An exciting challenge opened up this month that was unexpected. I've been called to serve as minister to both SE Portland's Sunnyside Church and N. Portland's University Park Church, two progressive Reconciling Congregations in the United Methodist Church.
This appointment will be affirmed by an ecumenical covenantal agreement between the Central Pacific Conference of the United Church of Christ and the Oregon-Idaho Conference of the United Methodist Church. This is an exciting partnership that will help promote progressive Christianity. Like many mainline congregations, both these churches face challenges. They also both have as a tremendous asset congregations of Gospel-centered people committed to their churches and the goal of building up the Beloved Community.
My appointment becomes effective July 1, 2012. Sunnyside Church has a long history of working on issues of homelessness and poverty and University Park Church is well known for their efforts to preach a message of radical hospitality. As a minister in the United Church of Christ, I look forward to this new ecumenical work as a minister with dual standing in the United Methodist Church for the duration of this appointment. It's familiar terrain. I worked as the director of community outreach at Portland's First United Methodist Church before earning my master of divinity degree in St. Louis. In addition to serving these two congregations, I will continue work toward a doctor of ministry degree at UCC-related Chicago Theological Seminary and will remain active with the life of the United Church of Christ as a member of Ainsworth United Church of Christ.