Greg Bergquist Is New Conference Superintendent for Leadership Development
Bishop Warner H. Brown, Jr. has announced that the Rev. Greg Bergquist has been named the new Conference Superintendent for Leadership Development for the California-Nevada Annual Conference. He will join the staff July 1, 2012.
The position currently is held by the Rev. Ted Virts, who has been appointed to a local church.
"I am delighted to welcome Greg Bergquist to my Cabinet," the Bishop said. "He will coordinate our work in developing lay and clergy spiritual leaders in support of our effort to resource local congregations in making disciples of Jesus Christ for the transformation of the world."
Originally from Florida, Bergquist entered the ordained ministry after a career as an industrial engineer and manufacturing manager for Procter & Gamble. He has been an ordained elder for 27 years, serving churches in Georgia, Texas, and California in a variety of settings – rural, urban, and suburban.
Since becoming a member of this Conference in 1995, Bergquist has served Los Altos United Methodist Church as executive pastor, First UMC of Santa Rosa as the senior pastor, and served on the faculty at the Pacific School of Religion. He taught Historical Theology and Wesleyan/Methodist Studies at both PSR and Southern Methodist University.
For the past 12 years, Bergquist has served the Cal-Nevada Conference as a member of the Board of Ordained Ministry, and most recently as chair of the Conference Relations Committee.
Bergquist brings practical leadership experience from his corporate, academic, church, and Conference positions to his new post. In addition, he has studied leadership theories and methodologies throughout his career. Along with the classic works by Greenleaf, Goleman, Palmer, De Pree, and Friedman, he recently has been influenced by the new trends in adaptive leadership theory (Ronald Heifetz and Susan Daloz Parks) and the notion of leadership presence (Kathy Lubar and Belle Halpern).
"Simply put, adaptive leadership is a lifelong process of recognizing what is valuable and worth keeping, adapting to the changes that must be made, scanning for new challenges, improvising responsively and responsibly, orienting one's values in the real world, and accepting that change entails loss as well as gain," Bergquist said.
"At the same time," he added, "I believe a truly accessible and inspiring leader is one who is present in the moment, flexible, empathetic, expressive, self-reflective, and authentic. In essence, a leader is one who encourages the creation of true community: As Halpern and Lubar say, 'A world where people authentically engage with one another and unlock their most generous selves.' Sounds much like the Church, at our very best!"
Greg is married to Connie Marshall Bergquist, who has worked in the administrative, communications, and finance offices of several UMC churches in the Conference and has been involved in the music industry for most of her life. They have two adult children, Jonathan and Susanna. Jonathan works as a digital media producer for a company in Campbell. Susanna is a preschool teacher and recently moved to the Seattle area with her husband, Mark.
Discovery Event Registration Opens
Online registration is open now, for a series of Discovery Events focused on being, seeing, and doing what matters to God.
Join Bishop Warner H. Brown, Jr., Conference and district superintendents, and other clergy and laity for a time of re-connecting with our passion for Jesus Christ and our compassion for all, as preparation for reaching those who are close to the heart of Jesus.
Explore the resources available to each church to help it fulfill its part in God's mission, and learn from one another about creating clear, simple disciple-making movements and innovative ways to create new places for new people as you discover or re-discover God's mission in the world.
A Discovery Event is being offered in each district. While you may attend at any location, content at each event will be somewhat specific to the hosting district, so attending the event within your own district is recommended.
Event Dates and Locations:
Great Northern District: Oroville
Saturday, Feb. 25, 2012
First United Methodist Church, 45 Acacia Avenue, Oroville, CA 95966
Bridges District: Fairfield
Sunday, March 24, 2012
Fairfield UMC, 1875 Fairfield Avenue, Fairfield, CA 94533
El Camino Real District: San Jose
Saturday, March 31, 2012
Korean UMC of Santa Clara Valley, 1001 Ginger Lane, San Jose, CA 95128
Central Valley District: Location TBA
Saturday, April 14, 2012
Watch the Instant Connection for more details as they become available.
Epiphany 'Chalking the Door' Blessing Launches Committee's Work in 2012
In certain parts of the world, it is customary to ask God's blessing on homes and workplaces – not only on the buildings themselves, but also upon all who live, work, and visit there. Last week, on Epiphany (Friday, Jan. 6) the Leadership Development Mission Focus team met and before getting down to "brass tacks," utilized a short liturgy, a Chalking the Door Service, to ask God's blessing upon its work in 2012.
The night before Epiphany is known as Twelfth-Night. It is then that many families in Europe gather in their homes to celebrate the feast with friends, food, singing, and gifts – and it is at these Twelfth-Night celebrations that "Chalking the Door" is most commonly observed.
The liturgy is linked to the Wise Men's visit to the Christ Child, commemorated at Epiphany, when after faithfully following the star, the Magi reached the Baby and presented gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh.
Linda Caldwell, Conference Superintendent for Mission Collaboration, says the ritual involves putting the initials C, M, and B on a door. The initials stand for Caspar, Melchior, and Balthazar, the names traditionally given to the Wise Men (though their names are not found in Scripture). The C, M, and B also may stand for "Christus Mansionem Benedicat," meaning, "May Christ bless this dwelling."
"It's a way of marking the doors when you go in and out, so that you know that this place is blessed. You ask a blessing for all who are within, that they will have those everyday Epiphanies of Christ's presence," Caldwell says.
Chalk is used "as an ordinary substance put to holy use," according to the General Board of Discipleship's Worship website. And since images etched in chalk fade gradually from view, those who participated in the original service will see the progression over time and remember the ceremony and its purpose – perhaps rededicating themselves to that purpose as they remember.
"O God of Light, bless this house and our community of faith. May this be a place of peace and health. May each member of this community cultivate the gifts and graces you have bestowed, dedicating our talents and works for the good of all." (courtesy of the GBOD Worship website and Sister Marta Elena Ceballos, Sister of the Good Shepherd, Roman Catholic Church. Used by permission.)
GBCS Applauds Change in Immigration Policy
Change would improve possibility for undocumented immigrants to keep their families together.
WASHINGTON, D.C.—The United Methodist General Board of Church & Society (GBCS) sent a statement to the White House this week applauding the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) decision to enable some undocumented immigrant children and spouses to reunite with their U.S.-citizen family members.
DHS's proposed change would enable undocumented immigrants with a U.S.-citizen spouse or parent to interview for a provisional waiver while still in the United States. If found eligible to receive the waiver, they then would return to their home country for final "green card" processing.
"Though thousands of immigrant families have experienced the brutality of record numbers of deportations by the Obama administration," GBCS says in a statement released Jan. 11, "we hope this change in policy will finally make it easier for thousands of American families with mixed immigration status to remain permanently together."
The statement points out that The United Methodist Church has long advocated for reunifying immigrant families and against separating them through deportation and indefinite detention.
GBCS emphasizes that just and humane immigration reform "first and foremost treats immigrants with dignity and respect, provides a pathway to legal status for undocumented immigrants, and reunites families."
Under current policy and an emphasis on harsh enforcement, families have been torn apart or have remained permanently separated, according to GBCS. One way this occurs is when a family-based green card becomes available and undocumented immigrants must return to their country of origin to receive the visa. To return to the United States, they need to obtain a waiver from the U.S. government.
If the government denies the waiver for any reason, however, they could possibly be barred from returning to the United States for three or 10 years. "Some families wait years or even decades to reunite with their loved ones," the agency points out.
The revised policy would not help undocumented parents with U.S.-citizen children, but the agency says the updated policy is a "much-needed improvement to current U.S. immigration policy."
GBCS stresses that Congress and the Obama administration still need to reform the immigration system. "The announcement from DHS represents a positive step to help keep families together," the agency says.
Service of Christian Unity Is at Twin Towers UMC on Jan. 22
Each year the World Council of Churches (WCC) designates a week when Christians world-wide engage in prayer and shared worship, and realize that in spite of the great diversity in our denominations, we adore one God. Traditionally we celebrate the Week of Christian Unity from January 18 to January 25. At this time, all Christian churches pray for Christian unity and many hold special services.
Each year the WCC chooses a theme for the Week of Christian Unity. This year's theme is, "We will all be changed by the Victory of our Lord Jesus Christ" (cf. 1 Cor. 15:51-58) – rejoicing in the fact that when asked to choose the greatest of His disciples, Jesus refused. Rather he told them, "Whoever wants to be first must be last of all and servant of all." (Mark 9:35)
This year the California-Nevada Annual Conference (region) Commission on Christian Unity and Interfaith Concerns (CCUIC) will conduct a special service on behalf of Christian unity on Sunday, Jan. 22 at 3 p.m., at Twin Towers United Methodist Church in Alameda, California. It will be based on the idea that we best promote Jesus' hope for the world through mutual service, helping, boosting the self-esteem of those who are "last, forgotten, excluded." The Rev. Hubert Ivery, chair of the CCUIC and pastor of Twin Towers UMC, will host the service. Everyone is invited.
Twin Towers UMC is located at 1411 Oak Street, Alameda, CA 94501. For more information, call the church at 510.522.6744.
'Living Bread, Living Stories': A Preaching Workshop, Feb. 3-5
"Living Bread; Living Stories," a preaching workshop and refresher course featuring the Rev. Jim Walker, is scheduled for Feb. 3-5 (Friday-Sunday) at Clovis Memorial United Methodist Church. It is sponsored by the Central Valley District Committee on Ministry.
Walker, an Elder in full connection in The United Methodist Church and pastor of Hot Metal Bridge Faith Community Church in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, uses a dynamic preaching style to bring life to biblical narratives.
Whether you want to brush up on new ways of preaching, or would like to engage in an intensive study of preaching method, you are sure to benefit. Both preaching workshops are open to all. Workshops on the worship experience will be offered, also.
A Preaching Workshop (long track)
Intensive course (9 a.m. to 5 p.m.)
$100 for all three days
A Preaching Workshop (short track)
Refresher course (9 a.m. to 3 p.m.)
$25 per day
Meals, snacks, and childcare will be provided. A CEU credit of .75 will be available.
GBOD Offers Free Webinars in January and February
The General Board of Discipleship of The United Methodist Church is offering free webinars, this month and next, for church leaders. Register at www.gbod.org/committee_resources.
Wednesday, Jan. 18 at 11:30 a.m. PST: Principles of Church Renewal for DSes
Key factors for setting a path toward renewal of district congregations.
Tuesday, Jan. 31 at 4:30 p.m. PST: Goal Setting for Vital Congregations
Thursday, Feb. 9 at 4:30 p.m. PST: 10 Commandments for Church Websites
A website is the new front door to your church. Patrick Steil, webmaster for the North Texas Conference and owner of ChurchBuzz.org, will walk you through 10 "commandments" that can transform your website into the best outreach and communications tool that has ever been possible.
Thursday, Feb. 23 at 4:30 p.m. PST: Healthy Church Leaders – Key Factors
SPRC has a key role for health of body, mind, and soul for your pastor and leaders. GBPHB's Center for Health shares key factors for a healthy ministry environment.
Training for new church leaders is available, also. One-hour recorded modules are available for the church council, trustees, nominating committees, finance leaders, and S/PPRC. Individuals can watch at home, or church groups can view the modules when they meet.
Five New Ideas from GBOD to Start the New Year
Each month, the General Board of Discipleship (GBOD) generates a list of five new ideas to help promote vital congregations.
Deadline for Conference Peace with Justice Grant Applications Is Upon Us!
Peace with Justice Grant applications are due this Sunday – Jan. 15, 2012!
The California-Nevada Annual Conference Advocacy and Justice Committee awards Peace with Justice Grants twice yearly, in January and in September, giving priority to United Methodists and affiliated organizations. Peace with Justice ministries are eligible to receive as much as $1,500.
Contact Mary Liebke, Peace with Justice Coordinator, at firstname.lastname@example.org or 530.273.3678 for application and guidelines, and more information.
Shasta Camp Hires Sacramento Couple as New Hosts-Caretakers
The United Methodist-owned Shasta Camp, in Northern California, welcomes the Rev. David and Cedar Moss as the new camp hosts/caretakers.
Before joining Shasta Camp in August, the Mosses lived in Sacramento, where they worked with the homeless. Before Sacramento, Moss, a retired United Methodist pastor, served in ministry in Northern California at Trinity UMC in Chico, Pioneer UMC in Auburn, and Chester UMC.
David and Cedar have two sons: Gabriel, who lives and works in Sacramento, and Kabir, who lives in Boston and is planning soon to go into the Peace Corps. David also has two children from a previous marriage: John, a sociology professor at The University of Guam, and Erin, who lives in downtown Seattle.
Cedar plans to develop programs that groups who use the camp may add to their own programs, if they choose – such as: activities that will facilitate engaging with the natural world in an intentional and sacred way, expressive arts and crafts, group process, dream exploration, guided imagery and storytelling – telling stories, as well as helping others write their own stories. She will develop programs tailored to a group's unique needs, as well.
David Moss writes, "As winter sets in, we are beginning a period of hibernation; plenty of time for meditation, reflection, reading, and writing; all inward work, in this beautiful canyon by Scott Creek, as, all around us, Shasta Camp slowly turns into a white wonderland. There will be time to gaze at the fire, time to strap on our snowshoes or X-C skis, and enter the silence of the snows...
"God is love. God is the bestower of infinite grace. God is also creator of indescribable beauty, all a free gift to those who stop, look, listen, see...
"At Shasta Methodist Camp, love, grace, and beauty are merged in a symphony of praise to God in this ground made sacred by the hand of God. What a privilege to be here!"
The Mosses succeed Paul Armantrout, Shasta Camp host and caretaker for many years, who retired in June. Armantrout had been in residence year-round at the camp, and had survived two fires that destroyed his living quarters.
Vital Signs Reporting: Frequently Asked Questions
Last Monday (Jan. 2), the Communications Office emailed churches and pastors, asking for the email address they wish to use for the Vital Signs project. The response has been overwhelmingly good – with 233 churches responding.
However, as more people are using the system, we've noticed that there are a few frequently asked questions. Here are three of them, along with answers.
Q: How does the time period work? Is it Sunday through Saturday, or Monday through Sunday?
A: The reporting period is Monday through Sunday. For example, for:
- January 1: Collect data from Monday, Dec. 27 through and including Sunday, Jan. 1.
- January 8: Collect data from Monday, Jan. 2 through and including Sunday, Jan. 8.
- January 15: Collect data from Monday, Jan. 9 through and including Sunday, Jan. 15.
Q: In reporting on small group participation, the instructions say to count each person only once. What does that mean?
A: For each week, count the individuals who participated in small group ministry that week – but do not count anyone more than once, even if he or she participated in more than one small group.
Q: What should I do if I didn't receive the reminder email?
A: First, did you provide Communications with an email address? If that's a "yes," check your spam folder for correspondence from "The United Methodist Church – (Vital Signs Group)." If the email is not in your spam folder, contact Jane Horstman at email@example.com or 916.374.1518. To ensure proper delivery in the future, please add firstname.lastname@example.org to your email safe senders list or address book.
We'll have more FAQs in next week's Instant Connection.
Unfortunately, there still are some churches that haven't responded. If yours is one of them, please provide Communications with the email address you want to use, as soon as possible. (Please note that the system can only register one email address per church – but it can be changed at any time.)
Once your church has been added to the system, you will receive an email reminder each Monday morning, at the email address provided. You will click into your reporting page directly from that email. (Remember to add email@example.com to your address book or safe list!)
If you accidentally delete the email, or have any questions about the process, please contact Jane Horstman, firstname.lastname@example.org or 916.374.1518 or Cate Monaghan, email@example.com or 916.374.1529, for assistance.
To register for any of these events, go to cnumc.org/register.
- Basic ERT (Early Response Training) Class, Pinole UMC (Jan. 28, 2012)
- VIM Team Leader Training, Burlingame UMC, (Feb. 11)
- Introduction to Church Disaster Planning Class, San Ramon Valley UMC, Alamo (Feb. 18)
- 2012 Bishop's Confirmation (Mar. 9-10 & May 18-19)
- 5th Annual Youth Worker's Retreat (Mar. 23-24)
- Bridges District (East), Lay Speaker Courses for 2012
- Bridges District (West), Lay Speaking Class for 2012
- (For more information and/or to register for Lay Speaking Classes, click here.)
Get in touch
CA-NV Annual Conference
1276 Halyard Drive
West Sacramento, CA 95691
Director of Communications
Submit news items by 5 p.m. on Tuesday of desired week of publication to Cate Monaghan at firstname.lastname@example.org
You may use this form: