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


Sunday, November 30, 2014


JOYS:  Thanks be to God for …
Happy new liturgical year.
Our country.
Those who serve our country.
Visitors in worship today.
All enjoying better health.
Hazel S.’ granddaughter’s reconciliation with family at Thanksgiving.
Birthday blessings to Mary L. and Julie L.
Wedding anniversary blessings to Pastor Charles and Belinda.
Answered prayers.
The health we enjoy.
Today’s distribution of the second annual church Advent devotional.
Today’s distribution of candy-cane “invitation-to-Advent-activities” cards.
Wonderful Bible studies throughout the week. 
All serving in various capacities for the betterment of the church.
All people who work for peace.
Safe travels.

CONCERNS:  Oh, Lord, we humbly pray for … 
Families and friends of the two overseas-combat-related military members who died last week.
All our military Veterans and their families, especially those who are dealing with “the loss of body, mind and/or spirit.”
Family and friends mourning the death of Nola Edgar, Jean Sherman’s husband and the Zoluski family. 
Healing mercies for Dusty S., Bridget, Don H., Becky B., Rianna, Judy W., Vickie V.’s father-in-law, Carol and Bill G.
Travelling mercies and for those not with us today.
Those facing difficult decisions.
All needing God’s mercies.
Unspoken prayers.

The UMC.ORG Advent Quiz

Advent is a special time in the life of the church. It begins four Sundays before Christmas and ends on Christmas Eve.  See how much you know about the traditions and symbols of the season by clicking on the daily questions.
We encourage you to share the link to this page with others. Our goal is to make the quiz enlightening and entertaining.  Good luck! 

The journey of Advent

The journey begins
The Wired Word class had a lively time this morning
The chimes this morning
Brenda introduces the Nativity scene to the children
The first Sunday of Advent began with clear skies and very cold temps as the community gathered at Stevi UMC.  Both of the adult classes had lively discussions and the participants and leaders left feeling blessed! 

Our worship began with Paul L. leading the praise singing, accompanied by Julie L.  Brenda B. introduced the children to the Nativity scene during worship and shared with them the desire we have to 'get ready' for the birth of Jesus.  Our music this morning included an offering by the chimes who shared a beautiful rendition of "The Old 100th."

Copies of the Advent/Christmas devotional, written by members and friends of Stevi UMC, were distributed to those present.  The devotional began this morning with an entry by Marcia P.  It will be available each here on the blog, on the website and on Facebook.

Devotional for the First Sunday of Advent

November 30thFirst Sunday of Advent

Advent is a time of hope.  Madeleine L’Engle’s poem, The Risk of Birth (1973), expresses this hope beautifully:

The Risk of Birth

This is no time for a child to be born,
With the earth betrayed by war and hate        
And a comet slashing the sky to warn
That time runs out and the sun burns late.
That was no time for a child to be born,
In a land in the crushing grip of Rome;          
Honour and truth were trampled by scorn –                      
Yet here did the Saviour make his home.
When is the time for love to be born?
The inn is full on the planet earth,                               
And by a comet the sky is torn –                  
Yet Love still takes the risk of birth.

Marcia Prather

Saturday, November 29, 2014

150th Anniversary of San Creek Massacre

Bishop Elaine Stanovsky
Today marks the 150th anniversary of the Sand Creek Massacre.

To read more about what this means to The United Methodist Church, please visit this link.

Sanctuary transformation

Belinda and Carol change the banners
Kathy and Carol tend to the balcony
Lots of fun at hand

The narthex tree is set-up
Carol, Linda, and Kathy working hard this morning
The Altar Guild arranged for the sanctuary to be transformed this morning in preparation for tomorrow morning and the beginning of Advent. 

Thanks to Belinda A., Kathy C., Carol G., and (nurse) Linda for giving of their time and talents on a Saturday morning to make our church ready for the upcoming season.

Friday, November 28, 2014

The Coming Light

"The Coming Light: An Advent Experience," is our devotional for the Advent and Christmas season.  Written by members and friends of the Stevi UMC, this is a helpful reminder of the journey each of us are taking to find the Christ.

Entries will be posted each day on the website, on
the blog, and on Facebook. 

Thursday, November 27, 2014

Thanksgiving blessings

"Eternal and merciful Father, I give Thee humble thanks (increase my thanfulness, I beseech Thee) for all the blessings, spiritual and temporal, which in the riches of Thy mercy Thou has poured down upon me.  Amen."

 -- John Wesley


Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Preparing for Advent

Would you like to help the Altar Guild hang wreaths & garland and put up the Christmas tree in the church sanctuary? 

They’ll be meeting this Saturday morning at 10 am to “make ready” for the first Sunday in Advent, Sunday 11/30.
The finishing touches (the crèche, putting ornaments on the tree, poinsettias) will be coming with the Hanging of the Greens celebration at 4 pm on Sunday, 12/7.

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

One week from today

(this is the 900th blog post)
The East Angola United Methodist Conference needs you!

One week from today you can help the East Angola Conference by giving online on #Giving Tuesday, Dec. 2 between 12 a.m. to 11:59 p.m. EST. Go to http://www.umcmission.org/give and use Advance # 3021453.

The first $1 million in gifts will be matched. Last year this was met in the first few minutes, so you are encouraged to contribute EARLY.

I encourage you to consider making a special contribution to our partners, pastors in the East Angola UMC. The Yellowstone Conference has supported them since 2003. The monthly salary for the 60 pastors in East Angola is $40 a month. Forty dollars doesn’t provide a comfortable lifestyle, but it provides hope.
“Without the pastor support Advance, the United Methodist Church in East Angola wouldn’t survive.”
                                      -Ken Koome, Global Ministries missionary

*Global Ministries will allocate the matching funds dollar-for-dollar up to the first $1 million in gifts to Advance projects received online on Dec. 2 between 12 a.m. and 11:59 p.m. EST.

A maximum of $2,500 per individual gift to a project will be dispersed as matching funds. A project may receive a maximum of $25,000 in matching funds.

For more on #Giving Tuesday, go to:

Monday, November 24, 2014


Scripture lesson for the first Sunday of Advent

Sunday marks the beginning of Advent and Liturgical Year B.  The gospel lessons over the next year will primarily come from the Gospel according to Mark. 

To begin the journey through Advent, we turn to Mark 13:24-37.

This week at Stevi UMC

7 pm, Choir

10 am, Wired Word

Thursday - Thanksgiving
2 pm, Corvallis UMC Thanksgiving potluck

10 am, Drop-in Bible study at Doris T.'s 

Saturday: 150th anniversary of the Sand Creek Massacre
10 am, Sanctuary decoration gathering

Sunday - First Sunday of Advent
9 am, church school for all ages 
10:15 am, praise singing
10:30 am, worship
11:30 am, fellowship time
11:45 am, hand chime practice 

Sunday, November 23, 2014

Last Sunday of the church year

Thank Offering table was amazing
The shoe boxes are ready to go to BUMP
Wonderful fellowship time today!
Try out the "new" pews

Today was such a blessing for us at Stevi UMC! 

This being the last Sunday of the church year, we celebrated Christ the King Sunday, the day when we look forward to the coming reign of Christ.

Today was about blessing and being blessed and there was ample evidence to support this during our worship.  Surrounding the communion table was an amazing assortment of fruit and vegetables (arranged by Sara M.).  Following the worship service these were taken to the Food Pantry for distribution.

During the children's time, the children brought forward the Thank Offering which was then placed upon the table amidst the bounty of fruit and vegetables.  

We also brought a portion of the more than forty-one shoe boxes that the congregation has contributed for the BUMP (Blackfeet UM Parish) children's Christmas gifts.  There are at least another dozen boxes to be brought to the church tomorrow so we'll easily exceed our goal of forty boxes.

After worship we enjoyed a delightful fellowship time.  Some members took advantage of the opportunity to "test sit" the sample pew that has been altered to provide for a more comfortable place to sit.  The 'test pew' is in the fellowship hall along the north wall (thanks to the Trustees for making this happen).

Christ the King Sunday

Christ Pantocrator - Cathedral in Palermo, Sicily
It's Christ the King Sunday at Stevi UMC! On the last Sunday of the church year we'll be presenting our Thank Offerings and blessing the dozens of Christmas shoe boxes that will be sent to BUMP (the Blackfeet UM Parish).

Saturday, November 22, 2014

UMW event in Arizona

Belinda A. is attending the United Methodist Women's National Leadership Development Days in Tempe, Arizona this weekend.  She reports that there have been some informative training sessions, lively fellowship, and the weather has been bearable with the temp in the low 70s!

Friday, November 21, 2014

Games night is a hit!

We had a great time tonight with fifteen turning out on a chilly evening for "games night." Pinochle, London Underground, and Chinese checkers were popular tonight!!!

Our next game night will be on December 19th @ 7 pm.

Let's play!

Stevi UMC will be THE place to be tonight at 7 pm for our monthly (third Friday) games night.

Bring your favorite game or join in a familiar game or learn a new one!

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Tonight's Church Conference

Singing was part of our gathering tonight
The annual church conference for Stevi UMC was held tonight in the fellowship hall with a dozen members present.  Rev. Derf Bergman (Mission Valley UMC) served as the presiding elder for the business portion of our time together.

Thanks to Hazel S. for offering her musical gift for our worship time.  An offering was taken in support of the Yellowstone Conference's commitment for "Imagine No Malaria" and it was a blessing to be able to support that worthwhile effort.

In the church business portion of the evening the following were acted upon:

Pastoral Compensation - Cale F. reported on the compensation package for Pastor Charles.  This had gone through the SPPRC, Finance-Stewardship committee and the Ad Council before coming before the Church Conference.  Approved as presented.

Nominations - as recommended by the Lay Leadership Committee and approved by the Ad Council, were voted on and approved as presented.  Marcia P. was elected to serve on the Lay Leadership Committee for the coming term.

Membership - Pastor Charles recommended forty for removal from the rolls, this being the second year these were presented
(approved); an additional twenty-six were presented for the first reading (a result of prolonged inactivity). Three of these were referred back to the Shepherding Team for clarification. Approved.

These names had been widely circulated including the Shepherding Team, Finance-Stewardship, the Ad Council, the church office, and bulletin announcement.

Mission Shares - The Church Conference attendees took part in a litany of commitment for the paying of our mission shares (formerly known as apportionments).  SUMC committed itself to paying 100% of our mission shares for this year and next.

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Outreach Ministry Team

The first gathering of the Outreach Ministry Team took place this evening at the church with Belinda A., Pastor Charles, Mickey & Becky B., and Lisa M. in attendance.  The Outreach Team is an effort to coordinate the various outreach ministries our congregation does in and with the community. 

Events that will fall under the guidance of the team include such activities as the Scarecrow Festival, Creamery Picnic float, and the Trunk or Treat event.

The Team would like to offer two events that are coming up:

December 21 - Christmas caroling, 5-6 pm (followed by hot coco at the church).  There will be one group that will be singing as they walk in the neighborhood.  Another group will remain at the church and make phone calls and carol via phone!

December 24 - Sharing Christmas treats with people working on Christmas Eve.

Church Conference tomorrow

Who: all members and friends of the Stevensville UMC
What: annual church conference
When: 7 pm, November 20th
Where: Fellowship hall
Why: Because we're United Methodists!
We'll be celebrating our life together and looking ahead to where God is leading us in 2015.
Votes will be taken on the Pastor's compensation, Lay Leadership (nominations), and on the membership report (including names to be removed from the roll).

Monday, November 17, 2014

Christ the King Sunday reading

Next Sunday, November 23, is Christ the King Sunday, the last Sunday of the church year.  Our reading comes from Matthew 25:31-46.

This week at SUMC

6 pm - Trustees
6:30 pm - Cub Scouts

Glad Tider article deadline
7 pm - Choir

10 am - Wired Word
6:30 pm - Middle school youth (at Ludington's)
7 pm - High school youth (at 1st Baptist)
7 pm - Jesus in the Gospels study

7 pm - Church Conference

10 am - Drop-in Bible study (at Doris' home)
7 pm - Game night

Sunday: Christ the King Sunday
9 am - church school
10:15 am - praise singing
10:30 am - worship
11:30 am - fellowship time
11:45 am - chime practice

Sunday, November 16, 2014

November 16 @ SUMC

Janet and Lisa tend to the fellowship treats
Rollie is on-top of the popcorn season
Dr. Linda, Bryan, and Belinda help clean-up
The BUMP shoebox project is coming along nicely!
On a chilly day in the Bitterroot Valley we came for a wonderful morning of study, worship, and fellowship.

The Hebrews class (led by Clay F.) is nearing the end of that study with an expected wrap-up before Christmas.  A new study, the Book of Revelation, will begin in January.

The sermon and the choir offering of "Lord, I Need You" is available on our YouTube channel.

In the bulletin today the congregation found a flyer for the 15th Thank Offering (received this year on Nov. 23).  The Missions Team has chosen the following thirteen ministries/organizations for the congregation's consideration:

World & National: Imagine No Malaria, UMCOR (undesignated)

Montana: Blackfeet UM Parish, Intermountain, Wesley House (at the University of Montana in Missoula)

Local: Carpenters for Christ, Clothes Closet, Emma's House (child advocacy center in Hamilton),  Habitat for Humanity, Linda Massa Youth Home (Hamilton), Loaves & Fishes Fund (Stevi UMC), Pantry Partners, SAFE (Supporters of Abuse-Free Environment, in Hamilton)

We're liked (on Facebook)

We've been "liked" 175 times on the Stevi UMC Facebook page (115 of those are Pastor Charles' friends).
Can we make 200 "likes" before Thanksgiving?  How about 250 by year's end?

Saturday, November 15, 2014

Radio UMC

Thanks to the current issue of Interpreter (a UMCommunication publications), Pastor Charles learned about Radio UMC.
"Radio UMC is an Internet Christian Radio Station with a mission To Reach the world.
The Mission of Radio UMC is to effectively communicate the message of the Gospel and inspire those who don’t know or fully understand it, through 24/7 Live Christian music and specialty programs over Internet. That God may use Radio UMC to touch the hearts of millions around the world and bring a new Fresh move to the Church. 
We want our radio station to glorify God. This is the only and sole purpose of Radio UMC."

A Celtic Advent/Christmas devotional

Practice grace in the weeks leading up to Christmas and Epiphany. 
Here is a delightful resource from the Contemplative Cottage for your use, there is no need to do them all or every day.  Let the Holy Spirit speak to your heart.

Friday, November 14, 2014

UMW today

UMW board meeting
Marcia leads the discussion 
Linda presents the devotional
Trudy presenting the program
Sue makes her presentation about the food pantry
With a light snow falling across the Bitterroot Valley today, twenty-five ladies, plus the pastor, braved the chilly conditions the ladies of the Stevensville UMC to come together for the UMW monthly meeting and program.

President Marcia P. led the meeting with (nurse) Linda K. providing the devotional. Trudy F. led the program on the role of being thankful.  Trudy was assisted by readers Becky B. and Bonita Z. 

The group was invited to share ministries or mission projects that meant something to the person sharing.  Among those mentioned were the Loaves & Fishes fund, the Clothes Closet, Pantry Partners, the Blackfeet UM parish.  Knowing that the focus on the group's fund-raising was mission was a special point of thanksgiving.

Hazel S. played the piano while the group sang, "Open My Eyes That I May See," and "Take My Life And Let It Be."  The program ended with a responsive reading of Psalm 111.

In addition the regular reports, Carole K. noted that the 164th prayer shawl had recently been given.  Mary L. mentioned that she was the recipient of shawl #1 in 2006. 

Future dates to note are:
+UMW officers meeting (including those new in 2015), Nov. 21 @ the Kootenai Village Clubhouse.
+December UMW meeting on the 12th @ 1 pm with an "English Christmas Tea."
+Assembly of the cookie plates on December 19th @ 9 am.
+Installation of officers at the January 9th meeting.
+UMW annual picnic, July 10th
+ 2015 Bazaar, October 17th

Thanks to Doloras F., Betty L., and Betty S. for being today's hostesses.

Produce for Thanksgiving display needed

Squashes, pumpkins, potatoes, carrots, turnips, onions, apples, grapes, plums, corn, corn stalks, grain, grain on the stem/stalk, peppers … ?

For Sunday 11/23 – needs to be at church Saturday morning, 11/22 at latest, which is when the display will be assembled.

Food will be donated to Pantry Partners after church.

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Happy Veterans Day

On Sunday, in observance of Veteran's Day, we celebrated the service of those connected to our congregation who served in the military or public health service (thanks to Lisa Menery for putting this together):

Air Force:

George Cunningham; Marvin Costello; Clay Freeman; Bill Gragg; Don Henry (Air National Guard); Lisa Menery; Robert McKay (grandson of Arlene H.); Lynn Moshier; Earl Moss; Ed Sperry; Marge Wood


Pastor Charles; Ernest Frazer; Don Henry (Army National Guard); Fran Jackson (Army WAC); Dave Rakiecki; John Soper; Robert Taylor; Henri Verbrugghen (brother of Denise M.)

Marine Corps:

Bryan Lonski; Eric Smith (son-in-law of Lynn M.)


Pastor Charles; Fred Jackson; Bill Lyon; Jeffrey Moshier (son of Lynn M.); Jeffrey Taylor (grandson of Doris T.)

Public Health Service:

Dr. Marcia Prather

Women's Royal English Navy (WRENS):

Sheila Hammitt (Belinda A.'s mother)

Monday, November 10, 2014

Snowy start to the week

The view this morning on College Street
The view from the Pastor's office
We have books to check out
Boxes for the BUMP children's project
The first snow to fall in the Bitterroot Valley since the first week in March arrived this morning.  It is a delightful reminder of the blessings that come to us with each season.