The Sower

Orchards United Methodist Church Newsletter 
December 2019 - 1st Edition

    I'm not an Advent purist: one who eschews the current Christmas crazes in search of a more contemplative season. I'm more like an 'Advent-seeker,' one who feels that there must be something  more" to the season than crass consuming of goods. What should we do?

   I also grew up in a retail household. I know that the "black" in Black Friday refers to the moment in the  year when retail establishments finally begin making a profit. My college education was paid, in part, by  the success of Black Friday. I also know the strain of holiday shopping on the retail worker. I remember  my Mom leaving early to open the shoe store for Black Friday and working early mornings and late  nights tending the shop. My only foray into retail was working the layaway counter during the holidays  and being scheduled for Thanksgiving. It was hard and not at all cheerful.

   Into this world of commerce, Christ is born. You may know that Isaiah refers to the Messiah as  "Wonderful Counselor, Almighty God, Everlasting Father and the Prince of Peace". I think we could also  call Jesus the "Sabbath-Keeping Shop-Keeper". Jesus ushered in a new economy, one measured in the  goodness of the grace of God. He found value where others found trash. He found foolishness where  others found gold. His mom's own one-hit wonder talks of lowly being exalted. What then, should we  do?

   Advent is ultimately the fast before the feast. It is the period of preparation in which we get ready for  the party of Christ. What, then shall, we do? I actually think we should fast...perhaps literally in giving up  a meal to pray or serve the downtrodden around us. You could think of fasting as figurative and give up  something else. Perhaps go screen-free on Sundays or spend no money on Fridays or practice rich  solitude on Tuesdays. You can practice community-building or peacemaking or comfort-giving. There are  many options beside consuming too much food or two much stuff.

   But what about all the obligations? The family, the parties, the presents, the ____? I guess I don't know  fully what to tell you about all of that. Ultimately, your celebrations or your disciplines this season will  be your choice. I don't have an army or a tax scheme to compel you to pray more deeply or love your  neighbor more justly. What I can say is this: our faith gives us options, options that Jesus himself calls  'easy burdens'.

   I hope the season ahead, no matter how festive or quiet, is one of hope, peace, love and goodness.
- Pastor Christopher

Hi Friends,

Advent is upon us and we will be doing things this December to celebrate the season.

December 1: we will be going to the Grotto as a family engagement event. Meet at the church at 4:00.

December 8: Theology Meal 2-3:30. Location TBD

December 15: Youth Christmas Party in the Fellowship Hall at the church, 2-4.

Can't wait to see you all this month!


Our Annual "Hanging of the Greens" will be Friday, December 6th at 6 pm. Join us as we decorate the church for the Advent Season. Lots of fun and fellowship as we work together. Contact Betsy Clayton with any questions.

Advent Celebration is happening on December 15: 

 We will have the Children's Pageant, cards for our shut-ins and   friends, and special "potluck" fellowship where everyone is invited to   bring  favorite holiday treat/tradition savory or sweet (labeled with   name and item is always appreciated)

If there is anyone that has a young one that would like to participate in the pageant please let me know who and what they would like to do. I will try to accommodate any requests but have limited parts. 

Also, if there are any adults (with or without kids) that would be willing to help out with set up, sound, etc please let me know so we can limited the amount of jobs for a single person. 

Email or text is best to reach me. Katie:  -   360-567-8525

Saturday, Dec. 7th at 10 am
in the Annex Basement

Do you have Christmas crafts/gifts you need to work on?  Looking for fun fellowship as well?  Then we're the group for you!  Bring your own Craft and join in the fun!  Any questions, please contact Shiloh Olson 541-740-8401
 or Sherry Hibbs 360-518-9988

    Thanksgiving Week:

Close at Noon - Wednesday - 11/27
Closed All Day - Thanksgiving - 11/28

Christmas and New Years:

Christmas - Closed 12/24-12/26  
New Years - Closed 12/31-1/1
Open 1/2 - 9 am - noon - (then back to normal weekly hours 1/7)

Interested in trying something new and being in fellowship with all generations in a Christ-like setting? A team is being assembled for starting Messy Church, a once-a-month service that involves food, fun, and families. To participate in Messy Church, though, our church needs a team and that means you.

Watch on YouTube:   "Introducing Messy Church"

Please contact Shiloh Olson by email, text, call or in person. This is going to be good!!
Shiloh Olson      jashy.olson@g         541-740-8401

Coming in January in the Tuesday Evening Life Group
The Tuesday Evening Centering Prayer Life Group will be starting up again on Tuesday January 7th. We'll spend the four Tuesdays in January discussing the four chapters of What Do We Do With The Bible? by Richard Rohr. This short little book (58 pages) is about how to read the Bible. Richard Rohr suggests we should read and interpret our Scriptures the way Jesus read and interpreted the Hebrew Scriptures (the Old Testament). We expect some great discussions!
Then we'll take three weeks off to line up with the Easter Season. We'll start up again on February 25th (the day before Ash Wednesday) and read Wondrous Encounters Scripture for Lent, also by Richard Rohr (143 pages). This is a book of daily meditations for Lent.
Both books are available at Amazon ( ) and at the Center for Action and Contemplation bookstore ( ).
We also keep a focus on Centering Prayer in our Tuesday Evening Life Group. However, Centering Prayer is something you can do whether you participate in a Life Group or not. For more information on Centering Prayer come join us for an evening, or check it out at  .
We meet on Tuesday evenings from 6:30 - 8:00 PM. We'll be meeting January 7, 14, 21, & 28. We'll take a three-week break and then meet each Tuesday starting February 25 and ending March 31 or April 7. Easter is April 12 th .
Just an up date on Family Promise.  They have a Day Center in Camas.  There are 15 congregations providing shelter and 5 additional churches assist with hosting.  They have a Resource Manager, and a Case Manager, and are able to ensure children get to school.  They have a 15 passenger Van, and could use a driver.  This ensures they are able to get people to and from which ever site they are staying at.  They take referrals from Council for the Homeless, and are now also taking referrals directly from Washougal, Camas, and Evergreen School Districts.  They announced on Wednesday, that they have 4 graduates from the program, and expect another family to graduate in December. 


A Memorial for those from our homeless community, who have been lost to us this  year will be held Dec 20th at 5:45 pm . Service will be held at St. Paul Lutheran Church 1309 Franklin St.  Vancouver, WA.   


The  Salvation Army in Vancouver, Washington, celebrated the grand opening of its new facility-located at 1500 NE 112th Avenue-that will allow them to offer more community services.

After years of exploring various options for expanding services in Vancouver, the decision was made to build on property they already own."  "The new building allows them to consolidate services that have operated from a leased facility, and saves the most money.  It also makes the sense to bring all services to a single campus.".

Over recent years, The Salvation Army purchased lots on 112th Avenue, eventually accumulating 4.2 acres. Construction began in February 2019. The new facility includes a nearly 9,000 square foot community resource center with family services/administration offices, clothing room and shopping style food pantry. The older building was remodeled to expand the kitchen and convert office space into more classrooms for the corps' thriving after-school program.

Established in 1890, The Salvation Army Vancouver Corps  provides services to families in need throughout the community. The basics of food, clothing, after-school care, homeless prevention services and job training are provided daily. Seasonally, The Salvation Army distributes school supplies and holiday assistance.


2019 Clark County Low-Income Community Needs Survey

Rebecca Royce of Clark County Community Services Presented at the Evergreen Faith Based Coffee this week. This is another matter which has the potential to impact funding, and what items are on the budget, so it is of importance for our low income and homeless communities. 

Clark County Community Services is asking residents who are low-income to complete a survey about their family's needs. The survey, which can be completed online or on paper, will take approximately 15 minutes. It is strictly confidential.

The survey will be available today through Friday, Jan. 31.

An online version is available Click Here for Survey in English, Spanish, Russian and Vietnamese.

Paper copies in English, Spanish, Russian, Vietnamese and Chuukese are available from human services providers such as agencies that offer housing, food, clothing, health services and employment assistance.

If you are unable to obtain a paper copy from a service provider, please contact Rebecca Royce at 546.397.7863 or

Community Services is required to conduct a needs survey every three years. The results are used to help prioritize which programs and services will be funded in our community with Community Service Block Grant awards.

Please pass on the information to ensure the county had the information they need to complete the Survey. If you belong to an agency or organization interested in distributing the paper copies, Please contact Rebecca Royce. She is also able to provide postage paid envelopes to ensure the survey gets back and is counted.

Terry Eaton

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 Anderson
   5 Roy Bishop
   8 Wendy Lawson
      Jay Kitchin
 12 Erik Davies
 14 David White
 16 Scott Harper
 17 Elmo Gibbs
 22 Pat Jordan
 23 Diane Towle
      Dakota Tingley
 25 Trevor Bevington
      Deidra White
 26 Zoe Chandler
 27 Jenavieve Boruff



   9 Pat & Kathy Funk
 12 William & Bonnie

Pray for Our Military

SFC Patrick Walker
Colorado Springs

SPC Gus Jeffries
National Guard

1st LT Tom Roller
Air Force
has been deployed


To View all current 
Calendar items 
use this link:

 Ministry Planning Meeting
Monday, Dec. 2nd
6:30 pm
Annex Basement

Heart & Soul Crafters
Saturday, Dec. 7th
10:00 am
Annex Basement

Christmas Treats
at Orchards Glen
Saturday, Dec. 7th
10 am

Men's Breakfast
Saturday, Dec. 14th
7:30 am
Fellowship Hall

Women's Group
Saturday, Dec. 14th
1:00 pm
Annex Lobby


Hanging of the Greens
Friday, Dec. 6th 6 pm

3rd Annual 
Christmas Concert and 
Saturday, Dec. 14th
5 pm - Soup Supper
6 pm - Concert

All Church Retreat
April 24-26


1:00 pm each Wednesday

Sower Articles:

25th of Each Month


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Contact Information

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Office Hours: Tues.-Thur., 9:00 am - 3:00 pm         Phone: 360-892-5240        

Pastor:  Christopher Gudger-Raines

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