The  Sower  
Orchards United Methodist Church Newsletter
June 2019     
1st Edition     

Dear Church,

I look forward to the day when my Sower article doesn't have to be about General Conference 2019. But that's simply where we are and I feel a certain burden to help everyone stay informed. So bear with me.

In a few weeks, Terry Eaton and I will be heading to Pacific Northwest Annual Conference in Puyallup. Undoubtedly, the fallout from General Conference 2019 will be our top item. The latest news I can share is that the Judicial Council did review the petitions that passed GC2019 and ruled that some of the Traditional Plan was constitutional (in alignment with our Book of Discipline) and some of it was not. The water gets murkier still. Furthermore, two additional gatherings have taken place of various groups trying to figure out 'what's next?'

The first of those gatherings was called UM-Forward and was organized by members of the UM Queer Clergy Caucus. About 350 LGBTQ+ and ethnic minority United Methodists gathered for prayer, worship and conversation about the ways they may want to remain in or depart from the denomination. Their meeting was live streamed on Facebook and the replays of worship and panel conversations are still up. Search "UM-Forward" on Facebook. They created a proclamation at the conclusion of their meeting which can be found on their website

The second gathering was called UMNext and was held immediately following UM-Forward. It was organized by a group of prominent UM leaders including Rev. Adam Hamilton, pastor of the largest UM church, Church of the Resurrection in suburban Kansas City. UMNext was billed as a gathering of 'progressive and centrist' United Methodists seeking to decide how to respond to General Conference 2019. UMNext was by invitation only and was closed to both the public and the media. Part of the secrecy was to protect people who may have faced backlash in their annual conferences. Nevertheless 600 UMs gathered including 10 from PNW. They tried to discern ways to remain in the UMC despite increasing rejection of LGBTQ+ people in the Traditionalist Plan. You can meet the organizers of the event as well as read the resulting commitments of the attendees at

Our Bishop Elaine Stanovsky was the only bishop to attend both gatherings and our DS Rev. Kathleen Weber also attended both gatherings. I trust that with their sense of the multiple ongoing conversations that at Annual Conference we will gain some clarity as to the future of the United Methodist Church. Stay tuned to future Sower articles. The Bishop shared some of her reflections on her blog at

In the meantime, our purpose remains to Love God, Love People, Serve Both. That means that our summer of outreach to the people at Orchards Glen will not be hampered by this strife in the denomination. It means that our witness of grace and peace in the greater Vancouver area will not be changed by any denominational statute. It means that the commitments we have already made to one another as members of this body remain: to increase each other's faith, confirm each other's hope and perfect one another in love. Think about the state of the world altogether: wars, divisions, poverty, refugees all over the planet, the planet itself suffering intense sickness. This world is in dire need of a community like ours, not just to to exist, but to be actively pointing to the living God who reconciles to one another. Let us not be distracted by these recent turns of events. But let us keep focused on the mission that God has laid upon our hearts. It's a great and important time to be a Christian.

Update on the Church Council Response 
to the Outcome of General Conference

As you know, the outcome of General Conference 2019 was to pass the Traditional Plan amending the United Methodist Book of Discipline regarding the practice and service of avowed practicing homosexuals within the Methodist Church. Consequently, the Judicial Council met on April; 23-26 to review and rule on the various petitions that passed General Conference and to specifically evaluate the Traditional Plan for its Constitutionality. The Judiciary struck down the portions of the plan pertaining to certification of compliance but upheld the ban on self-avowed practicing homosexual clergy and on the performance of same-sex marriages. This is the final say as to what passed. As Christopher said in his May Sower article, expect lots of maneuvering among groups within the denomination. Annual Conference is in June.

At OUMC, the Church Council has been evaluating our stance in response to GC19. We have been in conversation about the place of LGBTQI+ people in our congregation. From attending Table Talks to reading God and the Gay Christian and hearing some of the personal experiences from our local PFLAG chapter. Kathy Baldock's presentation on May 17th provided a scholarly review of the history and contextual cultural views on homosexuality in scripture with regards specifically to 1 Corinthians 6:9-10.

The conversation within our council meetings has revealed a great thoughtfulness of the impact of the decisions of GC19 on the place and roles of LGBTQI+ for all in our church. Your leaders have not shied away from the matter. They have brought their own understanding of scripture, their experience, logic and prayerfulness into the discussion. All personal viewpoints were shared with respect and honesty.

The position of the Church Council is that when we state that our mission is to: Love God, Love People, and Serve Both -there is no implied exclusion. "Love People" means All People inclusive of our LGBTQI+ friends, neighbors, family members, ...all.

The Council further voted and passed the application of an asterisk to Love People* in our Mission statement for use on community communication such as on our website. The asterisk would refer to a footnote, * "We welcome LGBTQI+ community." We will continue to refine and clarify what this stance means to the ministry and practices within our church. If we say we are welcoming to LGBTQI+, what does that look like?

The position taken by the Church Council is a step toward adoption by the entire OUMC congregation. This will come up again for a vote at our Church Conference meeting in Oct.-Dec. of this year (specific date TBD).

Steve Walker
Chair, OUMC Church Council

2019 High School Graduates

Charles Chandler

Heritage High School

My plans after high school are to attend Central Washington University to get a Bachelor's 
degree in the field of Unknown. 

I want to thank everyone at OUMC for everything they have done for me. From allowing me to go on trips to ocean park, UPS, Idaho, San Francisco, and even LA. I really don't think I would be where I am today if it wasn't for each and every one of you. 

Heaven Chavez
  Heritage High School

2019 College Graduates

 Nya Wind Savage

Washington State University
Nya graduated from WSU with a BA in Education.  She will be student teaching in Covington, WA in the fall. She also got engaged to Evan Dunnam while in Ireland on their post graduation trip. He also graduated from WSU.

Sunday, June 2nd 
at 12:00 p.m

 there will be another  card  
 stamping class.  We will be 
 making graduation cards, 
 sympathy cards, and birthday 
 cards. There will be two of each 
 card project prepped for each   person.   In order to plan appropriately, please either e-mail me   at  or leave a message on my home phone   
 (360) 260-2563 if you would like to attend.  

 Hope to see you there!!
End of Year Celebration 
will be happening on 
June 9th 
after worship at the church.
There is a sign-up for items to bring in the entry-way of the church. Hamburgers, hot dogs, and veggie burgers will be provided. We will eat outside possibly (if it doesn't look to uneven on the grassy area) or downstairs. 

We will be meeting on our regular days this month in the  Annex Basement.  
Those dates are:

Saturday, June 1st
at 10 am
Thursday, June 20th
at 6 pm

Please join us for some fun and fellowship while crafting.  Bring your own craft or just come for the fellowship!  Please contact Shiloh or Sherry   if you have questions.  

See you then!
Thy Father
 (grandfathers, papas,uncles,   and other  important men in 
our lives too) 

 This year, we will be offering 
 (by donation) boutonnieres on 
Father's Day - June 16th  
 to help us honor the wonderful   men in our lives.   All proceeds   will go towards the All Church   Retreat Fund to help keep the   costs low. 

You can also purchase one in memory of an important man in your life. Let's try to make sure all the wonderful men in our congregation are sporting a boutonniere on Father's Day.

New OUMC T-Shirts
will be available to order soon! 

We are working on a slightly updated design on a Green shirt for this year.  Sign-up Sheets and an email should go out next week.  The Order/Turn around time will need to be quick in order to get them back before the end of the month so keep your eyes out for the final info!

We would love for everyone to order and WEAR a new shirt this year, especially when helping with Orchards Glen!
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 Val Chandler
   4 Bruce Towle
   5 Michael Hibbs
   7 Sandi Hepworth
      Shane Chandler
   9 Sharon
 10 Bob Shuell
 11  Mike Anderson
      Rachon Hanson
 12 Megan DeMoss
 19 Kimmy Kelly
 22 Gus Jeffries
       Zona Rueppel
       Shawn Templet
 27 Rick Wuitschick


   6 Elmo & Gloria
 10 Tim & Kimmy
 18 Cody & Beth
 24 David & Sandy
 24 Shawn & Kristin
 25 Mick & Betsy
 26 Bob & Wendee
 30 Jim & Janice


To View all current Calendar items 
use this link:


Men's Breakfast

Saturday, June 8th
7:30 am

Women's Group

Not meeting in June

Heart & Soul Crafters

June 1st 
10 am   


June 20th 
6 pm  Annex



Adult Sunday School 
9 am

10 am

Youth Group
1-3 pm

Life Group
3 pm


Life Group
6:00 pm


Life Group
6:30 pm

Pray for Our Military

SFC Patrick Walker

SPC Gus Jeffries
National Guard

1st LT Tom Roller
Air Force
has been deployed


Graduation Sunday
June 9th

 End of Year 
June 9th


10:00 am each Wednesday
Sower Articles:

25th of 
Each Month

Contact Information

Website:        email:    
Follow us on Facebook:  Orchards UMC Vancouver  #OrchardsUMC
Orchards United Methodist Youth  #OrchardsUMCYouth

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

Pastor:  Christopher Gudger-Raines
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