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


Thursday, December 31, 2015

A song for New Year's Eve

Here is the English-translated version of the 
Auld Lang Syne lyrics (Scottish to follow):

Should old acquaintance be forgot,
and never brought to mind ?
Should old acquaintance be forgot,
and old lang syne ?

For auld lang syne, my dear,
for auld lang syne,
we'll take a cup of kindness yet,
for auld lang syne.

And surely you'll buy your pint cup !
and surely I'll buy mine !
And we'll take a cup o' kindness yet,
for auld lang syne.


We two have run about the slopes,
and picked the daisies fine ;
But we've wandered many a weary foot,
since auld lang syne.
We two have paddled in the stream,
from morning sun till dine† ;
But seas between us broad have roared
since auld lang syne.

 And there's a hand my trusty friend !
And give us a hand o' thine !
And we'll take a right good-will draught,
for auld lang syne.


Here is the original Scottish version of 
the Auld Lang Syne lyrics:

Should auld acquaintance be forgot,
and never brought to mind ?
Should auld acquaintance be forgot,
and auld lang syne ?

For auld lang syne, my jo,
for auld lang syne,
we'll tak a cup o' kindness yet,
for auld lang syne.

And surely ye'll be your pint-stowp !
and surely I'll be mine !
And we'll tak a cup o' kindness yet,
for auld lang syne.


We twa hae run about the braes,
and pu'd the gowans fine ;
But we've wander'd mony a weary foot,
sin auld lang syne.


We twa hae paidl'd i' the burn,
frae morning sun till dine ;
But seas between us braid hae roar'd
sin auld lang syne.

And there's a hand, my trusty fiere !
and gie's a hand o' thine !
And we'll tak a right gude-willy waught,
for auld lang syne.

Tuesday, December 29, 2015

Invitation to pray

January 1st will lead off 131 days of continual prayer for the General Conference of The United Methodist Church (#UMCGC), which meets May 10-20, 2016 in Portland, Oregon.

The quadrennial legislative event begins 131 days after the New Year. By coincidence, there are 131 annual (regional) conferences in The United Methodist Church.

The Council of Bishops has invited each of the annual conferences to host a 24-hour prayer effort on a specific date, with the intent of creating a groundswell of prayer in the days leading up to the General Conference. It is up to each conference to choose an available date and then design their own format for the prayer effort.

As the spiritual leaders of The United Methodist Church, the Council of Bishops conceived the plan for a prayer vigil in the months before the event as a meaningful way to focus spiritually on the experience, as well as to surround the delegates and church leaders with prayer for a General Conference that inspires us in our mission to make disciples of Jesus Christ for the transformation of the world.

“United Methodists from all over the world will come together in the spirit of Christian conferencing in Portland,” said Bishop Debra Wallace-Padgett of the North Alabama Conference and chairperson of the “Council Life Together” team, which helped initiate the idea. “We want those attending to know that their United Methodist family is praying for them and with them -- that God will lead them in the decisions that they will make for the future of our church and that the event will be a positive Christian witness in how we conference together.”

“We are encouraging people to pray for God to guide delegates and church leaders as they prepare for General Conference,” said Bishop Al Gwinn, who chairs the Council’s prayer subcommittee. “We hope they will pray that God would give them an understanding and loving heart; that all will have a spirit of humility and a desire to do God’s will;  and that the fruit of the Spirit would be evident in such a way that all who observe would sense that true Christian conferencing will take place.”

The prayer effort will commence with the Greater New Jersey Annual Conference, which volunteered for the start date of January 1.

People who are interested in participating should contact their annual conference for more information.

About General Conference
The General Conference is the top policy-making body of The United Methodist Church, and meets once every four years to determine the denomination's future direction, consider revisions to church law, and approve plans and budgets for church-wide programs. The 2016 meeting will take place May 10-20 at the Oregon Convention Center in Portland, Oregon.


There will be NO Wednesday morning Wired Word group or Drop-in Bible study today.

The Wired Word will resume meeting next week with two weekly sessions, Sunday mornings @ 9 am (a facilitator is needed) and on Wednesdays @ 10 am.

The Drop-in Bible Study will resume meeting on January 8th at Doris Taylor's home with lesson #6.

Monday, December 28, 2015

Scripture lesson for Epiphany Sunday

Taize` Community - Saône-et-Loire, Burgundy, France
Our scripture lesson for January 3rd, the Epiphany of the Lord Sunday, is from Isaiah 60:1-6.

This week @ SUMC

7:00 pm, Living Clean
8:00 am, WIC   
1:00 pm, Drop-in Bible study @ church (lesson #5)

Friday: New Year's Day

Sunday: Epiphany of the Lord Sunday
9:00 am, Church school
10:15 am, Praise singing
10:30 am, Worship Service            
11:30 am, Fellowship time 

Sunday, December 27, 2015

Worship this morning

Mitch shares the light
Getting our praise on!
Anna shares "The Gift"
Sharing "the Word"
The First Sunday after Christmas presents a delightful opportunity for the church to step back and reflect on the message that is the Nativity of the Lord.  This morning we celebrated the season with a service of Lessons and Carols.  

Thanks to Dave Lockman for leading the praise singing (and to Nilda Bishop, Bob Edgar, Anna Storkson, and Hazel Smith who helped on a selection), Anna Storkson for sharing "The Gift," and Hazel Smith who offered beautiful music through the organ and piano.

Web ministry @ Stevi UMC

 The web presence of Stevi UMC continues to be a beneficial aspect of our ministries here in the Bitterroot Valley and beyond.  

To date:
 We have 220 "likes" on our Facebook page.
 Our blog, www.steviumc.blogspot.com, has 1,649 posts and has attracted 35,761 views since its launch on July 1, 2013.
Our YouTube channel has posted 407 videos and attracted 
Our website, www.steviumc.weebly.com, is frequently updated and has attracted 173 visitors and 1,018 page views in the past week.

Collect for the First Sunday after Christmas

Almighty God, You have poured upon us the new light of Your incarnate Word: Grant that this light, enkindled in our hearts, may shine forth in our lives; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with You, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen. 
(Book of Common Prayer)

Saturday, December 26, 2015

First Sunday after Christmas reminder

We'll continue our celebration of Christmas with a service of lessons and carols tomorrow.  Join us for worship at 10:15 am (praise singing) and worship (10:30 am).

The Mood of Christmas

Friday, December 25, 2015

A prayer for Christmas Day

Celebrate the season: 12 ideas for the 12 days of Christmas

After months of planning and anticipation, Christmas appears to be over all too quickly. On December 26, retailers tell us we are in the after-Christmas season of returns, exchanges, and more sales. The church calendar however, tells us it is still Christmas.

The twelve days we sing about in that crazy song, are a real season, sometimes called Christmastide or the days after Christmas. During this season, we continue to celebrate the birth of Jesus, the Word of God made flesh who made his home among us (John 1:14 CEB).

To help celebrate the season, here are 12 creative, simple ideas that have nothing to do with partridges or lords-a-leaping.

Read more about the 12 ideas here.

What Christmas is all about

Thursday, December 24, 2015

Christmas Eve @ Stevi UMC

Welcome to Christmas Eve
The Nativity of the Lord
The sanctuary awaits
Spelling out the Christmas story
the choir prepares for tonight's worship
The wonder that is Christmas Eve was visited upon the faithful last night @ Stevi UMC.

Christmas Eve worship includes a lot of music and our service was certainly able to fill that bill. The choir contributed "The Christmas Story" and Nilda Bishop, Brenda Bolton, Donna Lewis, and Gretchen Spiess shared "Christmas Folk Song."     Hazel Smith contributed to the worship through the playing of the organ/piano.    

Celebratng Christmas correctly

The True Gift

The True Gift
Window in St. Peter's Church, Spexhall, in Suffolk, England, showing Christ the Shepherd and the widow with her mite.

“Jesus sat down opposite the place where the offerings were put and watched the crowd putting their money into the temple treasury. Many rich people threw in large amounts. But a poor widow came and put in two very small copper coins, worth only a few cents.”

“Calling his disciples to him, Jesus said, ‘Truly I tell you, this poor widow has put more into the treasury than all the others. They all gave out of their wealth; but she, out of her poverty, put in everything — all she had to live on.’”
– Mark 12:41-44

We were all children at one time and know that feeling of excitement on Christmas morning. We would wake up early, and looking to see what we got under the tree was usually the first thing on our mind, followed by, did Santa eat the cookies? I know I was excited, and I was amazed that this thing called Santa would know if I was naughty or nice. When we lived in Mannheim, Germany, we would put our shoes outside the front door at night, and the next morning, if you had candy inside your shoe instead of coal, that meant you were nice. I can thank God for an awesome and amazing childhood.

Now I am older and wiser, and I know that the real present is our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ who taught us the ability to give to others — the greatest joy. For some, Santa is celebrated as a giver once a year, but we are grateful to celebrate our Lord and Savior who gives on a daily basis year-round. In our Purpose we say our aim is knowing God, which allows us to express our understanding of what we need to do to ensure that our work for the world continues.

I am thankful and blessed to witness and be a part of this organization called United Methodist Women. As members we get excited at the opportunity to bless others as God has blessed us for 147 years, giving to those less fortunate, voiceless, tired, hungry, looked over, battered or torn apart from family and friends. Giving is the best way we can express our thanks to God for allowing us to give back.

There’s an old saying that goes, “See a penny, pick it up, and all the day you will have good luck.” We have been picking up millions of pennies and giving them to others in honor of the most high God who is not only giving, but also a Provider and Sustainer during this season — when many say Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays. 

This season being about giving, I appreciate reflecting on ways of being joyful and thankful. We celebrate that Christ was on the cross so that we could be free to praise God for the goodness of life itself. 

I am grateful that we depend on the Most High as an example of what giving looks like and for a road map to follow. This season reminds me of a song that warms my spirit and stirs my soul. I find myself singing it aloud when driving, or when I am alone and need that extra special lift. Some would be surprised to know the words were written by Charles Wesley, revealing a deep connection with United Methodists through God’s love, and showing that the real reason for our season is to be bold, passionate and faithful givers.

Walk in the light, beautiful light,
Come where the dewdrops of mercy shine bright.
Shine all around us by day and by night,
Jesus, the light of the world.

– “Jesus, the Light of the World”

Yvette Richards is president of United Methodist Women.
Posted [on the UMW website]: 12/23/2015 11:00:00 PM

Tonight's the night

Come to the Stevensville United Methodist Church @ 7 pm and be part of the celebration that is Christmas Eve and the birth of the Son of God.

Advent Calendar #26

Lo! He Comes, An Infant Stranger
"Behold, thou shalt conceive in thy womb, and bring forth a son, and shalt call his name Jesus.        He shall be great, and shall be called the Son of the Highest."— Luke i., 31, 32.
First Company.
Lo ! He comes, an infant stranger, 
Of a lowly mother born, 
Swathed and cradled in a manger, 
Of his pristine glory shorn ! 
Hallelujah, Hallelujah, Hallelujah. 
Praise ye God's incarnate Word !
Second Company.
Lo ! He comes, the great Creator, 
Calling all the world to own 
Him, the Judge and Lord of nature, 
Seated on his Father's throne! 
Hallelujah, Hallelujah, Hallelujah, 
Praise ye Him, the living Lord !
Lo ! He comes by man unfriended, 
Fain with stabled beasts to rest; 
Shepherds, who their night-fold tended, 
Hailed alone the new-born guest! 
Hallelujah, Hallelujah, Hallelujah, 
Praise ye Jesse's tender rod !
Lo ! He comes, around him pouring
All the armies of the sky, 
Cherub, seraph hosts adorning.
Swell his state, and loudly cry, 
Hallelujah, Hallelujah, Hallelujah, 
Praise ye Christ, the Son of God !
Lo ! He comes, constrained to borrow 
Shelter from yon stabled shed ; 
He who shall, through years of sorrow. 
Have not where to lay his head! 
Hallelujah, Hallelujah, Hallelujah, 
Praise Him, slighted by his own !
Lo ! He comes, all grief expelling 
From the hearts that Him receive ! 
He to each with Him a dwelling 
In his Father's house will give ! 
Hallelujah, Hallelujah, Hallelujah, 
Praise Him on his glory's throne !
Lo ! He comes, to slaughter fated
By a tyrant's stern decree : 
From the sword, with blood unsated, 
Forced in midnight haste to flee ! 
Hallelujah, Hallelujah, Hallelujah, 
Praise Him in affliction's hour !
Lo ! He comes ! at his appearing
All his foes before him fall! 
Proudest kings, his summons hearing,
On the rocks for shelter call! 
Hallelujah, Hallelujah, Hallelujah, 
Praise Him, girded round with power!
Lo ! He comes! but who the weakness
Of his coming may declare, 
When, with more than human meekness,
More than human woes he bare? 
Hallelujah, Hallelujah, Hallelujah, 
Praise Him, emptied of his might!
Lo ! He comes ! what eye may bear him, 
In his unveiled glory shown ? 
Mightiest angels marshalled near Him, 
Serve, and Him their mightier own ! 
Hallelujah, Hallelujah, Hallelujah, 
Praise Him with his crown of light!
Man of human flesh partaking, 
Offspring of the Virgin's womb, 
Who, the hopeless wanderer seeking, 
Deigned in lowly guise to come! 
Hallelujah, Hallelujah, Hallelujah, 
Praise ye the incarnate Word !
Son of the Eternal Father,
Who again in power shall come,
Round him all mankind to gather.
And pronounce the unerring doom ! 
Hallelujah, Hallelujah, Hallelujah, 
Praise ye Him, the living Lord !
Christmas Carols, or Sacred Songs, Suited to the Festival of our Lord's Nativity 
 (London: John William Parker, 1833), pp. 27-29.

Wednesday, December 23, 2015

You're invited

Someone you know is hoping you'll invite them to go with you to the Christmas Eve worship service.  This could be the year that person hears the message of Christmas for the first time. 

Invite Friends, Relatives, and Neighbors - you'll be glad you did!

One size fits all

7:00 pm
Stevensvlle United Methodist Church

Advent Calendar #25

 Zion's King Shall Reign Victorious

1. Zion's King shall reign victorious;
all the earth shall own his sway;
he will make his kingdom glorious;
he will reign through endless day.
Nations now from God estranged
then shall see a glorious light;
night to day shall then be changed,
heaven shall triumph in the sight.

2. Then shall Israel, long dispersed,
mourning seek the Lord their God;
look on him whom once they pierced,
own and kiss the chastening rod.
Mighty King, thine arm revealing,
now thy glorious cause maintain;
bring the nations help and healing,
make them subject to thy reign.

 Words: Thomas Kelly, 1806; Music: Austria, by Franz J. Haydn

Tuesday, December 22, 2015

Advent Calendar #24

Work, For The Day Is Coming

1. Work, for the day is coming!
Day in the Word foretold,
when, 'mid the scenes triumphant,
longed for by saints of old,
he who on earth a stranger
traversed its paths of pain,
Jesus, the Prince, the Savior,
comes evermore to reign.

2. Work, for the day is coming!
Darkness will soon be gone,
then o'er the night of weeping
day without end shall dawn.
What now we sow in sadness,
then we shall reap in joy;
hope will be changed to gladness,
praise be our best employ.

3. Work, for the Lord is coming!
Children of light are we;
from Jesus' bright appearing
power of darkness flee.
Soon will our strife be ending,
soon all our toils below,
not to the dark we're tending,
but to the day we go.

 Words: attributed to Basil Manley, 1880

Your presence is requested

Who: Everyone is invited!
What: Christmas Eve worship service
When: 7:00 pm
Where: 216 College Street (corner of E. 3rd & College Streets),
Why: To celebrate the gift that is the Love of God

First Day of Winter

Whose woods these are I think I know.
His house is in the village, though;
He will not see me stopping here
To watch his woods fill up with snow.

My little horse must think it queer
To stop without a farmhouse near
Between the woods and frozen lake
The darkest evening of the year.

He gives his harness bells a shake
To ask if there is some mistake.
The only other sound's the sweep
Of easy wind and downy flake.

The woods are lovely, dark, and deep,
But I have promises to keep,
And miles to go before I sleep,
And miles to go before I sleep. 

- Robert Frost

Monday, December 21, 2015

Come and worship!

Thursday @ 7:00 pm

Come as you are - Jesus did!

2015 Year in Review from the General Commission on United Methodist Men

2015 UMM conference presidents gathering
2015 – The year in review

A March 5 snow storm limited the number of conference president attending the National Association of Conference Presidents, but 28 presidents were honored for increasing the number of chartered organizations in their annual conferences. The Society of St. Andrew honored Virginia Conference as the top contributor to the hunger ministries with a gift of $21,713; Detroit Conference finished a close second with $20,351 given to the Meals for Millions Fund.

During the meeting conference presidents and prayer advocates delivered copies of Strength for Service to God and Community to local fire fighters. Some 100 men stayed after the three-day conference for extra training on “Understanding Men’s Ministry.”

Read more at this link.

UMW Bright Lights

From the United Methodist Women's Response magazine:

To celebrate our wonderful readers and members, we are happy to share a special online issue of Response magazine featuring all of the Bright Lights stories published in 2015. Bright Lights are your local stories of faith, hope and love in action. 

May you have a blessed Christmas as you continue to bless others!

This week @ SUMC

Monday: 7:00 pm, Living Clean

11:00 am, Missoula Circuit meeting @ Hamilton
7:00 pm, Choir practice
 8:00 am, WIC  
10:00 am, Wired Word      
1:00 pm, Drop-in Bible study @ Doris' home (lesson #4) 

5:00 pm, Outreach Committee Christmas gift bag distribution
7:00 pm, Worship service 

2:00 pm, Corvallis UMC Christmas potluck

Sunday: First Sunday of Christmas
10:15 am, Praise singing
10:30 am, Worship service            
11:30 am, Fellowship time  

Advent Calendar #23

Wake The Startling Watch-Cry Pealeth

"Behold, the Bridegroom cometh; go ye out to meet Him." - St. Matthew 35:6.

1. Wake! the startling watch-cry pealeth,
While the slumber deep each eyelid sealeth;
Awake! Jerusalem, Awake!
Midnight's solemn hour is tolling,
And cherub notes are onward rolling;
They call on us our part to take.
Come forth, ye virgins wise !
The Bridegroom comes, arise !
Each lamp be bright,
With ready light,
To grace the Marriage-Feast to-night!

2. Zion hears the Voice that singeth;
With sudden joy her glad heart springeth:
At once she wakes, she stands arrayed:
See her Light, her Star ascending,
Lo ! girt with truth, with mercy blending,
Her Bridegroom there, so long delayed!
All hail, God's glorious son !
All hail, our Joy and Crown !
Alleluia !
The joyful call
We answer all,
And follow to the Nuptial Hall.

3. Praise to Him Who went before us !
Let men and angels join in chorus,
Let harp and cymbal add their sound !
Twelve the gates, a pearl each portal,
We haste to join the choir immortal,
Within the Holy City's bound.
Ear ne'er heard aught like this,
Nor heart conceived such bliss.
Alleluia !
We raise the song,
We swell the throng,
To praise Thee ages all along.

 Words: "Wachet auf, ruft uns die Stimme" Author: Philipp Nicolai (1556-1608); Translation by Frances Elizabeth Cox, 1864. Source: Frances Elizabeth Cox, Hymns from the German (London: Rivingtons, 1864), p. 27.

Sunday, December 20, 2015

Caroling tonight

Bell practice during fellowship time
Preparing bags for workers on Christmas Eve
Indoor caroling tonight

Thanks to Belinda & Pastor Charles, Mickey Boykin, joey & Dean Diers, Lisa Menery & Bella, and Ava & Dusty Schrock for taking part in tonight's annual carolling event!  

Fourth Sunday of Advent - pt. 2

Mitch reads from Luke 2
Mitch was on hand to lower the
The Cast
Thanks to Ava, Luke, Jonah, Mitch, Ollie, Rollie, Ryder, Palmer, and Bob for sharing today's message.

Fourth Sunday of Advent, pt. 1

Jenna and Dave lead the praise music today
Choir shares the praise music this morning
"Christmas @ home, Christmas @ church"
"Flannel board Nativity"
Mitch reads from Luke 2
What a day we had @ SUMC!  

We began with the final installment of our Advent study with a look at "Go, Tell It on the Mountain."  Our worship service was led by Bob Edgar and the children who shared "the Bethlehemian Rhapsody" whose efforts were appreciated by everyone present. 

The music and pageant can be see at this link.

In the afternoon the Outreach Committee put together gift bags for area business employees who will be working on Christmas Eve. And then, to wrap up this exciting day, some of us gathered in the fellowship hall for a round of caroling-by-phone!

Advent Calendar for the Fourth Sunday of Advent

Thou Art Coming, O My Saviour!

1. Thou art coming, O my Saviour!
Thou art coming, O my King!
In thy beauty all resplendent,
In thy glory all transcendent;
Well may we rejoice and sing;
Coming: in the opening east
Herald brightness slowly swells;
Coming: O thou2 glorious Priest!
Hear we not Thy golden bells?

2. Thou art coming, Thou art coming;
We shall meet thee on thy way;
We shall see Thee, we shall know Thee,
We shall bless Thee, we shall show Thee
All our hearts could never say;
What an anthem that will be,
Music rapturously sweet,
Pouring out our love to Thee
At Thine own all-glorious feet.

3. Thou art coming; at Thy table
We are witnesses for this;
While remembering hearts Thou meetest
In communion clearest, sweetest,
Earnest of our coming bliss;
Showing not Thy death alone,
And Thy love exceeding great,
But Thy coming, and Thy throne,
All for which we long and wait.

4. Thou art coming, we are waiting
With a hope that cannot fail;
Asking not the day or hour,
Resting on Thy word of power,
Anchored safe within the veil.
Time appointed may be long,
But the vision must be sure;
Certainty shall make us strong,
Joyful patience can endure.

5. O the joy to see Thee reigning,
Thee, our own beloved Lord!
Every tongue Thy Name confessing,
Worship, honour, glory, blessing
Brought to Thee with one accord;
Thee, our Master and our Friend,
Vindicated and enthroned,
Unto earth's remotest end
Glorified, adored, and owned! Amen.

 Words: Frances Ridley Havergal (1836-1879), 1873