Enotes Calendar April 23 to May

Calendar updates for this week and beyond:

Friday, April 25th at 7:00pm Don’t miss out on the Liberty School Musical Production of Pirates of Penzance. It’s wonderful and a great way to support our youth and families!  PDF poster here.

Saturday April 25th is a big day for our church:

Saturday morning, April 25th, we say farewell to a longtime and beloved member, Haroldene Dickerson. The committal prayers will be graveside at Fern Prairie Cemetery at 10:00am.  We will then gather at the church at 11:00am for a Celebration of Life service. After the service there will be coffee and cookies in the downstairs fellowship hall. More information here.

Saturday afternoon, April 25th, at 3:00pm we are hosting a Spring Benefit concert with world class music–piano and violin.  Read more about the concert here.

Sunday, April 26th, we rest up from our Saturday! But first, there is Sunday worship at 10:00am.

Tuesday, April 28th, Messy Church! For April’s Messy Church we Untitled-1SMwant to invite people to explore the gifts of our senses, not just sight but sound and taste and smell and touch. What is it like to move around without the sense of sight? What does it mean to see by the light of God? Learn more about Messy Church!

How much do our families love Messy Church? Check out this video. One of our young attendees (age 6) drew this ‘ thank you’ in chalk in the driveway of his grandparent’s house. It says “thank you for taking me to Messy Church!”

Coming in May:

Saturday, May 2nd, will be our Spring Rummage, Plant, and Bake Sale. Clear out for Spring and bring your rummage! Large items can be brought to the church April 30 and May 1st.

Saturday, May 16th, the Camas-Washougal Community Orchestra will have their Spring Concert. Don’t miss the music! The concert is free to all.

Sunday, May 17. Following church this Sunday we will have a special presentation on Administrative Structures for the Admin Team. All church members are welcome to attend! Stephan Ross will be our guest.

Other Items:

Camperships: This is the last Sunday of our campership drive. Those who have been to camp know how important the camp experience is to strong and transformational faith formation. Camp enriches our hearts and lives, its as simple as that. Help us send our kids to camp, and help contribute to the making of a better world.



Remembering Haroldene Dickerson

We will be remembering our longtime member Haroldene Dickerson with a graveside and Celebration of Life service Saturday, April 25th.

We will first gather at 10:00am at the Fern Prairie Cemetery on NE Robinson Road for a short service of prayer. Following this, we will gather at 11:00am for a Perfect Rose by John Morgan 2009 Flickr CC BY 2 smCelebration of Life Service at the Camas United Methodist Church in the main sanctuary.  After the service, we will be serving coffee and cookies in the downstairs Fellowship Hall at the church.

Regarding the committal at Fern Prairie Cemetery:  Haroldene’s resting spot is a special kind of burial plot that allows for the planting of flowers over the site. As such this offers a special opportunity for remembrance. We are inviting people to bring living flowers in plantable pots, for we will be blessing them and planting them right there. If you would like to bring a plant or flower ready for planting, please do so. The family would prefer living plants to cut flowers. Haroldene’s favorite flowers were yellow roses.

Read Haroldene’s obituary online on the Straub’s Funeral Home website.

Image credit: Perfect Rose by John Morgan 2009 Flickr CC BY 2.0

Messy Church April 2015

Our April Messy Church focuses on one of the healing stories from the bible, the story of a man named Bartimaeus who was blind. In the story, Bartimaeus discovers that Jesus near the city of Jericho and dares to call out to him and ask to be healed.

Learn more about Messy Church.

This month’s story features a man who is blind, but it is really a story about broken hearts. Sometimes when we suffer from a broken heart, it is really hard to ‘see’ God. Jesus at this time was gaining a reputation as a great holy man and teacher. When Bartimaeus calls out to him, Jesus responds by healing him.  By this healing, Jesus demonstrates the power of faith to heal a broken heart.

For April’s Messy Church we want to invite people to explore the gifts of our senses, not just sight but sound and taste and smell and touch. What is it like to move around without the sense of sight? What does it mean to see by the light of God?

Activities for this Messy Church include:

  • Chocolate pudding painting
  • Exploring the senses by smell and touch
  • Heart mural and prayers
  • New life and new growth–planting seeds and starters for flowers and veggies.
  • Decorating Sunglasses

For dinner we will share chicken noodle soup, salad, cheese, crackers, and veggies. Dessert is carrot cake!

Summer Drama Camp

Preparations for this year’s Summer Musical Drama Camp are under way! Dates for this year are August 8-12th.

DSP_7395Drama Camp this year will feature storytelling, song, dance, and on Friday, August 12th at noon we will put on a show!

The drama program welcomes preschoolers (must be potty trained) through fifth graders (going into sixth). Older children can sign up to be camp leaders. Cost is $10.00 per child, $20.00 per family.  Register Online!

Or register at the door (max 50 campers), or by email camasumc@comcast.net or call the office 360 834 2976

camp garner

Help us prepare for Drama Camp! We need to upgrade our stage facilities while keeping our camp affordable for all families. Please consider supporting our efforts with a donation to the camp (see our edonation page).

Ours is a community of joyful celebration. We look always toward the truth that God is loving and deeply, deeply Good.



Benefit Concert: Grazioso Duo

Two world class musicians—one Spring Concert.


Join us on Saturday, April 25th at 3:00pm for an afternoon of beautiful classical music at the Camas United Methodist Church, 706 NE 14th Ave, Camas, WA 98607.

Proceeds from this special benefit concert will go toward the children’s Summer Musical Drama Camp.

Download an event flyer PDF, either in a full sheet or half sheet size.(share the event on Facebook!)

Hear unparalleled classical music for violin and piano from the masters Debussy, Ravel, Mussorgsky, Gliere, Rimsky-Korsakov, De Falla, and Rachmaninov.


Dr. Tatiana Kolchanova is a member of the Portland Opera Orchestra, a sub with Oregon Ballet and the Oregon Symphony. A graduate of the Moscow Tchaikovsky Conservatory, she was a violinist for the USSR Radio and Television Orchestra and was first violinist for the Glinka State (Russia) Quartet. She is founder and director of Music & Arts Academy, teaches at her studio in Camas, WA, and is the conductor of the Camas-Washougal Community Orchestra.

NildaCurtisCuban born Nilda B. Curtis is a graduate of the Conservatory of Music in Camaguey, Cuba, studied Musicology at the Superior Institute of Arts in Havana, and holds a Bachelor of Arts in Piano Performance from Portland State University. She has performed and taught locally and internationally, and lives in Vancouver, WA, with her husband and three children.

Thank you to Kennedy Violins for their sponsorship!


Camas United Methodist Church is gearing up for its second Summer Musical Drama Camp! This year’s camp will be AGoldvillePictureugust 10th-14th, our play is The Heart of Goldville! Funds raised to benefit the camp will be used to keep the camp affordable to families, and upgrade our drama facilities. We desperately need new audio and lighting equipment for our stage areas.

Image credit: Easter Lily by SETShots 2014 Flickr CC BY-NC 2.0

Summer Camp 2015

Summer Camp!

Summer Camp away from home is a longstanding tradition of American childhood, and camp has been a center of the Christian Methodist tradition for just as long!  Fresh air and good friendships get us out of the house, and into a fresh perspective on our material and spiritual lives.

There are a few summer camps nearish to Camas-Washougal.  Check out the links below to find out when Elementary, Middle Schooler, and High School camps are scheduled, as well as family camps and more.

Camp Magruder at Rockaway Beach, Oregon (2 hour drive). For camp dates, see the Magruder Camp Calendar.

Camp at Suttle Lake at Sisters, Oregon (2 hour 45 minute drive). Suttle Lake camps are listed on this over-all calendar.

Ocean Shores Camp and Retreat, Ocean Shores, Washington (2 hour 30 minute drive.) See the Ocean Shores summer offerings.

Lazy F Camp in Ellensburg, Washington (3 hour 45 minute drive). See the Lazy F summer calendar.

Twinlow Camp in Rathdrum, Idaho. (5 hour 43 minute drive). See the Twinlow summer calendar.

General information about Camps in Washington and Idaho (pdf).

General information about Camps in Oregon and Idaho.


The Dead Stick Truth of Resurrection

Last month I shared the story in worship of St. John of Egypt, a saint in the Christian Coptic tradition who lived during the time of the wars between the East and Western Roman Empires. He was a renowned holy man and his story includes an odd detail.


Apparently, when he was young in faith, his spiritual teacher asked him to water a dead stick every day as if it were alive. This he apparently did with all obedience for at least a year. The stories are fragmented. Some tell us he watered a dead tree rather than a stick, other stories do not mention a stick or tree at all, and still others say that this tree he tended eventually grew and flourished.

When I first heard this story I had very little patience for it. It seemed to be a stupid, pointless waste of time and, as someone recently pointed out, what a waste of good water in the desert. The story, however, has grown on me. I have found it crops up over and over again in my reflective life.

One such time was the year I was first serving as a pastor of a church. I was brand new to ministry and had the blessing of a learning group to help me. Our small band of newbies was nurtured by a very wise longtime pastor who loved and challenged us, drawing us ever patiently farther into the sacrednesses of parish and reflective life.

It was during a meeting of this group that we had a dead-stick conversation I shall never forget. We were preparing for Easter and all of us were in the midst of preparing to bridge the sacred space from holy week to Easter morning. Our teacher usually had some kind of set up at the center of our space from which we could draw elements during our conversation. That day there were sticks and stones at the center, and from that pile I drew a pine stick.

Red Leaf by Jayme Frye 2007 Flickr CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

I can still see the nubby bark and broken edges of the stick I held. We were talking about death and resurrection, and as the conversation warmed I realized that I, like the others in the circle, really held onto the idea that when the man Jesus of Nazareth died on the cross, he didn’t really die, not really, not totally, not dead as in really, really dead. But as I listened to the conversation and held that stick the reality of Jesus’s death really hit me. The blows he endured were real. And the death that came for him was real, as well.

Jesus died on that cross. Jesus really died. It was not a farce, a play, or some divine ruse or misadventure. God did not, does not, and will not play pretend with the forces of life and death. Jesus lived fully and vitally and died just as completely, in every real sense. Jesus came face to face with the most heartless powers of the world, faced brutal, violent suppression, and then he died. Like the stick I was holding, all aliveness in him left.

Jesus died on that cross, every bit of death came to claim him that day. But even fully in the grasp of that claw there were cosmic forces far more powerful at work. The Love that is God is irreconcilable with anything but perfect life—cosmic life, divine life. We humans struggle to find words to describe it but the tighter death closed its fist, the more deeply Love bit into it and the smaller its influence became. In Jesus the Christ the very forces of fear and oppression that had been set loose forced a reaction from the power of good that could not be contained and would not submit.

Jesus died on that cross. Jesus entered fully into death, every ounce of the reality of that cup he drank to the full. Because of this work of God, love was placed fully at the center of the cosmos. Because of this work of God there is no place Good cannot reach and no river in which Love does not flow. Christ is the living being who changed everything. We as a resurrection people are a living celebration of the total restoration, total perfection, and total unmitigated power of God. The risen Christ of Easter is so much more than a miraculous appearance. What we learned that day was that even death must die when faced with God.

I don’t look at sticks the same way anymore. In my gaze there is more wonder than there used to be. In my heart I see what is dead—perhaps it even crumbles in my hands, or crushes underfoot—as death awaiting life. For in death is that space where we await the next big thing that God will do.

Earth in the hands by Arthur S. Rowan Flickr 2013 CC BY-NC 2.0 2

When it comes to the story of St. John, I now appreciate its call to contemplate the powers of God to bring life from lifelessness. It is so very easy to imagine that death isn’t really real, or final, or worth any contemplation at all. Or, perhaps, there is the temptation to take the power of resurrection too much upon ourselves. Armed with our faith, our goodwill, and our energetic productivity, we imagine that it is we ourselves who can raise a dead stick and make it live again. But the truth is that we have no such power. That power belongs exclusively to God. As for us, it is enough that we water the stick with obedient hearts, and watch in faithfulness for resurrection.

Blessings to you!
Pastor Richenda

Image credits:
Red Leaf by Jayme Frye 2007 Flickr CC BY-NC-ND 2.0
Earth in the hands by Arthur S. Rowan Flickr 2013 CC BY-NC 2.0