"Through the power of Christ, we are learning to live in simplicity, thankfulness, contentment and
generosity in the Bitterroot Valley of Montana."

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Sunday, November 19, 2017

A beautiful November morning

What a delightful morning we enjoyed at Stevi UMC! 

In our worship the chimes offered praise to God with "Even so, Lord Jesus, Quickly Come." Pastor Charles' sermon, "The words we long to hear," came from Matthew 4:14-30. 
 
Thanks this morning to: Paul Ludington (praise music), Julie Ludington (piano), Tom Bishop (video), Dean Diers (liturgist), Ava & Ollie (acolytes), Cammie Edgar (power point), Sharon Brown & Ed Sperry (greeter/usher), Marilyn Murphy (chimes), Belinda Alkula, Cammie Edgar, Judy Fraser, and Linda Kauffman (fellowship).

Saturday, November 18, 2017

A word from Bishop Oliveto

Praying for the clergy and laity of the Mountain Sky Area as we prepare for worship on Sunday.

I flew to Austin today to speak at a church, and was reminded that it is the weekend before Thanksgiving—lines were long and planes were full!

I find it interesting that Thanksgiving, a secular holiday, is one the least commercialized. Christmas has been turned into a shopping frenzy with more than an inn that has no room for the Christ Child. Easter has become literally sugar-coated, with chocolate bunnies and jelly beans, a far cry from celebrating the resurrection. 

But then there’s Thanksgiving. Let’s face it, marketing turkeys just isn’t very sexy. But its more than that, you can’t manufacture and sell gratitude.

Gratitude is not forced optimism, a denial of real pain and loss, the power of positive thinking, a focus on the good things on life.

It is a posture and a prayer.

Albert Einstein once said, “There are only two ways to live your life. One is as though nothing is a miracle. The other is as though everything is a miracle.”

Thanksgiving invites us to live our lives as if everything is a miracle:
The sky as dusk descends
The birth of a child
The community that comes together when there is a loss
The taste and texture of a perfectly ripened strawberry
People helping people
The abundance that is revealed when we share
The amount of light a single candle gives off in the darkness
The opening of one’s heart to love after it has been broken
A warm bed on a cold night


Thanksgiving invites us to remember the miracles that are waiting to be discovered in each and every day we are given, and to uncurl our fist and open our hearts to accept them with gratitude.

Tomorrow, “Come, ye thankful people, come!” Come to kindle anew your sense of wonder and gratitude for all God’s good gifts in your life.

Blessings,
Bishop Karen

November's UMW Saturday Circle

The Saturday UMW Circle had nine come out on a delightful Saturday morning to share the excitement that comes from engaging in mission!

The group's Four Focus Areas:
Climate Justice:
Recycling program for plastic items continues at the parsonage garage. White office paper and aluminum cans recepticles are at the church.
 
Food Justice: Lisa shared an idea for a "Reverse Advent Calendar" as a way to involve the congregation in stocking the Pantry Partners. Look for an article in the December Glad Tider. 
Maternal / Children: We've been supporting the Back-to school supply efforts and will continue this in January. Several members volunteered to assist with the Clothes Closet's children's shopping day (10am-2pm, Dec. 16). We'll also be talking with the WIC staff on how to support that activity. 
Racial Justice: No discussion.

Giving opportunities: Giving Tuesday is November 28 - Amazon Smile and UMC Marketplace are two places for giving to the church when we shop. 

Everyone was invited to take part in the "Making Merry" activity on December 10th following worship. The children are making plates of treats for our shut-ins and adding a hand-made ornament. More than twenty-five names are on the list already!

Looking ahead: 
Dec. 8 - Friday Circle Christmas party 
Dec. 10 - Making Merry event following worship
Dec. 16 - Saturday Circle, 9:00 am  
Dec. 16 - Clothes Closet Kids Shopping Day, 10am-2pm

Wednesday, November 15, 2017

Thank Offering this coming Sunday

On Sunday (Nov. 19) we'll be receiving the 18th Annual Thank Offering during worship. This year's missions:

World & National: Imagine No Malaria / UMCOR

Montana: Blackfeet UM Parish / Flathead Lake UM Camp / Intermountain / Wesley House @ UM

Local: Habitat for Humanity of Ravalli County / Loaves & Fishes Fund (Stevi UMC) / Clothes Closet / Pantry Partners / SAFE (Supporters of Abuse-free Environment) / Linda Massa Youth Home / Emma's House

Final appeal for the 2017 Advent Devotional

Advent begins Sunday, December 3 and Pastor Charles is looking for people to write a one - three paragraph entry for the 2017 Advent Devotional.

As of today, eight disciples have committed to writing an entry leaving fifteen dates still to be filled. 

The theme this year will be: Incarnation: Where I see God during the time of waiting.

Please contact the church office by November 19 to reserve your space for what again promises to be a unique and valuable devotional resource. 

Copies will be available on this blog, on Facebook and via email.  Paper copies will be available the first Sunday of Advent, December 3.

Monday, November 13, 2017

Scripture lesson for November 19

Westminster Abbey
The church year is nearing its conclusion with just two Sundays remaining. This week we look at Matthew 25:14-30.

This week @ Stevi UMC

Monday:  

7:00 pm, Living Clean

Tuesday: 
6:00 pm, Shepherding

7:00 pm, Choir

Wednesday: 

8:00 am, WIC
10:00 am, Invitation to Romans 

Thursday: 
6:00 pm, Cub Scouts
7:00 pm, Ad Council

Friday: 
10:00 am, Drop-in Bible Study, #12

6:00 pm, Cub Scouts

Saturday:   
8:00 am, UMW Saturday Circle

Sunday:
9:00 am, Gospel Parallels study  
9:15 am, Children's church school
10:15 am, Praise singing                                                   
10:30 am, Worship
11:30 am, Fellowship time
11:45 am, Chime practice