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


Sunday, May 31, 2015

Trinity Sunday Prayer

Almighty and everlasting God,
You have given to us Your servants grace,
by the confession of a true faith,
to acknowledge the glory of the eternal Trinity,
and in the power of Your divine Majesty
to worship the Unity:
Keep us steadfast in this faith and worship,
and bring us at last
to see You in Your one and eternal glory, O Father;
who with the Son and the Holy Spirit live and reign,
one God, for ever and ever. 

the Book of Common Prayer

United Methodist Women's Sunday

Eternal God, we have gathered here in your sanctuary this morning as members of your family to worship you as our Living God.

Community-making God, you have called us to be in community with one another. 

Enable us to center ourselves for renewal in your presence, commitment to your mission, and ministry with the least of these, here and around the world. 

Equip us with your Holy Spirit to witness to your love and power, healing and reconciliation, nurturance and new life. 

Inspire us once again to be the tellers of the old, old story in ever new contexts, that Jesus has come so that all may have life, in fact, more than life, Life in its Fullness, through Jesus the Christ. Amen.

- from UMW.ORG

Peace With Justice Sunday

"In Arizona border towns, communities facing social challenges are dramatically divided. In Liberian villages, citizens’ human rights are being violated. In local U.S. communities, women and girls are being bought and sold against their will.

Moved by Christ’s love to pursue reconciliation and peace, honoring the dignity of every individual made in God’s image, The United Methodist Church is unwilling to turn a blind eye to injustice.

Although you, and possibly even your congregation, may lack the resources alone to effect change in a broken world, your giving is vital for the UMC to continue its global ministries of reconciliation.  

Because of the Peace with Justice Sunday offering, the people of The United Methodist Church are able to make a difference  together by sowing seeds—and yielding fruit!—of peace."

Learn more by visiting this link.

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Update from Tanzania!

From: Nielsen, Mary
Date: Wed, May 27, 2015 at 9:19 PM

Good morning everyone
Sorry about no note yesterday, but had no internet access, even at the good hour of 4 AM.  Today is good so I can send a note.

We have had 3 wonderful and busy days at one village.  Saw an abundance of fungal and bacterial skin conditions, but also saw some beautiful and amazing people.  Seems like some of the people we are seeing are sicker than expected, but we have been blessed to have or to be able to get the medications needed to treat them and then we schedule them to come to Sakila to the clinic.  That part is so amazing.  Lots and lots of fungal and bacterial skin infections and many, many ear infections in so many of the children.  The hardest part for me is the "my neck, back, joints and I hurt all over" because of the hard, hard work these people do every day of their lives.

Seeing great confidence and growth in the Physician.  He is working each full day with our Dr. and today changes to the second Dr.  His confidence and smile has just been a gift to watch grow, and that is just in 5 days.

The nurse is also showing great improvement.  One thing this nursing  educator has learned is that we cannot put expectations to what BSN education is outside of America.  My expectations were way too high for what she has the skills for.  I think she has knowledge, but the skills are more of our old nursing position of "Dr. right hand man" only.  We got the BP down and how to use the cuff.  We are now working on taking a HR. The interesting part would be to see what nursing ed. is here, and if it is the process or this individual.

Saw the most beautiful 100 YO woman yesterday. We spent 10 minutes just hugging and kissing.  She was such a joy.  Our little guy with the 2 broken arms went to surgery and it cost $60 American dollars with the total bill for hospital say included at $100.  Amazing huh!!  He goes home from the hospital today.  We will meet Mom this AM to give her the money to pay the bill. There is no Dad so will assist them as we can.

The containers arrived yesterday.  What a day of Christmas it was here.  Three containers full of many, many gifts and supplies.  Austin was able to get some great footage and pictures.  The Wyoming team was really happy as some of their water drilling equipment they needed was part of the load.  Transportation has been more difficult with both of us needing the flat bed truck to get around, so still working on this issue.

Sue, one of our nurses, had a Birthday and Tim was even able to find a bakery in Arushia for a cake.  It was a fun evening celebration. She is climbing Kilimanjaro at the end of the trip so a great way to spend a Birthday.  This is a gang that knows how to have fun and laugh, so you can imagine what little B-D gifts she received.

Mary Costello wants everyone to know how good the food is.  It is some of the best we have ever had. Just full of flavor and the watermelon the other night was all decorated with the rine.  It is so special all the love they show in our food.  The salt and pepper packets were all arranged in hearts on the table when we came to dinner the other night.   Now the goat tongue in the dish at the village yesterday was OH WOW!!

Everyone sends their love and hugs across the many, many miles

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Special Sunday coming up!

Sunday, May 31st will be a special Sunday as not one, not two, but three observances will be noted.
The first Sunday after Pentecost is Trinity Sunday, it is a day for celebrating the mystery of the Triune nature of our God.
May 31st has also been designated by The United Methodist Church as Peace with Justice Sunday. These first two observances are intentionally paired together. The Triune God calls us into the Eternal Community of love, justice, and peace with God and each other and sends us out to work for peace with justice here and now.
Lastly, but certainly not least, is this Sunday will be United Methodist Women Sunday here at Stevensville UMC. 

Three opportunities to come together to study, worship, and share in our mission and ministry as community of faith. Come, and be a part of what is certain to be an amazing Sunday @ Stevi UMC!!!

Monday, May 25, 2015

Update from Tanzania

Greetings again everyone,

If we get up really early we can get connection, so here I am!!  The rain is coming down hard so the ride in the flat bed truck to our village today should be interesting.  Yesterday was a wonderful day of church, which was full of the most amazing music, color of Africa clothing, dancing and life.  So beautiful.  The Commissioner of Education and Health for this district of Tanzania was there and had lunch with us.  She was here for the dedicqtion of the new prayer center.  Very special ceremony. 

The boys from Wyoming got in Friday PM and will be drilling wells.  Fun group of guys, but one of them is an X-MSU football player, so we have to keep our distance!!  After church was a climb up Mount Sakila.  It was beautiful and we even stopped to watch the monkeys in the trees.  Tim and our photographer, Austin, got some great pictures.

We did not get our bags for the orphanage and we are 15 short, plus the teachers bags.  We will get creative in making some up so we will have enough. God will provide.  Jeanne, thank for the information on the children's vitamins.  We did have some bottles of gummies, and so we divided them up also.  It will be fine until you guys get here - and yes Jeanne, Mary C is behaving as best possible. Pretty hard for such a rebel, but she is working on it. The 2 Mary's cause a little confusion now and then and I sometimes get accused of her mischief.   We did ask about the waiving of the fee for the bags at the airport and they said no.  Oh darn!!

Being Sunday, not much more to share. The 3 AM singing from the Bible school is so amazing each AM. Nice way to wake up, but cannot lie, it is back ton sleep for a little more time.

Thank you everyone who is praying for us.   This is a fun and beautiful team and we are having lots of fun. 10 women sharing 2 bathrooms with showers attached makes for some interesting soggy events, but all is manageable.  The shower bags on the roof are working, but I am thinking will work much better when we have some sun!

Missing everyone and love you all - especially you Becky, Ashleigh and Brad. Hugs and kisses from Mom and Dad have a wonderful and blessed Monday

Mary Nielsen

Prayer for Memorial Day

God of power and mercy,
You destroy war and put down earthly pride.
Banish violence from our midst and wipe away our tears,
that we may all deserve to be called Your sons
      and daughters.
Keep in Your mercy those men and women
who have died in the cause of freedom
and bring them safely
into Your kingdom of justice and peace.
We ask this though Jesus Christ our Lord.

- The United States Roman Catholic Council of Bishops

This week @ Stevi UMC

Monday: Memorial Day
7:00 pm, Living Clean (upstairs)

7:00 pm, Choir

8:00 am - 3:00 pm, WIC 
10:00 am, Wired Word

Sunday:  Trinity Sunday
UMW Sunday - Peace With Justice Sunday
9:00 am, Church school
10:15 am, Praise Singing
10:30 am, Worship
11:30 am, Fellowship time

Sunday, May 24, 2015

Pentecost today

Paul leads the praise music 
Cammie & Bob are recognized as Florence citizens of the year
Jonathan and Jonah light the candles
The first items for our "produce missions" table
It's the church's birthday!
Pentecost at Stevi UMC called for things to be red and the body of Christ was awash in a multitude of red hues and patterns. It was wonderful sharing in this birthday of the church with one anther. Today was also Aldersgate Day which marks the occaision in 1738 of John and Charles Wesley's "heart-warming" experiences.

Thanks to Clay Freeman, Bob Edgar, and David Paul for their musical offering as members of the brass ensemble.

Aldersgate Day 2015

Letter was to his father, the Rev. Samuel Wesley
Almighty God, in a time of great need You raised up Your servants John and Charles Wesley, and by Your Spirit inspired them to kindle a flame of sacred love which leaped and ran, an inextinguishable blaze.

Grant that all those whose hearts have been warmed at these altar fires, being continually refreshed by Your grace, may be so devoted to the increase of scriptural holiness throughout the land that in this our time of great need, our will may fully and effectively be done on earth as it is in heaven; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

             ~ Fred D. Gealy, USA, 20th Cent., Alt. 

Copyright: “Aldersgate Day or Sunday” Copyright © 1992 UMPH. Prayer, Copyright © 1964, 1965 Board of Publications of The Methodist Church, Inc.; alt. and Renewal © 1992 UMPH

Prayer for Pentecost

Pentecost Prayer (Acts 2, John 14:15-30)

Holy Spirit, You poured Yourself out on the people of the early church, pour Yourself out on us now.

Holy Spirit, You set their tongues on fire with languages so as to speak to one another in ways that could be understood. Set our tongues on fire to speak in different languages and ways so others may hear the good news about Jesus.

Jesus, You said You had to go away so that the Holy Spirit, the advocate, the counselor would come and it was so.

Come once again Holy Spirit as the advocate that we all need, as the counselor we all need, 

and as the helper we all need.

Come Holy Spirit, fan Your flames of love and empowerment, set us on fire for You once again. 
Bring life to each of our dry bones. Amen.

— written by the Rev. Abi Carlisle-Wilke, 
and posted on her Long and Winding Road blog.

Saturday, May 23, 2015

Communique` from Tanzania

Hi all

We just got internet availability yesterday, but was not able to connect. It is oh-dark-early AM on Sunday and we are able to connect.  Flights were very smooth.  All connections went well and all baggage made it but one orphanage bag of our gift bags for the kids.  Really sad, but someone went last PM to see if it was at the airport.
Africa has been humid and overcast thus far. Did get to see Kilimanjaro early last PM for a very short time.

We unpacked and worked at the new clinic for half day yesterday.  Already saw an active shingles that was all blisters and so painful, a neck mass that we could not do anything for but we will care conference for and one little man that was so malnutritioned and dehydrated with pneumonia. It was exciting to have all we needed to treat him and did a direct push of PCN.  There was a little guy who cut himself mowing the lawn with a sickle and had one pretty bad gash that we are now BID wound packing for. That was all in one-half day!!  

The new Dr and nurse are great. Some communication barriers, but we will are connecting and learning from each other.  Next week is all out lying-villages, lots of travel and portable clinics, but will be exciting.  We have been working the last 2 days to set up and organize to travel.

Food has been very good. Lots of fresh fruit that is so sweet, avocados at almost every meal and great fresh vegetable dishes.  Very little meat but had goat stew one evening.Our beds are 2 small mattresses on the floor with 5 of us in a room.  Cozy, comfortable and full of laughs.Things like finding the playing cards game
the middle of the underwear bag and not knowing how they got there  Cold water showers are keeping us clean and refreshed!!  We have been blessed to see many old friends the hug and joy is so, so amazing.  It has been a constant smile.

Will try and do more later, it is time for devotionals

Love and blessings
(not Mary C.)

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

The Tanzanian Medical Team Just Landed in Amsterdam!

Prayers for the Tanzania mission trip

Mary C., Lisa M., and Marcia P. left this morning on a medical mission trip to Tanzania.  They'll be part of a nine-person team from western Montana during this effort (May 20 - June 12).

They will be working in the village of Sakila (which is in the foothills of Mt. Kilimanjaro) in northeast Tanzania.

Please remember in your prayers these three, the others on the team, and all who will benefit from their efforts.

Vacation Bible School update

Vacation Bible Camp/Summer Day Camp is scheduled for Monday, June 22 to Friday, June 26 from 9 am to 2 pm each day.  Snacks and lunch will provided for campers each day. We’ll have an information table set up during Fellowship on May 31, so you can find out what’s going on, get your questions answered, and find out how you can help!

We’ll need volunteers for:
·       Advertising - Help get the word out by putting up posters, contacting the newspapers and schools, distribute flyers at First Friday and local grocery stores
·       Camp aide -  Help Twinlow camp staff (the folk who conducted the program last year) with kids throughout the day -- two or three people are needed each day.
·       Lunch staff - Arrive at 10 am each camp day to prepare meals and snacks for the kids. 

We also need a few inexpensive craft supplies – contact Kathy Clark for what is needed.

And we need food donated for meals and snacks.  Here’s a tentative menu:
o   Monday - spaghetti with garlic bread (need sauce and bread)
o   Tuesday - tacos
o   Wednesday - hot dogs with mac and cheese
o   Thursday - chicken fingers with side dish
o   Friday - picnic lunch (hamburgers, chips, potato salad etc.)

Last year our congregation was (as always) amazingly generous!  We had an awesome kitchen staff that made nutritious meals and snack for the kids.  All the food was donated.  Several of our teenagers came to serve as assistants to the Twinlow staff. 

Giving just a bag of pretzels or one hour of your time makes a difference. 

Please contact Kathy Clark at 529-2971 if you are willing to help.
Thank you so much!!! 

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Yard/rummage/garage sale update

Tom brings in another load
Ceramic pieces from the UMT
The parsonage garage has seen its first load of items for next month's garage/rummage/yard sale being delivered this week.  
There is lots of room in the garage and Pastor Charles says, "bring it on!"  

The sale will take place on June 20th (the Saturday of Western Heritage Days).

Loaves and Fishes Fund

Our Loaves & Fishes fund is down to $1,152 and we need help in restocking the fund. 

Monday, May 18, 2015

This week @ Stevi UMC

6:30 pm, Cub Scouts
7:00 pm, Living Clean (upstairs)

7:00 pm, Choir

Medical mission team (Mary C., Lisa M., & Marcia P.) depart for Tanzania
8:00 am - 3:00 pm, WIC
10:00 am, Wired Word
6:30 pm, Youth group

7:00 pm, Ad Council

10:00 am, Drop-in Bible study @ Betty L.'s home (Change this week)

Sunday: The Day of Pentecost/Aldersgate Day
9:00 am, Church school
10:15 am, Praise Singing
10:30 am, Worship
11:30 am, Fellowship time

Scripture lessons for Pentecost

The scripture lessons for this coming Sunday, May 24, the Day of Pentecost, come to us from Romans 8:22-27 and John 15:26-27 & 16:4b-15.

Next Sunday is also Aldersgate Day which marks the "heart-warming" experience of the Rev. John Wesley on May 24, 1738 (his brother, the Rev. Charles Wesley, had his experience three days earlier). 

Sunday, May 17, 2015

Last Book Club gathering of the 2014-15 season

The book club had a good meeting tonight at the church. Hazel Smith facilitated our discussion. Consensus was very positive about My Beloved World, by Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor. Our conversation evolved into a good discussion about mentoring, women's roles in the world, integrity, etc.  

However, having not yet solved quite all the problems of the world, we have drawn up a list (always subject to change) for books for the 2015-2016 book club year: 

September: Beyond the River: The Untold Story of the Heroes of the Underground Railroad by Ann Hagedorn (non-fiction)

October: Kind of Kin by Rilla Askew (Fiction)

November: Brown, The last Discovery of America  by Richard Rodriguez (non-fiction/memoir/commentary)

December: The Testament of Mary by Colm Toibin (fiction, very short book - perfect for December)

January: Lives in Ruins:  Archaeologists and the Seductive Lure of Human Rubble by Marilyn Johnson (non-fiction)

February: The Lemon Tree:  An Arab, a Jew,m and the Heart of the Middle East by Sandy Tolan (non-fiction, Tolan taught at the U of M in honors class as best book on subject)

March: Zealot: The Life and Times of Jesus of Nazareth by Reza Aslan (historical analysis with analysis of various perspectives on Jesus)

April: The Great Emergence: How Christianity is Changing and Why by Phyllis Tickle (discussion of the emerging church movement)

May: Ordinary Grace by William Kent Krueger (fiction)

(submitted by Marcia Prather, in Mary Nelson's absence.....)