The Sower
Orchards United Methodist Church Newsletter
November 2020 - 1st Edition
Our mission is to Love God, Love People and Serve Both! 
"Orchards United Methodist Church welcomes and affirms people of 
all sexual orientations and gender identities and supports full inclusion in every aspect of church life."  
We know that reopening is still going to be down the road however, we are looking at our reopening plan and what we will need to do to be ready to make sure that the church is safe and accessible to all. At this time we are looking at the items that the ushers will be needing to take care of on Sunday mornings. We would like to put together a list of those who are interested in serving as an Usher . We will be putting together the protocol we will use on Sunday mornings to ensure a safe place for worship.

Please let Sherry know if you are interested in serving in this way.

Thank you
Suzie Wuitschick
Hello OUMC family:

We are collecting warm winter coats, hats, gloves and boots. They can be new or used. This is for distribution to homeless through our local food banks. The need is immediate and our collection point is Jay and Sue Kitchin house. If you need pick up call Carol Holtz (360)521-2817 or Jay Kitchin (360) 607-2516. We will taking whatever's donated by the food Bank on Friday & Monday. 

Thanks,  Carol, Sue and Jay
Dear Orchards Family,

First I'd like to thank everyone for the support they have given to the church during this difficult year of 2020. We appreciate each and every gift. Along with your gifts we were fortunate to also receive some federal stimulus monies that helped pay some bills. We have been very conservative in our spending and I believe we will be able to meet our expenses for the rest of the year if giving is stable. Due to some high expenses at the Parsonage, we did have to dip into our reserve accounts to cover the cost of a new deck, painting, and other damage. 

In creating a balanced budget for 2021, there were some real concerns. We won't have stimulus monies, and pledges and other income have only been at about 90% of plan. So in order to balance the budget some sacrifices have been made. The budget has been reduced by just over $12,000 for 2021.  Most of these are in the areas of salaries, with some adjustments being made. We eliminated monies directed towards a music director and some slight changes to maintenance monies as part of the budget. Since we had so many expenses this year for maintenance, the hope is that they will be less in 2021. We also have dedicated funds set aside for major projects.

Missions and education funding was not reduced. We hope to return to a more normal mode for education and mission work in 2021.

As we move into 2021 we do continue to need your support financially. We have ongoing expenses to meet, and there is not much room for additional cuts in administration. I would ask if you can continue to donate as you have been, and have any room in your budget to increase your giving, it is welcome. Every families situation is different, we understand fully the financial hardships some of you have endured this year. We are grateful for anything you can give. We are entering a very financially tough time for the church and I just wanted you to understand our churches financial status.

Mike Anderson
Finance Ministry Team

This year the 147th Annual Conference took place via the internet, with Clergy meeting in June, and Laity meeting in September. The meeting was to address only the business essential to meet legal requirements. At the time there were 15 wildfires in the PNW. The disaster response team led by Jim Truitt, was blessed with an initial UMCOR grant of $10,000 per Conference; many efforts are being made and needs met. Media Ministry (Lights, Camera, Worship), a United Methodist-related agency, ensured we were able to vote remotely.  

Church closures include: North Mason, Mead, Rosalia and Wallace-Burke. Their buildings will continue as houses of worship, either leased or sold to other Christian denominations. Christian ministries and food banks will continue to operate in Mead and Wallace-Burke. Also closed is South Bend, which will house a local theater company. The membership rolls of South Bend go to Bay Center, North Mason to Brownsville, Wallace-Burke to Spokane Covenant and other area churches. Many years of ministry were celebrated among these churches: South Bend 149 years, Rosalia 132 years, Mead 130 years, Wallace-Burke 126 years, North Mason 28 years. The action of closure was approved, although some members of the Conference were distressed that the Belfair: North Mason church property is being rented to an LGBTQIA+ non-affirming congregation. As a result of the issue, members presented a new motion to address the concerns about the usage of property of churches that had been closed. Motion: The Conference Board of Trustees will establish policy before AC 2021 which requires rented closed church facilities be used in manners consistent with the UMC Social Principles and our PNW Conference Values of inclusion of LGBTQIA+ people and dismantling white supremacy, to the extent that we are legally able to do so.

The Episcopal Address presented by Bishop Elaine Stanovsky focused on three areas, plus an additional one raised by recent events.
1) Covid19. Do not expect churches to move quickly out of restrictions. Christian people cannot lighten up restrictions that protect the people of our society. Use your time to tap into deep spiritual reservoirs. 2) Dismantle Racism. The Bishop is doing anti-racism work and calls the local churches to examine their lives, figure out how to be hospitable. 3) Attend to the Urgent Matters of United Methodism. Bishop Stanovsky will convene conversations on How does Alaska become part of PNW; What is the future of the Greater NW area; and What is the future of United Methodism? 4) Responding to wildfires across the area.

The Conference was closed. Kathleen Weber, Crest to Coast Missional District Superintendent, invited the Conference to Puyallup June 10-13, 2021, in Puyallup, as it is safe to do so.

Submitted by
Terry Eaton
Delegate to Annual Conference
Annual Charge Conference Update:

Our Annual Charge Conference was held Sunday October 18 via Zoom. Our District Superintendent
Rev. Kathleeen Weber presided; 19 members attended.

The agenda was quite brief due to coronavirus. Only basic business was conducted with a follow-up presentation from the Bishop's office. Nominations for 2021 are still incomplete. We need a Trustee chair and a few seats for the Church Council. The SPR presented the pastor's compensation, to remain the same as in 2020. Our Membership Report noted the passing of Elmo Gibbs. Included in the report was also the celebration of two new additions to the church family: Delilah Hibbs and Teddy Dehler. All of the usual accountability questions were addressed satisfactorily.

Following the business, Rev. Weber shared an initiative from the Bishop entitled An Invitation to Dismantle Racism. She cited Philippians 2:1-5 and Christ's example of humility as well as the 3 General Rules of the UMC (Do not harm, do good, stay in love with God). She then shared 3 of the 7 tasks that churches can take to dismantle racism in our context, created by Kristina Gonzalez, Director of Innovation for an Inclusive Church. The first three tasks are: 1) learn about racism, 2) examine images for exclusion, and 3) reflect on traditions. We explored two images of Christ: Salman's Head of Christ and a lesser known image by Joann Kim, a member in our conference. Rev. Weber invited us to discuss a series of questions to reflect on these images. Finally, she shared an assignment for our congregation: Examine the images present in our facility for how Christ is portrayed. What does our imagery say to us and to our community? What might we do to best portray Christ?
Our Little Library needs books.....

Should you be cleaning out your book stash and happen by the office, please drop a few books in our little library. It has been a popular resource to the community this year.

Currently, we are low on books and would love to have more to share. Books for all ages are appreciated!
Hello Orchards family,

For those of you who were on Zoom church on Sunday I know you heard my announcement about the H.U.G.S. program. Normally you would see me standing up in church on Sunday asking you to participate as we strive to make a difference in the lives of the less fortunate. Well, for now we will just have to make this work. I know that you all know this but this year the need is larger than anytime that I can remember. I would be honored to spend your hard earned money to help those in need. I will do my best to get the best bang from the money I receive. You can contribute in a couple of ways. If you prefer to do your own shopping that is Great. If you prefer that I do the shopping that is perfect. Send your donation to the church office and mark your check HUGS on the memo line. If you have any questions please feel free to give me a call at 360-607-2519.

God Bless you all,
Papa Jay
NOVEMBER 5th FUNDRAISER

This is the link for November’s WHO fundraiser. If you like pizza try this event to help raise money for WHO. They even have delicious salads. There is a separate one for the Mill Plain store and next month we may be adding Hazel Dell as well. Thanks for your support.
Deb WHO Coordinator

Just a quick note to provide update from Faith Based Coffee meeting. Both Beverly Olson and I were able to attend. The County Health Department reported that there are 11 current outbreaks of Covid-19 in the area. The schools appreciate the being able to support families in need, and it was reported that many people are needing non food items, including toilet paper, diapers, soaps of all kinds (laundry, hand, dish), tooth paste, etc. Just things to consider while you are out shopping. - Terry Eaton

Phone: 360-892-5240 Email: orchardsumc.office@gmail.com

Pastor: Christopher Gudger-Raines

Located at: 11000 NE 4th Plain Rd., Vancouver, WA
360-892-5240

Mailing Address: P O Box 821492
Vancouver, WA 98682