The  Sower  
Orchards United Methodist Church Newsletter 
December 2018 - 1st Edition
Advent Season  Calendar of Events

We hope you will join us for the  2018 Advent Season!
Sunday, December 2nd
10 am -  1st Sunday of Advent

Sunday, December 16th
10 am -  Children's Pageant 
                After Worship - Advent Potluck Finger Food Celebration     
Friday, December 22nd 
Christmas Concert & Sing-a-long & Soup Supper 
Soup Supper: 5:00 pm - Concert: 6:00 pm

Monday, December 24th
6:30 pm - Christmas Eve Service

In the end, Church, no one has to be here. I guess I have to in order to earn my paycheck. Otherwise, we all choose to be in church. It's odd to think of this, especially at Christmas. We speak of kingdoms and royal thrones. In that kind of world people operated out of expectation and class position. Order was maintained with an iron fist and hillside dotted with crosses. Peasants worked hard, fought in wars and suffered terribly from even the mildest of ailments. Royalty lived lives of posh privilege and were expected to remain in the upper echelon unless overthrown by another royal. Choice lived in the realm of the spirit and mind...the body belonged to the Empire.

We hear the proclamations from Luke that Jesus is to be the Son of God. Multiple things are happening here. Firstly, "son of god" is a term for Caesar, the Emperor. It did not belong to mere laborers. Perhaps that's why Jesus preferred Son of Man...he moved his mind, spirit AND body in front of the people and lead from within his class position. Even though we look at the cross weekly in worship, I fear we take for granted the brutality which met those who stepped out of line. Jesus had a lot of nerve. Then again, this kind of stubbornness seemed to run through his veins.

Did you know that "Mary" means 'bitter' or 'grieved'? At first glance that points to a tragic figure. She knows the triumphs and hardships lying ahead for her son. Mary can also mean "rebellion"! We hear this in Mary's anthem with Jesus in utero: "He has brought down the powerful from their thrones," Mary sings. You can almost hear the punk rock snarl in her voice. If Mary were a child of the 1980's, she'd just as likely sing "We're not going to take it anymore!" Finally, Mary hears the good news from the angel Gabriel: "...and of his kingdom there will be no end." Her response is one of stark power and assurance. "Here I am, the servant of the Lord; let it be with me according to your word." The phrase "the servant of the Lord" is a direct reference to Moses. Twenty times throughout the Old Testament, Moses is referred to as "the servant of the Lord".

What deep and layered meaning in the Christmas story! Those old paintings of Mary and Jesus, their mouths small and closed, do a disservice to the tenacity at play in the Christmas story. It is a story of upheaval AND restoration. Of disorder AND reordering. Of human arrogance thrown on its butt while the meek inherit the earth.

I hope that what we do here this Christmas season does justice to the story. It's cool to be in awe of stars, angels, etc. I want the same feeling on Christmas Eve. There is a hot side to the story as well. There's danger, intrigue, secrecy and turmoil. It's a divine story that is amazingly human. While we were yet sinners, Jesus--before taking our cross, sin and shame--took our disregard, our prejudice and our laziness. The scratchy, smelly manger is transformed into a cradle of goodness and everlasting peace.

As I survey my Twitter feed and all the danger, intrigue, secrecy and turmoil around the world, I sense a deep, global yearning for this very goodness and everlasting peace given to us at Christmas. I know that I am not worthy of this kind of grace. Perhaps I can begin to live in gratitude for the gift given to all of us at Christmas. Will you help me find this Prince of Peace?
- Pastor Christopher
  Hi Friends,

 Advent is upon us, and we are   preparing our hearts as we prepare to   remember when Christ entered the   world as a baby. It's a time of reflection   and of celebrating, and we'll be doing   plenty of both in youth group.

 We will be meeting as a youth group December 2nd and 16th from 1:00-3:00. December 16th will be our Christmas Party with a white elephant gift exchange.

On December 9th, I encourage youth and families to go support Willow at her performance of the Nutcracker at 2:00 at Prairie High School (tickets are available at TicketTomato com). 

Also this month, Charles will be playing a part in the musical She Loves Me put on by the Heritage High School theatre on the following dates:

Dec 6th @7PM   -     Dec 7th @7PM  -   Dec 8th @7PM

The rest of the month does not have any youth specific events, but please come participate in the many church wide events happening, including the Christmas Carol Concert and Christmas Eve Service. There is also the possibility of a Transition Group lunch near the end of the month, so watch for details on that. Have a Merry Christmas and see you soon.


This month:

December 12th
We would love for you to join us as we craft, laugh and enjoy some fellowship time together.  
Just bring your own craft project or just yourself.  We will be meeting at 
2:30 pm on Saturday, Dec. 15th 
and again at 
6 pm on Thursday, Dec. 20th
Both meetings will be in the fellowship hall.
Contact  Shiloh 541-740-8401 or 
Sherry 360-518-9988    if you have any questions.

Join us for an all church 
Christmas Movie Night
Saturday, December 15th
at 5:30 pm

Come at 5:30 pm for a bring-your-own picnic dinner.  At 6 pm, we'll start the movie and bring out the goodies.  We'll have hot chocolate, popcorn and treats.*  
Feel free to wear your pjs/comfy clothes and bring chairs, blankets, etc.  

*All donations will go towards the retreat fund.
Advent Celebration, December 16 

Children's Pageant during 10 am service, followed with potluck of your traditional or favorite Christmas finger food treat, cards to sign for our homebound or moved away, and a couple of Advent crafts for children.  A fun event for you, your family, friends and neighbors.  

2nd Annual Christmas Sing-a-Long & Concert: Mark your calendars for Saturday evening December 22!   

If you're having a hard time getting into the Christmas spirit your OUMC Worship Team has the cure.  There will be a soup dinner provided at 5:00 and about an hour of Christmas music in the sanctuary.  We will be playing some classics, some modern songs and at least one song I guarantee you've never heard before.  

This is a free event but any donations you would like to give will go towards the church retreat at Ocean Park. 

Birthdays &

If we don't have your
birthday or anniversary date,  or if it is incorrect,
please call the office,
892-5240 or email

   3  Debbie     
   5  Roy Bishop
   6  Ryan 
   8  Wendy Lawson
       Jay Kitchin
 12  Erik Davies
       Alex Soto
 14  David White
 16  Scott Harper
 17  Elmo Gibbs
 21  Megan Widner
 22 Pat Jordan
 23 Diane Towle
       Dakota Tingley
 25  Trevor 
       Deidra White
 26  Zoe Chandler
 27  Jenavieve 


   9  Pat & Kathy 
 12  William & 

Pray for Our Military

PFC Patrick Walker
Fort Carson, CO

SPC Gus Jeffries
National Guard

1st LT Tom Roller
Air Force
has been deployed

James Major
Biomedical School
San Antonio,Texas

SGT Ben Major
Camp Pendleton
San Diego, CA


To View all current Calendar items 
use this link:

Wed., Dec. 5th
Communications Team Meeting
6:30 pm

Thursday, Dec. 6th
Project Transformation Connect Team Meeting
6:30 pm

Saturday, Dec. 8th

Men's Group 
7:30 am
Fellowship Hall

Women's Group
10:00 am
Annex Lobby

Gladys Bafus Memorial
11:00 am


All Church Christmas Movie Night
Saturday, Dec. 15th

Advent Celebration and Children's Pageant
Sunday, Dec. 16th

2nd Annual Christmas Concert and Sing-A-Long
Saturday, Dec. 22nd

Jan. 27th - 30th
All Church Retreat
April 26-28


1:00 pm each Wednesday
Sower Articles:

25th of 
Each Month

Contact Information

Website:        email:     

Office Hours: Tues.-Thur., 9:30 am - 3:30 pm         Phone: 360-892-5240        

Pastor:  Christopher Gudger-Raines
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