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


Saturday, August 31, 2013

Camp on the Boulder Tabernacle needs you

The Camp on the Boulder's tabernacle (chapel) is looking for some angels to step in and help with some badly needed repairs to the roof.  There are some leaks that need attention to this building that has been a place of worship for more than 60 years!

$20,100 is the goal for this project and $6,000 has already been raised.

Friday, August 30, 2013

Pastor Charles is at Camp!

Pastor Charles made the trek to the Camp on the Boulder (south of Big Timber, Montana) today to attend the Yellowstone Conference Summer Seminar - For the Common Good: Relationship Building for Missional Ministry.  This is a follow-up to the presentations made during Annual Conference in June.

Thursday, August 29, 2013

The blessing of rain

Our community was blessed today with some light rain which washed the mountains and for at least a bit, we're free of the smoke which has hung over the Valley.  Thanks be to God for the gift of rain!

DoD Casualty List for August 22 - 29

Fort Rosecrans National Cemetery - San Diego, CA
The Department of Defense announced this week the death of three soldiers who were supporting Operation Enduring Freedom.

Two soldiers died Aug. 23 in Haft Asiab, Afghanistan, from wounds suffered when enemy forces attacked their unit with an improvised explosive device during combat operations.  Both soldiers were assigned to 2nd Engineer Battalion, 36th Engineer Brigade, White Sands Missile Range, New Mexico.

Killed were:
+Spc. Kenneth Clifford Alvarez, 23, of Santa Maria, California
+Pvt. Jonathon Michael Dean Hostetter, 20, of Humphreys, Missouri.
+1st Lt. Jason Togi, 24, of Pago Pago, American Samoa, died Aug. 26, in Hasan Karez, Afghanistan, of injuries sustained when enemy forces attacked his vehicle with an improvised explosive device.

He was assigned to the 2nd Brigade Special Troops Battalion, 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 1st Cavalry Division, Fort Hood, Texas.

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

50th anniversary of the March on Washington

Dreams and visions: A reflection on the March on Washington by retired Bishop Forest Stith. 

More United Methodist activity connected with the March on Washington anniversary observance.

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

The Choir is off and running

The choir resumed meeting tonight, and the fellowship hall was filled by the sound of music by a wonderful a group of folk!

Monday, August 26, 2013

Scripture lessons for September 1st

Supper at the House of Simon the Pharisee
(Ceramic dish, Metropolitan Museum of Art, NYC)
Jeremiah 2:4-13  Jeremiah addressed a spiritual crisis in Israel in the late 7th century BC.  After a long period of apostasy, the covenanted people had had very little contact with God.  Successful living in a productive new homeland had corrupted them. Worship of false gods had alienated them. Even the priests and the interpreters of the law had little knowledge of how to relate to God. Prophets were more familiar with Baal, the Canaanite fertility god. The rulers had done nothing but transgress. The nation had lost its moral compass and sense of commitment because it had exchanged its covenant relationship with God for a deity symbolized by idols.

Psalm 81:1, 10-16 (UMH 803)   This psalm begins in a joyful celebration which may have belonged in a festival liturgy celebrating the Israelites' deliverance from Egypt. It may also have been used at the thanksgiving Feast of Tabernacles. The latter part, however, sounds more like a prophetic oracle similar to Jeremiah's complaint that Israel had forsaken its religious roots in the worship of God.

Hebrews 13:1-8, 15-16    For Christians, ethical behavior is always rooted in faith. The dietary rules omitted from this reading make obvious reference to the strict Levitical Code, ostensibly given to Moses during the Israelites' forty years in the wilderness. The community to which this "Letter" was written may well have been predominantly Jewish struggling with the freedom of their new faith is Jesus of Nazareth, the true Messiah. 

Luke 14:1, 7-14 Jesus had been invited to the home of a leading Pharisee for the sabbath meal. He turned out to be an unwelcome guest. First, he nearly broke up the party by healing a man afflicted with dropsy (edema, excessive retention of fluids). To add to that offence, he gave the other guests a scolding that certainly must have shamed some if not all of them. Then he turned on his host to give him a further lecture about whom he ought to have invited to dinner.

Sunday, August 25, 2013

Nine questions church visitors aren't asking (...but churches are still trying to answer)

+So how soon can I get involved with your committees?
+Can I get a longer bulletin—maybe something with more detail?
+Will you please single me out in front of all the people during worship this morning?
+Will you please send some "callers" by my house later and interrupt me while I fix dinner?
+Can you please seat us in those uncomfortable pews with our fidgety kids and aging parents?
+How quickly can I fill out a pledge card?
+Does this church have weekly meetings, rehearsals and other activities that will consume most of our family's free time?
+I need more paperwork! Can you give me a folder filled with glossy pamphlets, old newsletters and denominational statements of belief?
+During the worship service, can someone with a monotone voice speak (at length) about all the insider church happenings and people's private health matters? I find this so inspiring.

Excerpted from MinistryMatters.com. Read more: http://www.ministrymatters.com/all/blog/entry/3151/nine-questions-church-visitors-arent-asking-but-churches-are-still-trying-to-answer#.UhT2jXszQ5E.facebook#ixzz2d2ITz9jP

Ministry Matters supports ministry leaders with resources, community, and inspiration. 

Follow us: @ministrymatters on Twitter | ministrymatters on Facebook

Joyful Sunday!

Praise music

Hazel S. provides the music

Clay F. provides this morning's special music

+Choir practice starts this Tuesday at 7:00 p.m.
+This morning, we begin a “Produce Mission Table” in the fellowship hall after church.  Folks are invited to share produce from their gardens.  Everyone is invited to take what can be used.  Any donation for missions is most welcome.

+Birthday: Ginny M.
+Anniversaries:  Carol & Gary G. (40th).  Hazel and Les S. (54th).  Hazel and Les S.’s daughter and son-in-law (27th).

+Carol G.’s family pew today.
+We have cake for fellowship time snack today!

+Belinda A.’s new job begins tomorrow.
+We are excited about upcoming studies this fall.

+Visitors:  Jesse, Lesley and Steve…. and visiting family members.
+Betty L. and her family are so thankful for all the church family did for her this past week – to help her move into her new home.

+Church members’ involvement in community Clothes Closet activities, to include yesterday’s school-supplies give-away.  Over 80 school children received required school supplies yesterday!
+We live in a community who cares for one another.  Volunteers at Clothes Closet recognized that some of the items donated by Betty L. were too personal to be donated, i.e., they had been donated by mistake/put into wrong box… so they were returned to her.

+All those who are about to begin another year of school/instruction.
+All teachers and school administrators and support staff – getting ready for another school year.

+Lovely flowers on communion table today – from yesterday’s memorial service for Grant Wheeler.
+The loving way the church family came together yesterday in support of the memorial service for Grant Wheeler… and the following luncheon. 

+Julie L. and Donna L.’s musical offerings were so beautiful at Grant W.'s funeral service. 

+The people who made food for the luncheon following the funeral.  Others who served it.  Others who cleaned up afterwards.

+Everyone praying for Grant’s family and friends who are mourning his loss.

+Travelling mercies for those not with us today.

+Healing mercies for Matthew, Kim, Adam, Karen and Lynn.

+All those who are about to begin another year of school/instruction.
+All teachers and school administrators and support staff – getting ready for another school year.

+Choir resumes this Tuesday at 7:00 p.m.
+The Friday morning Bible study is NOT meeting this coming Friday.  It will resume the following Friday, September 6.
+Sunday school resumes on Sunday, September 8th with two classes for adults and classes for children and youth.  The Wednesday evening study resumes on September 11th.

Come, let us worship God together!

You are great, O Lord, and greatly to be praised. Great is Your power, and Your wisdom is infinite. We desire to praise You: we, a part of Your creation; we, who are mortal creatures, subject to sin and death because of our sinful pride.

Yet we desire to praise You because we are a part of Your creation. You have made us find delight in praising You; for You have made us for Yourself and our hearts are restless till they find rest in You.

- St. Augustine of Hippo, The Confessions
(his feast day is August 28)

Saturday, August 24, 2013

Grant Wheeler's Memorial Service

The community gathered today to bid Grant Wheeler goodbye.  The conclusion of the service included presentation of colors by the American Legion and the flag to Sharon by the representatives of the U.S. Army.

Thanks to everyone who came together to support the Wheeler family today -- from providing the beautiful music ... to the preparation of food for the luncheon which followed... to the food serving and the necessary cleaning afterwards.  Thanks be to God for a church family who comes together to support one another!

Friday, August 23, 2013

DOD Casualty report for August 16 - 23

Mobile National Cemetery - Alabama
The Department of Defense announced this week the deaths of two soldiers who were supporting Operation Enduring Freedom.

+1LT Timothy G. Santos Jr., 29, of Helena, Alabama, died Aug. 18, in Fort Bliss, Texas, from a non-combat related illness diagnosed on March 24, in Kuwait City, Kuwait.  He was assigned to the 4th Battalion, 501st Aviation Regiment, 1st Armored Division, Fort Bliss, Texas.

+Master Sgt. George A. Bannar Jr., 37, of Orange, Virginia, died Aug. 20, of injuries sustained when enemy forces attacked his unit with small arms fire in Wardak Province, Afghanistan. He was assigned to the 3rd Battalion, 3rd Special Forces Group, Fort Bragg, N.C.

Friday in Stevensville

Smoke in the Valley

The busy week here at Stevi UMC continued today with activity taking place all around town! 

The drop-in Bible study at Doris Taylor's home was a lively affair with twelve on hand to study this week's lectionary readings.

At the Senior Center, the "UMC table" was abuzz with interest in Betty L.'s new home.  After lunch, Betty gave tours of her home, and all agreed it is just perfect!

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Wednesday, August 21, 2013

A busy week for Stevi UMC!

Co-op staff on the church steps
Crown of Thorns for Pastor Charles

It's been a busy week in the life of the Stevi UMC!  The fellowship hall has been used this week by staff members of the Bitterroot Co-op, and they've really appreciated the hospitality provided them.  Also taking place at the church today was the weekly WIC program.  It is always fun to hear the sound of the little ones playing in the nursery!

Today was the weekly gathering of the Wednesday morning study group.  We met at the Morning Star cafĂ© today due to the Co-op using the fellowship hall.

The Senior Center was THE place to be for lunch with the birthday lunch celebrating August birthdays.  Numerous UMC members were on hand to join in the community fun!

Monday, August 19, 2013

West Fork Two Fire Update

View from the intersection of US 12 & 93 in Lolo on 8/19
The West Fork Two Fire just west of Lolo has spread rapidly today due to gusty winds and Highway 12 has been closed. Local law enforcement is coordinating pre-evacuation notices for impacted areas near Bear Creek Road approximately 12 miles west of Lolo. As of 4 pm the fire is about 2,000 acres.
Missoula County Emergency Services has established a hotline for landowners and residents in the fire area: 406-258-4636. Info is also available at the Lolo Super Stop.

Mission Opportunity

3rd annual Yellowstone Conference Volunteers in Mission work team. Work in the Fee Store in Browning, winterize Heart Butte, and other maintenance projects for the parish (specifics will be known later this month). There will be work for every ability level.

September 25-29 (come for all or part of the time)
Lodging/food: $25 a night plus $75 for materials.
Lodging will be at the bunkhouse in Browning or Heart Butte.
Contact Debbie Irby for information at dirby@stpauls-helena.org