter Sunday 2021 Virtual Choir (GBD)

The General Board of Discipleship has made a Easter Sunday 2021 Virtual Choir video and also available for download.

Thine Be The Glory is an Easter celebration hymn that transcends time and cultures. The production of the video brought over 400 singers from different countries, congregations, and communities together in faith.

Read Full Story

Holy Week Devotionals 2021: Monday

Holy Week 2021 continues with a devotional from Rev. Mark Nakagawa, West District Superintendent.

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Holy Week Devotionals 2021: Tuesday

Holy Week 2021 continues with a devotional from Erin Hawkins, Executive Director of Connectional Ministries.

Watch Devotional Now

Stop the Hate!

I have been asked by a number in our annual conference to share a personal reflection on the recent spike in acts of hate and violence against our Asian-American and Pacific Island communities and individuals. I have been reluctant to do so because I don’t want this to seem like I am biased because I happen to be Asian-American, for as your Bishop I represent all of you in a very personal and denominational way. However, because I represent all of you, it seems imperative that I speak out in a direct and prophetic way.

Have I personally experienced this racial violence? Yes, all my life, as have most of us who are racial minorities in the United States. I grew up in a poor Hispanic neighborhood, as my parents ran a small grocery store in that community. I was the only Asian-American in my grade school, as a minority of a minority, subject to all of the discrimination that brings. My way of dealing with this, instead of taking the bullying, was to fight back. After a lot of physical fights, you finally gain the respect of your peers, but it wasn’t the easiest way to get along. It never is.

As I grew up and navigated through higher education, the racism morphed into a subtler yet more insidious form. I can’t tell you how many times I was asked “Where to do you come from?” or “You speak English so well.” Because of my background, I very seldom just ignored it, but my Christian upbringing tempered my response. We racial minorities become very adept at knowing when things are spoken out of innocence and when they are designed to hurt you. At least, we think we are adept at that!

As I studied more and more, I learned how insidious racism has been throughout all of history. AAPI hate has a very long history in America and especially in California. All of the sub-Asian American groups have cycled through it, and we have all been the number one targets at some time in our history. The fact that we are mistaken for each other’s Asian ancestry is in and of itself the very embodiment of this racism. The fact that I am not Chinese (the number one target right now), makes me stand in solidarity with Chinese-Americans, rather than pointing out that it is just the case of mistaken identity. All of us as Asian Americans must stand together in solidarity against this looming threat.

Which brings me to the main point: that all culturally different groups have been subject to Western racism throughout our history, and some have experienced even more violence and hatred than others. I am dismayed that the Black Lives Matter Movement has been supplanted by the AAPI response, as the violence against our Black population has been longer and more destructive than our own. You can say the same thing about our Native American and Hispanic populations, as well as any culturally different group on our shores. We can add our LGBTQI population to this list, but we must remember that our ethnic gay persons suffer from the double identification of ethnic and gay.

My other concern is that with the six Asian-American murders in Atlanta, we are missing the reality of Asian misogyny, whether the perpetrator acknowledges this or not. Asian-American women suffer racist violence the most, and we have to deal with the racial sexism that has been perpetuated by our media and the worst form of stereotyping. Again, women of all culturally different groups have suffered from this misogyny, and we must name it for what it is: a true sin against women, all women, themselves.

Our nation and the world must come to a true reckoning: any form of racial or sexual violence and hate must be stopped. We can talk about it all we want. We can analyze and dissect it on infinitum. We can do what I am doing and write endless diatribes against it. But the fact remains, unless we do something tangible to stop it, it will continue on unabated.

Through the work of Erin Hawkins-Smith, we will engage these issues of anti-racism at our annual conference Sessions in June. We will then spend the year in dialogue and action. As an annual conference we are committed to step up and join in action.

Now is the time for us to stop it. I invite you to join me in doing just that. As the California-Pacific Annual Conference we as United Methodists must take a stand and do everything in our power to put an end to racial and sexual hate and violence. Words will do us no good – Now, is the time to act!

Be the Hope,

Bishop Grant J. Hagiya
Los Angeles Area Resident Bishop

Holy Week Devotionals 2021: Palm Sunday

Dear Friends in Christ,

Your Bishop and his Cabinet are holding each pastor and congregation in prayer during this precious Holy Week.

To walk with you, each day we will provide a short recorded devotional from a different member of the Cabinet.  On Easter, we will share a message from Bishop Grant J. Hagiya.

We begin today with a Palm Sunday Devotional from Rev. Jim Powell, North District Superintendent which you can view here or via the button below.

It is a blessing to serve with you, and we pray that these devotions will add to that blessing.

In Christ,

Bishop Grant Hagiya and his Cabinet

Watch Devotional Now

CHECK-IN #4 (w/ Bishop Hagiya) GC2020

Another Cal-Pac “Check-in!”  This time, we with Bishop Hagiya on the most recent announcements about General Conference 2020.

take a look

2021 Lenten Devotion 4

In advance of the fourth Sunday in Lent, Allyssa McNeal shares theological and personal reflections on the correlating Lectionary texts. 

Seeking a way out Numbers 21:4-9

The Israelites were grumpy and growing impatient like many of us during this Lenten season in the midst of a global pandemic. Moses was tasked with keeping them encouraged and leading them to the promised land. Upon my initial reading of this Old Testament text it appears at first glance the Israelites, like many of us, are struggling to find the good in the midst of trying times.  We often forget about the basics God is still providing: food, shelter, clothing, health, and loved ones who care about us while we wait. During this Lenten season, I am awaiting the arrival of my first child who is due to arrive in late April. I think about the injustices I endure as an African-American woman with cerebral palsy during these pandemic times. I fight on, seeking reproductive justice as I strive to beat the disparaging statistics that say African American birthing persons are likely to die during pregnancy and childbirth if they do not have a health care provider who resembles them. In this season of waiting, I encourage each of you to advocate for yourself and others.

Refreshed through Christ Ephesians 2:1-10

In this time of pandemic restrictions and lockdowns, so many of us just want to be loved. Paul’s writing shows us that God sent his son not to condemn us for the choices we make that are outside of God’s will but to redeem and restore us. Ephesians verses 4-6 remind us that God is full of mercy and brings us to life through Christ. Despite the many lives lost due to Covid 19 we are to remain hopeful because the scripture in Ephesians reminds us that we are redeemed and refreshed through Christ.

Truth, Light, and Love John 3:14-21

Often with the text noted above, we focus on verse 16, ”For God so loved the world…” While true, God loves all of us and gave his son’s life for each of us, what comes after that is particularly meaningful in these challenging times. Jesus reminds us he came not to judge the world but rather that the world would be saved through Christ. We are also reminded throughout this text that whoever does the truth comes to light, and that light is evident through their actions and is done in God. So with that in mind, Jesus shows us that as we strive to fight for justice we are able to do these things in God. As a woman with Cerebral Palsy, this particular text speaks to me because it gives me the courage to keep going in this time of waiting because what is done in truth will come to light. It helps me to remember Christ is not here to judge me and others but rather to encourage each of us to speak boldly sharing the light of Christ, spreading Christ’s light.  In this time of waiting, I encourage each of you to share Christ’s light as we are often the only light some people may encounter. Walk boldly as we seek to live in truth.

You make our collective work possible by your witness for justice every day in your church, community, and Annual Conference. MFSA does not receive any financial support from the United Methodist Church’s giving channels. 100% of our budget is funded through your membership dues and your generosity in giving.

Make a Gift to MFSA Today

Explore the School Showcase

Choosing the right school can be an overwhelming part of a student’s educational journey. The UMC.org School Showcase provides a place for students and families to discover details about United Methodist schools, seminaries, colleges, universities and other institutions that serve United Methodist students.

Discover Schools

Bring hope through social media

Encourage positivity on social media with the help of free, downloadable graphics. Our spring collection includes shareable graphics for Holy Week, Easter, Mother’s and Father’s Days, upcoming Special Sundays and more. Post each image alongside a written invitation to worship, a Scripture verse or a message from a pastor.

Download Graphics

Prepare for UMCOR Sunday

Be a part of UMCOR Sunday on March 14! All giving will underwrite UMCOR’s administrative costs so that 100% of designated gifts will benefit communities that have been upended by storms, wars, climate change and displacement. Begin by downloading ready‑to‑use promotional resources for church communications, worship services and more.

Find Resources

New Dismantling Racism devotional

Bishop Karen Oliveto of the Mountain Sky Annual Conference is leading today’s Lenten devotional. This series offers an opportunity to confess and fast from the sins of racism, discrimination, oppression and exclusion, and feast on the beauty and blessing of the diversity of God’s Church.

Watch and share

2021 Lenten Devotion 3

My childhood is tainted with violence and abuse instigated by my own father. I was in my first year of high school when a tragedy happened, my father was killed by his own father. I was confused at that time about what to feel. Should I be happy for there’s no father to harm us? Or should I grieve because my siblings are still young and they will grow without a father by their side?

From dull darkness, my life suddenly came to light. Determined to be nurtured spiritually, I found refuge and healing from my broken state. Henri Nouwen commented: “Even hard and painful times can be converted to occasions for learning, shaping influences forming us into the persons we are and leading us to the Source of healing and salvation. “ Joining church activities revived me, and slowly the fear and uncertainty of my life were replaced with joy and hope.

Trash turned into treasures; mess into a message; trials into triumphs; pain into gain; brokenness into blessings. Songwriter Gloria Gaither puts it this way: “Something beautiful, something good! All my confusion He understood!  All I had to offer Him was brokenness and strife, but He made something beautiful out of my life!”

I’ve encountered God in many ways, sizes, shapes, colors, textures, and up to now, the revelation of Their glory continues. As Leighton Ford quoted Luci Shaw: “Time is not our enemy, nor is it a hostile place from which we must flee. It is a meeting place, a point of rendezvous with God.”

We didn’t find justice for the death of my father. We were left with “nothing” for survival. But what about my dream and the future of my three other siblings? Times of trials are times of learning, growing, and excelling. Times of challenges are times of nurturing, pursuing, and trusting. Even with so many challenges and persecutions, I always positioned myself in love with my calling, and I entered the ministry at 18 years old.

My mother has been an Overseas Filipino Worker (OFW) since my father died in 1993 and I became the primary caregiver of my family since I am the eldest. I worked from high school to my graduate studies to support and care for my family. In 2014 I was appointed as the first-woman Administrative Pastor to a Centennial Church (109 years old), a big church with five satellite churches with an average attendance of 500-600 weekly, and as a Chaplain of its school with almost 1,500 students from Preschool to Grade 10.

C. S. Lewis, a British novelist, poet, academic, literary critic, essayist, and lay theologian made this statement: “ Hardships often prepare ordinary people for an extraordinary destiny.” My family’s story is full of violence, harassment, and laments, but God has walked with us through our struggles. God will continue to walk alongside all of us as we struggle to seek justice and love one another.

You make our collective work possible by your witness for justice every day in your church, community, and Annual Conference. MFSA does not receive any financial support from the United Methodist Church’s giving channels. 100% of our budget is funded through your membership dues and your generosity in giving.

Make a Gift to MFSA Today

Briefing on COVID-19

As we emerge from the deep thaw of our COVID-19 crisis, I am encouraged by the availability of the new vaccines. We have not arrived yet for a just distribution schedule, and I especially lament the inequality of distribution for our poorer and racially segregated populations. However, government officials are trying to do their best, and with a greater percentage of our population receiving vaccines, I am hopeful that we can emerge from our deep isolation.

As we set the stage for our own Cal-Pac Annual Conference response, one of our prime objectives is to emerge out of our COVID-19 crisis as safely as possible. Once again, we are not there yet, and we have to be diligent in our safety protocols to ensure that our churches do not transmit the virus.

One of our present realities as a large and diverse annual conference that covers thousands of miles and a whole ocean is the fact that “one size does not fit all.” We have multiple colored tiers of COVID safety, and even different state regulations we have to consider. It sometimes comes down to a case-by-case basis for us to approve various ministry plans. This is the reason why we have multiple sources of approval for reopening plans that includes the local church appointed pastor, church Administrative Council and District Superintendent.

Even this multiple approval system is not perfect, as some pastors can feel pressured to open up to in-person worship by congregation members when they have deep reservations. With this in mind, if you are in a red or purple tier, and if your pastor has not been vaccinated (twice), I believe it is unsafe to reopen to in-person worship. It is too great a risk to your beloved pastor, and because of the place of leadership she or he serves in the community at large, it is in the best interest of everyone to wait until your pastor is vaccinated completely. Our entire appointed Cabinet is in agreement about this policy, and our District Superintendents will enforce this policy.

With the vaccination schedule accelerating, it is only a matter of time before your pastor and a large percentage of your congregation will receive the vaccines. As a people of faith, we understand what patience means, and a few months can mean all the difference in the world to protect as many people as possible.

I am deeply grateful that so many of you have been patient, and have prioritized safety over convenience. We have been rewarded by low transmission rates overall for our clergy and laity, and if we can hold on a little bit longer, we will reap that which we sow: the health and safety of each and every member of our annual conference!

Let me close today with the words in Romans 8: 24-25:

“For in hope we were saved. Now hope that is seen is not hope, for who hopes for what is seen? But if we hope for what we do not see, we wait for it with patience.”


Hello!

I am Esther Benedict, Lay Leader at Ventura First UMC and a volunteer for the Los Angeles Woolsey Fire Long Term Recovery Group.  The 2018 Woolsey fire destroyed hundreds of homes in the Agoura and Malibu hills, including over 100 homes in the Seminole Springs Mobile Home Park.

As we think about UMCOR Sunday, and the many ways that our United Methodist connection helps people all over the world respond to and recover from disasters, I would like to offer up a way that you may be able to help respond to disaster with your service as well as your gifts right here in our CalPac North District.

Our CalPac Disaster Response Task Force has committed to help several low income and senior families at Seminole Springs Mobile Home Park with installing the required landscaping.  Volunteers are needed to help with this project on Saturdays March 20th and 27th.  I won’t lie – the work will be hard – digging, planting, installing gravel and above ground drip irrigation.  It will also be rewarding. You don’t need any particular skills, just a willingness to work.  If you are able, we would love to have your help!

Here’s what to do:

  • Contact Judy Lewis, Cal Pac Disaster Response Coordinator, DFJKLewis@aol.com, 909-731-8248 or the Krista Bilderbach, project lead, khbilderbach@gmail.com to sign-up;
  • Participate in a one-hour training via Zoom on Sunday, March 14 at 3pm or Thursday, March 18 at 6 pm;
  • Bring your mask and your gardening gloves to Seminole Springs in Agoura Hills on March 20 or 27th!
  • Full details will be available from Judy or Krista.

If you are able, I would love to see you there!

Blessings,

Esther Benedict
Lay Leader, Ventura FUMC

Religious, Nonprofit Groups Help Asylum Seekers as “Remain in Mexico” Ends

SANTA PAULA, Calif. — At 4 a.m., one morning, Rev. Joel Hortiales asked his three kids: “Estan listos hijos? (Are you ready?).”

As the director of Hispanic and Latino Ministries at Border Concerns with the United Methodist Church in the Pacific region, Hortiales has been helping migrants for almost a decade. As a father of three, Hortiales — who grew up in Mexico — was shocked to see the conditions the nearly 60,000 asylum applicants were living in south the border, and it bothered him to see children who should be in the prime of their education struggling to survive.

As he drove, the first 25 asylum seekers crossed the San Ysidro port of entry after their cases were assessed and they received a COVID-19 test. In the coming weeks, nearly 25,000 asylum seekers are expected to be granted entry into the United States. Hortiales said he must do his best to quickly fill the donation container that sits at the United Methodist Church just minutes from the border.

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CHECK-IN #3 (w/ Brent & Molly) on The Collaboratory

Another Cal-Pac “Check-in!”  This time, we are with Brent and Molly.

Brent and Molly can be contacted at: brent@nhunited.org and molly@nhunited.org

Take a Look

How-To Workshop 2021

The Hawaii District invites all California-Pacific Conference clergy and local church leaders to participate in this year’s how-to workshops.

We will gather for worship at 9:30 AM (HST), then have Morning Workshops at 10:00 AM (HST), a lunch break, and afternoon workshops at 12:45 PM (HST).

Workshop Options:

Session 1 (Morning Only): “Church Finances” by Archana Carey

Managing finances is crucial when sustaining a church. In this session, we will go over the local church finance committee: roles and responsibility as established by the Book of Discipline, internal control, church audit, and budgeting.

Session 2 (Morning) & Session 8 (Afternoon): “How Churches Can Take Advantage of the Employee Retention Credit” by Paul Harleman

Churches that have fully or partially suspended operations due to COVID-19 or experienced a substantial decline in revenue may be eligible for an Employee Retention Credit. Learn more how your churches can take advantage of this opportunity.

Session 3 (Morning) & Session 9 (Afternoon): “Children Virtual Ministry” by Ellen Noh

Churches will learn how to provide an at-home virtual service for your children’s ministry.

Session 4 (Morning) & Session 10 (Afternoon): “Enhancing Online Worship” by Rev. Tom Choi & Rev. Joy Yun

In this workshop Pastor Joy Yun and Pastor Tom Choi will share possible ideas and resources to help one start a virtual worship or to help enhance the virtual worship experience for your church. The topics will include using social media for broadcast, software and hardware options, online hospitality- which is very important and often overlooked. We will cover broad ideas and possibilities as well as some nuts and bolts of putting a virtual worship together. We hope everyone is able to find the seminar informative and helpful for our churches as we continue to wade through this pandemic.

Session 5 (Morning) & Session 11 (Afternoon): “Clergy & Laity in Ministry Together Using Spiritual Gifts” by Winnie Ching

Learn how clergy and laity can be in ministry together through trained laity. We introduce the course on “Discovering Your Spiritual Gifts.” After taking this introduction you will be invited to continue the rest of the course on Zoom for an Advance Certificate of Completion.

Session 6 (Morning) & Session 12 (Afternoon): “Lay Leadership” by Tupou Kelemeni, Francis Fukumoto, and Minja Choe

Hear from our Hawaii District Lay and Associate Leaders who will share their testimonies and teachings in three consecutive parts in this session: “What Would Jesus Say to Me, a Lay Leader,” “Lay Leading From a Personal Perspective,” and “Looking to Improve as Lay Leaders.”

Session 7 (Afternoon Only): “Tables 1, 2, 3” by Archana Carey & Kathy Trcopan

This session will guide you on how to enter and submit Tables in the EZRA system. We will review the most common errors and ways to avoid them.

The Zoom link for everyone to gather for opening worship is included in your confirmation email; Zoom information for your morning & afternoon workshops will be sent to you at a later date.

  • Technical requirements: To participate in Zoom meetings, participants must have a reliable Internet connection, and a laptop, tablet, or smartphone device that can download and install the Zoom app. A web or phone camera and a microphone are highly recommended, although some users may call in via phone if a mic is not available.

For questions about this event, contact the Hawaii District Office at hawaiidistrict@calpacumc.org or 808.536.1864.

RSVP Now

Lent: Time to discover your own path

Our Lenten journey is underway, 40 days of self-examination meant to deepen our relationship with God. Check out these ideas for finding your way through this holy season.

Discover

Lenten devotional series

United Methodist bishops invite us to repent from the sin of racism through video messages each week of Lent and daily during Holy Week.

Watch

Holy Spirit: Transforming the ordinary

A lot of people have questions about the Holy Spirit. We have answers in this “Get Your Spirit in Shape” podcast.

Listen

Racism: Practical ways to effect change

White United Methodists speak out about their anti-racism work and share steps on how others can become involved in this important work.

Read

Certified Lay Ministry Cycle A: Worship 2021 (Leadership)

All those seeking certification as a Certified Lay Minister who need Cycle A are invited to participate, as well as all those who are currently Certified Lay Servants.

About the class:

  • This course qualifies as a Lay Servant Ministries Advanced class, as well as a prerequisite for Certified Lay Minister status.
  • Attendance is required at all sessions for credit, as well as a two-hour assignment beyond the classroom, for a total of 10 hours.
  • Instructor is the Rev. Dr. Faith Conklin, a retired elder in the California-Pacific Conference. She has previously served as a district superintendent and is the Director for the Western Jurisdiction Course of Study. She has taught Worship and Sacraments for over 25 years.
  • Materials: Participants should have a current Methodist Hymnal (Cokesbury) and Book of Worship (Cokesbury). No other materials are required.
  • Zoom information will be included in your confirmation email.
    • Technical requirements: To participate in Zoom meetings, participants must have a reliable Internet connection, and a laptop, tablet, or smartphone device that can download and install the Zoom app. A web or phone camera and a microphone are highly recommended, although some users may call in via phone if a mic is not available.

A minimum number of participants is required; if the class is canceled because not enough people register, registrants will be notified by email and those who have paid will be refunded.

Dates (detailed): 

  • California:
    • Session 1: Friday, March 12, 2021 (4 PM – 6 PM PST)
    • Session 2: Saturday, March 13, 2021 (3 PM – 5 PM PST)*
    • Session 3: Friday, March 19, 2021 (4 PM – 6 PM PDT)
    • Session 4: Saturday, March 20, 2021 (10 AM – 12 Noon PDT)
  • Hawaii:
    • Session 1: Friday, March 12, 2021 (2 PM – 4 PM HST)
    • Session 2: Saturday, March 13, 2021 (1 PM – 3 PM HST)*
    • Session 3: Friday, March 19, 2021 (1 PM – 3 PM HST)
    • Session 4: Saturday, March 20, 2021 (7 AM – 9 AM HST)
  • Guam & Saipan:
    • Session 1: Saturday, March 13, 2021 (10 AM – 12 Noon ChST)
    • Session 2: Sunday, March 14, 2021 (9 AM – 11 AM ChST)*
    • Session 3: Saturday, March 20, 2021 (9 AM – 11 AM ChST)
    • Session 4: Sunday, March 21, 2021 (3 AM – 5 AM ChST)

Please note the change in time for Session 2 from previous announcement.

For questions, contact Rev. Dr. Faith Conklin at faithconklin3@gmail.com.

REGISTER NOW

Food Justice Film Screening and Panel (Justice & Compassion)

Members and friends of UMC churches in Cal-Pac Conference are invited to attend the film screening and discussion with the production team of: “Sowing Seeds of Change – Revisioning Agriculture in North America.”

In the words of the creators of this film:

“Radix: Stories of Resistance and Resilience is a story – sharing collective of resistance and resilience for healing our land and people. We are people of faith and consciousness who come from various backgrounds. We reside in the Ventura River Watershed, Los Angeles River Watershed and Ballona Creek Watershed on Chumash and Tongva lands. We share stories about how communities and individuals resist destructive social structures and environmental degradation to create a better world for all living beings. Our hope is that these stories will inspire emerging leaders to cultivate a vocation that intersects the soil, sanctuaries, streets and soul.”

Zoom Meeting information will be included in your confirmation email. 

  • Technical requirements: To participate in Zoom meetings, participants must have a reliable Internet connection, and a laptop, tablet, or smartphone device that can download and install the Zoom app. A web or phone camera and a microphone are highly recommended, although some users may call in via phone if a mic is not available.

For questions, contact Marissa Wells at mwells@calpacumc.org or 626.568.7371.

RSVP NOW

Welcoming a New Camp Director

Camp and Retreat Ministries of the California-Pacific Conference is pleased to announce the hiring of Joshua Davis as the new Site Director of Lazy W. Ranch.

Joshua grew up in Ventura, CA working in construction and eventually owning his own construction business. In 2014, he started his work as a volunteer at Colby Ranch where he discovered his love for camping. In 2019, Joshua became the director at Colby Ranch where he has been living with his wife Anita and 3 children. He has a passion for outdoor education and providing a place where all can experience God’s beautiful creation.

Josh will be working with the other Directors on a plan to possibly have a summer program.

For more information about Lazy W., please contact Josh (jdavis@calpacumc.org).

Kenny Funk
Director, Camp Wrightwood
Interim Cal-Pac Director of Camping Operations

Briefing on COVID-19
There are a number of important updates to share on our California-Pacific Annual Conference’s response to COVID-19.

Here is where we stand:

With the Supreme Court’s ruling that churches can open with State, County and City restrictions, the Cabinet is providing for our local churches in California a process by which limited indoor worship can take place.

We are in a time when we are having to rapidly adapt to our constantly changing context; our path forward will continue to be adjusted in light of the circumstances. We do this to fulfill our mission in all the ways that we can without doing harm.

The process takes into account that the Supreme Court ruling qualified these openings based on the latest health updates from local authorities. This means that no singing is allowed and attendance must be limited according to where each Church is in the California State Tier Status Guidance:

Widespread (purple)

  • Indoor with modifications: 6 feet distance and No singing or chanting
  • Indoor activities must be limited to 25% of capacity

Substantial (red)

  • Indoor with modifications: 6 feet distance and No singing or chanting
  • Indoor activities must be limited to 25% of capacity

Moderate (orange)

  • Indoor with modifications: 6 feet distance and No singing or chanting
  • Indoor activities must be limited to 50% of capacity

Minimal (yellow)

  • Indoor with modifications: 6 feet distance and No singing or chanting
  • Indoor activities must be limited to 50% of capacity

The process also takes into account that more of our Seniors and health care officials are being vaccinated, and if you are in this category, you may attend indoor church events given the same protocols listed above. One’s safety from COVID-19 increases with both vaccinations, and we are thankful for those who have received these already.

The process to be able to hold limited indoor worship services is as follows:

  1. Obtain permission from the appointed Pastor
  2. Obtain permission from the Church Council or equivalent, and
  3. Obtain permission from the District Superintendent

Remember that we must make these decisions from a faith perspective, which means that this is not as much about one’s rights as the ultimate safety of those whom you care about and love. Before any action is taken at the local church, I ask that the clergy, lay leadership and loving church community stop and ask themselves, “if only one person in our congregation contracts the virus through a worship service or event, is it worth opening?”

Such a question can only be answered with deep prayer and discernment. John Wesley’s key instruction of “Do no harm,” must be taken seriously, and I trust that each local church can answer that for themselves.

Not everyone will be comfortable returning to public worship, and this means that our clergy and church leaders will be doing double the amount of work by providing both online and in-person worship. This is one additional element I hope all of our laity and churches will consider. Our clergy have been exhausted trying to provide a new online format for our churches, and asking them to double that will take an increasing toll on them. Please pray deeply over this additional workload you are asking of your clergy.

Patience is a virtue, and the prudent thing to ask for right now. The hope of the Cabinet is that we all remember to ask God for the patience to endure as we pray about all of these important issues.

Be the Hope,

Bishop Grant J. Hagiya
Los Angeles Area Resident Bishop

Certified Lay Ministry Course I: Worship 2021 (Leadership)

SAVE THE DATES! All interested candidates for Certified Lay Ministry who were put on pause in March of 2020 due to Covid-19 AND all new interested candidates will be able to enter the 2021 cycle of CLM Course work this coming March:

  • California:
    • Friday, March 12, 2021 (4 PM – 6 PM PST)
    • Saturday, March 13, 2021 (10 AM – 12 Noon PST)
    • Friday, March 19, 2021 (4 PM – 6 PM PDT)
    • Saturday, March 20, 2021 (10 AM – 12 Noon PDT)
  • Hawaii:
    • Friday, March 12, 2021 (2 PM – 4 PM HST)
    • Saturday, March 13, 2021 (8 AM – 10 AM HST)
    • Friday, March 19, 2021 (1 PM – 3 PM HST)
    • Saturday, March 20, 2021 (7 AM – 9 AM HST)
  • Guam & Saipan:
    • Saturday, March 13, 2021 (10 AM – 12 Noon ChST)
    • Sunday, March 14, 2021 (4 AM – 6 AM ChST)
    • Saturday, March 20, 2021 (9 AM – 11 AM ChST)
    • Sunday, March 21, 2021 (3 AM – 5 AM ChST)

The Rev. Dr. Faith Conklin will lead course I on Worship. More details and registration information will be out soon.

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