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Presbytery of the Cascades

Church membership in US now less than half the population

After seeing the Gallup Poll study, which came out during Holy Week, that for the first time church membership in the U.S. has declined to less than half the population, Presbyterian News Service reached out to the Rev. Brian Heron for some insight. As Presbyter for Vision and Mission in the Presbytery of the Cascades, located in Portland, Oregon, Heron lives and works in one of the least religious cities in the nation.

Beginning to understand structural racism in Oregon

As the Rev. Brian Heron was preparing pastoral leaders and clerks of session in the Presbytery of the Cascades for their first presbytery-wide meeting in eight months, federal agents deployed to the city of Portland, Oregon, by the Department of Homeland Security were starting to show up.

Presbyterian Hunger Program awards almost 50 COVID-19 grants

Recognizing a rapid increase in demand for food assistance, the Presbyterian Hunger Program has announced $113,000 in grants to help churches and community groups weather the coronavirus storm and build capacity to address hunger.

Crowdsourcing kindness

The Rev. Morgan Schmidt serves First Presbyterian Church in Bend, Oregon, as the associate pastor of teens and 20-somethings. When she launched the Facebook site Pandemic Partners on March 12, little did she know the extraordinary impact that using crowdsourcing to help fill some of the needs brought on by the coronavirus would have on her Central Oregon community of about 98,000.

New Watershed Camp and Retreat Cohort forms

As Brian Frick, an associate for Christian Formation working with camp and conference ministries in the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.), began planning a retreat with Ghost Ranch leaders to see how they might learn from and align their work with mission initiatives of the Presbyterian Mission Agency, he began to ask questions.

Church revival will follow ‘killing church softly’

The titles of two workshops held last week during the Association of Presbyterian Church Educators event — “Killing Church Softly” and “Reviving Church Loudly” — together served up a vision about what intergenerational worship and Christian education could look like in the coming years.

Seeds of hope must be watered in Bolivia

The gravel road is mostly abandoned now. With only small spots of fallen snow and flurries along the way, one would not believe this was the same road that led masses of people to the world’s highest lift-served ski area at 17,785 feet. After navigating hairpin turns and watching the houses and farmland of the Bolivian altiplano (high plateau) become smaller and smaller (if one dared look over the narrow road’s edge), the Chacaltaya glacier, in all of its nakedness, soon would be revealed. Today’s view of the glacier, however, is much different from that of years past. Now only a few small remnants of ice and snow persist.