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

(IF YOU CLICK ON A PICTURE, IT WILL GET BIGGER... AND EASIER TO VIEW.)

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Readings for Transfiguration Sunday (March 2)

Church of the Transfiguration - Mt. Tabor
Exodus 24:12-18.  There is an intentional similarity between our Old Testament and New Testament lessons today.  Almost certainly, the Gospel author used this Exodus passage as the basis for his narrative of the Transfiguration.

This is actually the ending of an extensive definition of the covenant God made with Israel (chapters 19-24 inclusive). Moses was bid come up the sacred mountain to receive the stones on which the terms of the covenant (the Ten Commandments) were written. There Moses met God in a cloud and stayed forty days and nights. Forty is a sacred number which appears many other times in the Old and New Testaments.

Psalm 2.  Rightly or wrongly, the early Church interpreted this psalm as referring to Jesus as the Messiah. In its original form it was probably a poem encouraging confidence in an unnamed king of Israel at the time of his accession or an anniversary of that event.  Verse 7 was quoted in the narrative of Jesus' baptism in Mark, then copied by Matthew and Luke.

2 Peter 1:16-21.  This is the one reference to the Transfiguration outside of the first three Gospels. It interpreted that mysterious event as a guarantee of Christ's Second Coming in glory. This element of faith was in decline early in the 2nd century AD when this letter was composed.

Matthew 17:1-9.  Does any other story of Jesus' ministry greater contain more mystery than this? Was it a vision revealing to the disciples Jesus' true nature and his future glory after death? Or was this an interpretation of what the ministry of Jesus meant to the church founded by the apostles?


The cloud and the voice symbolized not only the close presence of God, but God's designation of Jesus as Messiah first stated in his baptism. The appearance of Moses and Elijah, as well as Peter's desire to build three tabernacles, indicated that this renewed revelation at this crucial moment in Jesus' ministry still maintained the vital connection with the law and the prophets of Israel. It also reflected the early apostolic church's unbreakable continuity with the spiritual tradition of Israel.

Tuesday night cancellations

Due to difficult driving conditions throughout the Valley, tonight's choir practice and the worship team meeting have been canceled.

Tomorrow's Wired Word study (10 am) is scheduled to take place.

Monday, February 24, 2014

UMW event cancellations

Due to weather and driving considerations we (Sonia Nelson, Mary Costello, and I) have reluctantly decided to cancel the UMW Brunch/coffee that was scheduled for Tuesday. We are planning to do it the following Tuesday, March 4.

Also, the UMW Reading Group is cancelled. We will reschedule at a later date. We have put this information out via the prayer chain. 

Stay warm and safe. 

Marcia Prather 
UMW president

Sunday, February 23, 2014

Prayers

JOYS

Prayers of thanksgiving for …

Our church family’s prayers for Colleen K.-M.’s healing.
Bob, Cammie and Mitch E.’s recent get-away to Arizona.

Seeing a robin on Friday – a sign of encouragement that spring IS around the corner.
Mary C. being back in church today.

Visitor:  Callie’s friend Ashley.
The blessing of snow/moisture in the valley.

Caring neighbors who shovel snow at the church and their neighbor’s walkways.
The loving way the congregation pulls together to help others in need.

Church members who provided refreshments at Friday’s funeral service reception:  Trudy F., Cleo G., Sonia H., Carole K. and Marge W. -- “ministry of hospitality.”
Loving church family members who turn out in the cold to clear the parking lot and sidewalks to help folks getting to church safely:  Ben L. and others.

Opportunities for service.
Cheryl Z.’s improved health… and her being back in church today.

Chimes choir’s music today.

The Olympics and how it brings people together.

CONCERNS
Prayers for the families and friends of the Marine who died last week in the service of his country.

Prayers for our military Veterans and their families, especially those who are dealing with “the loss of body and/or spirit.”

Prayers for healing mercies for (1) Bev L. (2) Cheryl Z. and (3) Gail F, (4) Ms. Hattie, (5) Desiree T., (6) Betty L’s grandson Joe, (7) Colleen K.-M. and her family, (8) Randy and Janice B.’s daughter Kerry and her new premature daughter, (9) Joel, (10) Julie L.’s uncle, (11) Daughter Karma, (12) Megan, (13) Linda I., (14) Teachers’ broken wrists, and (15) Friend Bethany’s broken thumb.
Prayers for those involved with this morning’s motor vehicle accident near Traders Brothers when a lady was killed.

Prayers for emergency first-responders.
Prayers for Cameron who is struggling with addiction issues.

Prayers for the family and friends of Earl Martin who funeral was yesterday.
Prayers for our neighbors in Corvallis and Florence who are dealing with the consequences of losing their homes to fire.

Prayers for travelling mercies and for those not with us today.

Snowy morning





The snow fell steadily this morning as last week's thaw was a distant memory here in the Valley.  The sidewalks and parking area was cleared in time for worship this morning and what a wonderful celebration we had.  The church school classes were lively, the worship was spirit-filled, and the fellowship time was generous!!

A special thanks to the chime choir for their beautiful offering, "Joy & Grace."  It is always a treat when the chimes share during our worship service.

Worship with us today!

Don't let the light snow that is falling in the Bitterroot Valley stop you this morning from coming to worship! The sidewalks and the parking areas are being cleared, the heat is turned on, and the coffee is brewing!  

If you can't safely make it to the church this morning, please check out the YouTube channel for Stevensville UMC this evening for the sermon and the chime choir offering.

DoD casualty report for February 16 - 22

Camp Nelson National Cemetery - Nicholasville, KY
The Department of Defense announced this week the death of a Marine who was supporting Operation Enduring Freedom. 

Master Sgt. Aaron C. Torian, 36, of Paducah, Kentucky, died Feb. 15, while conducting combat operations in Helmand Province, Afghanistan. 

He was assigned to 2d Marine Special Operations Battalion, Marine Special Operations Regiment, U.S. Marine Corps Forces Special Operations Command, Camp Lejeune, N.C.

Friday, February 21, 2014

Work Weekend 2014

FLATHEAD LAKE UNITED METHODIST CAMP
  
Dear Camp Supporter,

Greetings from Camp!  J    Mark your calendar – May 2nd, 3rd, and 4th - the dates for Work Weekend 2014.  Gather your tools, expertise, and enthusiasm to join us for a weekend of work, fellowship, song, laughter and great food at a place we have all come to love and share --  Flathead Lake United Methodist Camp.

This May the camp needs your help more than ever! The Camp’s big project for spring 2014 has been building a pump house for clean, safe, drinking water and installing pipes underground. The new distribution system will assure clean water that flows to the dining hall, cabins, and bath houses. Come to camp prepared with your shovels, rakes, and seeders to landscape the camp after backhoes have dug trenches for the distribution system. You can also help us lay grass seed and plant trees (larch, ponderosa pine, and deciduous). More outside work includes removing accumulated debris from around cabin foundations and off roofs, burning slash, and cutting fire wood from the hazardous trees we fell in March.

For those of you that prefer to improve the inside of buildings, the camp has multiple cleaning tasks to make the camp ready for the campers. In addition, our cabin’s kitchenware needs sorted and boxed to comply with a Lake County Health Regulation. New this summer, all cabin guests will be issued dishes, pots and pans, and utensils upon check-in for their personal cooking so the camp can assure the kitchenware has been sanitized.

We will be serving dinner Friday evening at 6:00, three meals on Saturday and two meals on Sunday.  In exchange for your hard work and participation, all meals and lodging will be at no charge.  Lodging is on a first come first choice basis – we do not take reservations for this particular weekend. Please come to the dining hall to check in and choose your cabin.

To help us plan for food, please let us know by April 27th  if you will be joining us by either writing to the camp at 21339 Methodist Camp Road, Rollins, MT  59931, or by email at umcamp@montanasky.net or by calling us at 406-844-3483.

We look forward to seeing and working with you as we prepare the camp for another great year of camping experiences for our youth and families.

Blessings,

Karen Davison

Camp Manager

Thursday, February 20, 2014

This week...

snow clouds on the mountains

Wired Word class on Wednesday
Betty L @ the Senior Center birthday lunch
Carole and Marge help set up for Friday's funeral refreshments
It's been a wonderful week here in the Bitterroot Valley! Warmer weather meant the snow was melting but Thursday it turned colder and the snow started up again.  

Several activities were canceled this week as a result of the weather.  
The roads are clear now and we'll be "open for business" on Sunday!

On Friday, Carole K., Marge W., and Trudy F. helped prepare refreshments following the service for Theodore McNinch.  The service had been held at the Riverside Cemetery, conducted by a family friend.

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

This week's lectionary readings

LEVITICUS 19:1-2, 15-18. These brief excerpts from the Holiness Code (Lev. 17-26) assume that Moses authored the first five books of the Old Testament. In all probability, they were composed over a long period of time during the development of Israel's religious rituals and social conventions. The purpose of the Holiness Code was to fulfill the requirements of the formula defined in vss. 1-2 presumed to have been dictated by God to Moses. This passage included references to several of the Ten Commandments.

PSALM 119:33-40. This section of the psalm is the fifth in the sequence of 22. Each line of its acrostic form begins with the Hebrew letter he, roughly equivalent to our e. The theme presents an assurance that the faithful Israelite fully obedient to the Law will be fully rewarded. An alternate
reading of vs. 33 does say as much: ". that I may follow it for its reward." However, such a reading does not seem to be in keeping with the rest of the section. Observing the Law is not for selfish ends, but for the joy of serving God in a holy life.

1 CORINTHIANS 3:10-11, 16-23. This well-known passage brings forth several sermon texts. Vss. 10-11 continues the theme of the earlier verses but with a different metaphor, that of a construction site. This metaphor continued into vss. 16-17 referring to the building of a temple. The distinction Paul made was that this temple was of a spiritual nature, not material. Furthermore, it existed in the faith community, not in a single individual. Paul also included a warning against those who might have been tempted to destroy this 'temple' by dividing it into warring factions. Vss. 18-23 picks
up on the theme with which the apostle began his letter, the wisdom of God in contrast to the foolish wisdom of the world.

MATTHEW 5:38-48.   In this passage Jesus spoke of incidents that could have occurred every day in any part of Galilee. In hearing what he said, his audience would have been as shocked as we are today. What he said carried the application of the law much farther than anyone could be expected to go in ordinary living. Did he really expect that of his fellow Jews in Galilee or Jerusalem? Moral perfection is far beyond anything we are capable of achieving, isn't it? Is this what keeping both the letter and the spirit of the law requires? Is this what his challenge really means to go beyond the
basic requirements of holy living?

Sunday, February 16, 2014

People's Prayers

JOYS

Prayers of thanksgiving for …

The blessed “release” of last week’s dire weather.
The blessing of snow/moisture in the valley.

Last night’s American Legion dinner fundraiser’s success and for the wonderful way our area communities support military Veterans.
Last Friday afternoon’s wonderful United Methodist Women’s (UMW’s) gathering, which included Pastor Charles’ program about his cross collection.

Four new members to the UMW… all under age 50.
The UMW’s efforts in the mission field.

Last Friday night’s wonderful Valentine’s Day Dinner which was orchestrated by our United Methodist Men (UMM).  About 47 folks enjoyed the catered sit-down dinner/ celebration.  We had 8 visitors with us that night.  The event turned out to be a great “nurture” and “outreach” event.  (Things that were discussed at the January church-wide retreat.)
Girl Scout cookie-sales season:  Today’s fellowship time will be last time to support it at the church.

Gretchen S.’s sister agreed to take their Dad in and help out.
The wonderful church family’s support of Belinda A. when she fractured her knee cap.  Gratitude for being able to be back in church now.

Sharon W. was sick, but is so happy to be feeling better now and in church today.
Happy to have running water again, after suffering with frozen pipes at home.

Nilda and Tom B.’s great sledding adventure with 5 young people yesterday… and no one got hurt.
Don and Sonia H.’s son had good news.

For all dads who show us the way.
Betty L.’s “secret angel” who left delicious cookies at her door last week.

Bridget and Tom’s fifth anniversary of being together.
Birthday blessings to Ryder, George C. and Danielle.

Attending first-ever University of Montana, “Griz’, female basketball game... and they won.
The UMM’s new parking lot welcoming ministry which includes volunteers who help escort folks safely from the parking lot into the church.

Caring neighbors who shovel snow at the church and their neighbor’s walkways.
Linda and John F.’s safe travels to Australia for the baptism of their granddaughter.

CONCERNS
Prayers for the families and friends of the four active-duty military members who died last week in the service of their country.

Prayer shawl blessing for Roy H.
Prayers for healing mercies for (1) Bev L. (2) Cheryl Z. and (3) Gail F.

Prayers for Tina’s family’s friend Chandra, who recently died in a terrible traffic accident and who leaves behind your children and grieving family and friends.
Prayers for our military Veterans and their families, especially those who are dealing with “the loss of body and/or spirit.”

Prayers for all those involved… as our country’s participation in the war in Afghanistan concludes.
Prayers for grandson Bobby McKay, currently serving as a captain in the Air Force… who was just deployed for the second time overseas.

Prayers for travelling mercies and for those not with us today.
Prayers for Hazel and Les S. who are “suffering” the weather of Arizona.

Wonderful Sunday @ SUMC!


What a difference a week can make!  Last Sunday we were digging out from a week's worth of snow and bone-chilling temperatures.  Today, the parking lot and the roads were clear with temps above freezing and the faithful came together for study and worship.

Today's sermon can be found at this link.

Today's choir selection can be found at this link.

DoD Casualty Report for February 9 - 15

Jefferson Barracks National Cemetery - Missouri
The Department of Defense announced this week the death of four soldiers who were supporting Operation Enduring Freedom.

+Pfc. Joshua A. Gray, 21, of Van Lear, KY, died Feb. 10, in Bagram Airfield, Afghanistan, from a non-combat related incident currently under investigation.  He was assigned to the Headquarters and Headquarters Battalion, 10th Mountain Division, Fort Drum, N.Y.

+Spc. Christopher A. Landis, 27, of Independence, KY, died Feb. 10, on Bagram Airfield, Afghanistan, from wounds received when the enemy attacked his dismounted patrol with a rocket propelled grenade in Kapisa Province, Afghanistan.  He was assigned to 2nd Battalion, 3rd Special Forces Group (Airborne), Fort Bragg, N.C.

+Spc. John A. Pelham, 22, of Portland, Oregon, and +Sgt. First Class Roberto C. Skelt, 41, of York, Florida, died Feb. 12, in Kapisa Province, Afghanistan, of wounds suffered when they were struck by enemy small arms fire.  Pelham and Skelt were assigned to 2nd Battalion, 3rd Special Forces Group (Airborne), Fort Bragg, N.C.

Today's sermon text

Christ Pantocrator -- Cathedral of Monreale, Sicily
Matthew 5:21-26

21-22 “You’re familiar with the command to the ancients, ‘Do not murder.’ I’m telling you that anyone who is so much as angry with a brother or sister is guilty of murder. Carelessly call a brother ‘idiot!’ and you just might find yourself hauled into court. Thoughtlessly yell ‘stupid!’ at a sister and you are on the brink of hellfire. The simple moral fact is that words kill.


23-24 “This is how I want you to conduct yourself in these matters. If you enter your place of worship and, about to make an offering, you suddenly remember a grudge a friend has against you, abandon your offering, leave immediately, go to this friend and make things right. Then and only then, come back and work things out with God.

25-26 “Or say you’re out on the street and an old enemy accosts you. Don’t lose a minute. Make the first move; make things right with him. After all, if you leave the first move to him, knowing his track record, you’re likely to end up in court, maybe even jail. If that happens, you won’t get out without a stiff fine.

Copyright © 1993, 1994, 1995, 1996, 2000, 2001, 2002 by Eugene H. Peterson

Friday, February 14, 2014

Valentine's Day dinner


The fellowship hall was filled this evening with the sounds of a community gathered for a time of good food and fellowship.  

The evening had been planned by the United Methodist Men.  The meal was catered by Caffe` Firenze (out of Florence) and it was so good!!!

Pictures from the evening can be seen at this link.

God's Valentine Acrostic

John 3:16

February's UMW gathering

Trudy leads the meeting

Phyllis offers the devotions
Some of Pastor Charles' crosses
The UMW met on Friday with more than 25 ladies in attendance.   Vice-president Trudy Freeman led the meeting (in Marcia Prather's absence).  

Carole Koval introduced the guests - who all became UMW members!  New to the group are: Becky Boykin, Janice Krogh, Judy Ward, and Marge Wood.

The program was offered by Pastor Charles who shared his extensive cross collection (more than 170) with the group.

Today's hostesses were Carol Varien and Doris Taylor.  Pastor Charles was thrilled with the choice of the dessert choice - cheesecake!

Upcoming events:
+UMW Reading Group - Monday, Feb. 24 @7 pm.
+UMW Coffee Brunch - Tuesday, Feb. 25 - 9:30 - 11:00 a.m.
+Spring District Event - April 4th & 5th.
+Walk to Emmaus (women's walk) - May 1-4.
+Garage sale (with the men's group) - June 21st. 
+July's picnic date is going to be on July 12th.

+Mission u - August 15-16 @ Mission Valley UMC

Church Camp Makes a Difference

From the Yellowstone Conference website:

2/10/2014

"Camp is wonderful place that allows me to be myself.  As a young man it was a necessary thing that helped find myself, my walk with Christ, and others.  I love camp and know that youth within the church walls and beyond really need camp and other chances to connect with each other. It is a great time get in touch with youth from all sorts of backgrounds.

Some of my most Memorable moments in my life are from church camp. Think about it, you have a week with very bad cell reception, and the coolest people on the planet all around you.  How can you not have a good time?"  

- Derrick Person, Age 23, Youth Leader Laurel UMC


How do we nurture our youth in Christian living?  Do we do this through Sunday School classes or youth meetings ?  If we do and if they meet 9 months a year for perhaps 45 minutes per week, that's only, at best, about 30 hours a year, hit and miss. What if churches make a concerted effort to send children and  youth from their community  to church camp where there will be intensive, 24 hour a day, programing in Christian living. 

The Yellowstone Conference has church camps to fulfill this awesome possibility.  Please begin thinking who could befit from a week at church camp and how to get them there.  Church camp changes peoples lives, be a part of this wonderful opportunity.  Please take 5 minutes the last Sunday of each month, February to June to promote church camp in your services and/or in your Sunday School.

You can register for church camps by clicking below.

If you or someone you know would be able to attend camp with financial assistance please apply below.

No Bible study this morning

Due to VERY icy conditions at Doris' home, the Drop-in Bible study has been canceled for this morning.  Keep reading the lessons and we'll try again next week!!!

Sunday, February 9, 2014

Prayers of the Congregation

JOYS

Prayers of thanksgiving for …

Those hardy souls who were able to get to church this morning, in spite of all the snow and challenging weather conditions.
The blessing of snow/moisture in the valley.

California got some much-needed moisture too.
Mitch E. met the governor and presented the 2013 Scouts Report to him.

Wonderful parents of scouts who encourage and support their participation in scouting.
Scout Sunday observance today in worship service.  Mitch E., Rollie F. and Cy led the congregation in reciting the scouting litany.

For our visitors worshipping with us today:  Patty G. and Dennis.
For those who are willing to teach others.

For family and friends who care for one another when they are ill.
For young people who actively care for others in the congregation.

For parents of young people who model good citizenship and Christian values for their children.
Sharon W.’s wonderful family visit which included four little boys celebrating lively activities in her home.

Lynn M. is feeling much better now.
Belinda A. is feeling much better now.  She is so happy to be back in worship again.

Joey D.’s niece – She is doing much better health-wise.  The way she has dealt with her health challenge and her witness to her faith has inspired/impressed the medical staff who have supported/cared for her.
Great United Methodist Men’s (UMM’s) gathering yesterday.

The UMM’s new parking lot welcoming ministry which includes volunteers who help escort folks safely from the parking lot into the church.
Marcia P. and her husband’s wonderful trip to Florida.

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

Wonderful folks who shovel snow at the church and their neighbor’s walkways.
No military service members’ deaths this past week – to our knowledge.

CONCERNS
Prayers for healing mercies for (1) Bev L. (2) Cheryl Z., (3)

Prayers for Marilyn M’s friend – Sue.  Her son is Matt.  Matt’s little boy was taken to another state without his knowledge over a year ago by his mother.  Sue has not been able to see her grandson for over a year.  There is a court date on the matter coming up this Tuesday. 

Prayers for all those involved in child custody issues.
Prayers for our military Veterans and their families.

Prayers for the family and friends of Dora Dilt who passed away last week.
Prayers for travelling mercies and for those not with us today.

Prayers for those who are snow-bound today.
Prayers for those who have no electricity or running water due to inclement weather conditions.

Prayers for family and friends who are gravely concerned about their loved ones who are facing serious consequences for their recent actions.

ANNOUNCEMENTS: 
Shepherding Team Meeting:  February 11th, 6:00-7:00 p.m., Ginny M.’s home.

Choir Practice:  February 11th, 7:00-8:00 p.m.
Worship Team Meeting:  February 11th, 8:15 p.m.

“Wired Word” Bible Study:  February 12th, starting at 10:00 a.m. – Fellowship Hall.
Middle-school Youth Group:  February 12th, starting at 6:30 p.m. – Ludington’s Home.  (dinner, fellowship, fun and …)

Brass Ensemble Practice:  February 12th, 7:00 p.m. – Sanctuary.
Stewardship/Finance Meeting:  February 12th, 7:00 p.m. – Library.

Drop-in Bible Study:  February 14th, 10:00-11:00 a.m., Ms. Doris T.’s home.
United Methodist Women’s (UMW’s) Gathering:  February 14th, 1:00-3:00 p.m. – Fellowship Hall.  Pastor Charles will be speaking about his cross collection.

Valentine’s Day Dinner:  February 14th, 7:00 p.m. – Fellowship Hall
Next Sunday, February 16th: 

     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.

     e. Chime Choir Practice:  11:30 a.m. – Balcony.

A snowy morning in Stevensville

The steady snowfall which began during the early morning hours continued throughout the morning but that didn't stop the faithful coming to celebrate!

In addition to church school and a delightful fellowship time this morning was also Scouting Sunday.  During the worship service three Scouts - Rollie, Mitch, and Cy, led the congregation in a litany which lifted up the twelve points of the Scout Law.

The sermon is available at this limk.

The litany for Scouting Sunday is at this link.



Come one, come all!!


Greeters from the United Methodist Men will be available at both entrances to assist you in getting into (and out of) the building

If you can't safely come to worship this morning you can see the choir's offering and the sermon on YouTube later today. 

Church school - 9 am
Praise singing - 10:15
Worship 10:30
Fellowship time - 11:30

Book group - 6 pm @ Kootenai Village clubhouse

Saturday, February 8, 2014

Valentine's Day is coming!

Show some love to your sweetheart AND your church this Valentine's Day! When you buy a gift for your dearest at one of the top retailers on UMCmarket.org, a percentage of your purchase goes back to the ministry of your choice - at no extra cost to you.

UMM gathering on a snowy Saturday

The steady snowfall that began in the early morning hours continued this morning, as the UMM gathered for its monthly breakfast and fellowship time.

During the business portion of the morning, we discussed:
+The Valentine's dinner which will be here at the church on the 14th.  Tickets are on sale until the 12th.
+We began last Sunday morning -- having an outside greeter to provide assistance to those needing help getting into the building.
+We are going to begin offering to pick up anyone needing assistance coming to worship.  We'll ask folks to call the church office by noon on Friday for a ride on Sunday.
+The National Day of Prayer (May 1st) planning is well-underway with Clay F. and Ed S. playing a big part in getting this launched in Stevensville.

A delicious breakfast was provided by Bill G. (with Carol's help!) and Ed S.  Next month, John F. and Dean D. will be on deck for the meal.

Monday, February 3, 2014

Groundhog Day at SUMC

Sara prepares the communion elements
Dave leading the praise singing
Mary loves our fellowship time
It's Girl Scout Cookie time!
Bev sports the prayer shawl given her today
Nilda and Mary at the Valentine's Day ticket table
What a blessing it was to be in the house of the Lord on Groundhog Day!!!  There was learning taking place, a lively worship service (including the singing of the "Groundhog Day hymn," and warm fellowship.  

The snow the Valley had received over the weekend didn't deter folk from coming to worship, we're hardy Montanans after all! Thanks to Dean Diers for  serving as our parking lot greeter, helping those in need of a supporting arm to make it into the building.

The choir provided a beautiful anthem which helped to prepare us for communion.  The sermon on Sunday considered our response to the Sermon on the Mount.

During the fellowship time Bev L. was presented with a prayer shawl which had been blessed during the worship service.  Bev is a special person and was touched by this token of the congregation's prayers and affection.

Sunday, February 2, 2014

Our Church's Hospitality Ministry Needs YOU!

Why not prayerfully consider serving as a greeter at our church?  You can start by watching this video (less than 8 minutes long)!

Points of the video include the following.
  • I’m a first time church greeter: What do I do?
  • What is the most important thing for a church greeter?
  • What 4 actions are important for a church greeter to remember?
  • What should I say to a first time church visitor?
  • What can I do after the service?
  • Does my role as a greeter really matter?

Making Others Smile!

Click on this sentence to see a video about this man's wonderful gift to others!  He says that dying has taught him how to live.  He says that "you have to do what you can to make people smile ... while you still have the chance."

Groundhog Day 2014


Punxsutawney Phil, the world's most famous fuzzy forecaster, popped out of his burrow Sunday morning and predicted six more weeks of winter, much to the disappointment for the crowd gathered at Gobbler's Knob in Pennsylvania. 

The Groundhog Hymn
(to the tune "Praise the Lord" by Natalie Sleeth, The Faith We Sing, #2020)

1. Praise the Lord for the woodland creatures,
praise the Lord for the garden guests,
praise the Lord! For by them our lives are blest.
Praise the Lord for the scamp'ring squirrels,
praise the Lord for the graceful deer,
praise the Lord for the sounds of nature we hear.

Praise the Lord for the humble woodchuck,
praise the Lord for the mouse and mole,
praise the Lord for the backyard visits
that sustain the soul.
Praise the Lord for the wildlife near us,
praise the Lord as we watch them play
praise the Lord; always send a smile their way.


2. Praise the Lord for the change of seasons,
praise the Lord for the gifts they bring,
praise the Lord for the loveliness of spring.
Praise the Lord for the warmth of summer,
praise the Lord for the colors of fall,
praise the Lord for the beauty of it all.

Praise the Lord for the cold of winter,
praise the Lord every Groundhog Day.
Praise the Lord! It won't last for ever!
That's what the shadows say!
Praise the Lord for the gift of laughter,
praise the Lord for a silly song,
praise the Lord, always try to sing along.


Copyright 2008 F. Richard Garland. Published by The General Board of Discipleship of The United Methodist Church, PO Box 340003, Nashville TN 37203.

Saturday, February 1, 2014

Memorial Service for Margaret McElroy

The memorial service for Margaret Darlene McElroy was held today in the SUMC sanctuary.

The obituary for Margaret can be found at the Missoulian link.

Thanks to Julie Ludington for lending her talents by playing the piano.  Thanks to Paul Ludington for clearing the sidewalks following last night's snow. 

Thanks also goes to everyone who pitched in and helped with the reception today or have provided food for the family during this difficult time.

Another Video from Last Week's Church-wide Retreat!



A 2-minute explanation by Jeff Maguire (and friends) of what is a "missional church."
Click on this sentence to see it!

The missional church recognizes that every believer embodies the life of the church in his/her respective neighborhood.... at home, school, work, play.

Another Video Shown at Last Week's Church-wide Retreat


A modern day monologue version of the what the Woman at the well said to Jesus. This story can be found in John 4:3-30 in the Holy Bible. 
Click on this sentence, and you will see this great video:  "The Woman at the Well."
This was shown to highlight how important it is for each of us to get to know our neighbors!

What if church was like a NFL game?


Yes, it is Super Bowl weekend, so we thought we would share a video that was shown at last week's church-wide retreat... just for fun! 
Click on this sentence to see the video "What if church was like a NFL game?"

Prayer Request



Olivia Sherry asks for prayers for her partner Jeff's mother, Judy.  Early this morning, Judy and all family members living with her safely escaped a fire that engulfed their farmhouse in Ashtabula, Ohio.  Praise be to God that everyone escaped the fire.  However the home was completely destroyed.  Request prayers for needed restitution and healing.