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


Thursday, January 30, 2014

Memorial Service on Saturday

STEVENSVILLE - Margaret D. McElroy, 56, of Stevensville passed away Tuesday, January 28, 2014 at her home of natural causes.  Margaret is the mother of Judy W.

Services will be held on Saturday, February 1, 2014 at 3:00 pm at the Stevensville United Methodist Church.

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Spiritual Gifts Quiz!

Click on this green "Begin Assessment" box above,
and then click on it one more time...
and then this quick quiz will begin!

Sunday, January 26, 2014

Joys & Concerns from January 26th

Joys shared this morning:
+Mary & Don met 57 years ago today!
+Being able to ski Lost Trail this weekend.
+The all-church retreat this weekend attracted forty participants!!
+More than 100 Cub Scouts took part in the Klondike Camp this weekend.
+Hazel is doing much better.
+Ginny M. said she is just glad to be at worship!
+The Valley is enjoying a spell of wonderful weather.
+Blessings on those returning to college this week (including Pastor Charles who is now a Grizzly!)
+The first planning meeting for the National Day of Prayer (May 1st) was yesterday and was well attended.
+Thanks to the Kovals for being such good neighbors (to the Lyons).

Concerns shared this morning:
+A friend, Linda, who is facing her third battle with cancer.
+Those in the eastern US who are enduring ice and snow extremes.
+Laura B.'s father recently passed away.
+A local high school sophmore who is being treated for blood clots and his family who are facing additional crisis.
+We are lifting up Harvey H. who is in a local hospital.  Prayers for the family members traveling to be with him.
+Belinda A. continues to recover from her injury.
+Those who are involved and affected by the crisis in the Ravalli County government.
+Phyllis C.'s grand-daughter's loss of a parent.
+Phyllis D. is feeling under the weather.
+Carol G. lifted up a niece who is fighting diabetes.
+Amber's cousin facing breast cancer.
+Carole K. lifted up J. Keper and the end-of-life issues.
+The people affected by the civil war in Syria, particularly the refugees.
+An Army Warrant Officer was killed this past week in Afghanistan.

Let's Worship!!


Follow me
Into the winter of sorrow,
the season of aching cold
and the sad cry in the wind.
Follow me empty-handed
into the shadows
of the fierce, fearful world
and make miracles with me.
Be the dream of sunshine
to those who dwell in darkness.
Surprise the hard-bitten, loveless ones with kindness.
Lift those who cannot walk
and dance them into joy.
Seed the frozen ground with hope.
Gather the sick and dying
into the boat of your love,
and sail them into the sunrise
of eternal spring.
We can do this.
Follow me.

--Rev. Timothy Haut, January, 2005

Saturday, January 25, 2014

Fantastic Saturday @ SUMC!

Don and Mary lead the Nurture area discussion
Blank pages waiting for ideas/plans
Discussion during the Outreach area time
Brenda presents the table report during the Witness time
We love to eat!!
Our retreat, which began last night, continued this morning with thirty-nine on-hand to share, dream, and fellowship.

The morning began with  a mission project, assembling individual soap bottles (filling empty plastic bottles with laundry detergent inside).  We made-up 120 bottles which will be delivered to the Pantry Partners to distribute to its clients.

The bulk of the day was given to the exploration of what the mission field looks like for this congregation.  We considered our ministry in the areas of N.O.W. - Nurture - Outreach - Witness.  Lots of great ideas were discussed and the Guiding Team will report back to the congregation as to how we'll engage our energies in the Lord's name.

We ended with communion, offered by our D.S., the Rev. John Daniels, and distributed around the tables in the fellowship hall.  A wonderful way to go into the night and into the world!

Friday, January 24, 2014

A great start to the weekend

The weekend is off to a great start!  35 were on hand for the start of our retreat which began with a lasagna supper.  Thanks to everyone who came to the event and to the Guiding Team members for the effort it took to make this happen.

Tomorrow begins with a continental breakfast at 8 am. Even if you didn't sign up for the event you are welcome to come and be a part of the process of vision casting at SUMC!

It's tonight!!!

Thursday, January 23, 2014

Church-wide Retreat This Weekend: Great Time (.. and great door prizes in our "Swap Meet!")

All are welcome at this weekend's church-wide retreat!  It will be a great time of fellowship, visioning, planning, worshipping, etc!

Also, there will be some great door prizes in our "Swap Meet" -- available to all who participate Friday and/or Saturday!

Come one!  Come all!!!

*It's not too late to call the church office (406-777-5443) and reserve your place at the table during this retreat!  We hope to see YOU there!!!

In our "Swap Meet," each handmade/donated door prize item that has been donated will be placed on a table with a plastic snack-sized zip-lock bag next to it -- marked with its description. 

Attendees will be given "bid cards"-- upon which they can write their names.  Then they can place their "bid cards" into the zip-lock bag(s) next to the items that would like to receive.  

During Saturday's lunchtime of the retreat, one name will be drawn from each zip-lock bag and then that person will be awarded that particular "prize!"  

Each Friday night participant will be given 3 "bid cards."  Each Saturday participant will be given 3 "bid cards."  If folks attend both days of the retreat, they will have more opportunities to receive their desired item(s)!
This great idea was implemented at last fall's United Methodist Women's (UMW's) district-wide retreat.  Click on this sentence to read/see all about it!

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Prayer requests

Please lift up in your prayers these folk whose names have come into the church office:

+Jack J. family
+Roger G. family
+Alan B. family
+Jerry R.
+Bill G.
+Forest S. who has had a stroke.
+Would you please add Bobby J. to the prayer chain.  He is a resident of our RV park who is very ill.  He is 51 years old.  

Monday, January 20, 2014

Lectionary Readings for January 29th

Isaiah 9:1-4: Christians have always related this prophecy to the coming of Jesus, the one whom we believe fulfilled Israel's hopes for a Messiah. However, the context is related more to a significant event promising a new era after a disastrous period of privation resulting from war or a foreign invasion.
It is more likely that the oracle was first intended for the coronation of new king of Israel or the anniversary of that event. The word Messiah meant "the anointed one." After being anointed the monarch became a sacred person and stood in unique relation to God. Something similar is expressed in the anointing of the British monarch as the "Defender of the Faith."

Psalm 27:1, 4-9 (UMH 758): This very personal prayer expresses trust in God in the face of hostile opponents. The psalmist seeks access to the temple where he may meet God as if face to face.

1 Corinthians 1:10-18: There appear to have been some serious divisions within the Corinthian congregation. Paul seeks to address these by calling on all who are quarrelling to remember that they belong to Christ, not to the particular apostle who may have baptized them. It is the death and resurrection of Christ, symbolized in their baptism, which brings them together and is the secret of their salvation.

Matthew 4:12-23: At first, Jesus preached a message quite similar to that of John the Baptist: "Repent, for the kingdom of heaven has come near." The difference was that in Jesus, this good news was to be fulfilled. The calling of the first of his disciples, four ordinary fishermen of Galilee, was the beginning of this fulfillment  the creation of a community of those who would believe in and follow him. His healing ministry was also a sign that the reign of God had already begun.

A prayer for Martin Luther King, Jr. Day

Gracious God, you create us and love us; you make us to live together in a community. We thank you for Martin Luther King, Jr. and all your children who have been filled with your vision for our lives and who have worked to make bring your vision into reality. Fill us with your vision. Guide us to live by your vision, working to build the beloved community where everyone is welcomed, all are valued, power is shared, privilege is no more, and all your children know wholeness and well-being. Through Jesus Christ we pray.


Sunday, January 19, 2014

Joys and Concerns from January 19th


Prayers of thanksgiving for …

Birthday blessings to Marge W., Bob E. Anne H., & Callie & Cy’s mom
Anniversary blessings to Lynn & Gail M. for 32 years!

Olivia S. is back with us after a bad case of flu.
Mitch E. thanked the church family for its support over the years which led to last week’s Eagle Scout Court of Honor (held in our fellowship hall).

For our six visitors worshipping with us today.
The anticipation of the church-wide planning/visioning retreat scheduled for January 24th and 25th (as of Noon, forty names were found on the event sign-up sheet!!!).
Charlene S. is now a great-grandmother for the fifth time!
Lynn M.’s younger brother in Michigan is doing much better, health-wise.
Wonderful Bible study last Friday morning at Ms. Doris T.’s home; all are welcome to attend.
Great Bible study this morning taught by Clay F., beginning study of the book of Hebrews.  The class keeps growing!
People willing to teach classes which help others to grow in their faith. 
People willing to attend classes which help them grow in their faith.
The church’s generous and kind and loving way it supports its members and the nearby communities.
Neighbors who look out for one another.
Prayers for the four service members killed last week in Afghanistan.
Prayers for healing mercies for (1) Bev L. (2) Ben L. (3) Gail M. (4) Belinda A.
Prayers for Julie L.’s friend & family who are going through a difficult time.
Prayers for Gail M.’s friend, Candice.
Prayers for Vicky’s friend, Carrie.
Prayers for healing for Debbie’s daughter.
Prayers for the people of the Central African Republic and the South Sudan. 
Prayers for our military Veterans.
Prayers for travelling mercies and for those not with us today.
Prayers for Ellyn J. and Bill G. who both lost close friends this past week. 
Prayers for family and friends who are gravely concerned about their loved ones who are facing serious consequences for their recent actions.

Choir Practice:  January 21st, 7:00-8:00 p.m. – Fellowship Hall
“Wired Word” Bible Study:  January 22nd, starting at 10:00 a.m. – Fellowship Hall.

Middle-school Youth Group:  January 22nd, starting at 6:30 p.m. – Ludington’s Home.  (dinner, fellowship, fun and …)
Drop-in Bible Study:  January 24th, 10:00-11:00 a.m., Ms. Doris T.’s home.
Church-wide vision retreat: January 24th, 6:00 p.m. – 8:30 p.m. and January 25th, 8:00 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.  Supper on Friday (6:30 p.m.); Saturday: continental breakfast (8:30 a.m.) and lunch (Noon).  All meals and snacks are being provided.

Next Sunday, January 26th: 
     a. Sunday School Classes:  9:00-10:00 a.m. – Throughout the Church.
     b. Hymn Sing: 10:15-10:30 a.m. – Sanctuary.
     c. Worship:  10:30-11:30 a.m. – Sanctuary.
     d. Fellowship:  11:30 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. – Fellowship Hall.

DoD Casualty Report for January 12 - 18

Oregon Trail State Veterans Cemetery - Wyoming
The Department of Defense announced this week the death four soldiers who were supporting Operation Enduring Freedom.

Two soldiers died Jan. 10, at Bagram Airfield, in Parwan Province, Afghanistan, of injuries sustained when the aircraft they were aboard crashed. Killed were:

+ Chief Warrant Officer Andrew L. McAdams, 27, of Cheyenne, Wyoming, assigned to Detachment 53, Operational Support Airlift Command, Joint Force Headquarters, Wyoming Army National Guard, Cheyenne, Wyoming. 

+ Sgt. Drew M. Scobie, 25, of Kailua, Hawaii, assigned to Headquarters and Headquarters Battery, 1st Battalion, 487th Field Artillery, Wahiawa, Hawaii Army National Guard, Oahu, Hawaii.
+Sgt. Daniel T. Lee, 28, of Crossville, TN, died Jan. 15, in Parwan Province, Afghanistan, from wounds suffered when enemy forces attacked his unit with small arms fire during combat operations.  He was assigned to the 2nd Battalion, 3rd Special Forces Group (Airborne), Fort Bragg, N.C.      
+ Spc. Andrew H. Sipple, 22, of Cary, NC, died Jan. 17, in Kandahar City, Kandahar Province, Afghanistan, from a non-combat related incident.  He was assigned to the 1st Battalion, 8th Cavalry Regiment, 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 1st Cavalry Division, Fort Hood, Texas. 

Thursday, January 16, 2014

Blessed week in the Valley

Choir practice on Tuesday
We have been blessed this week with wonderful weather, some wonderful studies, and more.  We are looking forward to the SUMC retreat (Jan. 24-25), be sure to sign up outside the church office or by calling (406) 777-5443 or steviumc@gmail.org 

Monday, January 13, 2014

Lectionary lessons for January 19th

Isaiah 49:1–7 Israel's mission as God's servant people is further elaborated in another of the four Servant Songs found in the latter part of Book of Isaiah. Here the mission is not only to return the Israelites to their homeland after two generations in exile in Babylon, but to bring the good news of God's redemption to the world. The once humiliated and enslaved people are not only to be restored but specially chosen for this divine mission.

Psalm 40:1–11 (UMH 774): The psalmist rejoices and thanks God for recovery from a serious illness. Rather than making a ritual sacrifice or a special offering, telling others in the congregation of his deliverance will be his way of expressing gratitude.

1 Corinthians 1:1–9:  Paul's first letter to the Corinthians begins in the normal fashion for correspondence of that time. Sosthenes may have been the scribe to whom Paul dictated the letter. Scholars debate whether he had also been the ruler of the synagogue in Corinth during Paul's ministry there  (Acts 18:17).  In his opening prayer Paul thanks God for the faith of the Corinthians. They have been greatly enriched spiritually and strengthened to live Christ's way until he comes again. Their reward for faithfulness is a life of fellowship with Christ.

John 1:29–42:  This little vignette differs from the baptism narratives found in the other gospels.  John recognized Jesus as "the Lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world." This is a statement of faith rooted in the ancient Jewish ritual of sacrifice which the church later adopted as a part of the order of worship for holy communion.  Note that this gospel never states that John baptized Jesus. Two kinds of baptism are described. John says that while he baptized with water, Jesus would baptize with the Holy Spirit. It is also John, not Jesus, who saw the Spirit descending as a dove.

Sunday, January 12, 2014

Book club tonight

The book group met tonight at the Kootenai Village clubhouse to discuss "God's Hotel."  Fifteen were on hand for a lively discussion and wonderful fellowship!

The next gathering, also at Kootenai Village, will be on February 9th at 6 pm and will consider "The Art of Happiness, 10th edition" by the Dalai Lama. 

Welcome, Eagle Scout Mitch!!!

Mitch Edgar was honored today with an Eagle Scout Court of Honor.  A long journey to reach this day and a large assembly of family, friends, church members, and other Scouts were on hand to celebrate this day with Mitch.

Joys and Concerns from January 12th

+Katie H. fell and broke her arm
+Carol V.'s daughter is having respiratory problems.
+R. Reed has entered hospice care.
+Jim Z. is home recovering from surgery.
+Bonita Z. is taking care of Jim!
+Olivia S. is not feeling well.
+Carol W. asks for prayer for justice for Jerrad & Jody.
+Les & Hazel S. ask for healing prayers.
+Belinda A. is not feeling well.
+Sharon W. had a procedure but more needs to be done.
+An Army Sergeant from Idaho was killed last week in Afghanistan.
+Phyllis C. is home this week with a bad cold.

+Edgar family and friends are here to support Mitch and his Eagle Scout Court of Honor.
+Hannah was recognized by the Stevi schools for being so special!
+Bill & Mary L. are back with us in worship. Mary thanks everyone for their prayers and support.
+Breanna S. delivered an 8 lb. boy!!!
+Hattie is back home and doing much better.
+January has begun with wonderful weather.
   Linda K.'s daughter, Colleen
+Anniversaries: 25th for Nilda and Tom.
+The Smith's daughter & family have bought a home in the Valley.
+Ed S. reminded us of our freedom to vote.
+Bonita and Jim's grandson, Josh (who brought Gummi Bears), has been a big help during Jim's recovery.
+Clay reports that the new class on Hebrews is growing by leaps and bounds!
+Becky's nephew is out of Afghanistan and is now stationed in Italy.

Sunday in Stevi

The Bitterroot Valley woke this morning to a light dusting of snow which made coming to worship a challenge for some of us!  But come we did and the sounds of laughter, sharing, and worship were heard from one end of the church to another!!!

During our worship service we were blessed with the choir sharing, "See the Grand Procession," and a duet of Gretchen Spiess and Donna Lewis who shared "Still is the Night."

The sermon can be seen at this link.

This morning we celebrated Baptism of the Lord Sunday and the congregation joined together in remembering our baptismal vows.  What a blessing it is when we are able to journey together in faith, upholding one another in love and hope.

Epiphany of the Lord Sunday

Baptistry of Neon - Ravenna, Italy - 6th century
God of grace and glory,
you call us with your voice of flame
to be your people, faithful and courageous.
As your beloved Son
embraced his mission in the waters of baptism,
inspire us with the fire of your Spirit
to join in his transforming work.
We ask this in the name of our Savior Jesus Christ,
who lives and reigns for ever and ever. Amen.

-Vanderbilt Divinity School

Saturday, January 11, 2014

Human Trafficking Awareness Day

Today is Human Trafficking Awareness Day - please be aware that this isn't just an issue in some far-off place, it is happening right here in Montana!

To learn more about this important issue, please visit the UMW website.  Get involved - someone's life depends upon you!

UMM breakfast today

Eleven men came out on a rainy Saturday morning in the Bitterroot Valley for a time of breakfast, fellowship, and planning.

Don Nelson reported that a fund had been established at Valley Drug for use by the W.I.C. staff to secure items needed by the program's clients.  Contributions can be made through the UMM or directly to Valley Drug.  A 10% discount is being offered by Valley Drug for items purchased by the WIC staff.

Ed Sperry shared with the group about the upcoming planning meeting for the National Day of Prayer (NDP).  The meeting will take place on Saturday, January 25th, at Frontier CafĂ©.  Pastor Charles and Ed will be attending this meeting.  The NDP is on Thursday, May 1st.

John Fisher presented an invitation to everyone about the upcoming church-wide retreat on January 24-25.  This is an exciting opportunity to be in on the visioning and launching into the future that God has for this congregation.  John said that the Guiding Team would like to know who is planning on attending the retreat by Jan. 19th.

We also discussed the Valentine's Day dinner at the church.  The dinner will be catered and will take place at the church on Feb. 14.  Details will be in the bulletins and in the February Glad Tider.

Today's breakfast was provided by Les Smith and Dean Diers (joey brought Dean's contribution).

Next meeting will be on February 8th.  Gathering at 8 am, breakfast at 8:30.

DoD Casualty Report for Jan. 5 - 11

Bay Pines National Cemetery - St. Petersburg, FL
The Department of Defense announced this week the death of a soldier who was supporting Operation Enduring Freedom.
Sgt. First Class William K. Lacey, 38, of Laurel Hill, Florida, died Jan. 4, 2014, in Nangarhar Province, Afghanistan, of injuries sustained when the enemy attacked his unit with rocket propelled grenades.  Lacey was assigned to 201st Brigade Support Battalion, 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 1st Infantry Division, Fort Knox, KY.

Friday, January 10, 2014

Wonderful Women of SUMC

Center pieces spoke about the need to share locally
Newly-installed president, Marci Prather
Judy Inslee offers the program
Today's UMW gathering was a wonderful example of what makes this particular Unit such fun to be around.  We began the meeting with the installation of officers for 2014. 

This year's leadership will come from:

Marcia Prather - President
Trudy Freeman - Vice-president
Fran Jackson - Secretary
Mary Lyon - Treasurer
Ginny Mellgren - Spiritual Growth
Hazel Smith - Social Action
Bonita Ziegler - Education/Interpretation
Mary Costello, Cleo Gunther, Judy Inslee, & Bonita Ziegler -  
Carole Koval - Membership/Nurture/Outreach
Nominations - Carol Gragg, Judy Inslee, & Bonita Ziegler
Prayer Chain - Trudy Freeman (phone) & Gail Moshier (email)
Prayer Shawls - Carole Koval

Judy Inslee provided the program this month, the second part of her presentation on the problem of human trafficking in our world.  Tomorrow (Jan. 11) is Human Trafficking Awareness Day.

Today's hostesses were Mary Costello and Linda Kaufman
UMW Program Book - Mary Lyon

Monday, January 6, 2014

Church Retreat: 24-25 January 2014 (...correct dates.... 24-25!)

Please plan on participating in our church's "Vision and Planning Retreat:"  24-25 January 2014!  Our district superintendent, the Rev. John Daniels, has agreed to serve as our facilitator! 

We prayerfully expect great things from our coming together during this retreat of focused prayer, fellowship and discernment -- to listen to what God has to say to us about how we are to be God's church in 2014... and beyond!

Call the church office today and reserve your place:  406-777-5443!  Your input is welcome... and needed!

To borrow a phrase used by Randy Bolton in his stewardship article in this month's church newsletter (on page 4):  Let's come together and plan how we will, this year, begin to "carefully erupt into vibrant beginnings" -- all for the glory of the Lord!  See you there!

Devotional for the Epiphany of the Lord

+Today is January 6th, The Epiphany of the Lord.  It also marks the final entry of our Advent/Christmas for this year.  This effort has richly blessed our congregation, both those who wrote entries and those who have read them (in print, on this blog, or on the website).  Plan now on being a part of the next devotional - Advent starts on NOVEMBER 30th, 2014!!!
The Epiphany Window (visit of the Magi)
St. Peter's Church, Langley, Staffordshire, England.
A Prayer for the Epiphany of the Lord

Most High God! Thou that enkindlest the fires of the shining stars!  O Jesus!  Thou that art peace and life and light and truth, hear and grant our prayers.

This present day has been made holy by Thy mystic baptism, whereby Thou didst sanctify those waters of the Jordan, which of old were thrice turned back.

It is holy by the star shining in the heavens, whereby Thou didst announce Thy Virginal Mother’s delivery and didst, on the same day, lead the Magi to adore Thee in Thy crib.

It is holy too, by Thy changing the water of the pitchers into wine; which the steward of the feast, knowing that he had not so filled them, drew forth for the guests.

Glory be to Thee, O Lord Jesus that didst appear on this Day!  And to the Father and to the Holy Spirit, for everlasting ages. Amen.

- St. Ambrose of Milan (338-397)

Sunday, January 5, 2014


Choir Practice:  January 7th, starting at 7:00 p.m. – Church Fellowship Hall 

“Wired Word” Bible Study:  January 8th, starting at 10:00 a.m. – Church Fellowship Hall.
Drop-in Bible Study:  January 10th, 10:00-11:00 a.m., Ms. Doris T.’s home near church. 

United Methodist Women (UMW) Gathering/Meeting:  January 10th, 1:00-3:00 p.m. – Church Fellowship Hall. 
Guiding Team Gathering/Meeting:  January 10th, starting at 6:30 p.m. – Church Fellowship Hall 

United Methodist Men (UMM) Gathering/Meeting:  January 11th, starting at 8:30 a.m. – Church Fellowship Hall.
Next Sunday, January 12th --"Baptism of the Lord Sunday:" 
     a. Sunday School Classes:  9:00-10:00 a.m. – Throughout the Church.
     b. Hymn Sing: 10:15-10:30 a.m. – Sanctuary.
     c. Worship:  10:30-11:30 a.m. – Sanctuary.
     d. Chime Choir Practice:  11:30 a.m.-
     e. Fellowship:  11:30 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. – Fellowship Hall.
     f. Mitch Edgar’s Eagle Scout “Court of Honor:”  2:00 p.m. – Fellowship Hall.
     g. Book Club Group’s Monthly Gathering:  6:00 p.m. – Clubhouse at Kootenai Village (across from Super 1, Stevensville).  Book to be discussed:  “God’s Hotel” by Victoria Sweet.
Shepherding Team Gathering/Meeting:  January 14th, starting at 6:00 p.m. – Ginny M.’s home.

Choir Practice:  January 14th, 7:00-8:00 p.m. – Fellowship Hall.

Worship Team Gathering/Meeting:  January 14th, starting at 8:15 p.m. – Church Library.

Middle-school Youth Group:  Resumes January 15th, starting at 6:30 p.m. – Ludington’s Home.  (dinner, fellowship, fun and …)

Stewardship-Finance Team Gathering/Meeting:  January 15th, starting at 7:00 p.m. – Church Library.

Administrative Council:  January 16th, starting at 7:00 p.m.

Church-wide Retreat:  All Welcome!
     Friday, January 24th: 
          Dinner, Fellowship, Planning:  6:00-8:30 p.m. 
     Saturday, January 25th: 
          Breakfast, Devotions, Mission Project, Planning/Visioning:  8:00 a.m.-4:30 p.m.

Questions/Comments/Etc:  Church Office Phone Number – (406) 777-5443.

Prayers of the Church


Prayers of thanksgiving for …

Birthday blessings to (1) Cy who is 13 tomorrow and (2) Ben L. whose birthday was yesterday.
Pastor Charles and Belinda’s first six months with this church family… so thankful for all that has been accomplished for the glory of God… and … looking forward to the church-wide planning/visioning retreat scheduled for January 24th and 25th.  (Invitational challenge was made:  Prayers are for at least 50 forward-thinking souls to attend!)

Wonderful Bible study last Friday morning at Ms. Doris T.’s home; all are welcome to attend.
Last Friday’s lunch at the town Senior Center, featuring the “United Methodist Table” of folks enjoying one another’s company.

Great Bible study this morning taught by Clay F., beginning study of the book of Hebrews.
Insightful Bible study this morning about a current event topic (“Wired Word”):  Russian ship on a research cruise to Antarctica sent a distress signal on Christmas Day that it had gotten stuck in the ice.  We discussed what the Bible has to say to us about what we should/could do when we feel stuck in a rut, stopped in our tracks, etc.

People willing to teach classes which help others to grow in their faith. 
People willing to attend classes which help them grow in their faith.

Recently arrived babies who are celebrating their first Christmas with their loved ones.
Wonderful family reunions, including those with brand new beautiful babies to enjoy.

Ed S. sharing the news that his new great grandson Joseph has a “good voice,” i.e., he will probably be a preacher or a politician or ...
Delightful surprises.

Holiday open houses where church family turns out in support of one another.

Visitors to church: Sharon W.’s great grandsons (ages 4 and 2).  (Her great grandsons/infant twins are sleeping at her home.)
Special acts of kindness.

Doing the right things… for the right reasons.
Clay F.’s positive, encouraging letter to the editor of the local newspaper in which he challenges others to be kind and supportive.

The church’s generous and kind and loving way it supports its members and the nearby communities.
Neighbors who look out for one another.

Today’s blessing of a prayer shawl for Myrna B., Cleo G.’s sister-in-law.
Travelling mercies.

Church family members who step in and help when called.
Gratitude to live in area communities who actively care for one another’s needs.

All the people who contributed to our church’s observance/celebration of Advent and Christmas this year -- which was so energized, uplifting and meaningful – all offered in worship of our amazing God.

Prayers for recovery and healing for the thousands of casualties and millions of people affected by the recent typhoon in the Philippines.  (Thanks be to God that the United Methodist Committee on Relief, UMCOR, is in position and involved in disaster relief.)
Prayers for peace in the Middle East – and in all the “four corners” of the world.

Prayers for the people of the Central African Republic and the South Sudan. 
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 travelling mercies and for those not with us today.

Prayers for recent negative and anonymous letters to the local newspaper’s editor, focusing on negative/untrue matters.
Prayers for healing mercies for (1) Mary L., (2) Claire K., (3) Ms. Hattie Ann, (4) Bev L.’s brother, (5) Nilda B.’s sister’s father-in-law, (6) Donna L.’s Uncle Bob, (7) Gail and Lynn M.’s daughter-in-law, (8) Judy I., (9) Sister-in-law Myrna, (10) Son-in-law Matt, (11) Susan, (12) Friend’s granddaughter Lillie, (13) Rich G., (14) Doris T.’s sister-in-law Cloris, (15) Gail F, (16) Cousin Sojie, (17) Jeanne C., (18) Ginny M., (19) Ed H., (20) Sheila H., (21/22) Mike in Arizona and his partner Emily L, (23) Sharon W., (24) “Friend,” and (25) Becky B.

Prayers for family and friends who are mourning the recent deaths of their loved ones:  (1) Doris Kester, (2) Sandy Kenyon, (3) Kathy B’s brother and (4) Alan Parks’ 13-year-old daughter.
Prayer for Jody who is need of prayer and justice.

Prayers for those who are struggling to deal with the recent deaths of family members and close friends.
Prayers for family and friends who are gravely concerned about their loved ones who are facing serious consequences for their recent actions.

Prayers for all who are hurting at this time of year.
Prayers for those who are worried, frustrated and upset by the uncertainty surrounding their health-care insurance coverage.

Epiphany Sunday at SUMC

Wired Word class enjoying the lesson
Altar Guild members take the time to prepare for worship
One of the children's class projects
Chime choir warms up before worship
Epiphany Sunday @ SUMC
We enjoy fellowship time!
What a blessing this morning was at SUMC!  From 'soup to nuts,' our studies, worship and fellowship were spirit-filled!

The morning's sermon is available at this link.

The chime choir's offering, "We Three Kings," is available here.