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


Thursday, July 30, 2015

You can pray in color!

Here are some reasons to Pray in Color:

1) You want to pray but words escape you.  
2) Sitting still and staying focused in prayer are a challenge.  
3) Your body wants to be part of your prayer.  
4) You want to just hang out with God but don’t know how.  
5) Listening to God feels like an impossible task .  
6) Your mind wanders and your body complains. 
7) You want a visual, concrete way to pray.  
8) You Need a new way to pray.

Learn more about praying in color at this link.

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Book Group List for 2015/16

The book group returns to action September 13th @ 6 pm.  Here is the list of titles we'll be reading this coming 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)           
There is one copy in the UMW reading group shelves

November: Brown: The Last Discovery of America by Richard Rodroqiez (non-fiction/memoir/commentary)

December: The Testament of Mary by Colm Toibin (fiction)

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, and the Heart of the Middle East by Sandy Tolan (non-fiction)

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

April: The Great Emergence: How Christianity is Changing and Why  by Phyllis Tickle

May: Ordinaary Grace by William Kent Krueger (fiction)

UMCOR School Kits

The Outreach Committee is inviting the congregation to help gather items for school kits for UMCOR.  ITEMS may be brought to the church office.  

Contact Lisa Menery for more information.

School Kit Materials (you don't have to get everything!):

  • 1 pair blunt scissors
    • Rounded tip only;
    • No plastic scissors, please.
  • 3 pads of paper
    • Spiral- or top-bound pads;
    • 150 sheets or less of loose-leaf paper can be substituted for 1 pad;
    • Combination of spiral, top-bound, side-bound, or loose-leaf paper is acceptable;
    • No composition books, please.
  • 1 hand-held pencil sharpener
    • Must be at least 1 inch long;
    • Remove from packaging.
  • 1 30-centimeter ruler
    • Hard or flexible;
    • Cartoon characters are acceptable;
    • No advertisements please.
  • 6 unsharpened pencils
    • No advertisements, religious, patriotic, military, or camouflage symbols, please;
    • Cartoon characters are acceptable.
  • 1 2-inch or larger-size eraser
    • No advertisements, religious, patriotic, military, or camouflage symbols, please;
    • Cartoon characters are acceptable.
  • 1 24-count box of crayons
    • Only 24-count boxes, please.
  • 1 14x16 inch cloth bag
    • Homemade or purchased bags are both acceptable;
    • Heavy-duty fabric only, such as denim, corduroy, drapery fabric, etc.;
    • No advertisements, religious, patriotic, military, or camouflage symbols, please;
    • Closures are optional but must be buttons, snaps, or Velcro sewn in middle of opening, if used.

Monday, July 27, 2015

Scripture lessons for August 2nd

"Lust" from "The Seven Deadly Sins and the Four Last Things" by Hieronymus Bosch
Pastor Charles will conclude the "Summer of Sin" sermon series on the Seven Deadly Sins with a look at Lust.  

The scripture lessons for this week are 2 Samuel 11:1-17 and Matthew 5:27-30.

"The sins of the flesh are bad, but they are the least bad of all sins. All the worst sins are spiritual: the please of putting other people in the wrong, of bossing and patronizing and backbiting, the pleasures of power, of hatred. For there are two things inside me, competing with the human self which I must try to become. They are Animal self, and the Diabolical self. The Diabolical self is worse."

- Mere Christianity by C.S. Lewis

This week @ Stevi UMC

7:00 pm, Living Clean (upstairs) 

8:00 am, WIC
10:00 am, Wired Word study

10:00 am, Drop-in Bible study @ Doris T.'s (lesson #9) 

9:00 am, Church school for all ages
10:15 am, Praise singing
10:30 am, Worship 
11:30 am, Fellowship time

Sunday, July 26, 2015

A beautiful morning @ Stevi UMC!

Sunrise shares blue grass music this morning
Carol and the children
We were blessed this morning with blue grass music provided by the members of "Sunrise" (Cleo Guenther, Carole Koval, & Bill Lyon). Their gift of music is always a welcomed part of our worship time.

This morning we said good bye to Amber Morton, our child care worker, this morning as she prepares for a change to Missoula.

Get your praise on!

Friday, July 24, 2015

Passing of John Skrnich

Note: John was a former member of the Stevi UMC.  

From the Whitesitt Funeral Home website:

A memorial celebration of the life of John B. Skrnich will be held on Monday, July 27, 2015 at 1:30 P.M. at the Garden City Church, 1100 S. Higgins. 

Interment with military honors will be held at 3:00 P.M. on Monday at the Western Montana State Veterans Cemetery. Mr. Skrinch, 71, of Missoula passed Tuesday, July 21, 2015 at the Living Centre in Stevensville.

Monday, July 20, 2015

Scripture Lessons for July 26th

                                "Gluttony" from "The Seven Deadly Sins and the Four Last Things"                                            
by Hieronymus Bosch
This week our attention is turned toward the sin of gluttony. The scripture lessons come to us from Philippians 3:17-21 and Matthew 6:25-33

Nineteenth-century Russian Bishop Ignatius Brianchaninov said of Gluttony (today's sermon topic): 

"If you please and pamper your stomach, you will hurl yourself over the precipice of bodily impurity, into the fire of wrath and fury, you will coarsen and darken your mind, and in this way you will ruin your powers of attention and self-control, your sobriety and vigilance."

This week at Stevi UMC

Newsletter deadline 
7:00 pm, Living Clean (upstairs)

8:00 am, WIC
10:00 am, Wired Word study 

10:00 am, Drop-in Bible study @ Doris T.'s (lesson #8)

9:00 am, Church school for all ages
10:15 am, Praise singing
10:30 am, Worship
11:30 am, Fellowship time

Sunday, July 19, 2015

Joy in the morning

Beautiful floral offering
Trudy leads the praise music this morning
Carol shares time with the children
We love to fellowship 
Fast action in the corner
An energetic congregation assembled this morning for study, worship, and fellowship on a delightful morning in the Bitterroot Valley.  

A special word of thanks to Trudy Freeman for leading the praise music and to Clay Freeman for playing the organ/piano this morning.

Another social media milestone

Saturday, July 18, 2015

Day 2 @ Larry Creek Campground

Carlotta, joey & Carson call the numbers
Lisa and Dean give it the 'ol heave ho!'
While only the Zieglers took part in the camping portion of this weekend at the Larry Creek Campground it was still considered a success by all of the participants.  Between last night and today we had close to forty SUMC members and friends taking part.

Today's chicken bbq was a hit with the tables filled to overflowing with delicious treats.  After eating it was game time with the horseshoe pit and bingo cards getting a workout!

Friday, July 17, 2015


What a great time we had tonight at the Larry Creek Campground! Twenty-six were on hand for burgers & brats (thanks to Don Nelson, Dean Diers, and Dave R. for setting up/cooking) and an amazing assortment of delicious goodies.

After eating, we gathered around the fire pit for some rousing singing (led by Dave Lockman).  It was a great setting and the voices raised in praise were a delight to hear!

Tomorrow we'll be gathering at the campground at 1:00 pm for a chicken bbq (chicken is provided, bring a side).

Thursday, July 16, 2015

"Gofundme" appeal

"Sabrina "Bri" Clawson Crum is having spinal surgery in August. She has been diagnosed with a tethered spinal cord. The spinal cord is rupturing between her shoulder blades and she is losing coordination and strength in her arms.  A fatty tumor-like cyst has also formed at the base of her spine. The spinal cord is being stretched and possibly permanently damaged. She and her husband are both students with student health insurance, which (like any of our policies) will not cover all the expenses they have incurred as well as what expenses are coming.
Insurance specifically doesn't cover travel to Seattle to meet with her doctor who specializes in this type of delicate and difficult surgery. This is the first of possibly 3 surgeries and the beginning of months of physical therapy and recovery.  

Bri is a United Methodist-sponsored campus lay pastor at U of M (Wesley House) and as many of you know, the first to help anyone in need and the last to ask for it herself. She was once very active as a wife, full-time student, minister,  and mom of two energetic young boys. 

Bri is now walking with a cane and without surgery, may be bound to a wheelchair and eventually become paralyzed.  Trust me when I say no donation is too small, as it all goes to helping her get back to her giving, active lifestyle.  We have the opportunity to get the feeling Sabrina gets everyday by reaching out and helping. 

Thank you! 
Please share!"

Donate at this link

Another photo op

We'll be taking pictures for the updated church directory (yes, that directory!) on Sunday, 7/19 and again on Sunday, 7/26 from 9:30 to 10:15. 

Kathy Clark will also be available to take pictures on Tuesday, 7/21 in the evening if needed.

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Camping, SUMC-style!

At the Larry Creek campground group site - it's handicap accessible, with a covered pavilion, campfire area, tables, horseshoe pits, volleyball, restrooms and camping!  (RVs are fine; so is commuting from home!)

  On Friday, brats, burgers & songs, starting at 6:30 pm
  On Saturday, no-host breakfast at 9 am
  Also on Saturday, a  grand potluck picnic, featuring chicken barbequed by the men, with bingo, a horseshoe championship & games for everyone at 1 pm

Please let us know if you plan to come, so we’re sure to have enough food!

Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Many hands make light work

Ben tends to the gutters
Lisa preps the windows

Ben Longbottom, Lisa Nichols, and Pastor Charles were at work this morning on the fellowship hall trim in preparation for tomorrow's painting project.

Volunteers for tomorrow morning's painting are welcomed!

A thought from John Wesley

Monday, July 13, 2015

Scripture lessons for July 19th

"Greed" from "The Seven Deadly Sins and the Four Last Things" by Hieronymus Bosch
This week we turn our attention to the sin of greed.  The scripture lessons for next Sunday are 1 Samuel 2:12-17 and Luke12:13-21.

"Oh! But he was a tightfisted hand at the grindstone, Scrooge! A squeezing, wrenching, grasping, scraping, clutching, covetous old sinner! Hard and sharp as flint, from which no steel had ever struckout generous fire; secret, and self-contained, and solitary as an oyster."

- "A Christmas Carol" by Charles Dickens

This week @ Stevi UMC

Summer church office hours: Tuesday - Thursday, 9 am - 2 pm

7:00 pm, Living Clean (upstairs)

 8:00 am, WIC
10:00 am, Wired Word study

7:00 pm, Ad Council --- CANCELED

10:00 am, Drop-in Bible study @ Doris T.'s (lesson #7)
6:00 pm, Church Camp-out @ Larry Creek Campground
                 Supper - burgers & brats

8:00 am, Church Camp-out @ Larry Creek Campground 
               Breakfast - potluck; Lunch - chicken cook-off
 9:00 am, Church school for all ages
10:15 am, Praise singing
10:30 am, Worship
11:30 am, Fellowship time

Sunday, July 12, 2015

Grace abounding!

In honor of Hazel & Les Smith's anniversary
Jenna and Dave leading the praise singing 
Carol shares with the children
Good food, good people, great church
There was grace in abundance this morning at Stevi UMC!  Having been washed in the weekend's much appreciated rain, the faithful gathered this morning to study, worship, and fellowship in community.

During the children's message, Carol Gragg presented one of our two high school graduates, Jenna Lockman with a pocket New Testament and a copy of "Oh, the Places You Will Go!" (the other graduate, Cassidy Pearson has already been presented her gift).

Getting the word out

We try to get the word about what we're doing out in as many ways as possible. Here are a few of the ways we try to do this:

 Bulletin inserts
Bulletin Boards
Church lawn signs
 Community events (Creamery Picnic parade, Scarecrow Fest., etc)

Gladtider (newsletter) 

Missoula Circuit Website
Newspaper ads 
 Outreach ministries (VBS, Trunk or Treat, parades, etc)
Overhead slides (during the praise singing)
 Person-to-person (aka, word of mouth)
Phone calls
"snail" mail
Worship service announcements

Saturday, July 11, 2015

Welcome Superior UMC United Methodist Women

Perfect weather for an indoor tea party
Tea pots with stories included
Sharing stories with the group
Vicky introduces her cup & saucer
Trish brings greetings from the national UMW
On a rainy Saturday afternoon the ladies of Superior UMC welcomed twenty-seven members and guests for an afternoon high tea!

The occasion was made all the sweeter with the re-chartering of the Superior UMC unit.  Trish Harries brought greeting from the national UMW and Vicky (from Superior UMC), who put the event together, was introduced as the new unit's first president.

Men's breakfast

Six of our men met this morning for breakfast and fellowship at the Frontier Cafe`.  With most of our group away this week we didn't get any business tended to but it was still a great time together.

Looking ahead:
+July 17-18, Church campout at Larry Creek Campground
+August 3, Help the ladies making apple dumplings
+August 7-8, Creamery Picnic
+August 15, Monthly breakfast @ Frontier Cafe`

Friday, July 10, 2015

Annual UMW Summer Picnic

Smiles all around!
Perfect day for a picnic
Trudy leads the business portion of the gathering
Sue makes an appeal for help with the apple dumplings
Amber is ready for the baby!
The annual summer picnic was held this afternoon at the home of Bonita Ziegler with thirty-five taking part.  The wonderful assortment of food brought for the potluck made this gathering a delight for one and all.

We presented Amber with a card shower in honor of her soon-to-be first baby.  Belinda and Pastor Charles presented Amber with a sweatshirt for the baby to grow into along with a copy of "Oh, Baby, the Places You Will Go!"

Sue Pearson and Bonita Z. made appeals (pun intended) for help with the making and selling of the apple dumplings at the Creamery Picnic.  Advance sales of dumplings will be accepted by contacting Sue or Bonita with pick-up being 3-6 pm on August 6.

One other item business was tended to following lunch with $150 being designated for the SUMC "Loaves & Fishes fund."
August 3, Apple dumpling making @ Stevi HS (9 am - ?)
August 6, Dumpling pre-order pick-up (3 pm - 6 pm)

August 7-8, Creamery Picnic
August 7-8, Mission u @ Mission Valley UMC (Marcia Prather is one of the teachers)  
September 19, Western Mountains District UMW meeting @ Corvallis UMC.
October 3, Yellowstone Conference UMW annual meeting @ Lewiston UMC

Thursday, July 9, 2015

United Methodism 101

This online course is designed for new United Methodists and anyone wanting to know more about the denomination. Are you a lifelong or long-term Methodist? You may be surprised at what you can learn about our denomination. The course includes 4 modules that contain many interactive features. Each module takes about 1 hour to complete. You can move through the modules at your own pace.

Click here for a preview.

Course Details:

  • Cost: $9.99
2015 Remaining Course Dates:
  • July 22 - September 2, 2015 - [Registration starts Jun 22 - Sept 1, 2015]
  • September 2 - October 14, 2015 - [Registration starts Aug 3 - Oct 13, 2015]
  • September 30 - November 11, 2015 - [Registration starts Aug 31 - Sept 29, 2015]
  • November 4 - December 16, 2015 - [Registration starts Oct 5 -  Nov 3, 2015]
A certificate of completion and .5 ALLLM CEU are awarded to those meeting the requirements

How to Register

A limited number of virtual seats are available for this course and are first come, first serve. Seats will no longer be available after the course is full or once the course begins.

Click here to register for the next available course.

What will I learn?

This course is divided into 4 parts. In the course, you’ll explore the following areas of interest:
  • United Methodist History
  • Theology and Beliefs of the United Methodist Church
  • Organization and Governance
  • Present and Future Challenges

What can I expect?

This course is interactive. You can move at your own pace. We use discussion forums, quizzes and other activities for a class that’s engaging and hands-on.

The apple dumplings are coming!!!

We will be selling frozen apple dumplings at church from 3 pm - 5 pm on Thursday, August 6th.

Pre-orders can be placed by calling Sue P. @ 777-5656 or Bonita Z. @ 375-5173, or by signing the clipboard that will be on the sign-up table in the Fellowship Hall.

Thanks, Sue