The Circuit Rider
Battle Ground
Community UMC
Open Hearts, Open Minds, Open Doors
JULY 2021
 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 Pondering

Having the American flag in church is a highly controversial issue. Many people feel very strongly that the flag represents love of country and patriotism. Others feel very strongly that church is not about love of country but love of God. Few know the history of why the American flag can be found in American churches. The following is the short list of why...

  • CIVIL WAR: The Methodist church in border-state Missouri was being used by both Northern and Southern Methodist congregations. The northern Methodists hung the American flag on the pulpit as an insult to the southern Methodists. This was historically the first time the American flag became hotly politicized!

  • WORLD WAR 1: German immigrant churches and pastors suffered humiliating incidents related to the flag, with pastors being forced to genuflect before the flag and kiss it by anti-German nativist crowds.

  • WORLD WAR II: During World War II and the fervent anti-communism momement of the 1950s, the failure to display flags in sanctuaries was considered un-American.

  • KU KLUX KLAN: was revived as an anti-immigrant, anti-Communist movement. Klansmen pointedly gave a number of local churches and pastors American flags, which they insisted that they display in sanctuaries. A letter from Klansmen to a Methodist minister in Arkansas stated that the Klan stood for the “two greatest gifts that Heaven has bestowed, namely the Holy Bible” and “the American flag.The KKK's propaganda efforts included visiting churches to distribute Bibles alongside American flags.

  • REFUSAL TO DISPLAY FLAG: A minister of a Christian Reformed church refused to put the flag in the sanctuary during World War I. He was reviled as a pro-German traitor and a Communist. It was suggested that he be deported or shot. Another Dutch Christian Reformed minister was run out of town, and had his church burned by vigilantes, for declining to display the flag. These are only two examples of threats and violence against spiritual leaders who refused to have the flag in their church.

These are just a few examples of how the flag made its way into our churches. Many feel that patriotism must be honored and there's no reason why patriotism cannot be honored in a church. But, to quote Hoyt Hickman:

"We in America wisely separate church and state. As American Christians, we honor the cross and we honor the flag; but we keep them separate. An American flag used in the worship of the universal church is no more appropriate than hanging a cross in a civil courtroom used by Americans of all religions."

I believe that IF each of us, as Christians, seriously consider the question, "Does the American flag belong in our sanctuary?" we would all be hard pressed to find any Biblical, theological or spiritual support to the argument that we continue to fly the flag in God's house.

Peace as always,
Pastor Susan
Pastor Susan will be on vacation until July 9th.
Pastoral Emergencies will be covered by:
our Congregational Care Team.
If there is a need, please reach out to Jan Shaul at 360-624-0535

How We Do Fellowship

Prayer Group - Mondays at 9:00 am - This is a small group that meets to share personal joys and concerns as well as those of the congregation that are expressed on Sunday morning. Much of the prayer time is spent in silent prayer—it is not a requirement to pray aloud!  

Tinkerbelles - Mondays at 10:00 am - A craft and social time. If you think you're not crafty, come and we'll teach you to be. We laugh a lot!

Brush Offs - Tuesdays at 10:00 am - A fellowship of artists who paint, draw and create other forms of art.

Men's Group - Thursdays at 10:00 am - Gathers for coffee and a donut to discuss faith and the world.

Sunday singers - Thursdays at 6:00 pm - Gathers to rehearse songs for the Sunday service which are video taped and shared during worship on Sunday.

Trinity - 3rd Saturday of the month at 10:00 am - Sewing, quilting, knitting, etc. Supports Babies in Need, Legacy Hospital and others.

Mary Marthas - 1st Saturday of the month at 9:00 am - Arranges Sunday morning fellowship time and helps with weddings, funerals and other functions at the church.
Here are all the Ministry and
Fellowship Groups:

We are planning for Sunday, September 26th, to have a "Ministry fair". We would like to set up tables representing each group with information and at least one representative to let folks know what each group does. There are a lot of people who not only don't know about these great groups, but especially don't know what they do. Start thinking about what you would like to do to represent your group. This is about HOSPITALITY.

How We Worship

We’ve been back in church for several Sundays, and it’s been so nice to worship together again. We keep saying “Since the pandemic…” to the point that whenever I hear a sentence that begins with those three words, I want to run to the window and yell “I’m tired of hearing about it and I’m not going to take it anymore.” I’m sure many, if not most, of you feel the same way, and obviously the pandemic still affects worship. Not all of the effects have been bad. We’ve been given a blessed opportunity to step away from routine while working toward solutions that have kept us safe. I’ve promised Pastor Susan to stay patient (and obey the rules) as we move toward the day when we can return to congregational singing and add choral music to the worship services. In the meantime, I invite any who wish to sing to join us on Thursday evenings at 6:00 at the front entrance where we sing and fellowship while preparing the music videos used during the service.

One of the positive changes that has come out of our Covid experience is the use of technology.  When it comes to worship, Scott Wistrand has set us up to livestream (which is in the works and will be coming soon) our worship so that those who are shut-in can also participate in our time of worship.  The services will also be taped and uploaded on YouTube.  They will then be available on our Facebook page, our weekly newsletter, and our website for all the world to see.

The plan for this summer is to stick to the lectionary readings.  The lectionary is a 3-year plan of scripture reading put together by the National Council of Churches.  It is common for main-line Christian churches to use the lectionary throughout the year.  This form of worship does not often fall under a category of a sermon series, but each Sunday stands alone. Occasionally we will step away from the lectionary and celebrate a special Sunday such as we did for Pride Sunday. 
How We Can Help

So many of you have created masterpieces!

Outreach is putting together a cookbook, a collection of recipes that folks have been preparing during the Covid year. Funds raised will be for the Outreach missions.

Submit recipes by July 15th to Nancy in the church office or submit online:

For homeless youth in Battle Ground

Just One Thing is starting to collect items to go in backpacks for students at school. We have received a flyer on the items that are needed. A copy of that flyer is available on the link below.

For JUNE 2021:
227 pounds of food were donated!


Thank you for your generosity. Our monthly goal is 125 pounds.
You all really came through, and this is really exciting!!
How We Pray
Saturday, July 24th at 2:00 pm
Darrell Johnson's Memorial Service
in the BGUMC sanctuary


Please come and help set up chairs in the sanctuary on Friday, July 23rd at 10:00 am. We will also need help putting the chairs away to set up for Sunday's service which we need volunteers to do after Darrell's memorial. If you are able to help with this, please contact Nancy in the office.
We meet on Mondays at 9:00 am.

Would you like to be part of the Prayer Chain? Contact Nancy in the church office if you want to be added to those who regularly pray for those in the congregation and beyond.

Full Finance Report given to Administrative Council

Finance Report July 2020-April 2021 (actual vs. budget)

July 2021-June 2022 Nominations Report


Do you have a key to the church that you are no longer needing to use? There have been some changes in administrative groups and some of you had keys before. We have new leaders who need keys and rather than have to make yet more keys, please return any that you no longer need. Thank you!


New Church Directories are printed and ready;
please pick up your copy at church.


Do you need a name tag? We are going to be placing an order for name tags; if you need one, please contact Nancy in the office as soon as possible.

Birthdays and Anniversaries
July 3 - Becky Roberts
July 4 - Jens Metzger
July 10 - Tyler Morrison
July 10 - Janet Schoessler
July 12 - Lynette Sargent
July 15 - Angel Von Kaenel
July 19 - Kenny Wilson
July 22 - Rose Anderson
July 23 - Jude Baumgardner
July 24 - John Schulling
July 27 - Lynda Johnson
July 28 - Kira Wilson

July 8 - Stan & Wendy Rice
July 30 - Flo Graham
July 31 - Jake & Vicki Swalling
More Information About Us
Pastor Susan has a blog.
You can read it at - 
Click Here for Facebook
Check out our new website. We have lots and lots of opportunities for serving
in many different ways.
Pass on the news to your friends.

 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.