Reminding Ourselves of our Social Principles...

On Sunday, Jan 15, we heard read this wonderfully appropriate sermon by Martin Luther King, based on Matthew 10:16-23. Read it! You’ll be amazed!! A Tough Mind and a Tender Heart So, our week started with the sermon. Then on Monday we celebrated Martin Luther King Day and his wisdom and leadership during a crucial period in our nation’s history. And then the week closed with the inauguration of a new President… …and culminated with the participation of many of our members in the “Women’s March” in downtown Mount Vernon on Saturday, Jan 21. And then on Sunday we heard a call…what does it really mean to be a disciple of Jesus Christ? What is this adventure to which we are called really about? Where to go? What to DO?? Whew!! What a week!! One thing for sure, as United Methodists, we are called to take a stand for the rights of all women. Women’s rights include immigrants rights, civil rights, worker’s rights, reproductive rights, LGBTQIA rights, disabilities rights, and rights of the aging. These are among the things that our United Methodist Social Principles call on all of us as United Methodists to take a stand for.   So, maybe this is a good time to remind ourselves as to what those Social Principles actually say!! United Methodist Social Principles And, if you’d like to pursue this conversation further, Pastor Cody would love to talk with you…a cup of coffee, a friendly...

Transgender Day of Rembrance – Memorial & Vigil – Nov, 20 at 7pm...

On November 20, 2016, the community is invited to join in the Transgender Day of Remembrance Memorial  Vigil Service at Central United Methodist Church at 1013 Polte Road in Sedro-Woolley, WA. This event will be from 7:00 to 8:00 PM with refreshments provided by PFLAG Skagit to follow. The program will include poetry, speakers, a piano presentation by a young musician from New York City and remembrance candle lighting. This day memorializes those who have lost their lives and invites understanding and compassion.  This is a family event, and all are welcome. For more information call CUMC: 360-856-6412 or contact PastorNatland@gmail.com....

Requiem for a Gingko Tree: A Tiny Story of How A Leaf Can Touch A Life...

A TINY STORY OF HOW A LEAF CAN TOUCH A LIFE by Pam Verner, CUMC member and keyboardist As a young teacher, I loved learning my craft by listening to the wisdom of the older teachers. Their intriguing project stories often seemed to stick with me for use with future classrooms where they might enliven the lessons for my students. I often looked for things that might bring history to life!  A very revered kindergarten teacher named Georgia Stewart, used to so look forward to autumn so that she could collect the leaves from the gingko tree at her church for a project she did annually with her 5 year olds, studying pioneers–probably Pilgrims—if it happened to be November.  When I heard the word “gingko”, my ears perked up because I thought I knew from my own science classes that the gingko tree was extinct and she must be mistaken. “No,” Mrs. Stewart explained. Someone a long time ago had planted an actual gingko tree at her church and the church had kept it alive for years, preserving for future generations.  “The tree is NOT extinct…it lives at Central United Methodist Church!” Its bright yellow color every autumn was a symbol of hope and promise to the little Sedro-Woolley congregation.  I never forgot that story of the little church that loved what we thought was an extinct tree back to life. And when I chose a new church to attend in my new home town of Sedro-Woolley, I remembered Georgia Stewart’s story of making “tiny pioneer ladies in sunbonnets” from its leaves, with her kindergartners every year. I went looking for Georgia’s church.  And sure enough, the tree was still there.  Almost perceptively inviting me in. Sadly, our huge gingko tree at the front of the church was mortally wounded in a recent storm and had to be removed after so many years.  But, in true CUMC fashion, someone decided “No, this can’t be”, and immediately, before we knew it, a brand-new gingko tree has been planted and will no doubt thrive, and we’ll continue to be inspired by this simple tree. DID YOU KNOW?? Per Wikipedia, the Ginkgo biloba, known as ginkgo or gingko, also known as the ginkgo tree or the maidenhair tree, is the only living species in the division Ginkgophyta, all others being extinct. It is found in fossils dating back 270 million years. Native to China, the tree is widely cultivated and was introduced early to human history. It has various uses in traditional medicine and as a source of food. The genus name Ginkgo is regarded as a misspelling of the Japanese gin kyo, “silver apricot”.  Per Professor Roger Cohen of Yale University, the gingko tree is the OLDEST tree on earth and is revered for its beauty and longevity. The ginkgo is a living fossil, unchanged for more than 200 million years. So, yes, ok…we get it… … maybe we did get a little carried away over all this tree stuff! But, we were having “creation time” in our liturgical year when the storm hit. Pastor Cody had been reminding us of the sheer wonder of the earth—God’s creation— which nurtures us, sustains us, sometimes scares us, and for which we hold such responsibility. And, we had been singing hymns like For the Beauty of the Earth and I am Your Mother, Do Not Neglect Me… So you’ll just have to understand!   At our Central UMC we have a history of maintaining a lovely campus. We...

Hi Parents/Grandparents: Looking for a Good Storybook Bible?...

Hi Parents, Grandparents (uncles…aunties…) of young kids, We’ve made a great discovery—a beautiful children’s Bible that highlights God’s desire that all people love each other, and find peace and forgiveness in their hearts! The Children of God Storybook Bible features 50 Bible stories retold by South Africa’s Bishop Desmond Tutu. He has wonderfully created a “global Bible” for children. And, illustrators from around the world beautifully portray these stories in art. Many children’s Bibles kind of focus on the more scary stories and seem to sort of miss the heart of the Christian message! This one focuses on wisdom, compassion, humor, and each story ends with a prayer. To quote Bishop Tutu: “In the spirit of celebrating children all over the world, each illustrator in this book has been invited to draw on their own unique and rich cultural heritage in their portrayal of these Biblical stories. Their art is truly a marvelous reflection of how we are all made in God’s image.” –(Archbishop) Desmond Tutu Don’t take our word for it! Read this review from the “Goodreads” website: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/8571920-children-of-god-storybook-bible NOTE: We found it on Cokesbury.com and Amazon.com for less than $15. 🙂 What better Christmas...

Loggerodeo Parade

Central United Methodist Church is a Reconciling Congregation “Central United Methodist Church is committed to creating a community of grace where you feel completely welcome-—regardless of age, status or economic condition, race, color, sexual orientation, or mental abilities-—in your spiritual journey. We commit ourselves to full inclusion of all persons in worship and in its ministry, working to create a church without barriers. We find all people to be of sacred worth and welcome everyone who comes here seeking the love of God. Following the example of Jesus, we will know no circles of exclusion, and work to become a witness of love and peace for all.” 2016 Loggerodeo Parade As an expression of our commitment of support to the LGBT community, Central UMC partnered with Skagit PFLAG, several other churches and organizations to march in the 2016 Loggerodeo Parade in Sedro-Woolley on the Fourth of July. This was the first time that Skagit PFLAG and its partners – about 70 persons in all – have participated in the Loggerodeo Parade. It was a very diverse group, and was well received with supportive applause along several sections of the parade route through town.   (Be sure to check out all the pictures in the photo gallery below!) Some comments from participants: “Kathy Reim (PFLAG coordinator) gave us just the right words to keep in our minds as we proceeded: ‘Say Thank You to the crowd, Thank You to Sedro Woolley, and to have fun.’  We did and it was a transcendent experience.” – Becky Fletcher “Walking in the parade was for me a very life affirming experience.  I felt like we were part of a historic moment that hopefully will help people view the GBLTQ community, their friends and families in a positive, non- threatening light.  As we walked along and were greeted by cheers and smiles, I was so encouraged in my faith.  Sometimes, especially of late, with so much hate and violence in our world I feel so helpless and it’s hard to stay positive.  Walking in solidarity with PFLAG and representing our Reconciling Congregation revived my spirits.”  – Gail Huggins  Staging before the parade begins. Most of the group before the parade begins Members of Central UMC prepare to march: Judy Kruger, Sally Lund, Molly Gerhard, Gail Huggins, Maisie Hill, Valerie Hill, Pastor Cody Natland, Dan Gerhard and Becky Fletcher. Not shown: Maryanne Ward, Rochelle Hill, and George Lockwood The Hill Family Racing Hydroplane, which was decorated and served as our parade float! Sharing love and joy with the Sedro-Woolley community Rochelle Hill stands by her hydroplane, Miss Galaxy, which was featured in the PFLAG parade entry. Pastor Cody Natland takes a selfie with our church banner before the parade begins Just about ready to get started! And we’re off! Sharing love and joy with the Sedro-Woolley community Rochelle and her daughter riding on the parade float Sharing love and joy with the Sedro-Woolley community Gail and Dan carry our “All Are Welcome” banner down Ferry...

Walk With Me

We love our closing song, which captures the love we feel for each other, for all human beings, and for our world… Walk with me, I will walk with you And build the land that God has planned Where love shines through. And when you share our faith with me And work for life made new The witness of your faithfulness Calls me to walk with you. Walk with me, I will walk with you And build the land that God has planned Where love shines through....