Battle Ground Community UMC
Open Hearts, Open Minds, Open Doors
March 2020
  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 Ponderings
Lent is my favorite season of the Christian Calendar.  It is the most meaningful and requires the most work.  Advent, or “little Lent” (the 4 weeks leading up to Christmas) focuses on the brokenness and darkness of the external world, and how the Light of Christ comes to us through Jesus’ birth offering us a new way to live.  Lent (the 6 Sundays leading up to Easter) focuses on our own internal brokenness.  It is about naming the things that keep us from living full and whole lives as our Creator intended.   And then, we give them to Jesus to take to the grave.  

To get the most out of Lent, we have to be honest, brutally honest, with ourselves and consider the things that keep us from being one with God.  We have to name it to give it away and in order to name it, we have to own it. This takes humility, but we won’t “clean-house” unless we name what needs to be cleaned.

For the six weeks leading up to Easter, we look inward and do the hard work on owning our “stuff” (and EVERYONE has stuff).  We need six whole weeks because it takes time to get into that vulnerable and humble place of being honest about where we are truly broken.  The good news is that it is on Good Friday, when we finally nail that brokenness to Christ’s cross, Christ brings our transgressions with him to the grave.  And of course, in death, there is new life.  We rise with Christ to live a life free of those things that went to the tomb. 

I do hope you all take this season very seriously so that you can all get the most out of this time as possible.  If you want a pastoral conversation as you work your way through Lent, please don’t hesitate to set up a time to meet with me.

Peace and Grace Always,
Pastor Susan
How We Worship

10 new people joined our church family on Sunday 2/23/20
(from left to right). Kristin, Eric and Alex Wade, Eric Fultz, Stan and Wendy Rice,
Tom and Nancy Tarr, Flo Graham and Pam Ruiz - welcome to you all!!!
"Gifts of the Dark Wood"

Lent begins this coming Sunday and will carry us through to Easter. This is a time when we look inward to our own brokenness, so we can let it go and have new life with the resurrected Christ.

Though commonly understood as a place to be feared and avoided, the dark wood is the surest place to meet God. It is a place where you may feel uncertain, empty, lost, tempted, and alone. Yet these feelings - these gifts of the dark wood - can be your greatest assets on your journey because they invite you to probe, question, and discover. According to the ancients, in order to experience profound awakening, all you need to be is struggling.
How We Learn

Wednesdays 5:30 - 7:00 pm
and Thursdays at noon - 1:30

Biblical historian, Dr. John Dominic Crossan, presents a DVD series on the world of Jesus, the life of Jesus, the death of Jesus and the resurrection of Jesus.

Join us for learning and grappling with Jesus' challenge to all of us.
Greater Northwest Five-Day Academy
for Spiritual Formation

Registration is now open for the Five-Day Academy for Spiritual Formation being held next Summer in Federal Way, WA. The academy will focus on the theme, "The Power of Story", with faculty Leticia Guardiola-Saenz, PHD, and Ray Buckley. Participants will be given time and space to respond to this theme through silence, written and spoken word, prayer, worship, and community sharing.
You can learn more and express interest on Facebook  here . Click the button below for registration information.

NOTE: Ask Pastor Susan, Betty Curphey or Kelly Andrews about this intense spiritual and learning experience. These retreats fill up very quickly.
How We Serve

Do you love babies and toddlers? We are in need of a few people who would be willing to play with our youngest during worship. If you are interested, please contact Vicki Swalling at or 360-892-2754.

The church needs you! We released our landscaping company this year and we will be back to doing it ourselves. The church has the equipment, but we need to generate a list of interested participants to create a schedule! Please help out if you are able; contact Jens Metzger if you can serve in this capacity.
In February, we collected - 129 pounds!
Thank you so much to all who are bringing two cans in every Sunday; it makes a huge difference!
  • -- Delbert Perkins
(Our new goal is 120 pounds a month, so don't forget to bring in your non-perishables.


Saturday, March 14, 2020. 5:30 to 9:00 pm Entertainment, Auction, Dinner, Fundraising

Tickets are $30.00 Tickets on sale after church and on EventBrite. Credit cards accepted.

The Bagman says: If you don't have a "homeless - please help" bag in your car, please take one from the larger bin at the back of the sanctuary. The larger blessing is to the giver.

for homeless teens in Battle Ground.

The Battle Ground community United Methodist Church is considered a very good friend of Just One Thing program! A very big thank you for all the clothing items you have donated. They can use women's underwear and also boy's. We have received a big amount of money for them also. They cannot accept money, but I can get a list of badly needed items and purchase the items for them.  I go down every Thursday and they welcome me because they know I will be bringing good items!

Again, I thank you very much for your generosity..........John Epler

Here's the breakdown. This is mind-blowing!

5 - Hosting Weeks (including first week of January 2020)
60 - Number of volunteers
1252 - Number of volunteer hours
945 - meals served
77 - Bed Nights provided
$ 500 - Financial Support
$ 44,892 - Amount for In-Kind Donations
( Keep in mind that the In-Kind Contributions includes the
estimated costs of housing homeless families in alternative settings.)

We are happy to report that the children's change (with your help) has raised over $800. The children will be choosing all the animals they'd like to buy for children on the other side of the world. And then, we'll start collecting again. Who knows, maybe we can purchase a whole ARK!
How We Care and Pray

The team, whose task is to care for one another within the church family, is going to be working on providing help to those who are experiencing dementia and particularly for the caregivers of the loved ones who are experiencing some form of dementia. We don't know what this will look like, but if you have thoughts, please share with Jan Shaul as we will be meeting soon to determine how we can address the needs of these folks in our church family.
If you are willing to help out with meals, Doris Bloechel is in the hospital and Julie Ann (daughter) is in need of help. Please contact Jan Shaul to get on the meal train. Julie Ann will receive meals every three days.

Leah Lane is enjoying her meal train, both the meals and the visits. Please contact Jan Shaul to see where we are with Leah as she mourns the loss of her son, Brian.
Events Worthy of Our Support
LGBTQ+ Cultural Competency Workshop
Presented by Dan Hammer, Lambert House

March 14, 1:30 - 5:30 pm
Episcopal Church of the Holy Spirit
2400 NW 9th Avenue
Battle Ground, WA 98604
Church and Society Calendar of Activism:

*March 19 , 6pm-8:30pm, Southwest Community Center, Portland, “Portlanders STAND with Refugees & Immigrants" (Portland Parks and Recreation). Click Here:

*March 20-21 , Seattle/Aberdeen/Olympia, We Must Do More Tour (Poor People’s Campaign). Click Here:

Church & Society are always on the lookout for local events to share with our community. We want to know about what you are interested in, what ignites your passion for change and activism. If you see something you think we should know about, please email Leah Kuch:
Join the conversation! FVRLibraries is bringing  Ijeoma Oluo , author of  So You Want to Talk About Race , winner of a 2019 Washington State Book Award and New York Times bestseller, for this year's Revolutionary Reads.
Oluo will speak  on Tuesday, April 7 at the  Kiggins Theatre  in Vancouver. Doors will open at 6 and the event begins at 7. After the speech,  Vintage Books  will be selling copies and Oluo will sign. This event is free, but tickets are required and will be available on March 2.
Administrative Stuff

UMCOR is a United Methodist organization that comes alongside those who suffer from natural or human-caused disasters - be it famine, hurricane, war, flood, fire or other events—to alleviate suffering and to be a source of help and hope for those left most vulnerable.

The BGUMC patio beyond the narthex North doors contains engraved bricks from fundraising efforts in 2015. We are pleased to bring back the opportunity to have a brick engraved. Great for commemorative events, in memorial, or just recognition of someone/something special to you.

Donation for a brick is $100. It costs the church $35 to have the bricks engraved and the money raised will go toward the church general operating budget. Inscription may be up to 3 lines including names, numbers for dates. Order forms are available in the church office.


Jens Metzer talked to Habitat for Humanity this week and was told they have one more hoop.  Their lender requires Habitat to do an environmental survey.  There is no expectation that this will affect the sale of the property.  We’re almost done!!!!

Take a look at what's been going on here at BGCUMC. Click to see the minutes from our last meeting.
Click the links below for reports and minutes:

February Finance Update

Click the red underlined documents for a PDF of our FEBRUARY finance reports. Please keep in mind that our budget reflects the Fiscal Year (July 1, 2019 - June 30, 2020).
Put It On Your Calendar
Every Monday - TinkerBelles at 10:00 am
Every Tuesday - Brush Offs at 9:30 am
Every Wednesday - Bible Study, 5:30 pm
Every Thursday - Men's Group at 10:00 am; Bible Study, 12:00

Sunday, 3/1 - Worship Team, 11:20 am
Wednesday, 3/4 - Radio Show Rehearsal, 7:00 pm
Sunday, 3/8 - Daylight Savings Time begins
Monday, 3/9 - Trustees, 5:30 pm
Wednesday, 3/11 - Radio Show Rehearsal, 7:00 pm
Thursday, 3/12 - Congregational Care meeting at Shaul's, 2:00 pm
Friday, 3/13 - Set up for Radio Show, 5:00 pm
Saturday, 3/14 - Set up for Radio Show, all day, SHOW at 5:30 pm and Clean-Up, also LGBTQ+ workshop at Episcopal Church of the Holy Spirit in Battle Ground, 1:30 - 5:30 pm
Sunday, 3/15 - Core Finance meeting, 11:20 am; Outreach, 11:20 am
Saturday, 3/21 - Trinity, 10:00 am; Memorial for Brian Kaiser, 2:00 pm
Tuesday, 3/24 - 3/26 - CRAFTER'S RETREAT

March 1 - Joyce Belcher
March 8 - Kathy Mar
March 19 - Clint Granato
March 21 - Hal Belcher
March 25 - Teresa Law
March 29 - Lori Rodriguez
March 28 - John & Sheryl Schulling
Don't see you birthday here?
Make sure to let us know when it is so we can celebrate YOU!
More Information About Us
Pastor Susan has a blog.

You can read it at - 
Click Here for Facebook
Check out our website. We have lots and lots of opportunities for serving in many different ways.
Pass on the news to your friends.

Contact Pastor Susan to share a cup of coffee/tea/whatever and learn more about our amazing faith family.

  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.