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


Thursday, October 31, 2013

Trunk or Treat, part 2

Pastor Charles takes a turn in the leaves!
It was wonderful to see so many children and their families coming by the church.  Everyone was given a flyer with events taking place at SUMC in November & December.  They were told they would be most welcome, indeed!

One child was heard to exclaim:  "THIS is the BEST Halloween EV-ERRRRRR!"  Hearing that and seeing the joy and excitement in all the children's faces ... made the whole event a marvelous experience for all who participated!  Whether the church family was actually in that parking lot tonight and/or had contributed candy/prize donations and/or had prayed for the event's success -- ALL contributed to the special evening we had ... at the church's 2nd annual "Trunk R Treat!"  Thanks be to God!!!  

Trunk or Treat, part 1

Thanks to everyone who helped make tonight's Trunk or Treat a success!  With lots of donated candy (thanks, church!) and a break in the damp afternoon weather, it was a treat for all involved.

We had five cars/trucks taking part this year: Pastor Charles & Belinda Alkula, Dean & joey Diers, Bob, Cammie & Mitch Edgar, Bill & Carol Gragg, Amber & Dave McClay-Shulte.  Also, we were treated to hotdogs and chili by the Graggs:  Just the right thing on a damp evening!!

Pre-Pre-bazaar set-up day

Betty and Carol set up the baked goods tables
Good food from around the world is coming to Stevi!
Don and Ben tote the tables where they're told to!
Carol, Carole, and Claire direct Don and Ben
The early items in the craft area
With the Bazaar just two days away, the fellowship hall was abuzz with activity today with tables being moved, chairs rearranged, and the first items finding favored locations.

Thanks to everyone who came and helped today!  Tomorrow will even busier!

Plastic bags for the clothes closet

The Clothes Closet needs plastic bags, like the ones you get from grocery store.
Please bring ‘em by the Clothes Closet on Sat between 1 pm & 4 pm, or just bring to church on Sunday & stick them in the shopping cart.

Reformation Day 2013

In addition to All Hallows Eve, today is also Reformation Day which marks the day in 1517 when Dr. Martin Luther nailed his "95 Theses," or statements, to the door of the castle chapel in Wittenberg.

Trunk or Treat tonight!

John Wesley says, "See you tonight at Trunk or Treat, 5pm, in the parking lot of the Stevensville UMC (corner of Third/Pine Streets)."

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

One more night before Trunk or Treat!

The excitement that is Trunk or Treat is building and if the early indications are an indication - you won't want to miss this!!!

We need help getting the word out about this fun event - 5pm - the candy runs out!!!

The rhythm of our days

A cool afternoon in Stevensville
Preparing the Glad Tider for mailing
The next-to-last Wesleyan Way study gathering

With the days growing colder and the nights longer, one might be led to believe that the ministries of Stevi UMC might be slowing down as well.  Nothing could be further from the truth!

With activity taking place from early morning to late evening, the church building was abuzz!!  All around the community members are gathering items for the bazaar (on Saturday).  It is going to such fun to see it all come together as it has.  And the funds raised for missions will impact lives near and far!

Wesley on Wednesday

Our website has changed!

If you have not visited the Stevi UMC website recently you're in for a treat!  Building on the successful work begun earlier this year, we've added loads of new content including a history of SUMC and its pastors, links, feedback forms, and much, much more.

Visit www.steviumc.org today and spend some time looking around, you'll be glad you did!!

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Thanks, Choir!

Our choir members were in fine voice tonight at the weekly practice! We are blessed to have so many people willing to work so hard to enhance the worship of God each week!

Brandon Slack Memorial Service

Pastor Charles led the memorial service this morning at the Western Montana State Veteran's Cemetery, in Missoula, for Brandon Slack, USMC.  Brandon was from Florence and comes from a long line of Marines.  He had two combat tours in Iraq.

Pastor Charles was asked to conduct the service having spent eight years as a Navy chaplain (including two tours on Marine Corps bases).

Monday, October 28, 2013

Scripture lessons for November 3

Jesus and Zacchaeus -
Church of the Good Shepherd, Jericho
Twenty-fourth Sunday after Pentecost - November 3, 2013

Habakkuk 1:1-4; 2:1-4: Very little is known about most of the twelve "minor" prophets, especially Habakkuk. Even the identity of the enemy threatening the violent destruction of Israel is uncertain.  Probably the background of the book were events related to the Babylonian invasion of 609-598 BC.  The prophet's message typically warns of disaster to come as result of national apostasy. But he proclaims his hope as clearly in 2:4 "The righteous live by their faith."

Psalm 119:137-144 (UMH 840): Echoing the prophet's message, this selection of the longest of the psalms affirms the righteousness and justice of God and the reward of living by God's commandments.

2 Thessalonians 1:1-4, 11-12: Faithfulness in difficult times is the central message of this brief letter, one of Paul's earliest. The congregation to which Paul wrote had grown in faith and in love for each other under considerable persecution. So Paul could boast of their faithfulness and mutual love in other congregations. He prayed for them to continue in their witness to Christ as they had been doing so well.

Luke 19:1-10 (sermon text): Jesus continually challenged the traditional view of who is faithful.  In Roman times, tax collecting was rented out to the highest bidder who then could extort whatever he could from the general populace. As a Roman lackey and a greedy profiteer, Zaccheus (in Greek, Ζακχαῖος = Zakchaios, from the Hebrew meaning pure) was a much despised man as well as too short to see over the crowds gathered to see Jesus enter Jericho.
Yet Jesus sought him out and invited himself to his home to dine.  When Zaccheus promised to be generous to the poor and repay what he had taken by fraud, Jesus praised him as a son of Abraham, the Jewish ideal of a faithful servant of God.  

Whose values apply today? Do we always do whatever gains most for us or does faith help us stand out from the crowd?

Sunday, October 27, 2013

Prayers of the Church


Prayers of thanksgiving for …
-       Reformation Sunday.
-    Visitors to church.
-       Birthday blessings to (1) Earl Harper whose 103rd birthday celebration Open House last Sunday was a wonderful gathering of family and friends, (2) Carolyn M., (3) Belinda A. and (4) Vicki.  
-       Colleen M.’s amazing, miraculous health recovery -- positive response to medical treatments.  And she just ran a 10k race.
-       The delivery of the needed bunk beds, and the father who knows how to put them together for his family.
-       Paul and Julie L.’s recent family reunion in Nome, Alaska.

Prayers for peace in the Middle East – and in all the “four corners” of the world. 

Prayers for our military Veterans.

Prayers for the family and friends of the military service members who were killed or injured in the line of duty this last week.

Prayers for the family and friends of the 29-year-old Marine from Florence, whose funeral is this Tuesday morning.

Prayers for those looking for employment:  (1) Dave P., (2) Woody, (3) Ryan, (4) Cindy, (5)
Prayers for travelling mercies for those not with us today – and for those who will be travelling soon.

Prayers for healing mercies for (1) Mary L., (2) Mollie who is dealing with leukemia, (3) Sonia’s sister Lynn who is dealing with two broken legs, (4) Scott whose faced was seriously burned from an explosion, (5) Mary who is dealing with cancer, (6) Jenny with health issues, (7) Carlos’ surgery in El Paso on October 30th, (8) Niece Rose Marie who is dealing with stage 5 breast cancer, (9) Dr. Ellen J.’s friend on east coast, Faith, and friend on west coast, Pat, who are both dealing with cancer, (10) Cammie E.’s mother who is dealing with cancer treatments, (11) Les S.’s upcoming surgical procedures, (12) Cheryl Z. is not feeling well, (13) Patrick, age 22, who is having trouble breathing, (14) Ed S.’s friend Don P. who had a heart attack recently, (15) Ed S.’s friend Gene W. who is dealing with cancer, (16) Marian who fell and broke her ribs, (17) Ella who had a recent health relapse, (18) Wayne who is dealing with inoperable cancer, (19) Cousin Sandy, (20) Judy F. who experienced a mild stroke last week, (21) unnamed friend who has schizophrenia and is facing challenges associated with being off needed medications and (22) Ed S.’ friend Bob S. who fell and broke his hip.

Trunk R Treat:  This Thursday, October 31st, starting at 5:00 p.m.  All are welcome!  Invite neighbors and friends to participate.  It will be a fun time, to be sure!

A full morning at SUMC!

Shawls and candy being blessed
Norma & Phillis prepare for fellowship
Some pre-church school fun!
Fellowship time!
Trunk or Treat is just around the corner
A fantastic morning was had today, as we gathered on Reformation Sunday for learning, worship and sharing.  The study groups and children's classes were busy learning about how to apply their faith. 

We began our time as a community being blessed with the Lockman's leading the praise singing.  Our worship was blessed with the brass ensemble, choir, pianist, organist and the chimes -- all contributing to the celebration that is our worship time.  During worship, three shawls were passed around the sanctuary to be prayed over.  They will be distributed to loved ones this week.

A special blessing every week is our post-worship fellowship time!  Thanks to everyone who prepares the tea, coffee and treats each week!!

Reformation Sunday

A blessed Reformation Sunday!

An exciting Sunday morning is unfolding here at the Stevi UMC!

Faith formation @ 9am, Praise music @ 10:15, and worship @ 10:30.  This morning we'll be reading from the Prophet Joel, and hearing the brass ensemble, the choir, and the chimes.

Saturday, October 26, 2013

A busy day for SUMC members

Stevensville UMC members were very busy in the community today, engaged in activities touching a good many lives.

There were SUMC members engaged with the Pantry Partners and the Clothes Closet.  There were people folk taking part in the academic meet at the high school. Some helped get furniture for a family in need.  And the workers at the Habitat for Humanity site got a tasty meal, courtesy of SUMC.

DoD Casulaty List for October 18 - 25

Great Lakes National Cemetery - Holly, Michigan
The Department of Defense announced this week the death of two service members who were supporting Operation Enduring Freedom.

+Lance Cpl. Christopher O. Grant, 20, of Richwood, Louisiana, died Oct. 20, while conducting combat operations in Helmand Province, Afghanistan. He was assigned to 1st Battalion, 9th Marines, 2nd Marine Division, II Marine Expeditionary Force, Camp Lejeune, N.C.

+Sgt. Lyle D. Turnbull, 31, of Norfolk, Virginia, died Oct. 18, in Camp Arifjan, Kuwait, from a medical emergency. The cause of his death is under investigation.  Turnbull was assigned to the 62nd Expeditionary Signal Battalion, 11th Signal Brigade, Fort Hood, Texas.

Friday, October 25, 2013

It's coming!

The banner is up, the leaf-pumpkins are beginning to appear, and the nights are growing colder.  That can only mean that the annual Trunk or Treat experience at Stevensville UMC is only days away!

Women's Retreat Invitation

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Milestone: Church Blog -- Over 8,000 Hits!

WOW: Over 8,000 Hits on our church blog within its first four months! 

In fact, this last month has been absolutely amazing:  Over 3,000 Hits in the Last 18 Days! 
- 7 Oct:  Milestone of 6,000 Hits
-17 Oct: Milestone of 7,000 Hits
-24 Oct: Milestone of 8,000 Hits

Yea, God!!!

Judges needed in Corvallis

Are you excited?!

Next Wednesday Night's Bible Study

All are welcome to join the video-based Bible study from 7:00-9:00 p.m. next Wednesday, October 30th!  We will be studying chapter 7:  "Invite Others on the Journey."  (This could be the first time you visit the class!)

Click on this sentence -- to see a clip from this week's video!

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Wesley on Wednesday

The New Room (in Bristol), the first Methodist Chapel in England
George Whitefield invited John Wesley to preach outdoors for the first time to the miners of Bristol. The New Room was built in 1739 by John Wesley as a meeting place for two of the resulting groups or 'societies' of worshippers and was the first Methodist building in the world.

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Advent Devotional Writers Needed

Pastor Charles is looking for people from the congregation to write a one-three paragraph entry for an Advent Devotional.   In the past, some devotional entries shared a favorite hymn or carol while still others offered a special poem or prayer. 

Please contact the pastor by November 15 to reserve your space for what promises to be a unique and valuable devotional resource. Copies will be available on-line on the blog, on Facebook and via email.  Paper copies will be available the first Sunday of Advent, December 1st.

To get an idea of what this is all about, you can click on any of the sentences below to see what this can look like.

Click on this sentence to read a devotional that someone wrote about his Christmas in Vietnam in December 1969.  (It involves him attending a special Bob Hope holiday show.)

Click on this sentence to read a devotional that someone wrote December 15, 2010.  It's called "The Christmas Dog."

Click on this sentence to read the devotional that someone wrote for the third Sunday of Advent. 

Click on this sentence to read the devotional that someone wrote about her memories of music's influence during the holidays.

Click on this sentence to read the devotional that someone wrote about her memories of family at the holidays.

Click on this sentence to read Belinda Alkula's devotional for December 4th, 2010.

Judges needed @Stevensville High School

The following is a request from Jenna L.

Stevensville High School is hosting an invitational speech tournament this Saturday, October 26th.  Stevi will host more than 130 students representing Class A schools in this 1-day tournament. 

The competition consists of four debate events, six drama events and eight speech events.  Jenna said there is a great need for people to volunteer to serve as judges for the various events. 

Round 1
        8:30 a.m.
       8:30 a.m.
    8:00 a.m.
Round 2
      10:00 a.m.
     10:00 a.m.
  10:00 a.m.
Round 3
      11:30 a.m.
     11:30 a.m.
  12:00 p.m.
Round 4
        1:30 p.m.
       1:30 p.m.
    2:00 p.m. (Semis)
        3:30 p.m.
       3:30 p.m.
    3:30 p.m. (Finals)

If you are willing to be a judge for all or part of the day, please contact one of the people listed below with the following information:  "Your name - mailing address - phone number."

Kerry Seyfert
SJH Building
(406) 777-5553, ext. 233  
(406) 544-8401
- OR -
Nancy Thibo
SHS Building
(406) 777-5481, ext. 108 

Lectionary readings for October 27th

Twenty-third Sunday after Pentecost: October 27, 2013
Reformation Sunday

Joel 2:23-32: (Sermon text) This promise by one of Israel's minor prophets  became the focus of the earliest Christian gospel when Peter quoted it as the only possible interpretation of what happened when the Holy Spirit came upon the apostles on Pentecost. Based on what God had done in providing for Israel in the past, the prophet assured his fellow citizens that God was with them now and that God would be with them come what may.
Psalm 65  (UMH 789):The psalmist first celebrates the grace of God in forgiving sin and the expresses the joy of once again being permitted to worship in the temple. Then he witnesses to evidence of God's power in rescuing Israel in creation. In a land where drought was common, this he offers thanksgiving for plentiful spring rain that promises a bountiful harvest. It is a song of assurance and hope.

2 Timothy 4:6-8, 16-18: There is good reason to believe that this latter part of the so-called "Pastoral Letters" to Timothy and Titus may be a brief note from Paul himself. It speaks of Paul's own struggle to keep the faith. It also identifies several friends who knew and worked with him. Paul may have been in prison, but his faith had broken through its walls. Following this example, the letter says, faith is the only positive way to face unknown crises and dangers that may lie ahead.

Luke 18:9-14: This parable would have had a varied response from those who first heard it. The Pharisees were devoutly religious, meticulous in keeping ritual laws, increasingly politically powerful and unsympathetic toward those less committed. Even less popular were the tax-collectors. Jesus
revealed a delightful and devastating sense of irony in comparing the two at worship.  The parable catches everyone. It holds a mirror up before us describing and judging what we are like - sometimes one, sometimes the other.

Donations to Homeless Shelter Today

Thanks to some very generous folks, one blanket, seven towels and one gently used, clean coat -- will be delivered today to the Missoula's homeless shelter.  Praise be to God for such faithful and loving folks!

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
Total Tally:     Blankets      Towels     Coats
10/3/13                13                12
10/7/13                14                12
10/22/13                1                  7           1
                            28                31           1
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -