This workshop is cancelled due to COVID-19 precautions and will be rescheduled.
This workshop for congregational leaders such as vestry/BAC members, wardens, clergy and treasurers will be offered four times at different locations in 2020. There will be breakout sessions that focus on resources of interest to each group. There will be discussions on roles and responsibilities for church governance, Parochial Report preparation, audit program/procedures, and liability insurance questions, contact information for assistance, as well as information on the many online and cost-free resources.
The 2020 workshop dates are:
February 8, St. Thomas, Eugene
March 7, St. James, Tigard
March 28, St. Luke’s, Grants Pass
April 18, St. Catherine’s, Manzanita
The workshop will run from 10:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. There is no charge for attendance and lunch and beverages will be provided. Please indicate any dietary needs on the registration form. Registration will open in January 2020.
We are very excited about this opportunity to share information with our churches and their hard-working treasurers, finance people, wardens and BACs/vestries!
The people of St. Luke’s, Grants Pass invite you to join them for a concert with Lasana Kanneh and silent auction and raffle to raise funds for Foundry Village, a transitional housing project.
Lasana Kanneh is a nationally recognized gospel artist. He has been blind since birth in his native Liberia. He found a powerful tool in music. His songs of faith, hope and restoration are deeply moving and uplifting.
The evening will include a silent auction and a raffle of a handmade quilt representing tiny homes. One hundred percent of the money from the auction and raffle will be used for the development of the Foundry Village. Foundry Village is designed to provide short-term housing for the area’s homeless with case management assistant, job and educational training, substance abuse and mental health counseling, and connecting with aid organizations.
The concert will be on Saturday, March 7 at 6:30 pm (doors open at 5:30) at Bethany Presbyterian Church. Tickets are available at Grants Pass Daily Courier. $15 presale and $18 at the door.
The Rev. Ernestein Flemister of St. Luke’s Episcopal Church said America has a ways to go to attain Martin Luther King Jr.’s dream of justice and freedom.
She and others spoke to a crowd of about 200 people gathered
Monday for a Martin Luther King Jr. Day celebration at Bethany Presbyterian
Church in Grants Pass. She said there’s work left to do, nearly 57 years after
King gave his “I Have a Dream” speech during the 1963 March on
“If we truly want to see the United States of America
become the dream, we have to make change, and the change starts in our
hearts,” said Flemister, one of the few people of color in the room.
“I am the same as you, and I am as worthy of love and care as you
Despite King’s hopes, inequality persists, she said.
“Our dilemma is a dilemma of the heart,” she said.
“What we need is a change of heart. A heart to love … all of God’s
She got a standing ovation.
Flemister, marking her second King holiday since coming to
Grants Pass in 2018, urged people to stop being uninformed, misinformed and
deliberately ignorant. White supremacy is a fallacy, she said. Those people on
the border – referring to detained immigrants and their families at the
U.S.-Mexico border – are no different from you or me, she said.
“We have no business putting children in cages,”
she said. “We are all one people, no matter what part of the globe you are
Flemister pointed to police brutality and pervasive
discrimination, saying that Europeans seem to have a “sense of
ownership” over Africans.
The audience burst out in applause when she said, “It’s
not OK for somebody to be sleeping outside in the freezing cold.” A
warming center is expected to open soon for people on the streets in Grants
Monday’s gathering was the second year in a row for the King
Holiday celebration in Grants Pass, after a decade of quiet.
“We would love to see this grow and grow and
grow,” said the Rev. Tom Berry, of Bethany Presbyterian.
Berry wore a shirt bearing the colors of the rainbow and the
words “Love wins.”
Rabbi Russell McAlmond took the stage, greeted the audience
by saying, “Shalom,” or peace, and said God “wanted all of us to
be brothers and sisters.”
Jewish people know the harm done by discrimination, McAlmond
said. Jews to this day are murdered “only because they are Jews,” he
Quoting King, he said, “Hate cannot drive out hate;
only love can do that.”
Jeni Foster of the Songbird Trio, one of three groups that
performed during the event, told the audience that “peace and justice
begins with the work in our own community.” The audience stood for the
final song of the night, “Lift Every Voice.”
The Rev. Ryan Scott of Newman United Methodist Church also
quoted King: “Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.”
He said King fought for the value and dignity of others.
“Today, the same fight is before us,” Scott said.
“There are forces of evil at work in this nation that are dictating the
value of our neighbors. We cannot let this continue.”
Scott spoke about his own part in a fight with the Boy
Scouts of America over its discriminatory practices. He is an Eagle Scout and
remains a volunteer in the organization, which recently lifted its ban on gay
scouts and LGBTQ leaders, and made accommodations for transgender youth, in
addition to including girls in all its programs.
“We kept pushing and change happened,” he said.
Scott urged people to listen, learn and act.
“Those of us who enjoy a certain level of privilege
have a moral obligation to use our power lift others up,” he said.
“The promise of inclusion lives within you.”
Opposing discrimination across the nation, in Oregon
The Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. was much more than one
speech about having a dream, says the Rev. Ernestein Flemister of St. Luke’s
Episcopal Church in Grants Pass.
“He made many, many more you never hear about,”
Flemister said at Monday’s King Holiday celebration at Bethany Presbyterian
King was born Jan. 15, 1929, in Atlanta and died at the age
of 39 from an assassin’s bullet on April 4, 1968, in Memphis, Tennessee.
For the 11 years after he became the president of the
Southern Christian Leadership Conference in 1957, until the day he was shot on
a balcony at a Memphis motel, the preacher spoke at more than 2,500 events,
wrote five books and traveled more than 6 million miles, according to the Nobel
Foundation, which awarded King the Nobel Peace Prize in 1964.
King preached and practiced nonviolence, but was arrested 20
times and was assaulted four times, according to the foundation. In 1963, when
250,000 peaceful demonstrators marched to the Lincoln Memorial in Washington,
D.C., King gave his famous “I have a dream” speech.
Flemister spoke about the nation’s “original sin”
of slavery. In Oregon, despite entering the Union as a “free state,”
that legacy translated into discrimination.
According to the Oregon Historical Society, blacks in Oregon
were barred from participation in the Donation Land Claim Act of 1850, which
swelled white migration to the state. According to the Oregon Constitution of
1857, blacks were barred from living here, a provision made moot by passage of
the 14th Amendment in 1868, after the Civil War, although the law wasn’t taken
off the books until 1926.
Blacks were barred from marrying whites in Oregon, a law not
taken off the books until the 1950s. As late as the 1920s, Oregon was home to
the largest Ku Klux Klan chapter west of the Mississippi.
In Josephine County, the Daily Courier printed a picture of
a KKK march through Grants Pass in 1919. However, open KKK activities withered
before the 1930s arrived, according to the Josephine County Historical Society.
The National Association for the Advancement of Colored
People has had a chapter in Oregon since 1913. King was on the organization’s
executive committee starting in 1954.
In Josephine County, the number of blacks rose from 0.1% of
the population in 1990 to an estimated 0.6% in 2018 – 524 people out of the county’s 87,393 residents,
according to the U.S. Census.
According to the latest crime statistics compiled by Oregon State Police, two hate crimes based on race or ethnicity were reported in Josephine County in 2018.
This article originally appeared on the front page of the January 21, 2020 edition of the Grants Pass Daily Courier and is republished with permission.
By Martin Loring, Chair, 11th Bishop of Oregon Search Committee
An enjoyable, informative time was had by everyone participating in the first Diocesan Listening Session, Saturday, August 10 at St. Luke’s, Grants Pass. Heidi Pitts, diocesan Director of Communications, and the Ven. Canon Carter Hawley, Archdeacon and Canon for Administration, did a good job organizing the session. The Rev. Ernestein Flemister and the parishioners of St. Luke’s provided a lovely facility as well as exceptional hospitality. Thanks to all for a good opportunity to hear what people think about three important diocesan issues.
people from at least six Southern Oregon and South Coast congregations came to
hear about the Vision Committee, the Relocation Committee, and the 11th
Bishop of Oregon Search Committee.
off with an introduction on the history and findings of the Vision Committee. She
was joined in this presentation by the Rev. Roberto Arciniega, Canon for Latino
Ministries. Heidi also asked for input on alternatives to the current diocesan
with an update the work of the Relocation Committee and the process of developing
criteria for the relocation of the diocesan office. She was followed by
Ernestein+, who provided a summary of what is happening with the Search
Committee to call the 11th Bishop of Oregon, and a timeline for this
Ernestein+ began by introducing her fellow members of the Search Committee present. These included: the Rev. Deacon Allan Miles, St. Martin’s, Shady Cove; the Rev. Timothy Hannon, St. James, Coquille; the Rev. Brandon Filbert, St. Timothy’s, Salem; and the Committee Chair, Martin Loring, St. Paul’s, Salem.
After the introductory
overviews, the most exciting part of the session took place. Areas were
assigned to each of the three committees, and the twenty people attending from
local congregations circulated among them for 90 minutes asking questions,
discussing issues, and offering insights on what should be done.
I sat in on the Search Committee discussions and attempted to capture the high points of as many contributions as I could (in chronological order). A summary follows:
The Diocesan Vision and Relocation Committee and the 11th Bishop of Oregon Search Committee invite you to a diocesan-wide listening session at St. Luke’s, Grants Pass on August 10 from 1:00 – 3:00 p.m.
Each group will provide a short presentation on their work:
The Vision Subcommittee will share a new mission statement, core values, proposed vision statement, and draft diocesan logos
The Relocation Subcommittee will provide an update on the sale of The Bishop’s Close and relocation of the diocesan office
The Search Committee will cover the timeline and a number of FAQs regarding the 11th Bishop of Oregon Search and Transition
These presentations will be followed by an opportunity for you, the people of the Diocese of Oregon, to ask questions and provide feedback in a variety of interactive activities and discussions.
Carpooling is encouraged.
For those unable to attend, the listening session will be filmed and shared online along with digital opportunities to provide input and commentary.
St. Luke’s is excited about becoming more active in our outreach. We are a part of the Grants Pass community and we want to show up in and for our community. A part of our call as disciples of Jesus is to live in witness to the “Good News” that Jesus Christ shared with us. That Good News is not just for us within the four walls of our church, we want to be nurturing of all of God’s people. We don’t want to show up in a way that says we will do this for you but in and through partnerships that listens and finds out how we fit in and how we can help.
We had our vestry retreat in January and we began to discuss things that we thought would interest the congregation in getting more involved with the community of Grants Pass. In our efforts to get moving, the vestry establish three committees: Outreach, Social Justice and Fund Raising. We talked to the congregation and asked them to volunteer for the committee that interested them. The Outreach Committee received a good number of volunteers and have suggested ideas to get us up and running. The approach is to build more relationships in the community where we ask what their needs are and determine ways in which we can become an active and committed part of helping to make Grants Pass a home for everyone.
Two ideas in particular have gathered steam: in conjunction
with partners in the area we are finding out if a monthly breakfast for the community
is needed. The other idea is to renovate
our basement, install washing machines and dryers to allow the homeless to have
a place to wash and dry their clothes without cost to them.
We are forming partnerships with other churches and
community organizations to maximize resources so they can reach the most
people. We are excited about the possibilities of our outreach efforts and we
pray that God will bless our efforts so that we can be a blessing to our
community. As we make efforts to contribute to Grants Pass, I believe that we
will grow in God’s spirit and show generosity to those who need our love and