The Sower

Orchards United Methodist Church Newsletter 
January 2020 - 1st Edition
Believe it or not, the church has a purpose. We have a job to do which we actually think is assigned to us by God. We have discerned this job for centuries. It is connected to our rich past, but also unique to our day and time.

As you know, our church is fighting. And the outlook looks anything but unified. Some parting of the ways is likely. Just as in any other family, when a split happens the children feel pain. We wonder "why?" We get angry at others. We harbor great resentment, even to God, though we may not admit it. The nature of this split is unhelpful, because our family called the United Methodist Church operates like a federal government with law books, judiciaries and legislators. We won't say good-bye. We will simply change words in our law book and that will be that.

Lost in all of this is the fact that our law book (The Book of Discipline) lays out a beautiful summary of our history as a Christian body seeking to experience the life-changing grace of God and determining myriads of ways to share this good news. You may remember my go-to story about the UMC. We own a water-buffalo in the Philippines that helps a nurse employed by the UMC to carry medical supplies to very remote corners of the country. I love that our big church reaches small places like that.

In divorce, the parties involved divvy up the goods. The Proposals, Plans, Processes and Propositions before General Conference in May are mostly about the goods: the properties, the clergy pensions, the general agencies, the logo and name. There is one of the goods that I will claim, not because it is mine, but because it so spiritual, true and cannot be possessed by any sole human. It is a teaching in the front of our Book of Discipline in a section called "Our Theological Task". In a section subtitled "The Nature of our Theological Task," the Book of Discipline states that "every generation must appropriate creatively the wisdom of the past and seek God in their midst in order to think afresh about God, revelation, sin, redemption, worship, the church, freedom, justice, moral responsibility, and other significant theological concerns. Our summons is to understand and receive the gospel promises in our troubled and uncertain times." (para. 105)

This is ultimately what we are doing in moving to be a more inclusive and loving church. I appreciate that two years ago we engaged in a Lenten study on The Bible and Human Sexuality. I am grateful that before and after General Conference 2019 many of you attended Table Talks to hear from other United Methodists addressing this controversy in our church. I appreciate also the engagement you undertook by welcoming PFLAG into our church to talk directly about what it's like for LGBTQ+ people to hear the church fighting over them. I am grateful for the Church Council's thorough discussion on what does inclusivity mean for us as Christians. I am thankful for the many conversations I have had with individuals and groups within our congregation. I know that the spiritual maturity of this congregation is a real strength. I know that the genuine ways you have engaged will buoy the congregation for whatever happens to the denomination. We have thought afresh about these matters.

Amazing isn't it? We are in "troubled and uncertain times" and the Book of Discipline tells us what to do in these times. In order to be true to ourselves, we must continue thinking afresh about God, ourselves, our church, the world around us and the spiritual matters of our time. We need not be afraid, even though change is on our doorstep. I'll do my best to keep the information current. Please recommit yourself in this new decade to honest talking and grace-filled listening. And know that Kingdom of God is near.
- Pastor Christopher

Hi Friends,

Willing to a new year filled with lots of great things. Here's what January looks like.

January 12: Theology Meal - 1 pm

January 19: Youth group 2-4 at the church

January 26: Service Sunday, Race for Warmth

I look forward to seeing you all this month.


Taking Down of the "Greens" 

We will be taking down and boxing up the Sanctuary decorations after worship on  1/12. The more hands we have helping, the faster the process will go.

 *Please note, some of the d├ęcor will stay up in the fellowship hall for a reception happening on the 18th.

Gayle Hoffman:  

  Men's breakfast will be on  January 25th at 9:00 am.
     It will be an informal memorial for Gayle Hoffman. 
All are invited to celebrate her life, 
especially those that were in her choirs.

Who's ready to start fun new craft projects   for 2020? We would love for you to join us as we fellowship and craft together! Bring your own craft and join us this month in the Annex Basement at our regular meeting times. Feel free to be there for both or if 
you can only make one, that works too!

 We meet the first Saturday of the month at   10 am and the 3rd Thursday at 6 pm.  
Upcoming  dates are:   Thursday, January 16th and Saturday, February 1st.

 If you have any questions, please contact:
 Sherry Hibbs at 360-518-9988 or Shiloh   Olson at 541-740-8401.

Thank you to all my church family for the many condolences I received after my Dad passed away. Also, thank you for the many well-wishes I received for my half-retirement! You're very kind and thoughtful! Thanks!

Rod Allen


Soup Supper 
and Movie Night
Saturday, Feb. 1st at 5 pm

We will have our soup supper and movie night. There will be a free will donation. All of the donations will go towards the all church retreat to help make it more affordable  for our amazing  church families.

Popcorn and treats will be Provided. More Details coming soon!

Please put the date on your calendar and plan to join us for a 
fun evening with family and friends!

The adult Sunday school class is currently watching a video from the Center for Action and Contemplation called Portrait of a Radical, as we watch we stop and discuss the topics brought up by Richard Rohr and other theologians.

Once we finish this video in the next week or so we will start a very timely video called Faithful and Inclusive - The Bible, Sexuality, and The United Methodist Church,

Faithful and Inclusive allows you to gain an understanding of how United Methodists can be both obedient to God's Word and fully welcoming to LGBTQ persons in the church and develop your own perspectives on the Bible's passages related to homosexuality. Rev. Rob Fuquay, pastor of one of the largest United Methodist congregations in the country, creates a safe space to navigate through this complex issue, relying on the biblical-interpretation approach of Methodism's founder, John Wesley. Each video session also features the faith journeys of members of the LGBTQ community and their families. Leader guide and closed captioning included.

We meet at 9am in the Annex basement, please join us.

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 .
 2019 Giving Statements

 Statements will be available to pick up in the   Narthex beginning, Sunday, January 19th. 
 If you would like yours dropped in the mail, please drop me an email.  Also, once you   receive your statement, please review it right away and let me know if you have any   questions or discrepancies.

 Thanks! Sherry

New car seat law 
effective Jan. 1, 2020

Are you aware that a new child car seat law takes effect this month? The new law decreases the chance that children will die or be seriously injured in a collision.

Starting Jan. 1:
Children up to 2 years old must ride in a rear-facing car seat.
Children ages 2 - 4 years of age must ride in a car seat with a harness.
Children shorter than four feet, nine inches and who have outgrown the child harness seat must use a booster seat, regardless of age.
Children under 13 must ride in the back seat of the vehicle.


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

EVERGREEN Faith-Based Coffee

Meets from 8:30 to 10:30 am on the third Wednesday of each month at Cascade Park Baptist Church, 1201 SE 136th Ave, Vancouver.  No meetings in June, July, or August.  This year's theme: Growing Together.

Wednesday, Jan.15: The Annual Celebration Breakfast will be held in place of the regular January meeting. (reservation required). Check in begins at 7:15 a.m.  Cascade Park Baptist Church, 1201 SE 136th Avenue,  Vancouver, WA 98683   RSVP Here

Future meetings in 2020: Feb. 19, March 18, April 15, May 20

VANCOUVER Faith-Based Coffee

 Meets from 9 to 11 am on the fourth Thursday of each month at  Adventist Community   Church, 9711 NE St. Johns Road, Vancouver.  No meetings in June, July, August,   November & December.

  Monday, Jan. 13, 2020: The Annual Celebration Breakfast will be held in place of the   regular meeting for January. (reservation required). Check in will begin at 7:00 am.    **Note***- If you want to attend:  please register at RSVP - Jan. 13th Event and then   contact Beverly Olson so she will  know to expect you.

  Future meetings in 2020: Feb. 27, March 26, April 23, May 28 
Birthdays &

If we don't have your
birthday or anniversary date, 
or if it is incorrect,
please call the office,
360-892-5240 or  email



   2 Bill Hibbs
   9 Joyce Phillips
 10 Mike Coats
 11 Meredith
 16 Natalie Schmick
      Patrick Walker
 17 Cody Jeffries
      Mary Jordan
      Saffiere Hanshew
 18 Jan Brewer
 21 Betsy Hemphill
      Jason Shafer
 23 Rod Allen
       Pomroy Schill
 24 Christopher
 25 Russ Allen
 28 Elaine Walker



  7 Christopher &

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:

Social Justice Meeting
Sun., Jan. 19th
After Worship

Heart & Soul Crafters
Thursday, Jan. 16th
6 pm
Annex Basement

Saturday, Feb. 1st
10:00 am
Annex Basement

Women's Group
Saturday, Jan. 11th
1:00 pm
Annex Lobby

Men's Breakfast
Saturday, Jan. 25th
Gayle Hoffman
9 am
Fellowship Hall


Movie Night
Saturday, Feb. 1st
5 pm
Fellowship Hall

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                   Like us on Facebook