STP – Seattle to Portland Bikers!

The church is excited about providing lodging for STP riders again in the summer of 2020.  They will be housed in the basement of the main church building and fed in Boadway Hall, with snacks near the sleeping area.

If you would like to be a volunteer for greeting, food preparation, overnight host/ess, etc., please contact Jean Long.

If you are an STP Rider looking for accommodations, we will welcome you, and BELOW are the links to information you may be looking to download.

QUESTIONS?  NEED MORE HELP?  If you are someone who has already signed up with us and need to change something on your registration, or for MORE INFORMATION, you may call Jean Long at 360-388-1851 or email her at

God is with us!

                                                                                    Christmas, 2019

Dear ones:

At choir practice recently, we shared prayer requests as we always do.  And the one that stood out before we prayed was for a friend who had a recent loss of a loved one, making Christmas an especially sad time, when the world wants it to be all about joy and excitement, parties and the rush of laughter, not the sadness of loss, the pain of remembering.

It occurs to me, that every Christmas is a bit like that for ALL of us.  Christmases past are lost to us, except for the memories.  We’ve all lost a loved one, or perhaps just a sense of the joy that surrounded us when we were children.  The anticipation we are supposed to feel during Advent, is often the anticipation of getting it over with.  Memories, good and bad, flood us with both happiness and regret, joy and sorrow.  We miss those who may have made the day for us with their genuine goodness and love, and those whose craziness and frustrating characteristics made us anticipate the family gathering, and brought us something to remember and talk about afterward!   We get bogged down with trying to make a day for our loved ones that is memorable, without tears, with perfect food, perfect decorations, perfect entertainment…  that we miss the meaning of the day.  The “perfect” child of God has come to us! 

            When a new baby comes to us, a child, grandchild, loved one, or even a pet… the appearance of that small creature sent by God thrills our hearts, and makes us as spontaneously happy as they seem to be.

            I read something recently that I had written in my journal about a new kitten that had come to us a few months before Christmas.  (We still have her, but she’s much older, now.)  The reaction to her antics, especially around the Christmas tree – batting at ornaments and stealing them to leave in her food bowl or swatting them around the house, climbing the tree, sitting in the branches and pouncing on people and our other cat as they walked by –  antics which were both annoying and frustrating, and delightfully entertaining, bringing both joy and frustration to our lives. 

            All the pictures that we have of our children and grandchildren were taken to remind us of their special qualities to both delight and infuriate us when they were young.  Reminders of the pure joy and love of life itself that comes from ANY new and growing creature.   They have interjected themselves into our lives and we have grown to love them – in both sorrow and joy.

As the baby Christ interjects himself once again into our lives this year at Christmas, may we fall in love with him again.  May we learn to love his ways as we get to know him.  May we find laughter and joy-filled moments, may we grow with him in both frustration and delight.  And with moments of comfort and quiet. 

In our joys and sorrows of this season, let us remember that in all, the child is with us, Emmanuel has come.  GOD is with us.  We are not alone. 

In this world full of fighting and strife, and sorrow, may we practice peace and bring comfort.  Peace on Earth.  Joy in our gathering.  Love and comfort in our homes.  For God is with us.

                                                                         In Christmas peace,

                                                                         Pastor Karla Fredericksen

Advent is here!

Nearly every major culture and religion in the northern hemisphere has some sort of celebration of light this time of the year, as the solstice comes with the longest night of the year, and finally the natural light begins its slow ascension to win back the daylight.

Christianity celebrates this time as Advent, a period of deepening darkness, and also of great hope and expectancy.  The hard challenge for us every year is the patience to wait.  To remain open and receptive, we need to allow ourselves a time of darkness and emptiness. 

There is so VERY much around us trying to fill us and our time with distraction – wish-lists, gatherings of family and friends, gifts, shopping, bright lights, busy-ness…. When what we really need is time to meditate, pray, do good deeds, and gather around the wreath in quiet anticipation of what God has to bring to us.

This time of the year gives us many opportunities to practice patience.  The words of these days are “watch” and “wait.”  There’s an old saying, “Never ask for patience, unless you want plenty of opportunity to practice it!”  Though it sounds like a passive thing – waiting, watching, patience… Patience is actually an active thing.  It is leaning into whatever life presents you and learning to be fully present with it.  Not about having a preconceived notion of the right action, it is waiting until the right action becomes obvious.  

Waiting should be done with purposeful intention and mindfulness.  It is about stilling the mind, letting go of thoughts or emotions as they arise, tuning into the present moment.  Try moments where you meditate, focusing on your breathing, or relaxing muscles in your body, or focusing on the taste of food, bringing your attention back to what is happening around you at the moment.  Any kind of meditative practice is about letting go of the random thoughts that arise – or anything that will distract you from the present and what God is trying to say to you.

The quiet and watchful ways of celebrating the season’s blessings are being supported by your church in the following opportunities:

  • Each Sunday in Advent:  Lighting the advent wreath, sharing moments of grace in carol and song.
  • December 1 – “Deck the Halls Service” – where we seek understanding of the symbolism of the season, listening to good music, enjoying beauty, with a first sampling of the carols of the season.
  • December 8 – Advent Communion Sunday, Come Lord Jesus, watch, wait, pray, commune with the people of God…
  • December 22 – A “Spontaneous Pageant,” 11:00 am worship – for all the church, meaning that everyone can be in costume, and quietly gather at the manger.  (Come a few minutes early to choose a costume!)
  • December 24 – Christmas Eve Candlelight, 7:30 pm, Bell choir and vocal choir bring beautiful music, candlelighting and silent night…
  • December 29 – Wesleyan Covenant Service, 11:00 – This service is about renewing for another year our covenant to be the humble “good news’ people of God.

Enjoy the moments that bring the most meaning to our season of light, Advent.  Watch, wait, be patient, be mindful of the blessings that surround you.

Come, our Savior, Jesus the Christ!

                                                                        – Pastor Karla


Sunday Schedule

  • The Regular Sunday Schedule:

         9:30 AM – Faithlink Class (Adults) – child care for up to 8 yr.

11:00 AM – WORSHIP  and KID ZONE (ages 5-12) 

  • Child care is provided during worship for up to 5 years old – in addition to Kid Zone
  • Following worship every Sunday:   Everyone is welcome to stay for snacks and beverages in Boadway Hall.  This is get-acquainted time.  Occasionally there is a special coffee hour with a meal to celebrate an event, and all who attend worship are invited to be a part of it, too!


We will welcome Seattle-to-Portland Bikers as Lodgers at the church building again this year, on July 18. FOR MORE INFORMATION CLICK on the PICTURE.

Small Group/Fellowship Opportunities:

  • Sunday mornings following Worship there is always some kind of foods, beverages and fellowship. Fall through Spring, the Second Sunday there is often a fellowship LUNCH or Potluck.
  • Monday Grief Share Group 5:30 PM (ongoing group, currently 3rd Monday)- Facilitated by Kathy Westergard, this group explores the thoughts, feelings, and struggles of loss and grief.  Please call the church office (360-748-7334) to let us know of your interest, and/or find out about an upcoming new session.
  • 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, every week!  Dutch treat.
  • Thursdays – Restorative Stretch Exercise Group – in the church basement, north end, at 11:30 AM each week.  FREE. 
  • Thursday –  Bible Study & Fellowship, 6:30 PM (Sept – June).  Classes are in session, and continue normally on 2nd and 4th Thursday evenings at the church.     Come for fellowship, and have a snack together, then study a fascinating topic based on Bible and teachings and other resources from the current book study. 
  • 4th Friday – ROMEOs (Rare Odd Men Eating Out) – at the Hometown Diner in Centralia, 11:30 AM.  Just for the fun of men bonding!  Dutch treat.  Contact Ken Kristenson for more info, or just show up!
  • 4th Friday Women’s Luncheon – 4th Fridays at 11:30, at Woodland Village dining room.  Dutch treat ($7).  Just for celebrating birthdays and women getting together!    RSVP with Jeanine Grant.
  • 4th Saturday – Mission/Outreach group serves the Gospel Mission Brunch – A free brunch 9-11 is served every Saturday and Sunday at the GM – Our day to prepare and serve is the 4th Saturday of each month.





The Faithlink class on Sunday mornings is September through May.       9:30 AM on Sundays.  The subject matter is selected from current events and topics of interest.  There is always information on the topic, scriptures to draw from, and a United Methodist specific perspective, with lots of discussion from the group.  All are welcome!

The Kid Zone which begins at the children’s sermon on Sunday mornings is also September through June.  It starts as children leave worship about 11:10 AM (Sunday), after the children’s sermon.  Children leave to the activity zone, and adults continue the worship service with sermon, etc.



 – Note our section 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?

 To get an idea of what you might expect in a “usual” worship service at Chehalis UMC, check out this page:  “Worship: what to expect...”

      • 11:00AM Sunday – Worship time
      • Faithlink Class is a contemporary topics discussion group, relating current events to Bible and church tradition, etc.  Faithlink class is Sunday 9:30 am
      • Childcare is still provided during worship (through age 5) and during adult class times (through age 8).
      • Kid Zone, age 5 -12,  follows the children’s sermon in worship, Fall through Spring.  
      • If you read the scriptures noted below each Sunday, during the week before, you probably have read ahead of time the scripture being used in worship, and can be better prepared. 




KID ZONE, following children’s sermon

Fellowship time with Refreshments – following worship


December 15 – Third Sunday of Advent

          • Isaiah 35:1-10;
          • Luke 1:46b-55;
          • James 5:7-10;
          • Matthew 11:2-10

December 22 – Fourth Sunday of Advent – Pageant Sunday

          • Isaiah 7:10-16;
          • Psalm 80:1-7, 17-19;
          • Romans 1:1-7;
          • Matthew 1:18-25

December 24 – Christmas Eve

        • CANDLE-LIT “SILENT NIGHT” with VOICES IN BRONZE (bell choir)
          • Isaiah 9:2-7; Psalm 96;
          • Titus 2:11-14; Luke 2:1-20
          • OR Isa 52:7-10; Ps 98;
          • Heb. 1:1-12; John 1:1-14

December 29 – Sunday after Christmas – A Wesleyan Covenant Service

          • Isaiah 63:7-9
          • Psalm 148
          • Hebrews 2:10-18
          • Matthew 2:13-23

January 5 – Epiphany Sunday 

        • Isaiah 60:1-6
        • Ephesians 3:1-12
        • Psalm 72: 1-7, 10-14
        • Matthew 2:1-12

January 12 – First Sunday after the Epiphany – Baptism Sunday

        • Isaiah 42:1-9
        • Psalm 29
        • Acts 10:34-43
        • Matthew 3:13-17

January 19 – 2nd Sunday after the Epiphany

        • Isaiah 49:1-7
        • Psalm 40:1-11
        • I Corinthians 1:1-9
        • John 1:29-42

More to come…

February 2 – Communion Sunday

Feb 23 – Transfiguration Sunday

February 26 – ASH WEDNESDAY (7 PM Imposition of Ashes) – Lent Begins

March 1 – First Sunday of Lent




In the Shadow

Published in the June 2019 Friendly Caller:  Here is a repeat of an article I wrote almost 4 years ago for the friendly caller.  I think the images are pertinent in all times:

God  watches over you – God is your shade at your right hand.     

– Psalm 121:5

There are times in our lives when God seems vividly “with” us.  We feel a spiritual presence, connection and guidance, and there is no mistake that God exists and cares for us.  And then there are the other times when we wonder IF God is there at all.

God is very much like the shade created by a sunlit day.  At times during the day we feel very connected to God’s presence. It is very vivid and there is no mistaking it, like the long shadow cast in the early morning or late afternoon sun.  At those times we are very much aware and can recognize the work of God in our lives, and the influence of the Holy Spirit. 

It is in the middle of our everyday lives, with life’s living and trials, that we can start feeling abandoned – for God’s “shade” in our lives is so short as to hardly be noticeable, like at noon-time.  At these times, God’s work in our lives does not seem quite so certain, so evident, so obvious, and we may even have to search for it!  We may even come to clearly doubt that God even exists, just like on the days that our shadow does not seem to be present at all on the darkest of days.

And yet, at ALL times God IS with us.  God is inexorably “attached” to us like the shadow that follows us everywhere, even when we cannot recognize or detect its presence on the dark days.  Whenever there is light, when we move, our shadow moves.  When we stop, our “shade at our right hand” stops.  We can depend on the fact that God is there, as surely as shadow is there whenever light of any sort is present.  When the sun has gone down, even then, we are enveloped in the shadow created by the earth itself shading the sun from us.

One of the affirmations at the back of our United Methodist Hymnal (#883) ends with the phrase:

“In life, in death, in life beyond death, God is with us. We are not alone, thanks be to God!”

This is the hope with which we live on a day to day basis.  The hope that God does not abandon us.  That God did not just set the planets to spinning, but is involved with us all on a day to day basis.  That our actions matter, and not only does God influence our lives, but our lives influence God.  Like the shadow that is moving with us, and is inextricably connected to our own movements, we are moving for and with God.  The hope with which we live is that God walks with us, and that it really does matter to God what constitutes our daily living.  We are not alone!  Thanks be to God!

“Under the shadow of thy wing, oh may we dwell secure Sufficient is thine arm alone, and thy defense is sure.” (Isaac Watts, 1719)

In the love of God – Pastor Karla 

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 usual 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…


“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