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


Monday, August 31, 2015

This week @ Stevi UMC

7:00 pm, Living Clean (upstairs)  

7:30 am - 4:00 pm, Bitterroot Valley Education Co-op 
7:00 pm, Choir practice  

8:00 am, WIC 

10:00 am, Wired Word study 
Noon, Main Street Association (at Main St. office)
6:00 pm, Worship on Wednesday debuts

Drop-in Bible study @ Doris T.'s (lesson #1) 

10:00 am, United Methodist Women's choral ensemble practice

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

Scripture lessons for September 6th

Saint Isidore the Farmer

The lessons for Sunday, September 6th are Proverbs 22:1-2, 8-9, 22-23 and James 2:8-17.

Join us for study, worship, and fellowship!

Sunday, August 30, 2015

Last Sunday in August

Dave leading the praise singing
Clay & Trudy share the anthem
Bob and friends share a moment
Fellowship time
Guiding Team gathering
The last Sunday in August is typically a "low" Sunday in many congregations with folk off on the final vacation of the summer or other events.  

At Stevi UMC, the morning was anything but "low" with lively adult classes (which have continued to meet all summer!), engaging worship with lovely music (thanks to Clay & Trudy Freeman, Dave Lockman, and Hazel Smith), and energetic fellowship (including the follow-on fellowship at the Frontier Cafe`)!

This evening, the Guiding Team met at the home of John & Lynda Fisher to talk about the direction of the church family during the coming months.

With September right around the corner, the place to be is Stevi UMC: "Making disciples of Jesus Christ for the transformation of the world!"

Good morning, Church!

Photo by Austin Bond Photography
O Let the Son of God enfold You;
With His Spirit and His love;
Let Him fill your heart and satisfy your soul;
O let Him have the things that hold you; 
And His Spirit like a dove;
Will descend upon your life and make you whole.

Saturday, August 29, 2015

Funeral service for Zachary Brooks

Soldiers from Ft. Carson escort Zachary into the church
Trudy, Roberta, & Billie set up for the meal
Thanks to Ben for setting up the tables
Our church building was the venue today for the funeral service of Zachary Brooks.

Thanks to Trudy Freeman, Cleo Guenther, Billie Mitchell, Bonita Ziegler, & Roberta Zielinski for providing the ministry in the kitchen for the family. Thanks also to Ben Longbottom for setting up the tables.

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Back in business

Fourteen answered the call from (choir director) Brenda Bolton for the first choir practice of the new school year.  There is a lot of enthusiasm on everyone's part (no pun intended!) and more voices are always welcomed.

Practices are each Tuesday @ 7 pm.  The choir's first musical offering during our worship service will be on September 13th.

Monday, August 24, 2015

UMCOR response to wildfires

UMCOR is in contact with the Pacific Northwest Conference, California-Nevada Conference, and the Oregon-Idaho Conference disaster response & volunteers leaders. 

Yesterday, UMCOR approved emergency grants for PNW and Cal-Nev conferences to meet immediate needs of evacuees and to help churches set up respite centers.

Information on how to support this effort will be coming soon.

Scripture lessons for August 30

On Sunday we'll be looking at what true devotion looks life.  Our passages will be the Song of Songs 2:8-13 and James 1:17-27.

This week at Stevi UMC

7:00 pm, Living Clean (upstairs)  

7:00 pm, Choir practice resumes

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

7:30 am - 4:00 pm, Bitterroot Valley Education Co-op
10:00 am, Drop-in Bible study @ Doris T.'s (lesson #13)
9:00 am, Church school for all ages 
10:15 am, Praise singing                  
10:30 am, Worship       
11:30 am, Fellowship time
4:30 pm, Guiding Team @ John & Lynda Fisher's home

Sunday, August 23, 2015

A wonderful August Sunday

Summer flowers in abundance
Jenna and Dave lead the praise music
Clay, David, Bob, and Mitch share music this morning
Bill does a great job as liturgist today
The parsonage open house was a hit!
What a blessing we experienced this morning @ Stevi UMC!

A wonderful example of disciples striving to become stronger disciples was to be seen in the two adult classes this morning.  Clay Freeman leads the Book of Revelation study and each week the class is led deeper into this powerful statement of faith.  Belinda Alkula leads the Wired Word group and today's discussion was a great example of a community wrestling with their faith in the context of today's news.

We enjoy music at SUMC and today was no exception. Jenna Lockman and her dad, Dave, began worship with praise singing. This was Jenna's last Sunday with us before leaving for college next week. Clay Freeman provided the accompaniment on piano for the hymns and did double-duty with the brass ensemble along with David Paul, Bob Edgar, and Mitch Edgar.

Following worship the congregation made its way across the street for the Alkula's third parsonage open house. With ice cream floats in the garage, tours of the button collection in the basement, and fresh produce available for the taking in the backyard, there was something for everyone today!

Where do we go from here?

This morning we'll be considering the exchange between Jesus, those who turned away from following Him, and those who remained.  If you can't be with us, read John 6:60-69.

Saturday, August 22, 2015

Parsonage Open House

You're invited to the parsonage tomorrow following worship for the third annual parsonage open house!

There will be root beer/coke floats in the garage and tours of Pastor Charles' button collection in the basement!  

Come and see what your parsonage is like on the inside!!!

Thursday, August 20, 2015

John Wesley's Bible Study Tips

Although he was widely read on a great number of topics, John Wesley called himself a homo unius libri, a “man of one book”.  He even went so far as to remark “I am a Bible bigot.  I follow it in all things, both great and small.”  In his preface to the Old Testament, John Wesley lays down seven suggestions for daily, personal Bible study.  These tips are as appropriate today as in 1765 when they were written:

1) Set aside some time in the morning and evening to read God’s Word.

2) If you have time, read a chapter of the Old Testament and and a chapter of the New Testament.  Read a little less if that works better for you.

3) Read with the single aim of knowing the will of God and have a firm resolution to do God’s will.

4) Read in faith, and to see the connection and harmony of these grand theological themes:  Original Sin, Justification by Faith, the New Birth, Inward Holiness, and Outward Holiness. 

5) Pray earnestly and seriously before and after you read as the scriptures can only be understood through the same Holy Spirit that inspired them.

6) Pause and examine yourself while you read and take note of those areas where God has helped you make progress and those areas where you need more grace.

7) Whatever God shows you to do, act on it quickly.  Give God a quick “yes” and you will discover how powerful God’s Word really is.

If you are not in the habit of daily Bible reading, I would invite you to put these tips into practice for a week and see the difference that it makes in your life.

(from (www.peopleneedjesus.com)

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Worship servant training

Pastor Charles is inviting anyone with an interest in worship servant ministries - greeters, ushers, and liturgists (readers), to come for an hour-long training/information session on Saturday, Aug. 22 @ 10 am.


Coming to Stevi UMC starting September 2nd.

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

The Wednesday Wired Word

Due to the Bitterroot Valley Education Co-op using the fellowship hall this week, the Wired Word group will be meeting at the Frontier Cafe` @ 10:00 am.

Sewing up a storm

Mary N., Marcia, & Bev S.
(nurse) Linda K., & Carol Gragg
Bev, Carol and Linda hard at work
Marcia, Linda, and Carol tend to the machine tasks
Mary and Bev smooth out the material
We had a great group at this morning at the Gragg ranch for the making of bags for the UMCOR school kits.

Thanks to Carol Gragg, (nurse) Linda Kauffman, Mary Nelson, Marcia Prather, and Bev Schneider for sharing their time and talents for this worthy ministry.

Apportionments and you

What is an apportionment? This informational guide describes what it is and why The United Methodist Church uses an apportionment system. 

Read more at this link

Monday, August 17, 2015

UMCOR school kit bags

Carol Gragg is hosting a "school kit making party" at her house on Cash Nichols Road on Tuesday (Aug. 18) at 9:00 am.  

This week @ Stevi UMC

7:00 pm, Living Clean (upstairs)  

7:30 am - 4:00 pm, Bitterroot Valley Education Co-op
9:00 am, Making bags for UMCOR school kits @ Carol Gragg's
7:30 am - 4:00 pm, Bitterroot Valley Education Co-op
8:00 am, WIC 
10:00 am, Wired Word study @ Frontier Cafe`

7:00 pm, Ad Council 

10:00 am, Drop-in Bible study @ Doris T.'s (lesson #12)

10:00 am, Training for communion helpers, greeters, & ushers

 9:00 am, Church school for all ages    
10:15 am, Praise singing     
10:30 am, Worship                                                                   
11:30 am, Parsonage Open House

Scripture lessons for August 23

Where do you turn to for direction in your life?  Come and worship with us on Sunday as we consider Ephesians6:10-20 and John 6:56-69.

Sunday, August 16, 2015

This morning at SUMC

flowers from the Gragg's garden
D.S. shares greetings with the congregation
Carol shares with the children
Marcia shares poems from Latin America

We were blessed this morning with cooler weather and slightly clearer skies as we gathered for worship today.  

There was a lot of parts to this morning including: the introduction of Maddy Reyes as our new nursery attendant; Marcia Prather who shared two poems from her Mission u presentation (on Latin America), we appreciate her willingness to teach and share with us; and our D.S., the Rev. Kama Hamilton-Morton, was with us and shared a greeting from the Yellowstone Conference.

 The gospel lesson for today comes from John 6:

"In synagogue, Jesus decreed
'My life is the life you should lead!
Food and drink in my Name
It's my Spirit - the same!
I'm in you, alive as you feed!'"

-The Bible in Limerick Verse, #857
by the Rev. Christopher Goodwins

Saturday, August 15, 2015

A Prayer for Rain

"Prayer for Rain" statue - Champaign, Illinois
"...Can the heavens give showers! Are You not He, O Lord our God! Therefore we will wait for You - expectantly; 
For You have made all these things. For He spoke and it was done; 
He commanded, and it stood fast." 
- Jeremiah 14:22; Psalm 33:9

O God, heavenly Father, who by Thy Son Jesus Christ hast promised to all those who seek Thy kingdom, and the righteousness thereof, all things necessary to their bodily sustenance; Send us, we beseech Thee, in this our necessity, such moderate rain and showers, that we may receive the fruits of the earth to our comfort, and to Thy honor, through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

Friday, August 14, 2015

Wonderful UMW Gathering

Wonderful fellowship!
Marcia speaks to the community
Sonia shares the spiritual growth moment
Bonita gives the re-cap of the apple dumpling sales

Betty announces this month's birthdays
There was a full-house on hand for the August UMW gathering! President Trudy Freeman led the gathering in the business portion of the afternoon and the normal reports were recieved.

Hostesses this month were Kinda Kaufman and Bonita Ziegler who shared a wonderful dessert and had delightful table decorations. 

Thanks to Marcia Prather for her presentation, a mini-Mission u lesson on Latin America.

Final numbers are not available, but it appears we did very well with the apple dumpling sales at the Creamery Picnic.  Thanks again to everyone who helped in making, selling, or eating the 900+ dumplings!

Wednesday, August 12, 2015