Battle Ground Community UMC
Open Hearts, Open Minds, Open Doors
December 2019
  We are people of faith who gather to worship and love God,
care for one another, and share God’s compassion with the world.
Pastor's Ponderings
To my Brothers and Sisters:

We are spending the month of December reflecting on messengers, specifically angels.  During the four weeks that lead up to Christmas day, we are in the season of Advent, a time of “waiting.”  Waiting for God to speak, to come, to settle into our ordinary lives.  We can wait passively, but in that case, we wait in fear.  This season we will explore the kind of Advent “waiting” where the angels of the Christmas stories call us to participate.  Each angel that comes to Zechariah, Joseph, Mary and the shepherds call on those people to DO something – to participate in spreading the Divine messages of hope, peace, love and joy.  

For the next month, you will be encouraged to not wait for a messenger, but BE the messenger.  The theme “Angels Among Us” is not about some celestial being showing up mysteriously and changing the world.  The “angels among us” are you and me.  We are called to be the messengers of God’s gift. We are called to participate in sharing the power of hope, peace, love and joy.  We are called to be God’s messengers, God’s angels, right here and right now.

I look forward to playfully spreading the gifts of the season with all of you.  In doing so, more hope, more peace, more love and more joy will

Peace to you during this holy Advent season,
Pastor Susan
How We Worship
JOIN US and BRING A FRIEND

This year we will be worshipping in a new, creative way. We hope you will come and experience this new experience that the Worship Team has designed.

The theme this year is the message that the angels brought to Zechariah, Joseph, Mary and the Shepherds -

"Be Not Afraid"
IT'S A BLUE CHRISTMAS
For some, the holidays can be an especially sad time.

If you grieve or you know someone whose grief is multiplied during the Christmas season, this service is for you. It is a contemplative time of reflection and remembering. It is a time set aside for us to acknowledge that it is not a joyful season for everyone.

Join us on Sunday, December 22 at 7:00 pm, and if you know someone who is having a particularly difficult time, please bring them.
Mark your calendars -

This year's Christmas Eve Service
will be at 6:00 pm.
Please plan accordingly.

Hot chocolate and cookies for fellowship.
Christmas Eve Choir
Get to know someone new!

Interested in participating in a special song for Christmas Eve? We are rehearsing all December Mondays at 6:00 pm if you're interested in joining the fun and fellowship.
How We Learn
Advent Bible Study

Our Bible Study will be divided into two parts this Advent Season. The first 30 minutes we will be exploring what the gifts of Joy, Peace, Hope and Love really mean from a Divine perspective, not a human perspective. We will explore the greatness of these gifts that can only come from God.

The next hour we will be viewing videos from a series called "Interrupted by Hope." Theologians such as Richard Rohr, Parker Palmer and Nadia Boliz Webber will walk us through some theological Advent concepts.

We hope you will join us either on
Wednesdays from 5:30 - 7:00 pm or
Thursdays from noon - 1:30.
FAITH IN ACTION DECEMBER SCHEDULE

Saturday, Nov. 30, 9:00 - 11:00 am
Greening of the Church

Monday, Dec. 9 at 4:30-5:30 pm
Decorating someone's home who needs help

Sunday, December 15 - 2:00 pm
Christmas party at the Danver's home

DESSERT POTLUCK!!! And be sure to bring a White Elephant gift :)
Need Help Decorating?
Faith in Action at Work!

On Monday, December 9 th at 4:30 pm , our youth will put their faith in action by helping someone in the congregation decorate their home for the holidays.  Putting up lights? Decorating a tree? You name it! We only have time to help one household so if you want some assistance from our willing youth, contact Pastor Susan.
How We Serve
Christmas Baskets Collections are Coming!

This year there is a greater need for families, especially seniors in our community for Christmas Food Baskets. Your help and contribution will be greatly appreciated. We will be posting signups for food donations at the church shortly, so please keep your eyes open for that. We will also need extra volunteers to help collect, organize, package and hand-out/deliver baskets to families. Please reach out to Maili Morrison at (360) 601-3673 or  cmgranato@outlook.com  if you are able to help. This is a very important mission for our church and any help or donation you can provide is welcomed.
NORTH COUNTY FOOD BANK:
FAR EXCEEDING OUR GOAL THIS MONTH!
Keep Up the Great Work!

FOR NOVEMBER- 202 po unds were collected!

This is the LARGEST amount so far this year!
Thank you so very much to all who have donated!!

(100 pounds a month is our goal, so don't forget to bring in your non-perishables :))
Just one Thing

We are collecting socks for the students at the Battle Ground School District. Remember that on Black Friday, Fred Meyer has their huge sock sale; it would be a good time to get them then. Also another large need to be filled is female underwear. If any more information is needed, contact John Epler.
HELPING THE HOMELESS:

HELPING THE HOMELESS

The Bagman says ....

The tables at the back of the sanctuary are for one of our ministries - providing relief bags for those on street corners with " Need Help " signs. It is sometimes a concern that perhaps we are being scammed, but I suggest that we need to remember that the cheerful giver is at least as blessed as the recipient, and let God sort out the rest.

The large bin nearest the sanctuary doors has ready-to-go bags, with hygiene items, food items, water and either a hat or a pair of socks. If you remember, take a couple of these to keep in the car, and since the street corner homeless are occasionally female or a couple, you might take a feminine hygiene package from the last bin. Once in a great while, the sign holder may have a dog, so if you want to cover all the bases, pick up a small bag of dog food to keep as well.

Immediate needs: toothbrushes, travel-sized toothpaste, and socks. (John Epler's "Just One Thing" ministry for the school district's homeless kids also needs socks, hats, underwear and probably personal hygiene items.) We are not in competition with our Food Bank ministry; they need macro-sized items -- ours have to fit in a gallon zip lock bag.

Confusing sometimes? Family Promise, Food Bank,k Just One Thing, bags for homeless adults. A self-serving suggestion: each week, do a small, simple shopping for one of these ministries -- in a month, you can help all four. I will my best to let you know the most urgent needs of our "street corner" ministry. Stay tuned.

Thank you, Doug Shaul, The Bagman

Our thanks to Doug Shaul for taking responsibility for this ministry!

FAMILY PROMISE DATES

We will be hosting families for TWO WEEKS from...

 December 29, 2019 through January 12, 2020

Why are we hosting two weeks of Family Promise instead of one? Well, the other hosting churches did not feel that they had enough resources to host over the holidays so no church signed up. Upon chatting with Jean, I was reminded of another family who had no place to lay their heads. And so, in the spirit of the Holy family, we decided to provide shelter to our homeless families for two weeks over the holidays. We had faith that we would rally enough support to make it happen without a glitch and low and behold, the other hosting churches decided to help us out. God is good. Your opportunity to sign up to volunteer over the course of those two weeks will be available to you soon. Look at your calendar and see when and how you might be able to spread a little Christmas cheer between December 29 and January 12.
SUPPORT THE MINISTRIES OF OUTREACH

For the month of December, our special offering to be collected during worship will be designated to the Ministries of Outreach, focusing on the homeless children and youth in our communities and for the North County Food Bank.

Your generosity is greatly appreciated.

How We Pray
Join us for Centering Prayer
every other Sunday from 12:30 to 1:45 pm

We meet at 12:30 p.m. on the 2nd & 4th Sundays
of each month from 12:30 to 1:45 pm.
How We Have Fellowship
Trinity Circle invites the women of the church to a Christmas Brunch.

10:00 AM, Saturday, December 14

at the home of Jean Brown. 25100 NE 184th Ct., Battle Ground, WA 98604
RSVP to Jean, 360-904-1822

Please bring a brunch item to share and a donation of socks or underwear
for homeless youth for Just One Thing.
NAME TAGS

Please wear your name tags at church as it is helpful for members, especially new members to get to know you.
Events Worthy of Our Support
A CHRISTMAS CABARET
with our own Laurie Leslie!

Decorate your holiday with music, cheer, laughter and song! Featuring 4 of Vancouver/Portland’s most beloved performers, singers and entertainers extraordinaire, along with special guests. Save the dates for four performances only. As there will be no intermission for this show, we will have refreshments available an hour before the door opens. Donations for the refreshments will go towards The Hough Foundation.

Thursday, December 12th at 7:30 pm
Friday, December 13th at 7:30 pm
Saturday, December 14th at 7:30 pm
Sunday, December 15th at 2:00 pm

at Beacock's Music Store:
1420 SE 163rd Ave, Vancouver, WA 98683

BLOOD DRIVE
TUESDAY, DECEMBER 17th
12:30 - 5:30 pm


Administrative Stuff
A DECLARATION OF SAFE HARBOR
From the Bishops of the Western Jurisdiction of the United Methodist Church.
Put It On Your Calendar
WEEKLY:
Every Monday - TinkerBelles at 10:00 am;
Every Tuesday - Brush Offs at 9:30 am
Every Wednesday - Road Bible Study, 5:30 pm
Every Thursday - Men's Group at 10:00 am; Road Bible Study, 12:00

*************************************
DECEMBER 2019

Monday, December 2 - Advent Concert Practice, 6:00 pm
Saturday, December 7 - Mary Marthas, 9:00 am
Sunday, December 8 - Centering Prayer, 12:30 pm
Monday, December 9 - Trustees, 5:30 pm; Advent Concert Practice, 6:00 pm
Saturday, December 14 - Ladies' Christmas Brunch, 10:00 am - Jean Brown's house
Sunday, December 15 - FIA Christmas Party, 2:00 pm at Danver's; CORE Finance Team meeting, 11:20 am; Outreach, 11:20 am
Monday, December 16 - Advent Concert Practice, 6:00 pm
Tuesday, December 17 - BLOOD DRIVE, 12:30 - 5:30 pm
Saturday, December 21 - Trinity, 10:00 am
Sunday, December 22 - Centering Prayer, 12:30 pm; BLUE CHRISTMAS, 7:00 pm
Monday, December 23 - Advent Concert Practice, 6:00 pm
Tuesday, December 24 - CHRISTMAS EVE SERVICE, 6:00 pm
Sunday, December 29 - FAMILY PROMISE HOSTING BEGINS THROUGH TO : January 12th (2 weeks)
DECEMBER BIRTHDAYS:
December 6—Lilly Leslie
December 9—Carol Vogel
December 24—Ray Bloomquist
December 24 – Mary Von Kaenel
December 24—Teresa Wilson
December 25 - Jesus

DON'T SEE YOUR BIRTHDAY HERE?
MAKE SURE TO LET US KNOW WHEN IT IS!!
DECEMBER ANNIVERSARIES:
December 9—Ray & Margaret Bloomquist
December 18—Steve & Laura Root
December 19—Fred & Nancy Volgamore
December 26—Hal & Joyce Belcher
December 30—John & Roxanna Gingery
More Information About Us
Check us out and like us.
That way you'll see all that's going on in our faith community.
Also you can pass it on to your friends.
That's just good evangelism :)
CHECK OUT OUR WEBSITE.
FIND OUT WHAT'S BEEN GOING ON
AND WHAT'S COMING UP.
Pastor Susan has a blog.

You can read it at - recovingpastor.blogspot.com 

  To all, including those who have known the pain of exclusion or discrimination from church or in society, we offer a place of welcome, respect, and love. It is in this spirit that we invite ALL* people to join us on a journey of faith.

*As a reconciling congregation, ALL people are welcome including people of any race, sexual orientation, gender identity, faith history, socioeconomic status, physical and mental ability.