CURRENT NEWS SHORTS

Sunday Schedule

Until the Christmas break, Sundays look like this:

  • 9:30  Adult Bible Study “Faithlink” class in Gleiser Parlor
  • 10:30 Choir warmup
  • 11:00 Worship  (child care provided for infants through 4 years)
  • 11:00 Kid Zone for 5 years and older (begins after the children’s sermon)

 

Fellowship Opportunities:

  • Monday Night Fellowship – 6 PM at Frosty’s in Napavine – get a good, and cheap, burger and share your lives on Monday nights!
  • Wednesday Men’s Fellowship Breakfast – at Rib Eye Restaurant, 6 AM
  • Thursday (2nd & 4th) – Home Bible Study & Fellowship, 6:30 PM
  • 4th Friday Women’s Luncheon – 4th Fridays at 11:30, at Sweet Inspirations Restaurant, just for celebrating birthdays and getting together!   THERE IS NO LUNCHEON in Nov and Dec this year, due to the holiday schedule. See you in January!

We have a new choir accompanist!  Steve O’Connor began with choir rehearsal on Wednesday, Sept 6.  The interviewing committee was very excited by his credentials, interview and audition!  Steve has a masters in theology and a masters in organ performance, as well as a BA in music.  And he has been in church music for more than 30 years!  He plays piano and organ.

Steve is now retired from his career in music and he and his wife have a small “hobby farm” in the Boistfort area, and dally in several hobbies including a horse, farm, growing mushrooms and garlic and other interesting things.

New “BURROWS KITCHEN” is finished!

Now we are fellowshipping in a newly changed space.  A space which we hope and pray will make for better comradery around the preparation of food and beverages, the foods that then will be consumed during activities that are for gathering in community, fun, learning, fundraising, worship and fellowship.

We have made it easier to have large gatherings in Boadway Hall, with the new carpet that cuts down on reverberation in the room and helps us to hear one another.

The kitchen is, however, the space of our dreams!  And is basically ALL brand new, except for a few appliances which still have plenty of life left in them.  A new, easier to use commercial dishwasher, commercial ovens that actually work, and open spaces where many people can work simultaneously.

We want to thank Stan Long and Jeff Sherman, who during the course of the construction were the on-site managers of the project.

The changes and remodeling are made possible because of many generous donations added all together.  We are grateful for every last fundraiser of the United Methodist Women, including the donation-based meals which were for new dishes and other items for this kitchen.  And we are grateful!

Our newly remodeled kitchen is called “Burrows Kitchen” because of the many years of service to this church that both Fremont and Anne Ev extended in so many ways.  They gave generously to see this project done.  Fremont wanted so badly to see this project through, but his body just gave out before he saw it.  He was that way as a Trustee of the church and often said of different projects, “Let’s get her done!”  It seemed a very appropriate project to take on in Anne Ev’s name, especially, as she was one who came in, quietly and without accolades, after Sunday’s celebrations were past, nearly every week, to clean up any leftover clutter or mess, put things away, wipe down the kitchen to keep it sparkling and ready to use again, and she laundered the towels and dishcloths.

This is a space today of which both of these persons would be proud.  Hospitality meant a lot to this family through the years of dinner parties and gatherings in their island house or here in Chehalis.  May the spirit of those festivities be the same kind of spirit that enters our space each time we use it.  We dedicated this space in memory of Anne Ev and Fremont Burrows, remembering their legacy of stewardship, service, hospitality and of love to their community

Every time that we pick up a mug of coffee, every time we eat a bowl of soup, or scarf down a brownie or cookie, every time that a pancake is served or a plate of spaghetti is eaten in this space, let us be grateful for God’s goodness and extend our welcome (God’s welcome) to every person whom God loves.

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Kid Zone and Adult Classes until the Christmas break!

ADULTS 9:30 Sundays (child care provided)

KID ZONE 11:00 – following children’s sermon in worship.

 

 

 

 

credit cardsANOTHER WAY TO DONATE – You now can have the opportunity to donate to the church on Sundays (or when Pastor is in the office) using your credit or debit cards, using Square.

 

MORE UM News – Note our PNW-News-Blog-272wsection on the sidebar  that has links to many of the publications from our district, conference and general conference – keep up on all the United Methodist News.

 

 

WHAT’S HAPPENING the next few weeks in WORSHIP?

Sundays at Chehalis UMC:

  • Classes for adults are at 9:30 on Sunday morning (childcare provided).
  • Our worship starts at 11:00 am
  • Kid zone  (after the children’s sermon in worship)
  • Childcare is still provided during worship thru age 5.

The following are worship plans for the Sunday Worship Services at Chehalis United Methodist.

November 5 – A celebration of “All Saints”

  • Chancel Choir
  • Lighting candles in memory of those who have gone before us

November 12 –

  • Chancel Choir
  • Scripture:

November 19 – A Thanksgiving Celebration

  • Chancel Choir
  • Voices in Bronze (Adult Bell Choir)
  • Dedication of Pledges

November 26 – Reign of Christ Sunday

  • Chancel Choir
  • Scripture:  The Judgement of the Nations – Matthew 25:31-46

December 3 – First Sunday of Advent, The Hanging of the Greens

  • Chancel Choir
  • Advent Wreath lighting – first candle
  • Learning the significance of the advent symbols and decorations.
  • Scripture:  Keep Alert! – Mark 13:24-37

December 10 – Second Sunday of Advent

  • Chancel Choir
  • Advent Wreath lighting – 2nd candle
  • Scripture:  A voice crying in the wilderness – Mark 1:1-8

December 17 – Third Sunday of Advent

  • Chancel Choir
  • Voices in Bronze (Adult Bells)
  • Advent Wreath lighting – 3rd candle
  • Scripture:  True light coming into the world – John 1:6-8, 19-28

December 24 – Fourth Sunday of Advent

MORNING at 11:00
  • Chancel Choir
  • Advent Wreath lighting – 4th candle
  • Scripture:  A angel foretells the birth of Jesus to Mary – Luke 1:26-55
EVENING at 7:00 – Christmas Eve candlelight
  • Lessons and Carols
  • Lighting our individual carols and singing “Silent Night”
  • Scriptures:  Jesus is born!  Shepherds worship!   -Luke 2:1-20
  • Lighting the Christ Candle

December 31 – A Covenant Service for the New Year

  • Chancel Choir
  • Advent Wreath lighting – 2nd candle
  • Scripture:  A voice crying in the wilderness – Mark 1:1-8

HAPPY NEW YEAR!!

MORE TO COME!!

 

MORE TO COME!!

MORE TO COME!!

 

 

 

 

Keeping Sabbath

As with other disciplines, such as fasting, Sabbath is not just about what we don’t do but what we choose to DO in place of the thing with which we are disengaging – what will we do with our time? As with fasting, where we must choose how we will eat otherwise when we’ve given up chocolate or fried foods. Will we exercise or do something else that is healthy in place of the unhealthy habit we gave up?

“Sabbath is something that need not be limited to Sunday; it can be observed any time of the week. In breaking from the schedule of our everyday lives, we free up time to add what is truly restful, to embrace wholly our relationship with God, and to feast on God’s presence in our lives. There is a sense, then, that we can somehow reclaim that time we spend on unfocused busyness to make it holy. Rabbi Abraham Joshua Herschel, in his book The Sabbath, echoes this idea about regaining our time and making it holy when he calls Sabbath, ‘a palace in time which we build.’”

– Kyle Roberson, Soul Tending

Sabbath is not a day, but a way of living.  We “fast” from work and productivity.  The practice of Sabbath is what separated the Hebrews from other cultures.  Their lives were planned around the time that they gave way to deep rest and a time to allow God to be present to them without distraction.  Our “palace in time” was the last creation of God in Genesis.  And observing it is one of the 10 commandments given to Moses.  It was created FOR the people of God, to help them be their best selves.

Sabbath was also the great equalizer of the people.  Rich and poor alike.  Student and Rabbi, Priest and King, as well as farmers and crafters and other commoners.  Men, women and children.  Servant and master.  All were to observe Sabbath.  No exceptions.  Suspending hierarchies, and creating equality.

Productivity ended for Sabbath.  All food was prepared before.  Chores were done in advance or put off.  Animals taken care of early the day before, or waiting till late when the day was ended. (Sunset to sunset).  No money was exchanged.  No products bought or sold.  The economy was suspended for everyone and everything to have a day of peaceful rest.

How do WE observe Sabbath?  Culturally, we do not take an exact time where everyone together takes time away from all productivity.  Yet, the commandment still exists and Christians still observe (or should observe) sabbath.  Do we take a time away from productivity, personal or communal?  From physical work, intellectual pursuit, purchasing, from serving others even?  A break that is complete!   And HOW do we spend the time?  What is truly restful?

I, who do not spend much of my “work” week in anything physical, may find that Sabbath means something physical and relaxing, play not work – playing with children, taking a walk.  Where someone who works with their hands, and is physically tired at the end of each work day, may find reading a book or napping more relaxing and restful.  The idea is that we suspend usually activity to live in our “palace in time,” where we treat ourselves and others royally, and not be concerned in any way about producing a work product, or being economically or intellectually fruitful!

Sabbath is about allowing ourselves the time to just be.  And at the same time allowing others the same opportunity to just be for a time, too.  To just be, is to allow God’s entry, God’s presence in ways that cannot happen when we are engaged in “productivity,” which can distract us from God’s presence.

Longing for a Bigger God

For several years, the fastest growing churches in America have been nondenominational evangelical. These churches sprang up claiming to be the “Christ-centered” and “Bible-based” alternatives to mainline denominations. In fact, the term “denomination” itself was seen as a bad word. Non-denominational churches arose as an attempt to return to a more authentic faith experience and belief. But while the style of music and worship seemed new (praise music, multimedia, PowerPoint, and auditorium seating), the theology was also new, not ancient – that is from the late 1800 Holiness movements, not 2000 years ago.  And that new theology was simply packaged within a slick presentation.

These churches may offer a worship experience that is upbeat and full of energy, but the people don’t really sing, they listen to a “worship leader” who is a soloist and try to follow along, though they may have an emotional experience listening.  I read an article recently on how many church people do not sing anymore at all.  And singing is the only part of worship that seems to be considered “worshipful” in those settings with no liturgical or historic connections to the faith.

I often think of these churches as “doorways” to the faith as many are attracted to the lively worship (mainline church has the reputation of being dull and boring!) And yet, while these churches seem to have no problem attracting new members, their retention rate is not as good as you might think. What often happens is that as people begin to grow in the faith, they begin longing for something deeper – spiritually, intellectually, and emotionally. They begin longing for a bigger God.

If you wander the few bookstores that are left, or surf through religious books online, you may have noticed a new genre of books for the Contemporary, Emerging, or Post-Modern Church – the name changes almost as fast as we change our clothing. While there are numerous definitions for this movement, it all represents two significant shifts away from the “nondenominational” church. First, theology is becoming broader (this is a reaction to public perception that churches are about guilt, judgment, and hypocrisy). The second is a shift back to more ancient styles of worship. Ancient music, classic settings (like a real church!), and the more candles the better!

This is good news. Public perceptions are forcing the evangelical church to wrestle with being called “judgmental” and “mean-spirited.” The Emerging Church Movement was an example of churches seeking to find “the love they had at first”  (Rev. 2:4) and offer a gospel that is both relevant and lifechanging. It also reveals a longing for a deeper faith and a desire to step into the divine mystery. A long time ago J.B. Philips wrote a book entitled, Your God is Too Small. People are longing today for a God who is too big to fit on the PowerPoint screen!

Chehalis UMC seems well positioned as a church with a broad theology and both new and ancient styles of worship, hopefully not fitting the “dull and boring” stereotype, and yet we seek to share our faith experience on a deeper level with others, there is much still to learn about the balance of using new media and also retaining the ancient faith.

Pastor Karla

Feelin’ Small

This past month the sermon series has been about “Little People” or at least those who are “feelin’ small” due to their situation in life.   The first sermon was about faith as small as a mustard seed, and then we moved to the Samaritan leper who came back to thank Jesus, another widow who had no power, yet persisted against the powerful until she received justice, then to the man who beat his chest asking for forgiveness and in his “smallness” (humility) he went away justified with God.  Then, we came to Zaccheus, who really was a “wee little man.”  And each week, Jesus continues to love them all!  This series is finally done, but the concept goes on and on!!

There are many ways that we can “feel small” in our own eyes.  It’s easy for each of us to begin to think “Why do I seem to always be overlooked?  God doesn’t even see me.  Doors aren’t opening the way they should.  I never seem to get a break.”  Small churches sometimes begin to think that way, too.  We look around us at churches that are growing despite what seems to us as faithlessness to GOOD news, those that actually do spiritual harm to some folks, those that teach hate and their actual message is BAD news of condemnation.  Why are they growing in numbers?  At the same time, all of OUR efforts seem to be wasted, though we are bringing good news of love and grace and peace for all.  Shouldn’t we get some of the rewards for that?  Shouldn’t our numbers grow?  Shouldn’t our budgets get met?  Shouldn’t our buildings glow!?

Well, the actual fact is that those “other” churches are rarely growing either.  I’m guessing that the mega-church folks across the way are choked by some of the same insecurities, just on a different scale.   But, since WE are still numerically smaller than they, we “feel small” because we are comparing ourselves to others.  We are not focusing on mission, but on our size, our “success” (however it’s measured), on Sunday worship, not on weekly ministry.  Comparing ourselves, can become self-condemning, and grows into a self-fulfilling prophecy of real ministry spiraling downward.

In another era we would say that our only measurement should be “souls saved.”  Yes, I said another era.  We don’t usually think in terms of saving souls as if it’s a once and for all type thing.  But, we might want to measure in terms of lives touched, rather than in bottoms in the pew.  The culture in which we live has changed drastically.  Our Christian lives are no longer lived inside the church buildings.  (Thank God!  That’s the way it should have always been!)  If we are involved with living out our Christian values, seeking peace and justice, striving for changing the world… well, then, we may be out there in the world instead of in the pew on some Sundays.

Don’t get me wrong! – I STILL want to see you all in the pew!!  I AM your pastor, you know.  And I still believe that it is in community that we strengthen our faith and renew our commitment.  However, I’m not going to sweat the fact that in reality, “regular” church attendance, for some, and especially for the younger generations, is not every single week.  I DO, however, want to know that you are living out your faith in other ways.  The point is, we need not “feel small” over the fact that there are fewer there many Sundays than there was a decade or more ago, IF we are living our faith, being faithful to good news, seeking justice, and living love as a congregation.  Remember the church is not a building, the church is a people.  The church gathered is Sunday morning.  The living church is out THERE in the world, being Christ to the lost, lonely, hungry, and searching.  Ministry is connecting with these, and perhaps bringing them in, but certainly making a difference.

We small churches sometimes want to substitute activity for real ministry. And we think that adding “programs” will make a difference in how we feel about ourselves as a church – the more activity the better!  But, “faster and bigger” doesn’t always mean “better and stronger.”  (Sometimes it means tired and more demeaned.)

So, I guess the point is, I don’t want to hear any more “small talk” – moaning and groaning about how things once were and wishing to live the hey-day again!  What I want to hear from you is the voice of “NOW talk” – what are we planning and implementing that is about today, about real ministry with people who need the church (as the people of God), talk that is about mission and ministry.  The numbers may or may not come, but let’s remain faithful to the call.  Jesus loves us little people and little churches, and calls us to follow.

As a deer longs for flowing streams…

As many of you realize, I’ve been sharing with you on Sundays a series of sermons, “The spirit still speaks,” based mostly on the stories of Elijah. A few Sundays ago, the “mantle” was passed to Elisha, and now the sermons will come from some stories of Elisha the prophet and others, before we move back to the regular lectionary.

As I look back over this series, I realize that there could have been some others about Elijah:  Like Elijah defeating the 500 prophets of Baal, as his sacrifice was consumed and theirs was not!  Like Elijah suddenly becoming frightened for his life, after bravely standing up to Jezebel and her foreign prophets and Gods, and him fleeing and being fed by ravens while living in a cave.

Elijah like the rest of us, of course, was a man and not just a prophet.  So, he experienced what we all experience – a full range of human emotions:  love, anger, fear, shame, insight, humility, pride…

Fawn

“As a deer longs for flowing streams, so my soul longs for you, O God.  My soul thirsts for God… Why are you cast down, O my soul, and why are you disquieted within me?… I say to God my rock, “Why have you forgotten me? Why must I walk about mournfully… My adversaries taunt me… continually, “Where is your God?”    (excerpts from Psalm 42)

Elijah spent some time in depression when Jezebel threatened his life and he fled.  He was secluded for 40 days and nights, and then went to Mount Horeb.  There an angel told him to wait for God to pass by.  There was a great rock-splitting wind, but Elijah did not find God in the wind.  There was an earthquake, there was fire.  God was not in them.  Then there was sheer silence.  That is where Elijah heard God’s voice.  The voice told him what he was to do next.

I think that there are times when we each get depressed about where the turn of events has taken us.  We can’t seem to find God in the present.  We become direction-less.  We view the past with nostalgia, and the future with fear, and the present is filled with indecision and a feeling of exhaustion from the whirlwind-like lives we have been living.  We have sought God in all the BIG things, the stressful, stringently power-focused, mighty acts in which we think we will find God.  In the gala events of the church.  In the mighty blow-out pipe organ or in frenzied worship.  In the busy-ness of church life, as if in the doing and doing, the whirlwind, we will find ourselves faithful.

Maybe, just maybe… if we stop focusing on noise and hustle-bustle, and instead stand on the mountain in the midst of sheer silence, we will hear the voice of God telling us where to go, and what to say, and how to do what God calls us to.

Just a suggestion.  What do you think?

Faithfully,   Pastor Karla