The Sower

Orchards United Methodist Church

September  2019 - 1st Edition
 Dear Church,

 One's theology (beliefs about God) are connected to your biography (the story of   your life). One's biography includes your geography (where you're from), your   philosophy (the understandings of life and reality you were raised with) and your   identity (broadly speaking this means any way the world tries to understand you   from your race, gender, age, nationality, economic status, etc.). Sounds   complicated, right?

 It is. You're complex. And you're getting more and more complicated.

 One thing the church promises to (specifically at your confirmation and generally   by your attendance) is to help 'increase your faith, confirm your hope and perfect you in love' (from the United Methodist service   of Baptism and Confirmation). We vow to help you work on you. We love you as you are  and  we love who you are becoming. We   stand ready to be amazed at the surprising way God will be revealed in your life. Many of us will be changed by how God is   revealed  through  your life.

 I admit that I like the increasing of faith and the confirming of my hopes. I also admit to a bit of annoyance in being "perfected in   love". That requires me to admit I am not yet perfect. There are falsehoods within me that I have yet to discover or admit. I also   have to submit myself to God and to your influence. It's no longer assumed that the clergy-person knows all and simply dispenses   the God-knowledge upon demand. If the pastor is not leading in humility, then what else can she/he lead in? So I need you (like   that old Jars of Clay song says). I can say, undoubtedly, we need the Lord (like that old Steve Green song says).

 I hope that the church is a place where you can examine your theology and your biography. I hope we are equipping you to   examine yourself outside of Sunday morning. I am hoping that this Fall we will go more deeply in connecting our lives with our   outer life as a congregation. What we do in service with our neighbors has deep consequences and we need to be deeply connected   to God to serve. There is immense brokenness around us. And we have experienced this brokenness ourselves. Somehow these two   go together. We have come to learn that God heals and consoles. So when injury and sadness arrive at our door, we can connect,   even though there may be many other barriers. Finding that common human experience allows us to share the healing and   consoling love of God. We share what we ourselves have received.

 So, Fall is here. We're serving our neighbors. Best of all...God is with us.

 grace and peace,
 Pastor Christopher
You're invited: 
Kick-Off Sunday & Potluck
Sunday, September 8th
After Worhship

We will have a ministry fare with the Ministry Teams sharing their upcoming work and ways others can be involved.  There will be a Potluck as well.   Please bring a main dish, side dish, salad or dessert, along with your table service (plate, cup, silverware).

 Now that summer is coming to an end, we will be meeting at our normal times.  It's time to start planning those Fall/Christmas projects!

 (1st Saturday) at 10 am - Annex

(3rd Thursday) at 6 pm - Annex 

  Remember to BYOCraft or just yourself as we enjoy this time of Fellowship and Crafting. 
We always have such a  great time when we craft and fellowship together! 
Shiloh 541-740-8401 or  Sherry 360-518-9988
  if you have any questions.


Honoring Allan Keeff: 

Everyone is invited to the 
Men's Breakfast on 
September 14th at 9:00 am 
to honor Allan Keeff. 

Starting September 8th the Adult Sunday School class will begin a series call Saving Jesus from Living the Question.  I don't think we talk enough about Jesus and who he was and the time he lived in, this will be a great series to open discussion and refocus on Jesus in today's world.

  • Introduction: Jesus Through the Ages
  • Who was Jesus?
  • What Can We Know About Jesus (and How)?
  • The World Into Which Jesus Was Born
  • Jesus' Birth: Incarnation
  • Teachings of Jesus: Wisdom Tradition
Join us in the annex basement each Sunday at 9 am for a fun discussion. 

Thursday Life Group

 The Thursday life group will be starting to meet  September 12, Thursday at 1pm , in the annex lobby. 
 We will meet every week with breaks during the holidays during the year.

 The book this year will be  We Make the Road by Walking by Brian McLaren.

 For information and questions contact Jan Brewer or Sharon McConnell.

Centering Prayer and the Tuesday Evening Life Group

 What is Centering Prayer? Very simply, in Centering Prayer our intention is to consent to God's presence and   action within us. To do this, we sit in silence, and we choose a word to help remind ourselves of our   intention.  And when thoughts or distractions come up, and they always do, we silently repeat our word   internally as a reminder  of our intention to consent to God being present within us and working within us.   When we find that we've become distracted or wandered off into our thoughts again, and we always do, we   silently repeat our word to bring ourselves back to our intention. It's like saying to a friend, "Oh - where were   we?" after being distracted in a conversation. In this prayer we are intentionally opening ourselves up to   God. It's a prayer of intention. I like it because I don't have to think of what to say to God. I just keep re-   consenting to God's presence and action within me. Centering Prayer gives us a way to take a step back from   our constant mental commentary - our thoughts and  distractions, which we often hide behind, and to be   present with God who is always present right here within us, right now. The hard part is to stop running   away from God.

 Our Tuesday Evening Life Group keeps a focus on Centering Prayer. 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: 

 Our Tuesday Evening Life Group will start up again on Tuesday September 17th. We'll meet for ten   weeks, with the last meeting of the quarter being Tuesday November 19th (Thanksgiving is November
 21st). We meet from 6:30 to 8:00 PM in the Annex basement.

 This quarter for discussion starters we will be using Part 2 of Richard Rohr's latest book, The Universal   Christ: How a Forgotten Reality Can Change Everything We See, Hope For, and Believe,   available at Amazon and elsewhere. Please consider giving us a try even if you're just curious and don't want   to commit to attending regularly. You can easily join in the conversation without the book, even if you can   only attend once or occasionally.

 Rod Allen
 360 609-7832

The SW Washington FAN cluster meeting will be 
Sunday, September 15, 2-4pm, 
at Vancouver Heights United Methodist Church!
Please save the date on your calendars.

Who season will be here soon! 
 OUMC will be taking a few days in November and then a few more in Jan or Feb.

Birthdays &


   1 William Morrissey
      Chris Roller
   2 Lauren Schmick
   6 Danny Roe
   9 Gwendolyn       
 10 Bill Hepworth
      Shanise Jordan
 11 Delaney Kelly
 19 Pat Funk
 20 Shannon Roller
 21 Diane Coats
 25 Sue Kitchin
 26 Sharon Knudtson
 27 Rhonda Davies
      Stu Lockhart



  4 Bruce & Diane     
 11 Rick & Suzie 
  17 Erik & Rachon 
 18 Josh & Jenna 
If we don't have 
your birthday or   anniversary or  if the   information is  incorrect, please 
email  the office at:

Pray for Our Military

SFC Patrick Walker

SPC Gus Jeffries
National Guard

1st LT Tom Roller
Air Force
has been deployed


To View all current Calendar items 
use this link:

Heart & Soul 

Sept. 7th
10 am
Sept. 19th
6 pm
Annex Basement

Allan Keeff
Men's Breakfast

Sept. 14th
9:00 am
Fellowship Hall

Women's Group

Sept. 14th
1:00 pm
Annex Lobby

Youth Group


Life Groups

6 pm

6:30 pm
(begins 9/17)

1 pm
Annex Lobby
(begins 9/12)


All Church Retreat
April 24-26


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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