The  Sower  
Orchards United Methodist Church Newsletter
May 2019     
Corrected 1st Edition     

Dear Church,

I am grateful for the season of engagement we are in since General Conference ended in February. If you need any reminder of the necessity of this season, just today (April 23) the precarious future of our denomination was again discussed in The Columbian. Remember also that we are a historically important denomination. There have been multiple Methodist US presidents. When it was more relevant, I used to ask What kind of crazy church would count both Hilary Clinton AND George W Bush among its members? Martin Luther King, Jr. is an alum of one of our seminaries (Boston University School of Theology). Even  Beyonce goes to a United Methodist Church (St. John's UMC, Houston, TX). All that is to illuminate that what happens in Methodism matters to many beyond our understanding.

So, it is good that you have participated in this season of engagement. From attending Table Talks, to reading God and the Gay Christian to hosting our local PFLAG chapter, you have no shied away from the matter. I appreciate also the informal conversations that have occurred. I am reminded that church is designed to be a place where people from many viewpoints can engage with one another respectfully and honestly. Please continue these conversations. Know also that your Church Council has been in conversation amongst themselves about what this all means for us as a congregation.

In the coming weeks, several things will develop. First of all, the Judicial Council will meet April; 23-26 to review and rule on the various petitions that passed General Conference 2019. Specifically, the Traditional Plan that passed General Conference will be evaluated for its Constitutionality. This is the final say as to what passed. You can expect lots of maneuvering among groups within the denomination following the Judicial Council's rulings. I'll try my best to keep you up to date. Presumably, we will know a lot by the time Annual Conference occurs in June. Secondly, your Church Council will begin a conversation about the place of LGBTQIA+ people in our congregation. Your input is needed in that conversation.

Perhaps you're wondering where you belong in this conversation? It's okay to not be sure. Church is also a great place to ask questions and learn. For example, for a long time I didn't know what all the letters in LGBTQIA+ meant. Only earlier this year did figure out what the "I" meant. [It means "intersex" which describes persons whose genes, anatomy or hormones don't align with typical definitions of male or female.] I did a YouTube search and listened someone named Pidgeon describe being intersex (search "Hi I'm Intersex"). In the end, a basic search for truth has compelled me to what to learn more about each letter. As we learned from the PFLAG people, it can be very confusing to all people involved. We counter confusion with learning. Even when all the explanations don't entirely make sense, we still default to our core teaching which is to love other people with compassion and respect.

As a matter of record, I have developed a simple tool to help us with LGBTQIA+ people in the church. It is a simple line that runs from rejection to affirmation.

Presumably we have various viewpoints on the acceptance of homosexuality. I understand it is really hard to accept something you may have always heard was wrong. It is probably unrealistic to expect people to blindly change their minds on any given matter. I personally need lots of information and lots of questions answered to change my mind on anything. I also presume that most of us have interacted respectfully with LGBTQIA+ in other circumstances. For me, it was interaction with LGBTQIA+ people that helped me realize that many of my presumptions about them were wrong. Almost all of these interactions were within the United Methodist Church.

Looking at this simple line chart, I have at various times in my life been all over the chart. At this point, I am in the affirm category. I doubt that will change anytime soon. Nevertheless, the minimum for me is that we treat all persons with love and respect. Even if you can't affirm all the letters, can you welcome them as you would any other person into the life of the church? If you can't actively welcome, can you at least allow your LGBTQIA+ neighbor to worship with us in peace? I have a hard time imagining anyone in our congregation actively condemning an LGBTQIA+ person. But I know that congregations have histories. I CAN imagine that it has happened before. For what it's worth, actively condemning an LGBTQIA+ person in the church is not acceptable to me. I think we have reached a threshold of understanding that it is decidedly unchristian to shun LGBTQIA+ people. And as we heard from the PFLAG people, the shunning of LGBTQIA+ people can have catastrophic consequences.

I hope that this season of engagement has been fruitful for you. As always, I am a simple conversation away. I would love to hear where you are and help you with any questions or concerns you may have. I do not require anyone to be at the same place as I am and can listen without prejudice. Please keep talking and listening to one another.

Hi Friends,

May is here, and with it, a bustling youth schedule. Check it out below.

Sunday, May 5- youth group, 1-3

Sunday, May 12- Muffins for Moms Coffee Hour with flowers for moms. No youth group.

Sunday, May 19- youth group, 1-3

Saturday May 25- Monday May 27- Convo @ the University of Puget Sound.

Sunday, May 26- No youth group.

Have a fantastic month.

This Mother's Day we are going to combine our Youth hosted coffee hour with our Mother's Day flower fundraiser to do Muffins for Moms. Youth will be bringing muffins and other goodies for coffee hour for moms (and others) to enjoy along with having flowers for moms to take home with them after the service. We will not be charging for the flowers this year, but dads and kids, feel free to make a donation to the youth mission trip at that time. Thanks for your support, and more importantly, thank you moms for all you have given to be there for the rest of us. We love you.
  Many of you may have noticed        that we are now using actual    
  fabric tablecloths.  We are  
  excited to be able to do so   
  through private donations. 

  This also means we need to take 
  very good care of them so that 
  they will look good and be 
  available to use for many years 
  to  come.  To that end, when you    use the tablecloths, there is    
  Spray N Wash available to spot 
  treat the tablecloths.  Please do   so BEFORE you remove them from the tables.  This makes it easy and   efficient to then just take them home and pop them in the washer.  As   many of the tablecloths are not wrinkle free friendly, you will need to   pull them from the dryer immediately, and then hang them to let the   weight of the tablecloth help remove the remaining wrinkles.  

 I am so thankful to not have to throw away any more plastic.  There   are a few more colors we would like to add to the ones we currently   have.  If you would be willing to donate to this cause, please put   "tablecloths" on your check to OUMC and place it in the offering on   Sunday. 

-- Rhonda

Sunday, June 2nd at 12:00 p.m
there will be another card stamping class. 

 I do hesitate to call it a class, because it is lots of fun and not too   difficult.  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!!
The Adult Sunday school will start a new  
study on  5/5
We will be using the 
Animate-Bible series  
from Sparkhouse.  
This is a contemporary study with multiple  contributors including Nadia Bolz-Weber, Eric Elnes, and Phyllis Tickle. The objective  of the study is to spark conversation, which is something our group really enjoys. 
Come join our conversation! 
9 am  in the annex basement on Sunday.
  To Preview go click on the link:

Save the Date:
  • Culture Fair/Heritage Celebration -             Thursday, May 16th
  • Fresh Food Pantry            May 22nd - 11 am - Noon

News/Help Needed:  
  • Teacher Appreciation Event:                              May 8th - Noon - 5 pm at Office Depot
  • Help Needed at Family Culture-Heritage Night - Contact Jen at 360-604-6978 for more info.

Sherry's Vacation: Sherry will be out of   the office  May 3rd thru May 14th. She   will be back in the office  May 15th. The   hours for that week will be  Wed. - Fri.   (May 15 - 17)  9:30 am - 3:30 pm . Office   hours will return to Tuesday - Thursday   the following week.

Graduation Sunday is coming!

Are you graduating from High School, College or other institute of higher learning? Let us  celebrate with you! We would like to get a baby picture, grade school-"ish" picture and a  recent  picture for our slide show.  Graduation Sunday will be June 9th.

We would also like a short paragraph telling us a little about  
yourself and your future plans as well as memories from Orchards UMC you'd like to share.  

Please have all of this to Sherry no later than Tues., May 29 th .  You can email it to Sherry  or  drop your info and pictures by the office.  

Birthdays &

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


  1 Mel Brownlee
  2 Jim Tooley
  3 Janice Tooley
  4 Sandy Brenteson
     Heaven Chavez
  7 Katie Dehler
  8 Ron Kahler
 11 Emma White
 14 Ellie Clayton
 18 Jean Jordan
 27 Charles Franklin
 29 Erik Hanson
 31 Kathy Lisignoli


 16 Cameron &
      Kaitlin Prichard
 31 Pomroy &
      Charlotte Schill


To View all current Calendar items 
use this link:


Covington Breakfasts

May 1st, 15th & 29th
7:00 am

Men's Breakfast

Saturday, May 12th
7:30 am

Women's Group

Saturday, May 12t h
1 pm 
Annex Lobby

Heart & Soul Crafters

May 16th at  6 pm  and 
June 1st at  10 am Annex

**NOTE - we will not be meeting on Saturday, May 4th



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

James Major
Biomedical School
San Antonio,Texas

SGT Ben Major
Camp Pendleton
San Diego, CA


Graduation Sunday
June 9th

 End of Year 
June 9th


10:00 am each Wednesday
Sower Articles:

25th of 
Each Month

Personal Message

Thank you to Ed Masters, Jay Kitchin and crew who've been working hard on repairs to the South-side porch.  Your hard work is much appreciated!!
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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