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


Wednesday, September 30, 2015

This week @ WOW

Worship on Wednesday continues to bless us each week with a healthy helping of food & faith!
This week, Bev Schneider discussed her life and her walk with the Lord… from childhood through adulthood.  She talked about her always being aware of God, even as a child. She shared that she was required to recite Scripture from memory when she was in the fourth grade.  She chose Psalm 100 then, and she read it to us. 
She participated in Campus Crusade for Christ in college.  After college, her dad unexpectedly died, so she returned home.  She met Bill, her soul mate, and they enjoyed life in New Jersey, until they moved here this year.
Table Discussion Questions:
  1. When did you first allow Christ into your life?
  2. What has helped strengthen your trust and faith in the Lord?
  3. What could continue to help your spiritual journey?

Yellowstone Conference clergy gathering

Our host church
Bishop Elaine Stanovsky shares with the clergy
Rev. Graham Horsley leads the discussion
Thursday afternoon
Singing "Harvest Time" 
"There is a fabric of the old way of being society and being church. We are not about patching the fabric of that old garment but seeking to set up a new loom to weave the new fabric for tomorrow's society of the Kingdom." 

- Sister Mary Clare (an Anglican nun)

Pastor Charles is attending the Yellowstone Conference clergy gathering at Bozeman UMC this week and is happy to be with the pastors 

The speaker for the event, the Rev. Graham Horsley, is from the Methodist Church in Britain and is leading the gathering in a discussion of the Fresh Expressions initiative.

UMCOR kits ready to go!

(L-R) Linda, Sheila, Hazel, & Lisa 
Thanks to everyone who contributed to the THIRTY-FIVE (35) UMCOR school kits that are being shipped this week.

Thanks to Sheila Hammitt,  Linda Kauffman, Lisa Menery, and Hazel Smith for coming to assemble the bags (sewn by UMW members) yesterday.

Monday, September 28, 2015

Scripture lessons for October 4

Our scripture lessons for World Communion Sunday are taken from Hebrews1:1-4, 2:5-12 and Job 1:1, 2:1-10.

This week at Stevi UMC

7:00 pm, Living Clean

7:00 pm, Choir practice
7:00 pm, Finish building scarecrow

Yellowstone Conference Clergy Session @ Bozeman UMC
8:00 am, WIC 
10:00 am, Wired Word
6:00 pm, Worship on Wednesday
6:30 pm, Youth Group @ the Ludington's 

Yellowstone Conference Clergy Session @ Bozeman UMC
5:30 pm, Scarecrow entry set-up

Yellowstone Conference Clergy Session @ Bozeman UMC
10:00am, Drop-in Bible study @ Doris T.'s (lesson #5) 

8:00 am,Yellowstone Conference UMW annual meeting @ Lewiston UMC

Sunday: World Communion Sunday                                                                                   9:00 am, Church school for all ages                                                                         
10:15 am, Praise singing       
10:30 am, Worship                                                          
11:30 am, Fellowship time
11:45 am, Chime practice 

Sunday, September 27, 2015

Scarecrow building!

The fellowship hall was abuzz with activity this afternoon with the excitement that comes from creating a scarecrow!  As we did last year, Stevi UMC will have an entry in the Stevensville Scarecrow Festival that begins on Friday (Oct. 2).  

Be sure to look for the Stevensville UMC entry on Friday and cast your vote for us!

Thanks to Mickey Boykin, joey Diers, Lisa Menery, Ava & Dusty Schrock, and two guests, Nora and Ken, for help today in building the scarecrow for the festival.

First Sunday in Autumn

Dusty, Lynn, and Lisa set up the refreshment trays
Pastor Charles & the children
Rev. Judith Clark offered the sermon
Popcorn for sale!
Fellowship, Stevi-style!
The first Sunday of autumn was a delight for everyone at Stevi UMC!  We began with the two adult classes engaged in learning, continued growing during worship, and continued the fellowship during the refreshment time.

The Rev. Judith Clark, a retired UMC pastor from the Minnesota Conference and a good friend of Pastor Charles & Belinda, shared the sermon this morning.  This will be available on the Youtube channel later today. 

A prayer for today

Saturday, September 26, 2015

Oh Baby!

The fellowship hall was awash with baby-themed items as Bridget S.'s baby shower was held this afternoon.

Thanks to everyone who shared in this event!

Friday, September 25, 2015

Prayers for Mayor Paul Ludington

Join us in lifting up Paul Ludington as he prepares to begin his duties as mayor of Stevensville on October 1st.

Wednesday, September 23, 2015


Soup is on!
Belinda speaks to the gathering
The weekly WOW (Worship on Wednesday) took place tonight and a wonderful time of sharing around the table and the Word was on tap.

Dean Diers provided an amazing soup supper which filled everyone with warm, happy thoughts!!

Belinda Alkula led tonight's sharing around Psalm 118:22 - "The stone that the builders rejected has become the chief cornerstone." (NRSV).

The discussion questions Belinda provided were:
1. Some say, "We live in a throw-away society." What does that mean to you?
2. How often do we, like the Pharisees, discard a person, a brother or sister in Christ, or even ourselves, as an oddity, the wrong shape, size or color, one who doesn't fit well with the rest?
3. Have you ever felt rejected?
4. Have you ever felt rejected, and then something happened to make things change? What happened? Who changed? What changed?
5. What does it mean to you - that Jesus, Messiah, was rejected?
6. How are you encouraged?
7. What advice can you give others?

A Prayer for Autumn Days

God of the seasons, there is a time for everything;  there is a time for dying and a time for rising.  We need your grace and courage to enter into the conversion process.

God of Autumn, the trees are saying their goodbyes to green, letting go of what has been.  We, too, have our moments of surrender, with all their insecurity and risk-taking.  Help us to let go.

God of fallen leaves that lay in colored patterns upon the ground, our lives have their own particular patterns of growth.  We need to see the connections.

God of misty days and harvest-moon nights, there is always the dimension of mystery and wonder in our lives, always the need to recognize your power-filled mystery.

God of harvest wagons and fields of ripened grain, there are many gifts of growth within this season of surrender.  Harvest must be waited for in faith and hope.  Grant us patience when we do not see the blessings.

God of geese going South for another season, it is wisdom which enables us to know what needs to be left behind and what needs to be carried into the future.  We yearn for insight and vision.

God of graciousness, you believe in us, you enrich us, you entrust us with the freedom to choose life.  For all of this, we are grateful.

As we experience the season of Autumn, may we allow it to speak to us of necessary change and growth and of preparation for seasons that lie beyond the Winter.  

Grant us an openness to the continuous process of letting go and moving on, which is part of our human condition.  
We know that you are our faithful companion on this journey.  Your presence is blessing enough.   AMEN.

Adapted from a prayer by Sr. Joyce Rupp, OSM                               

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

A thought for Yom Kippur

Blowing on the Shofar
Yom Kippur Online

My soul is like a hard drive, 
slow and sluggish from accumulated data.
Once a year I run the Yom Kippur program, 
and cull the extraneous files.
Each is examined, its worth is determined. 
I neither eat nor drink, for fear of spilling on the keyboard.
All day my modem is uplinked to the celestial bulletin board.
I put all my sins into the GOAT file.
Then delete.
Somewhere in the memory lies a trace of everything I've done.
Only G‑d can empty the trash bin.

Monday, September 21, 2015

Introducing: Response digital!

Introducing: response digital!
Now your favorite magazine has a digital companion. Digital issues of response will be usable on any device. 
In addition to our 48-page glossy print magazine, we are excited to begin offering response in digital format as well! The e-version of response lets you read stories on your e-reader, tablet, phone or computer, for convenience, mobility and accessibility--take response with you wherever you go.

To celebrate, we are offering the September 2015 digital issue free for all! In October we will begin offering digital subscriptions and individual issues available for purchase. Print subscribers will receive a free digital subscription as well. Stay tuned for more information, and for now, enjoy your your free issue of response digital!  

Looking for response online as it used to be?

We plan to continue featuring articles plus Responsively Yours (print and audio versions) as free web content.

Your attention, please

It's that time of the year when the church prepares for the Church Conference.  As part of that effort, the Lay Leadership (Nominations) Committee is discerning how to fill the ministry leadership/participant rolls for the coming year.

Please contact any of the Lay Leadership Committee members (shown below), Pastor Charles, or the church office if you feel led by the Spirit to participate in the ministries of the church in the coming year.

Required offices (with current chairs):
Lay Leader, John Fisher
Lay Member to Annual Conference, Belinda Alkula
Alternate Lay Member to Annual Conference, John Fisher
Administrative Council, Cale Fisher
Lay Leadership (current - Dean Diers, Don Nelson, Marcia Prather)
  --Lay Leadership Committee is elected at the church conference.
Staff/Parish Relations Committee: Phyllis Daniels (3-year term)
Stewardship/Finance: Don Nelson
Trustees: Ben Longbottom (3-year term)

Work areas/teams (with point of contact):
Education - Bob Edgar
Guiding Team - Pastor Charles/John Fisher
Hospitality Team - Lisa Nichols
Library - Mary Nelson
Missions - Ellyn Jones
Outreach Team - Lisa Menery
Prayer Chain - Gail Moshier/Mickey Boykin
Scouting - Bob Edgar
Shepherding - Pastor Charles/Janet Lonski
UMW - Trudy Freeman
UMM - Don Nelson
UMYF - Julie&Paul Ludington/Marcia Prather
Worship - Pastor Charles

Scripture lessons for September 27th

Jesus in the Temple by Fra Angelico
The first Sunday in the season of autumn will be a wonderful opportunity to come together as we consider Mark 9:38-50.

Guest preacher this week will be the Rev. Judith Clark, a retired member of the Minnesota Conference and a good friend of Pastor Charles & Belinda.

This week @ Stevi UMC

6:00 pm, Trustees
7:00 pm, Living Clean (upstairs)  

7:00 pm, Choir practice  

Wednesday: First Day of Autumn
8:00 am, WIC 
10:00 am, Wired Word
6:00 pm, Worship on Wednesday
6:30 pm, Youth Group @ the Ludington's

10:00am, Drop-in Bible study @ Doris T.'s (lesson #4) 

3:00 pm, Baby shower for Bridget S.

9:00 am, Church school for all ages
10:15 am, Praise singing       
10:30 am, Worship                                                          
11:30 am, Fellowship time
11:45 am, Chime practice 
1:00 pm, Scarecrow building
2:00 pm, 174th Founder's Day @ St. Mary's Mission

Sunday, September 20, 2015

Last Sunday of Summer

Acolytes at work
Bob and the children
The baptism of Palmer
The extended Maclay-Shulte family
On a picture-perfect Summer Sunday, the faithful gathered for a wonderful celebration of community living out its faith.

A special blessing today was the baptisms of Dave and Palmer Maclay-Shulte. Welcoming these two brothers into the family of God is the highlight of any congregation's life.

Today's choral offering, "Tallis Canon," was especially moving and is something we'll enjoy for a long time to come.

Keeping the main thing...

In the words of Stephen Covey (noted organizational expert): 

"The main thing is to keep the main thing the main thing."

Saturday, September 19, 2015

UMW District Meeting

Breakfast fellowship
Installation of district officers for 2016
Sharing the energy!
Spirituality worskshop
Closing communion
The Western Mountains District (Yellowstone Conference) of the United Methodist Women met today at Corvallis UMC for the fall gathering.

Our unit was represented today by Belinda Alkula, Pastor Charles, Sheila Hammitt, Sonia Henry, Carole Koval, Ginny Mellgren, and Hazel Smith.

In addition to conducting district business, those present learned about spirituality types from the host pastor, Rev. Deb Wacker.  
To learn more about this topic, please visit this link.

Friday, September 18, 2015

The directory is here!

Mary C., Claire K., Carol Goffe, and Mary N. put the directory together
Hot off the press
The much-anticipated Stevi UMC photo directory is ready! Thanks to everyone who helped bring this effort to fruition!

Copies will be available in the church library on Sunday.

The UMW is coming!

The officers of the Western Mountains District of the UMW met tonight at Corvallis UMC to place the finishing touches on tomorrow's district fall meeting.

Breakfast/registration in the morning begins at 8 am.

UM Communications is turning 75!

Ethel Hintz headed the team responsible for the circulation records and files of "The Methodist Story," a precursor to "Interpreter." The publication was in print from 1957 until 1969.

On October 1, United Methodist Communications celebrates its diamond anniversary.

Since its inception, United Methodist Communications has produced and published a plethora of products, promotions, news stories, publications, and video and audio productions for clergy, church leaders and other laity. Here are highlights spanning the agency's 75 years ...

Read more at this link.