Cascades Presbytery supports Vital Congregations’ Initiative

Barbara Campbell gave a report on the “Vital Congregation Initiative” at the November presbytery meeting. She highlighted the seven marks of a vital congregation – noting what vital
congregations are and are not. They are:

  •  LIFELONG Discipleship Formation VS Complacent
    “Christian” piety, simply teaching good morals, or offering the
    latest programs.
  •  Intentional Authentic Evangelism VS “Jesus freaks”;
    “Christian” Hypocrisy; A committee.
  • Outward Incarnational Focus VS Inward Institutional Survival; Closed communities of assimilation/exclusion.
  • Empower Servant Leadership VS the Pastor’s job; monopolized leadership; hiring the young energetic
    pastor; burning out good volunteers.
  • Caring Relationships VS Any other Social Club; façades, hypocrisy, and judgment of “church” and
  • Ecclesial Health VS Unhealthy dysfunction; toxic environments; obsolete and irrelevant buildings
    The purpose of the Vital Congregations Initiative is to work alongside
    leaders of existing congregations continually assessing, discerning and living
    into faithful actions that increase vitality through intentional spiritual practices
    that take them deeper into following Jesus Christ, so that their own lives are
    changed, congregations are transformed and the mission of God spreads
    throughout particular communities and the world. For more information and
    access to resources click here.
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Legacy Seminar


Making an impact and doing Christ’s work, even after our lifetimes

Rob Hagan, Ministry Relations Officer for the Northwest, and Karl Mattison, Vice President for Planned Giving Resources, are hosting an event at First Presbyterian Church in Portland to discuss planned giving.

This seminar will invite you to think and pray about three questions as you plan for the future:

1. How do I share my faith and values with my family and church in my estate plan?

2. What are some ways in which I can accomplish my legacy giving to my church?

3. My life will end but my story continues in the church I love. How can I keep my faith story alive after I am gone?

A catered lunch will be provided, and parking is available at the church.

Registration is now open. There are resources available below.

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PCUSA Survey to broaden understanding

Dear Colleague:

Presbyterians frequently want to know more about the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) ministers of the Word and Sacrament who help lead our denomination. The Minister Survey 2019 is an ambitious effort to learn more about these important church leaders; all PC(USA) ministers (retired and not retired) are being asked to participate.

OPTION 1  If you are a minister, please click below and respond to the survey.

Click here to start the survey.

한국어 버전의 설문 조사가 있습니다. 설문 조사를 시작하자마자 언어를 한국어로 변경하는 방법에 대한 지침이 제공됩니다. 시작하려면 여기를 클릭하십시오.

시작하려면 여기를 클릭하십시오

OPTION 2  If you are not a PC(USA) minister, please share the link below with anyone you know who is a PC(USA) minister.

Minister Survey 2019 link to share

This survey may take up to 45 minutes to complete. There is information within the survey about how to set the survey up so that you can stop and come back to where you left off.

Responses to the survey are anonymous in that no Research Services staff can tell who has responded or how you have responded.

If you have already completed the Minister Survey 2019, please do not respond to the survey a second time.

Questions? Contact Research Services at or (800) 728-7228, ext. 5077.

Summaries of the responses by all ministers will be shared. This information will help Presbyterians gain a better understanding of the life and work of ministers like you and help PC(USA) agencies better serve your needs.

Thank you in advance for your participation.

Blessings as your fall ministries move forward.

In Christ,

Susan Barnett, PhD                                        Perry Chang, PhD
Coordinator, Research Services                     Research Analyst

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Subscribe to Cascades Connections/Omnibus


Omnibus – Monthly Newsletter

Submit Omnibus articles for publication to Kathy Waugh

Cascades Connections is published weekly.  The goal is to provide information pertinent to the The Presbytery of the Cascades and the PCUSA.  It also features stories about congregations and ministries throughout the presbytery. Cascades Connections –  Weekly Newsletter

Submit Cascades Connections articles or employment opportunities for publication to Steve Parker


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Workshops Announced for Compassion Peace and Justice Training Day April 5th

Register Today!

Compassion Peace and Justice Training Day
April 5th
Ecumenical Advocacy Days
April 5-8

Click here for the full list of workshops being offered at
Compassion Peace and Justice Training Day!

Click here for the agenda for CPJ Training Day!

In 2019, we gather at a time in which people of faith and conscience are again called to stand in the prophetic stream of those who have come before us, those who were not afraid to stir up #GoodTrouble for the sake of God’s kingdom.

Join us April 5 for Compassion Peace and Justice Training Day at New York Avenue Presbyterian Church in Washington, D.C. Gather with your fellow Presbyterians as we look at how our church and our partners are working to organize for change. In plenaries and work shops we will look at the Church as movement and as well as ways to build movements for change. We will hear from inspiring leaders and learn about past present and future efforts to bring about a more just society and world. We will offer concrete tools and strategies for members and their congregations to organize and advocate in their churches and local communities.

After Compassion Peace and Justice Training Day, join the ecumenical community for Ecumenical Advocacy Days, April 5-8. Almost one thousand Christian advocates join us every year for a weekend of workshops, lectures and concrete actions addressing movements for social change.

The 2019 Ecumenical Advocacy Days Conference will draw on #GoodTrouble pioneers from the Civil Rights era as well as inspiration from young leaders to learn from the past, share best practices, and encourage one another for the work ahead. Through worship, educational and training workshops, and advocacy, we will beckon the Spirit to “Trouble the Waters” as depicted in John 5:1-9, calling on God to bring healing to our nation and world. Join us as we envision and train for new ways to stir up #GoodTrouble for the healing of all God’s children.

The weekend culminates in “Lobby Day” on Monday, April 8, when we raise our voices in the halls of power.

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Vital Congregations Initiative

As you may have already heard, the Presbytery of the Cascades has been invited to participate in the Vital Congregations Initiative.  Here is a letter from Brian and Clark.  It explains what this exciting news is all about and how your congregation can participate. Read Letter  But some important dates/details are outlined here:

  • There is a May 6-9 training held in Denver that is highly encouraged for the pastor and one congregational leader of each participating church;
  • Presbytery will be evaluating what level of financial support can be offered;
  • Pastors should anticipate being connected to a regional cohort that will likely meet three times during this first year;
  • The Vital Congregations Initiative is organized in three stages:
    • 2019—Presbytery Preparation
    • 2020—Relationship-Building and Congregational Assessments
    • 2021—Revitalization Initiatives

For More about the Vital Congregations Initiative Click Here

The momentum is strong. We have twelve churches committed for this first round of the Vital Congregations Initiative. Many of them will be sending representatives to the training in Denver on May 6-9.  These representatives will then become the core group helping launch the Vital Congregations Initiative more broadly in the presbytery. Expect to hear more about our second round in the weeks after our church leaders return from Denver.
We have the following four facilitators who will work with presbytery staff to organize and support the Vital Congregations Initiative in our presbytery:

  • Rev. Barbara Campbell
  • Rev. Jeff Binder
  • Rev. Susan Graham
  • Rev. Bob Stebe
Valley Community, Portland Community, Redmond
First PC, Medford Covenant, Gresham
Prineville PC, Prineville First PC, Corvallis
Reedville PC, Aloha Westminster, Eugene
Springwater PC, Estacada Community PC, Yachats
Aurora PC, Aurora Moreland PC, Portland


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Self-Development of People Grants Available

Grant Applications accepted year round
Grant awards up to $15,000 currently

Date: Saturday, March 2

SE Uplift
3534 SE Main St, Portland, OR 97214

10:00 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.
(Light Lunch will be served.)

Sample of Funded Projects in Portland:

VOZ Workers Rights Education Project was awarded $20,000 for its Strengthening Day Labor Leadership & Political Power Initiative. The funds assisted the group with organizing the workers and assigning work fairly & equitably, providing a safe environment and establishing a minimum wage, collecting wages, teaching English, computer, and leadership skills.

Community Alliance of Tenants was awarded $20,000. The project’s focus was on empowering tenants to better control their lives and living spaces through education and organizing, interacting with landlords, and housing legislation. Group members were focused on working to secure safe, stable, and affordable housing through effective lobbying at the local, state, and national levels.

Project members must initiate, directly benefit from and control the project
Project must address community issues or improve the lives of group members. Majority of the group must be categorized as low income/under served

To register:

For more information about
Self Development of People, visit

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