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


Saturday, October 31, 2015

Trunk or Treat - pt. 3

Every dog has its day on Trunk or Treat night
Marcia and Sheila are having fun!
Pastor Charles & Chevy get acquainted
Sheila shows off her style!
Marcia is happy to share tricks or treats
Those setting up inside were: Belinda Alkula, Pastor Charles, Mickey Boykin, Kathy Clark, Sheila Hammitt, Marcia Prather, and Mark Sampson.

Trunk or Treat - pt. 2

This is our 1,500th blog post!
John & Lynda look the part
Vickie is ready!

Palmer & staff 
The Gragg's tent was a favorite for hungry folk of all ages

joey stands ready with treats
The rain ended just before the 5 pm start time which was greatly appreciated by those brave souls who set up their trunks!

Those with trunks open for business were: Dean Diers, joey Diers, John & Lynda Fisher, Bill & Carol Gragg, Amber, Dave, & Palmer Maclay-Schulte, and Vickie Vernon.

Trunk or Treat - pt. 1

Rain or shine!
Belinda and Mickey put together bags for the adult visitors
Lisa and joey get things organized
The wet weather didn't hamper the enthusiasm taking place at the church today as we set about hosting the annual Trunk or Treat event.

Due to the weather we had folk set-up in the fellowship hall as well as in the parking lot.

Thanks goes to all of this year's participants: Belinda Alkula & Pastor Charles, Kathy Clark, Dean & joey Diers, John & Lynda Fisher, Bill & Carol Gragg, Sheila Hammitt, Lisa Menery, Amber, Dave & Palmer Maclay-Schulte, Don Nelson, Marcia Prather, Mark Sampson, and Vickie Vernon.

We also want to thank everyone who contributed to the candy supply, it made a difference!!!

Last time change reminder

Daylight Savings Time ends at 2:00 am, Sunday morning!

Trunk or Treat - TONIGHT!

5:00 - 7:00 pm
*Corner of E. 3rd & Pine Streets

*In the event of rain we'll use the fellowship hall!

Things that "bump in the night," UMC-style

By Kathy L. Gilbert

Churches are havens of safety, places of welcome and respite, a heavenly pathway to God - but that doesn't mean they can't have their own tales of unexplained happenings.

Some United Methodist churches, cemeteries and at least one home of a well-known Methodist reportedly have things that go bump in the dark (or daylight) - when no living soul is around. The most famous Methodist of all - John Wesley - was believed to have had a ghost in his childhood home that his family named "Old Jeffrey."

Read more at this link.

Reformation Day prayer

Almighty, eternal God! How dreadful is the world! Behold how its mouth opens to swallow me up, and how small is my faith in You!

O the weakness of the flesh and the power of Satan! If I am to depend upon any strength from this world, all is lost. O my God! Help me against all the wisdom of this world. Do this, I beg You.

The work is not mine, but Yours. I have no business here. I have nothing to contend for with these great men of the world! I would gladly pass my days in happiness and peace. But the cause is Yours, my Lord; and it is righteous and everlasting! Stand by me! O faithful and unchangeable God! I lean not upon man. It would be vain!

You have chosen me for this work. I know it! Therefore, O God, accomplish Your own will! Stand by me in the name of Jesus Christ, who will be my shelter and my shield, yes, my mighty fortress, through the might and strengthening of the Holy Spirit.

I am ready, even to lay down my life for this cause, patient as a little lamb. For the cause is holy. It is Your our  own.  Though this world be filled with devils, and though my body, originally the work and creation of Your hands, go to destruction in this cause — yes, though it be shattered into pieces — Your Word and Your Spirit they are good to me still! It concerns only the body. The soul is Yours. It belongs to You and will also remain with You forever. God help me. Amen.

Dr. Martin Luther,
April 16, 1521
(written the night before he appeared before Charles V 
(the Holy Roman Emperor) and the Diet of Worms)

Friday, October 30, 2015

Time to Fall Back

Make sure to turn your clocks back one hour 
before going to bed Saturday night.

United Methodists and All Saints Day

"Adoration of the Lamb" from the Ghent Altar pieceby Jan van Eyck
November 1 is All Saints Day, a sometimes-overlooked holy day in United Methodist congregations. It is not nearly as well known as the day before, All Hallows’ (Saints’) Eve, better known as Halloween, but is far more important in the life of the church.

John Wesley, founder of the Methodist movement, enjoyed and celebrated All Saints Day. In a journal entry from November 1, 1767, Wesley calls it “a festival I truly love.” On the same day in 1788, he writes, “I always find this a comfortable day.” The following year he calls it “a day that I peculiarly love.”

This may sound odd. United Methodists don’t believe in saints


Well, yes... and no.

Read more at this link.

Thursday, October 29, 2015

Church Conference 2015

The annual church conference was held tonight @ Stevi UMC with twenty-three in attendance.

Votes were taken on the our commitment for the 2016 mission shares, the lay leadership for 2016, pastor's compensation, and the membership report.

2015 Church Conference is tonight!

The Stevensville UMC church conference is being held tonight at 7:00 pm.  

Please come early as parking is limited and late-comers may end up parking blocks away.

Wednesday, October 28, 2015

We're going WOW!

Tonight's WOW gathering was a lively time!  Thanks to delicious soups from Dean Diers  and Lynda Fisher  and homemade bread from John Fisher, everyone had more than enough to eat. 

Mickey Boykin shared a devotional written by Becky Boykin and then we discussed the question: Where have you seen God at work?

Trunk or Treat is coming

We are looking for you Saturday night
for the annual Trunk or Treat @ Stevi UMC!

5:00 pm - 7:00 pm

Your participation is needed!
Donations of treats, you & your trunk

BUMP Shoebox drive

In remembrance

All Saints window - Chartres Cathedral, France

During our worship service Sunday morning we will have a time to remember the saints who have helped to shape us.

Please let Pastor Charles or the church office know of any names you would like to be lifted up.

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

UMW 13th World Assembly 2016

Every five years, members of the World Federation of Methodist and Uniting Church Women gather for a world assembly. The last assembly in 2011 was held in Johannesburg, South Africa, and the next will be in Houston, Texas, in summer 2016. As members of United Methodist Women, you’re invited to attend!

Read more at this link.

UMW "Finger labrinths" for General Conference 2016

United Methodist Women are actively preparing for the church’s 2016 General Conference in Portland, Oregon, May 10-20, 2016.  As in previous General Conference meetings, United Methodist Women will have an active role in the General Conference prayer ministry.  One prayer ministry activity planned is to offer quilted finger prayer labyrinths for delegates and guests.  

We are seeking UMW members that enjoy quilting to assist us by making the finger labyrinths.  Would you like to help by volunteering to quilt finger prayer labyrinth squares for the delegates and guests?  We need 2,000 and the variety of labyrinths made by women from all over the country will bless the recipients and lend to the support and outreach we hope to extend.  Attached is a pattern for the finger labyrinths (ask in the church office).  Each labyrinth will be tagged with a card identifying that the labyrinth is “handmade with love and prayer by United Methodist Women.

Please circulate this request and the attached pattern among the UMW with whom you have contact.  Share that anyone interested in quilting the finger prayer labyrinth squares should email GCprayer@unitedmethodistwomen.org  with an estimate of how many they might be able to make and to receive further instructions for shipping the completed labyrinths by the deadline.

Deadline for submission of labyrinths is January 15, 2016.  If there are questions, email me at GCprayer@unitedmethodistwomen.org  

Becky Dodson Louter

Executive Secretary

Offices of Deaconess, Home Missioner, and Home Missionary

United Methodist Women, national office |The United Methodist Church

475 Riverside Drive, Suite 1505 | New York, NY 10115

(T): 212-870-3850 | (F):  212-870-3695 | (Cell): 423-767-6855

Monday, October 26, 2015

Scripture Lesson for All Saints Day

Sunday, November 1, is observed throughout the 
Christian church as All Saints' Day.

The scripture lesson for next Sunday is Revelation 21:1-6a.

This week @ SUMC

Monday: 7:00 pm, Living Clean

Tuesday:   7:00 pm, Choir practice

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


10:00 am, Drop-in Bible study @ Doris T.'s (lesson #9) 
2:00 pm, Set-up for Trunk or Treat
5:00 pm, Trunk or Treat @ SUMC 


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

Sunday, October 25, 2015

Celebration Sunday, pt. 2

Bill & Cleo ready themselves to provide the entertainment

With the "Wesleyan Table Grace" ringing in our ears, the congregation made its way into the fellowship hall for the annual Celebration Sunday potluck. The tables laden with food were a sight to behold and the tables lined with grateful people were likewise a blessing to see!!

Thanks to everyone who brought food to share.  A special thanks to the Stewardship/Finance Committee members for putting this together and for organizing another successful commitment campaign.

Celebration Sunday @ SUMC

Our offerings to the Lord
Carol and the children
Celebration Sunday at Stevi UMC is always a treat and today was no exception!

The choir's musical offering on this Reformation Sunday was "In This Very Room," a special reminder of God's presence among us. Pastor Charles concluded the sermon series from the Book of Job, a good reminder of our place in God's continuing acts of creation.

The congregation was invited to present their commitment cards (for the 2016 budget) this morning following the sermon. It is such a joy to see the baskets of cards coming from a community that has been and continues to be blessed by God.

A prayer for Reformation Sunday

The "Luther Rose"
Eternal God, infinite in power, wisdom and goodness: 

Let the desire of our souls be to You; let us draw near You with our hearts, and not only with our lips; and worship You in spirit and truth. Let Your word be spoken and heard by us as the word of God.

Give us attentive, hearing ears, and opened, understanding, and believing hearts, that we may no more refuse Your calls, or disregard Your merciful, outstretched hand, or slight Your counsels, but be more ready to hear. 

Put Your laws into our hearts, and write them in our minds, and let us all be taught by You. Let us magnify You with thanksgiving, and triumph in Your praise. Let us rejoice in Your salvation, and glory in Your holy name. 

Open our lips, O Lord, and let our mouths show forth Your praise. And let the words of our mouths, and the meditations of our hearts, be acceptable in Your sight, through Jesus Christ our Lord and only Saviour. Amen.

Adapted from Richard Baxter’s Savoy Liturgy of the English Presbyterians, 1661, by Daniel Hayward, South Stormont Pastoral Charge, The United Church of Canada, South Stormont Township Ontario.

Saturday, October 24, 2015

It's next week!

Come and be part of the fun at this annual community event!
5-7 pm - October 31st

Friday, October 23, 2015

Healing Communities Training

At the end of the summer, First UMC was fortunate to have Rev. Doug Walker (National United Methodist Church Healing Communities Trainer and UMC National Coordinator for Criminal Justice Reform) with us to talk about a more intentional, structured approach to ministry for and with those affected by the criminal justice system.  Out of that meeting came our next significant step -- our upcoming Healing Communities Training for Ministry to Those Affected by Criminal Justice System -- Monday-Tuesday, Nov. 2-3, 5:30pm - 8:30pm

"Healing Communities" are congregations that offer pastoral care to those who are affected by crime or incarceration — children, families, inmates and those returning to the community, as well as those victimized by crime.   Healing Communities training identifies basic components of action for congregations to become "Stations of Hope," drawing on the existing mission and ministry structure of the local church. 

Would you be willing to represent our circuit at these training sessions?  We have been invited to organize a team from our circuit which may, in the future, discuss and organize to see about further developments/possibilities of these ministries in our area.  There are presently several representatives coming from other mainline churches in Missoula, as well as the Open Way Mindfulness Center.  This is something that the Missoula Interfaith Collaborative is supporting; they are also providing a meal for one of the evenings (our church is providing the other night's meal).  

The registration process/parameters are still being put together, but there is likely going to be an undetermined-as-of-yet registration fee (with scholarships available) of around $25.

Please let me know if you would be willing to represent our circuit, or if you have any questions I thank you for considering this vital area of ministry opportunity.

Grace to you,
Pastor John

PS:  you can find more on the Healing Communities ministries at http://umc-gbcs.org/healing-communities.  

A brochure promoting the training specifically is presently being constructed, and once completed, will be sent to all interested parties.


Join us on Sunday for our Celebration Sunday Celebration!  In addition to our coming together for church school (9 am), praise singing (10:15), and worship (10:30), we'll gather in the fellowship hall after worship for the annual celebration Sunday potluck!

Bring your F.R.A.N. (Friend, Relative, and Neighbor) on Sunday and join the celebration!!!

Prayers for Mexico

Two red flags with black square is the symbol for hurricanes
Please remember the people of Mexico's Pacific coast (the expected landfall is between Manzanillo and Puerto Vallarta) as they prepare to receive the full force of Hurricane Patricia, a category 5 storm with wind speeds of 200+ mph.

UMCOR will be prepared to respond with assistance when it is called upon. Your contributions to UMCOR's International Disaster Response will make a difference.

Thursday, October 22, 2015

Pantry Partners Event

Empty Bowls supporting food security
Saturday, October 24 at 11 am at St. Mary's community center.

Enjoy a simple lunch of soup and bread donated by local restaurants.   

Make a donation to support the Pantry Partners Food Bank.