Notes from Pastor Sue

Notes from Pastor Sue

Something New at mill plain

Something new took its place at Mill Plain United Methodist Church recently.  We hung Reconciling Ministry banners on our bell tower.  They include the Reconciling Ministry logo and the words, “You are welcome here.”  You can see them driving east or west on Mill Plain Boulevard.  We hope they say to everyone that indeed, they are welcome here.  We hope that especially they communicate our welcome to people of all gender identities, gender expressions, and sexual orientations.                 As we…

PEACE

I was in 7th grade when my parents gave me permission to leave school early to attend a protest against the Vietnam War.  For several days prior to that, some friends and I had gathered to make arm bands that said, “Peace.”             I was an early teen with little understanding of world events or military strategy.  At that age, many people see the world rigidly, with little room for nuances and the complication of multiple perspectives.  All I knew…

The Truth

In another community, my husband and I attended the installation service for a pastor of a neighboring church.  The church was of another denomination so I was interested to see how the service would go.  The sanctuary was full, both of   the parishioners of that church as well as people from the community like me.  When we went in an usher handed us a  program and we read through it prior to the service beginning.                 We nudged each other…

An Unfamiliar Face

Christmas Eve I noticed an unfamiliar face at one of our services.  It was a man, wearing a knitted cap, sitting by himself.  Between the face mask and his hat I could not tell his age, just that I didn’t recognize him.  That in itself was a joy: a new person had found our church.                 After the service I greeted him and welcomed him to our church.  He said he had noticed we were open and came in looking…

WE OFFICIALLY BECAME A RECONCILING CHURCH

Mill Plain United Methodist Church took a momentous step December 2, 2021.  By action of our Charge Conference and after a congregation-wide ballot that was 91% in favor, we officially became a Reconciling Church.  That means we openly welcome and affirm people of all gender expressions, gender identities, and sexual orientations.  This vote was the culmination of work that began in 2019. When the pandemic hit, we put that work on the back burner for a while, morphed into work…

3rd Grade Bible presentation

Last Sunday we gave Bibles to Third Graders.  This is a long-standing tradition in United Methodist Churches.  The exact age varies a little bit, but somewhere around that time, we give children their own Bibles, figuring that by the age of 9 or 10, most children have become good enough readers that they can read the Bible for themselves.  Often adults tell me they still have their Third Grade (or whatever year) Bible.                 The practice varies a bit in…

Serving the Lord During the Pandemic, Part 2

SERVING THE LORD DURING THE PANDEMIC, PART 2 Stewardship Campaign Kickoff – Serving the Lord During the Pandemic, Part 2 Last year we thought by this time we’d be post-pandemic. Throughout the ups and downs, Mill Plain UMC has remained steadfast. And there is much to be grateful for–-worship is now in person as well as online. Preschool numbers are increasing, and Sunday School, youth group and Bible study nurture our faith. Mission efforts have continued—we opened a cooling center on…

Preschool playground workday.

Blog Post September 2021 It was a great morning. We had eighteen cubic yards of bark chips delivered to freshen up the playground. At least ten volunteers from the church showed up to help, along with all the preschool teachers and some of their children and husbands. The littlest child was Violet, age 2 ½, who came with her plastic shovel and an eagerness to help. We got the job done in about an hour. I was able to divert…

As The World Reopens

Back in May, the reader board outside our church read, “Tired of the mask? Get the vax.”  At that point, the coronavirus vaccine had begun widely available, and Covid numbers in Clark County were at last starting to drop as more and more people got vaccinated.  There were still restrictions on gatherings and the CDC still advised wearing face masks in public, especially for those not vaccinated.                 The good new for us now is that infections are still dropping,…

A Different Direction

Yesterday afternoon I took a walk around our neighborhood, something I do several times a week.  Except that yesterday I walked it in the opposite direction that I usually go.  I passed the same houses, admired the same flowers, covered exactly the same territory that I have walked more times than I can count.  But I did it facing a different direction than I usually walk.      I felt disoriented, off-balance.  It was awkward and confusing.  I was relieved when I…

He Came Without Bubble Wrap

On New Year’s Day Doug and I begin to take down our Christmas decorations.  I leave most of our Nativity sets up through January 6, Epiphany Day, but I did decide to take one down.  It was sitting on my dresser.  Our cats like to jump up on that dresser when they are trying to convince us to get up to feed them early in the morning and I was worried they would knock off the figures.  This is an…