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


Monday, June 30, 2014

Last Message from D.S. John Daniels

First United Methodist Church, Missoula
PO Box 7646, 300 E. Main St., Missoula, MT 59807

To the United Methodist Pastors and Faith Communities of the Western Mountains District:
I write to you all on the eve of my last official day as the Western Mountains District Superintendent in order to convey my thanksgiving to you all for two substantial, creative, and informative years in which we worked together, learned together, prayed together, and journeyed together towards the ministry opportunities afforded us by the Grace of God.  It has been a wonderful, humbling journey for me personally, as I was given the rare blessing of insight into many, many ministries and personalities all shaped by the common core of seeking God’s will on earth.  Such an experience has opened my eyes, mind, and heart to the reality of Yellowstone Annual Conference’s generosity, spirituality, and camaraderie for the sake of Christ.  I thank you for this blessing you have graciously shared with me.

From this point on, Rev. Kama Hamilton Morton will be the District Superintendent over the state of Montana; please direct your correspondence to her  (kama@yacumc.org; cell phone 406-868-6853) or the new district office (contact information presently being constructed).

I will continue to keep you all in my heart as a fellow sojourner on the pathway Jesus extends before us, and pray God’s continuing blessing upon you in our joint effort to see God’s will be done, here and now, and far into the future.
Grace to you,

Rev. John Daniels, Pastor, First UMC Missoula

Sunday, June 29, 2014

Last Sunday in June

Dave L. and Jenna L. lead the praise singing
Carole K., Cleo G., and Bill L. "Sonrise"
Sundaes on Sunday
The last Sunday in June was a lively affair at Stevensville UMC! We began with the Wired Word class being held in the fellowship hall, what a great thing it is to have disciples excited about growing in their faith, even during the summer!

Dave and Jenna L. led the praise music prior to worship starting and during the service, special music was offered by "Sonrise" (Carole K., Cleo G., and Bill L.).  

We also called Sam B. to the front of the sanctuary to be blessed as she prepares to leave for Brazil on a medical mission aboard the John Wesley medical boat. It is a big deal to send out a missionary from a local church and it speaks well of Sam and her church to be part of this ministry.

Our fellowship time was a real treat in more ways than one!  Thanks to Billie M. and Belinda A. the congregation was treated to a buffet of sundae items.  Our fellowship time is a wonderful example of a welcoming congregation - it is a great sight to have guests and new members being welcomed as part of our church family.

The sermon and music by Sonrise are available on our YouTube channel.  The closing program from the Church Day-camp (last Friday) is also available on the YouTube channel.

20,000 Blog Entries to the Church Blog!

WOW!  Our church blog has had over 20,000 hits/visits in the last year!  Yea, God!!!
- 3 Jul:    Church Blog Began
- 7 Oct:    Milestone of 6,000 Hits
-17 Oct:   Milestone of 7,000 Hits
-24 Oct:   Milestone of 8,000 Hits
-10 Nov:  Milestone of 10,000 Hits
-14 Nov:  Milestone of 11,000 Hits
-23 Nov:  Milestone of 12,000 Hits
- 4 Dec:    Milestone of 13,000 Hits
-19 Dec:   Milestone of 14,000 Hits
-26 Dec:   Milestone of 15,000 Hits
-29 Jun:   Milestone of 20,000 Hits!!!

A prayer for a summer Sunday

Deus cui omne cor patet et omnis voluntas loquitur: et quem nullum latet secretum: purifica per infusionem sancti spiritus cogitationes cordis nostri: ut te perfecte diligere et digne laudare mereamur, per dominum nostrum iesum christum filium tuum qui tecum vivit et regnat in unitate eiusdem spiritus sancti deus, per omnia secula seculorum. Amen.

English translation: Almighty God, to you all hearts are open, all desires known and from you no secrets are hid: cleanse the thoughts of our hearts by the inspiration of your Holy Spirit, that we may perfectly love you and worthily magnify your holy name, through Jesus Christ our Lord, Amen.

(picture is of "Old Sarum," two miles from Salisbury, Wiltshire, UK)

Friday, June 27, 2014

Summer time stewardship

The church needs your gifts during the summer.  The bills keep coming in.  If you miss worship during the summer, please remember that the church needs your financial support whether you are there or not. 

If you have to miss a Sunday or to while on vacation, add the amount you would ordinarily give to your offering when attending.  If that is not convenient, just send a check for the missed Sundays to:

Stevensville UMC
216 College Street
Stevensville, MT 59870.

You may also want to consider electronic funds transfer (EFT) option for your regular giving.  Information and authorization forms are available from Carol Goffe in the church office  The telephone number is (406) 777-5443.

Or you could donate via PayPal link that is now available on the church website.

Thank you for your faithful support of God's work through the programs and ministries of the Stevensville UMC.

Don Nelson,
Stewardship Committee

Day Camp - Day 5 (Last Day)

The game's afoot!
Bible story time
10, 9, 8,...
Carol helps out with the games
Mitch directs the action at a game station
Yesterday's rain gave way to cloudy skies this morning as eighteen children and the Twinlow staff gathered on the final morning of our Day Camp!

Following lunch (thanks to Dean D. and John F. for the burgers and hotdogs) the children were entertained with carnival games and earned prizes for their efforts.

Thanks to Kathy C., Dean D., Bob E., Mitch E., John & Lynda F., Carol G., Debbie G., Carole K., Sara M., Shelby M., and Don N. for helping with today's camp. 

The closing program may be viewed on our YouTube channel.

Thanks also go to:
+Ginny M. and Donna L. for hosting the Twinlow staffers in their homes this week. 
+Clay F. for serving as tour guide at St. Mary's Mission and to Don & Mary N. for taking the staff members to Traveler's Rest in Lolo.
+Thanks to everyone who helped with food, supplies, and time with this week's effort.

A special thanks goes to "Boston," "Flicker," and "Pebbles" for their creativity and energy in putting together a camp for our community's children

Thursday, June 26, 2014

Day Camp - Day 4

The morning started off with light rain but that didn't dampen the spirits of the children and leadership team! Seventeen children had an awesome time including the tacos at lunch!

Thanks to Kathy C., Mitch E., Trudy F., Carol G., Bryan & Janet L., Shelby M., and Amber M-S. for helping with today's camp.

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Day Camp - Day 3

Art on the walk
Pastor Charles' portrait

Holding on!
Sixteen children turned out on a beautiful morning in the Bitterroot Valley for the third day of the Twinlow Day-camp.  Come by the church and take a look at the artwork displayed on the sidewalk (on the College Street side).

Thanks to Kathy B., Kathy C., Mary C., Mitch E., Bill G., Mary L., Amber M-S., Shelby M., and Marcia P., for their help today (The children (and adults) LOVED the homemade spaghetti & meat sauce!!!).

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Day Camp - Day 2

The second day of the Twinlow Day-camp at Stevi UMC was LOTS of fun!  Fifteen children were on hand and the energy they displayed was amazing!!

Thanks to Marcia P. for the homemade mac & cheese that we enjoyed for lunch.  And thanks to Phyllis D., Mitch E., Trudy F., Carol G, Debbie G., Shelby M., Don & Mary N., Marcia P. and Gretchen S. for supporting today's activities.

After we were done for the day the Twinlow staffers were treated to a tour of the Historic St. Mary's Mission.  Thanks to the generous friends who made it possible and to Clay F. for serving a tour guide.

Monday, June 23, 2014

Day Camp - Day 1

Learning a song about "Bruce the Moose"
Story time under the pines
A prayer in the open
The first Day-camp here at Stevi UMC is off and running with loads of energy in and around the church!  The three Twinlow staff members, "Boston," "Pebbles," and "Flicker" certainly have their hands full with the thirteen campers present this morning.

We have LOTS of room for more campers so if you know of a child who might want to experience fun, friends, and more, this is the place to bring them tomorrow!

Thanks to Pastor Charles, Kathy C., Mitch E., Trudy F., Carol G., Amber M-S., Don & Mary N., and Marcia P. for being on hand to help today.

Sunday, June 22, 2014

Twinlow staff are ready!

"Hail, hail, the gang's all here!"
"Boston," Ginny, & "Pebbles"
"Flicker" and Donna

The three staff members from the Twinlow UM Camp, here in Stevensville to conduct the Stevi UMC day-camp, have arrived and are eager to begin camp tomorrow!  The three ladies arrived this morning in time for worship and enjoyed our fellowship time after the service.  
This afternoon several of our members took the staff, "Flicker," "Boston," and "Pebbles" (their camp names) to the Frontier Cafe` where we got to know one another even more.

Thanks to Ginny M. for hosting two of the young ladies (with help from Arlene H.) and to Donna L. who is sharing her home with the third staff member.

Praise God for our life together!

Dave L. leads the praise singing this morning
Nilda, Donna, Clay & Dave L. offer today's special music
Fellowship time is a lively place
Meeting with the Day-camp staff
What a blessing it was today to have such a lively community coming together to learn, worship, and share our common life together!

Thanks to Dave L. for leading the praise singing and to Nilda B., Clay F., and Donna L. for joining with Dave in singing, "There is a Balm in Gilead."

Today's sermon and quartet offering is available on our YouTube channel.


Thanks to God for a loving church family.
Thanks to God for Dave L.'s leading our pre-worship service hymn sing today.
Thankful to God for the lives that will be touched and transformed this week at “Day Camp.”
“Day Camp” is this coming week.  The three camp counselors are here with us -- they are from the Twinlow Day Camp Ministry.  (Click on this sentence to read about this exciting program!) 
Visitors in church:  Mary C.’s grandchildren Hailey and Truman, Tom B.’s brother-in-law Ken S., Ava S.’ grandmother, Kathy C.’s foster children Trey and Leyla, Ronnie & Sandy from Florida.
Reunion visits with family and friends.
The joy of savoring the gifts of every day that God gives us.
The beautiful weather we are enjoying right now.
Anne H. is with us today.
Prayer shawl ministry.
All those who have good employment news.
Clay F. is officially a “soda jerk” at the local Valley Drugstore … and having a great time there.
Birthday blessings for all whose birthdays are this time of year:  Lynn M. and Jeremiah.
Thanks be to God for our “working church:” This weekend’s successful “rummage sale,” a combined effort of the UMW and the UMM – resulted in an estimated $2,300+ raised for mission work.
All enjoying better health.
All serving in various capacities for the betterment of the church.
Safe travels.
One year ago today, the Alkulas began their move from Texas to Montana – to join this church family.
All those who journey. 

Prayers for all our military Veterans and their families, especially those who are dealing with “the loss of body, mind and/or spirit.”
Prayers for Dave, who is recovering from being mauled by a grizzly bear.
Prayers for healing mercies for Anne H., Ms. Hattie, Les S., neighbor Bob S., Rich G.’s niece, sister Barb, neighbor Robert, John S., Judy W., Sharon W., Gail M.’s sister Anne, Carole K.’s daughter, California friend Chris, Grandpa and church member’s connection with an ill boy in Washington state.
Prayers for the families and friends who are mourning the death of -- Frank Fox, the Corvallis high school student who recently died and the infant daughter of Pastor and Mrs. Sardella (pastor and his wife ... of the First Baptist Church in Stevensville).
Prayers for those who are struggling with life’s challenges, for example:  unemployment concerns.
Prayers that this church family will continue to pray for the young people in our neighborhoods…. That they will feel welcome to visit our church …and that we are prepared to receive them with gracious hospitality and love.

UMCOR Health Kits report (from YAC)

We did it again!  The people of Yellowstone Conference once again collected thousands of UMCOR supplies - health kits, cleaning buckets, and school kits.  These will be taken to the UMCOR depot in Salt Lake City, and eventually end up in places around the world in need. 

But remember, this is just the beginning.  Collecting is good.  But the next step is learning about and connecting with people in our neighborhoods and around the world that need to hear and experience the love of Christ. 

(More Pictures of UMCOR Kits - Click Here)

A Sunday morning thought

White-crowned Sparrow
Read Matthew 10:24-39

There is a cost that comes from being a disciple of Jesus and it has little to do with how much we give to the church through our "prayers, presence, gifts, service, and witness."

"Cheap grace is the preaching of forgiveness without requiring repentance, baptism without church discipline, Communion without confession, absolution without personal confession. Cheap grace is grace without discipleship, grace without the cross, grace without Jesus Christ, living and incarnate.

Costly grace is the gospel which must be sought again and again, the gift which must be asked for, the door at which a man must knock.

Such grace is costly because it calls us to follow, and it is grace because it calls us to follow Jesus Christ. It is costly because it costs a man his life, and it is grace because it gives a man the only true life. It is costly because it condemns sin, and grace because it justifies the sinner. Above all, it is costly because it cost God the life of his Son: "ye were bought at a price," and what has cost God much cannot be cheap for us. Above all, it is grace because God did not reckon his Son too dear a price to pay for our life, but delivered him up for us. Costly grace is the Incarnation of God.”
-Dietrich Bonhoffer,  The Cost of Discipleship

Saturday, June 21, 2014

Rummage Sale Fun!

Today's rummage sale was by all accounts a rousing success.  (Tomorrow we will find just how successful it was!).

Thanks to everyone who contributed items for the sale, came for the set-up/clean-up, and served as attendants for the throngs of shoppers. With today being Western Heritage Day in Stevensville, there were lots of folks who made us a part of their day in our historic community.

Helping with the rummage sale were: Belinda A., Pastor Charles, Nilda B., Tom B., Becky B., Mickey B., George C., Sue C., Dean D., joey D., Phyllis D., John F., Lynda F. Trudy F., Bill G., Carol G., Shelby G., Lisa H., Don H., Linda K., Claire K.,Caole K., Dave K., Janice K., Ben L., Mary L., Lisa M., Amber M-S., Dave M-S., Dave M., Susan M., Don N., Mary N., Sue P., Bruce P., Marcia P., Mark S., Hazel S., Charlene S., Ed S.,Carol V., and Marge W.

Friday, June 20, 2014

Rummage sale eve

The tables are set up in the fellowship hall. The tarp covering the outdoor items hints of treasures to be secured.  And the there are price stickers adorning an amazing variety of items.  All that remains is the shopping!

We were blessed by a large group of workers today that descended upon the church early in the morning, eager to do their part in making this event a success.  All the funds raised tomorrow will be going toward mission projects.

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Day Camp is just around the corner!

Day Camp is next week. We still need volunteers to help with the children during the day and to prepare meals and snacks. 
Below is a schedule showing time slots we could use volunteers. 
The AM shift is 8 to 12 and the PM shift is 12 to 4.

       am    2 people for kids
                  2 kitchen staff
        pm   3 people for kids
        am    1 person for kids
                  1 kitchen staff
        pm   3 people for kids

        am    3 people for kids
                  1 kitchen staff
        pm   3 people for kids

       am    2 people for kids
                 2 kitchen staff
        pm   3 people for kids

       am    1 person for kids
                  2 kitchen staff
        pm   3 people for kids
If you can't  volunteer your time consider donating food. We need food to snacks and meals. Below are the meals we still need food to prepare for each day:

 Monday        chicken nuggets and french fries
Tuesday        taken care of
Wednesday    taken care of
Thursday      tacos
Friday            hamburgers and baked beans

Snacks for each day can be chips, pretzels, cookies, fruits and veggies. 

We would appreciate all the help and donations we can get! 

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Happy 311th Birthday to John Wesley!

DoD casualty reports: April 1 - June 15

Arlington National Cemetery
According to The Department of Defense press releases, fifteen military personnel have died since  the beginning of April
Five soldiers who were supporting Operation Enduring Freedom died June 9, in Gaza Village, Afghanistan, of wounds suffered while engaged in a combat operation.

Killed were:
+Staff Sgt. Scott R. Studenmund, 24, of Pasadena, California;
+Staff Sgt. Jason A. McDonald, 28, of Butler, Georgia;
+Spc. Justin R. Helton, 25, of Beaver, Ohio;
+Cpl. Justin R. Clouse, 22, of Sprague, Washington; and
+Pvt. Aaron S. Toppen, 19, of Mokena, Illinois.

Staff Sgt. Studenmund and Staff Sgt. McDonald were assigned to the 1st Battalion, 5th Special Forces Group, Fort Campbell, Kentucky. Spc. Helton was assigned to the 18th Ordnance Company, 192nd Ordnance Battalion, 52nd Ordnance Group, Fort Bragg, North Carolina. Cpl. Clouse and Pvt. 2nd Class Toppen were assigned to the 2nd Battalion, 12th Infantry Regiment, 4th Infantry Brigade Combat Team, 4th Infantry Division, Fort Carson, Colorado.

+Spc. Terry J. Hurne, 34, of Merced, California, died June 9, in Logar province, Afghanistan, from a non-combat related incident. He was assigned to the 710th Brigade Support Battalion, 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 10th Mountain Division, Fort Drum, New York.

+Pfc. Matthew H. Walker, 20, of Hillsboro, Missouri, died June 5, in Paktika province, Afghanistan, of wounds suffered when his unit was attacked by enemy fire. He was assigned to the 1st Battalion, 502nd Infantry Regiment, 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 101st Airborne Division, Fort Campbell, Kentucky.

+Capt. Jason B. Jones, 29, of Orwigsburg, Pennsylvania, died June 2, in Jalalabad, Afghanistan, of wounds received from small-arms.  He was assigned 1st Battalion, 3rd Special Forces Group (Airborne), Fort Bragg, North Carolina.

+Pfc. Jacob H. Wykstra, 21, of Thornton, Colorado, died May 28, in Kandahar Province, Afghanistan, of injuries sustained as a result of an aircraft accident. He was assigned 1st Battalion, 12th Infantry Regiment, 4th Brigade Combat Team, 4th Infantry Division, Fort Carson, Colorado.

+Spec. Adrian M. Perkins, 19, of Pine Valley, California, died May 17, in Amman, Jordan, from a non-combat related injury. He was assigned to 1st Battalion, 67th Armor Regiment, 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 4th Infantry Division, Fort Carson, Colorado.

+Command Sgt. Maj. Martin R Barreras, 49, of Tucson, Arizona, died May 13, in San Antonio Military Medical Center, Joint Base San Antonio, Texas, from wounds suffered on May 6, in Harat Province, Afghanistan, when enemy forces attacked his unit with small arms fire. He was assigned to the 2nd Battalion, 5th Infantry, 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 1st Armored Division, Fort Bliss, Texas.

+Chief Warrant Officer Deric M. Rasmussen, 33, of Oceanside, California, died May 11, in Mazar E Sharif, Afghanistan, as the result of a non-combat incident.  He was assigned to the Company C, 1st Battalion, 227th Aviation Regiment, 1st Air Cavalry Brigade, Fort Hood, Texas.

+Pfc. Daniela Rojas, 19, of Los Angeles, California, died May 3, in Homburg, Germany, due to a non-combat related illness. She was assigned to the 2nd Battalion, 12th Infantry Regiment, 4th Brigade Combat Team, 4th Infantry Division, Fort Carson, Colorado.

+Spc. Kerry M. G. Danyluk, 27, of Cuero, Texas, died April 15 at Landstuhl Regional Medical Center, Germany, of injuries sustained April 12 when enemy forces attacked his unit with small arms fire in Pul-e-Alam, Logar province, Afghanistan. He was assigned to the 2nd Battalion, 87th Infantry Regiment, 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 10th Mountain Division, Fort Drum, N.Y.

+Capt. James E. Chaffin III, 27, of West Columbia, S.C., died April 1, in  Kandahar, Afghanistan, of a non-combat related incident.  He was assigned to the 3rd Battalion, 319th Field Artillery Regiment, 1st Brigade Combat Team, 82nd Airborne Division, Fort Bragg, N.C.

Sunday, June 15, 2014

Trinity Sunday at SUMC

The Trinity explained
Spring blooms brighten the worship space
Wired Word class in action
joey looks over the recent t-shirt orders
Fellowship time is the place to be!
Today was both Trinity Sunday and Father's Day  and was a celebration of all that makes our life of faith and our community life such a joy.
Pastor Charles' sharing of the Athanasian Creed can be seen on our YouTube channel.

Thanks to Dave and Jenna for providing this morning's special music.  During our fellowship time, a special Father's Day cake made for a most enjoyable gathering.