Area Volunteers Help With Rebuilding Efforts in Okanogan County...

Six members of Skagit area United Methodist churches have recently returned from Okanogan County where they participated in a Volunteer In Mission Team effort to help rebuild homes and other structures destroyed in the wild fires of 2014 and 2015. Members of the Volunteer In Mission Team preparing to leave for Okanogan County. L-R: Dan Symonds, Vivian Winters, Jan Kallshian, Dan Gerhard, Marcella Baker and Carol Hegg. In July 2014, Washington’s worst fire in history – the Carlton Complex – devastated 312 homes in Okanogan County. Then in 2015, the Okanogan Complex fire burned additional hundreds of acres and destroyed more homes. The Pacific Northwest Annual Conference of The United Methodist Church has been an active partner with the Okanogan County Long Term Recovery Group, other denominations and non-profit groups in rebuilding homes for persons who can’t afford to rebuild on their own so that they can put their lives back together. In May 2016, Central UMC in Sedro-Woolley sent a Volunteer in Missions Team to Okanogan County to assist with the rebuilding of these homes. Additional Team members came from Mt. Vernon First UMC and Lynden UMC. Team members helped to rebuild two different homes, one in partnership with a team from a Presbyterian church in the Mill Creek area. In September 2017 another Team was sent from Central UMC, Mt. Vernon First UMC, and La Conner UMC. Working to rebuild three different homes, they were privileged to get acquainted with some wonderful people who hadn’t let the wildfires dampen their spirits and their hope for the future. The Volunteer In Mission Team worked on this home in 2017.  It is now nearing completion and will be dedicated in late June 2018 This year the Volunteer in Missions Team was assisted by a group of AmeriCorps volunteers. Together they built a large storage shed for a family in the Pateros area who had lost their home to the fires of 2014. In the process of teaching construction skills to these AmeriCorps volunteers, the Volunteer In Missions Team also built bonds of friendship these young adults. AmeriCorps volunteers working with the Volunteer In Missions Team to build a storage building for a family in Pateros, WA A third Team, with members from Central UMC, Bay View UMC, and La Conner UMC, spent the week of May 28 to June 2 continuing this ministry in Okanogan County. Among the Volunteer In Missions Team were Pastor Marcella Baker and layperson Vivian Winters of the La Conner United Methodist Church. For the second year they were responsible for preparing meals for the other members of the Team. Their wonderful meals and lively conversations rejuvenated the other Team members after a hard day’s work at the construction site. Pastor Marcella Baker and Vivian Winters “cater” lunch to the Volunteer In Mission Team and the AmeriCorps volunteers. Other members of this year’s Team included Dan Gerhard (Team coordinator), Jan Kallshian (construction leader), and Dan Symonds from Central United Methodist Church, and Carol Hegg from Bay View United Methodist Church. Gerhard comments, “The Team expends a great amount of energy on these projects but seem to receive so much back in the satisfaction of the work and the expressions of appreciation from the folks in Okanogan County with whom and for whom we work.  It has become a wonderful way to express our Christian faith in tangible ways that make a real difference in peoples’ lives.”  The Okanogan County Long Term Recovery Group, which was...

We Say Farewell to Pastor Cody

Pastor Cody Natland has served our congregation for about three years. He and his family are moving to Spokane to serve the Moran United Methodist Church, beginning July 1st. We will miss not only him, but his beautiful family—his wife Crystal, and sons Charlie and Cedar. It’s difficult to lose a pastor. We have shared many memories, joys, celebrations, losses, and challenges together.  We have had the joy of welcoming new people into our midst, and we have faced the pain of losing people we deeply love.  After sharing so much life and time together, it is difficult to say goodbye. We so enjoyed watching Charlie (right) grow up from a toddler to a “school boy”, and welcoming the birth of Cedar about a year or so ago. Of course, we had a potluck, and a few gifts — especially a few for his new office. We appreciate so many of Cody’s enthusiasms:  knowledge of the Bible and theology; talented leadership of small groups including Tuesday Conversations, Pub Theology, and the “Woolley Market Series” of videos and discussion; work with youth; children’s sermons; and not least (!) his time management skills as he served two congregations. We thank Cody for his brief time with us, and wish him and his family God’s blessing as they make a new life in a new community. We will miss...

Mission Opportunity! Help Rebuild Okanogan May 28-June 2, 2018...

The Mission and Social Justice Team at Central UMC, Sedro-Woolley, is again organizing a Volunteer in Mission Team. The team will spend a week working on the Okanogan County Long Term Recovery efforts from May 28-June 2, 2018. On July 14, 2014, the Carlton Complex Fire began and merged into one massive fire that spread rapidly through the Methow Valley in North Central Washington. It consumed more than 256,108 acres and destroyed more than 350 homes. And in 2015, wildfires again swept through this area, bringing additional devastation. The goal of the Okanogan County Long Term Recovery efforts is to help rebuild home destroyed by these fires. This is a multi-year effort supported by several denominations and other groups. UMCOR, the United Methodist Committee on Relief, has been a major donor to the effort, and UMVIM, the United Methodist Volunteers in Mission is helping provide volunteers for the rebuilding of these homes. We, of the Sedro-Woolley United Methodist Church, will be sending its third UMVIM Team to Okanogan County to help. Would YOU like to be part of this team? It’s hard work, fun, an adventure, a life-long learning experience! Contact Dan Gerhard, leader of our team, at revdanger@live.com (or call our church office at 360-856-6412) to learn more about how you can participate....

Giving Tree–HUGE Thanks!

Oh, shoot (!)—we didn’t get a pic!!! BUT, a huge thank-you to all who generously gave for the “Giving Tree” this holiday season! We were able to deliver three overflowing boxes of hats, scarves, gloves, socks, sweat shirts, and blankets. In addition, six $20 gifts bought groceries and gas. HUGE THANKS FROM THE CENTRAL UNITED METHODIST WOMEN!!!

Sharing the Abundant Life!

I came so that they could have life— indeed, so that they could have it in abundance. John 10:10 Part of experiencing abundant life is sharing the abundant life! We are invited to give passionately and joyfully, entrusting our gifts to the stewardship of this congregation—financial gifts, yes, but also our prayers, our presence, our gifts, our service, and our witness. In so doing, we trust in God’s work through us and through our church to share abundant life with all people. Sometimes we kind of lose track of all the goings-on of our congregation! It’s good to review, recap, and evaluate just how we are using our “resources”—financial and otherwise! Here’s a summary… *Worship Services on Sunday mornings and special occasions, bringing members, friends, and guests of Central UMC together to celebrate God’s presence and activity in our lives. *Discipleship Programs for All Ages. We have active adult study groups on Sundays and Tuesdays, and a Pub Theology Group on Wednesdays. We have a vital Children’s Sunday School program and we participate in the Skagit Valley Cooperative United Methodist Youth Group. We also provide intergenerational programming, such as our All Comers Christmas Pageant and Game Nights. *Open Doors Community Kitchen. Each month area churches and other groups come to CUMC to serve meals to needy families.  More than 125 meals are served in Fellowship Hall or delivered to shut-ins each month. In 2018, we will be working to connect more closely and fully with the work of Community Kitchen. *Volunteers In Mission Team. For the second year in a row, Central UMC sponsored a team of volunteers from three United Methodist congregations in our circuit who went over to the Okanogan area to rebuild homes that were destroyed in the 2014 and 2015 wildfires. Plans are already in the works for another team to go over in May of 2018. *Scouting Program. CUMC has been the charter organization for Boy Scout and Cub Pack 4067 since 1948! Many church members have served as leaders and other support roles. *A New Reconciling Ministries Team.  Just formed this Fall, this team will lead our congregation in doing more to support the LGBTQ community within and beyond our congregation, and work for full inclusion in our congregation and community.  We recently walked in the Loggerrodeo Parade, hosted a training by Skagit PFLAG, and we will host a Transgender Day Of Remembrance Service on November 20th. *Community Outreach.  Through various church committees and organizations such as the United Methodist Women, help is provided to a variety of important community organizations.  Skagit PFLAG, Oasis Teen Shelter, Friendship House, Family Promise, and the Helping Hands Food Bank are some of the recipients of our congregation’s work and generosity. *Special Family Support at Christmas.  Each year several families are adopted and supported by providing clothes, food and other Christmas gifts. *School Supplies. We help to supply backpacks, paper, pencils and other school supplies to children in the Sedro-Woolley School District that are connected with the McKinney-Vento Program that helps children who are experiencing homelessness. *Building and Grounds.  Most of these things would be difficult, if not impossible, without our beautiful building, which is faithfully maintained by our Trustees.  Major projects this year include the purchase of a new dishwasher, the removal of dangerous trees, painting of the Rummage Rooms, updating our thermostats, and purchasing new furnaces. This list doesn’t include all of the other special projects that we participate in and the numerous other groups...

Great News for Children, Families, Grandparents!...

Greetings! We have great news for all of the children, families, and grandparents in our midst! On Sunday, September 10th we will kick off the start of the children’s Sunday School year at Central UMC  Following the children’s moment during worship, children are invited to come down the hall to room “G” for a story, some singing and other fun activities.  A light snack will also be provided.  Our theme for September is  “We all belong to the family of God!”  We look forward to seeing you, and we encourage you to invite a friend, neighbor, grandchild, or cousin to come along,...