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


Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Wonderful Wednesday @ SUMC

Dean and Lisa look over the meal while Corky readies his bowl
Sheila and Ava like what they see
Some of Pastor Charles' old hymnals

Wonderful group tonight at Worship on Wednesday (WOW). Fifteen were on hand with everyone enjoyed the homemade chili (Dean Diers) and chicken & rice soup (Mary Costello).

Pastor Charles passed out hymnals from his collection (ranging from 1817 to 2000) and asked everyone to select a hymn/song. We discussed why some hymns speak to us more than others; what the author intended to say to their time and possibly to ours; and, what role singing has in our faith.

We ended the evening with a sharing of communion.
Worship on Wednesday meets every Wednesday at 6:00 pm for a light soup supper, discussion, and communion.

It's that time again

It's that time of the year when congregations begin making plans for the coming year. Here at Stevi UMC, we are looking ahead and that's where you come in. We need everyone to take part in the ministries of the church - prayers, presence, gifts, service, and witness. It's the service part that this post is all about.

Look over the following list. Then give prayerful thought to how you can serve in the coming year. Contact any member of the Lay Leadership Committee: Pastor Charles, Dean Diers, Lisa Menery, or Marcia Prather or contact the church office @ (406) 777-5443 - steviumc@gmail.com to express your interest in a ministry role at Stevi UMC.

Required by Book of Discipline:
Lay Leader
Lay Member to Annual Conference
Alternate Member to Annual Conference
Ad Council

Staff/Pastor Parish Relations Committee (SPPRC)
Stewardship/Finance Committee

Work Areas:
Education ministries
Mission Team
Outreach Team
Shepherding Team
UM women
UM men
UM youth
Worship Team (coordinator for usher/greeters & liturgist)

Monday, September 26, 2016

This week @ Stevi UMC

7:00 pm, Living Clean

7:00 pm, Choir

8:00 am, WIC
10:00 am, Christianity & World Religions - Islam
6:00 pm, Worship on Wednesday
6:30 pm, Youth Group @ the Ludington's

10:00 am, Drop-in Bible Study, lesson #5

10:00 am, Scarecrow building @ the church

Sunday: World Communion Sunday
9:00 am, Church school  
+Christianity & World Religions: Judaism
10:15 am, Praise singing
10:30 am, Worship service
11:30 am, Fellowship time

Scripture lessons for October 2

Mustard flowers
Our lesson this week comes to us from Luke 17:5-10.

The lectionary study meets each Monday at 6:00 pm to discuss the scripture lessons that will be used in the following Sunday's worship.

Sunday, September 25, 2016

First Sunday of Autumn

We are ready for worship
Don Nelson shares a stewardship thought
The Word brought to us
Fellowship time was lively today!
Carol Goffe makes sure John Soper has what he needs
 What an amazing morning! The faithful came out on a picture-perfect autumn morning to learn, worship, and share!  We were blessed to share this day with several guests including two students from Wesley House @ the University of Montana. They were accompanied by the Rev. Todd Scranton, the pastor of Grace UMC and the Wesley House chaplain.

Our children's ministry continues to grow in size and in faith, both the children and the adults leading have been blessed with this vibrant ministry. The adults learned about Islam through "Christianity & World Religions" and shared their thoughts on the world's second largest faith.  Next week they'll be learning about Judaism.

The chimes brought to the worship the old favorite hymn, "How Great Thou Art." We are blessed and believe God is pleased with the musical offerings shared each week during worship.

Pastor Charles preached on Luke 16:19-31, the parable of the Rich Man & Lazarus.

Thanks to Carol Goffe, Marcia Prather, and Vicki Vernon for the amazing fall-themed refreshments we enjoyed during our fellowship time. Carole Koval has been doing a super job in securing folk to host our time following worship each week.

Who is the Lazarus in your life?

Frank Copping
"Lazarus longed to eat the crumbs that fell from the rich man’s table. Instead, dogs would come and lick his sores." 

Rekindle someone's inner spirit today

Bad Freienwalde, Germany
In everyone's life, at some time, our inner fire goes out. It is then burst into flame by an encounter with another human being. We should all be thankful for those people who rekindle the inner spirit.

― Albert Schweitzer

Friday, September 23, 2016

Invitation to learn

The Christianity & World Religions study (9 am Sunday or 10 am Wednesday) will be looking at Islam this coming week.

Please join us and share in the discussion about the world's second largest faith tradition.

Wednesday, September 21, 2016


Lisa and Ava are ready for supper
Dean introduces the video
Discussing the parable
Communion on Wednesday
Thirteen came out on a damp evening for another opportunity to go WOW (Worship on Wednesday).

Thanks to Dean Diers and Lois Hansen for providing the soups and bread for tonight's supper.

Dean led the discussion on the Parable of the Prodigal Son and as part of his sharing, included a showing of the Skit Guys video of the parable.

Monday, September 19, 2016

Meet Bishop Oliveto video

Bishop Karen Oliveto loves and lives Jesus all the time, no matter where she is.

Please take a few minutes – less than eight, really – to look at this new video: Meet Bishop Karen Oliveto – Good Friday in Babylon. It gives us a glimpse into our new bishop, her life, her dreams, and the foundation of her ministry.

It’s no joke, she was actually born on Good Friday, and grew up in Babylon, N.Y., just a short way from New York City. She has felt God guiding her into ministry since her childhood, and now, she’s our bishop.

From her first sermon at age 16 to directing campus ministries in rural New York State and in San Francisco, to becoming the first woman pastor at one of The United Methodist Church’s 100 largest churches, she has lived Jesus’s call to love unconditionally, and to reach into the margins to introduce people to God’s saving and healing grace.

"My goal is that we live into beloved community, that this world which is so fractured by hate, so fractured by poverty, so fractured by intolerance, that we live boldly as the body of Christ that we love so fully, so completely, that the neighborhoods in which United Methodist churches stand in are utterly transformed by the love that spills out of these communities,” Bishop Oliveto says in the video.

Watch it. Share it. Use it to introduce folks to our new bishop. Wonderful things are ahead for the Mountain Sky Area – The Rocky Mountain and Yellowstone Annual Conferences – as we work to create beloved communities throughout the region.

If you have questions about how you can use the video, don’t hesitate to contact Charmaine Robledo, the Mountain Sky Area’s director of communications, at charmaine@rmcumc.com or 303-325-7054.

This week @ Stevi UMC

6:00 pm, Lectionary Study
6:00 pm, Trustees
7:00 pm, Living Clean

7:00 pm, Choir

8:00 am, WIC
10:00 am, Christianity & World Religions - Buddhism
7:00 pm, Worship on Wednesday

Thursday: First Day of Autumn
6:00 pm, Cub Scout Pack 4966

10:00 am, Drop-in Bible Study, lesson #4

9:00 am, 175th Founder's Day @ St. Mary's Mission

9:00 am, 
+Children's Church school

+Christianity & World Religions: Islam
+God & Family (upstairs)
10:15 am, Praise singing
10:30 am, Worship service
11:30 am, Fellowship time

Scripture lessons for September 25

Lazarus and Dives, The Abbaye St. Pierre de Moissa
Our lessons this week come to us from 1 Timothy 6:6-19 and Luke 16:19-31.

The lectionary study meets each Monday at 6:00 pm to discuss the scripture lessons that will be used in the following Sunday's worship.

Sunday, September 18, 2016

A boisterous Sunday @ Stevi UMC

Learning about Buddhism
Liz shares with the children
A full class!
The choir is back
We love fellowship time!

The last Sunday of summer was a slightly damp affair with more than a hint of the change in seasons in the air.

The adult class continued its study of "Christianity and World Religions," with a look at Buddhism. Next week we'll explore the second largest faith tradition, Islam.

There was a LOT of excitement in the building as our children's ministry returned with nine children present for learning, snacks, and music in the upstairs classrooms. During the worship service, Pastor Charles led the congregation in a blessing of those engaged in Christian education ministries at Stevi UMC. The choir added its blessing with "Clap de Hands."  
+Children's Sunday school: Belinda Alkula, Liz Goddard, Robin Johnston, and Lisa Nicholls
+Children's message (Sunday): Bob Edgar & Carol Gragg
+Youth Group on Wednesday: Paul & Julie Ludington and Marcia Prather

The choir added again to the worship of God after its summer hiatus with "Wake Up, Church, Wake up!"   

Pastor Charles' sermon came to us from Luke 16:1-13, the parable of the dishonest manager.

International Day of Prayer for Peace

Each year on 21 September the World Council of Churches calls churches and parishes to observe the International Day of Prayer for Peace. 21 September is also the United Nations-sponsored International Day of Peace.

As it approaches, the World Council of Churches invites people to offer prayers for peace.
Observances of the peace prayer day began in 2004 as part of the ecumenical Decade to Overcome Violence (2001-2010) after an agreement between the heads of the WCC and the UN.

The Palestine Israel Ecumenical Forum of the WCC invites member churches, faith-based communities, and civil society organizations to observe a World Week for Peace in Palestine Israel, starting on 18 September 2016. The theme of the week in 2016 is: "God has broken down the dividing walls"

The Day of Prayer for Peace also falls within the Time for Creation, a reminder of the close connection between peace on Earth and peace with the Earth.

More information about this event…

Note to self:

Saturday, September 17, 2016

Installation of Bishop Oliveto

Rev. Youngsook Kang welcoming our new bishop
Bishop Oliveto's first sermon in the Yellowstone Conference
"We Are Singing in the Light of GOD!"
The light is shining in the YAC!
Bishop Oliveto & Pastor Charles
The sanctuary of Bozeman UMC was filled this afternoon with United Methodists (and other ecumenical partners) from across the Yellowstone Conference to witness the installation of Karen Oliveto as our bishop.

It was a wonderful out-pouring of love and excitement for the future we share together!

See the archived video of the installation service at this link.

Friday, September 16, 2016

"Discover Your Spiritual Gifts"

The United Methodist Lay Servant Ministry class "Discover Your Spiritual Gifts" will be held Saturday, October 29, 9 am- 5 pm at Clancy United Methodist Church. The leader will be Rev. Deb Olenyik, Mountain Sky Area  Transitional Ministry Developer.  

All participants in the Body of Christ depend on the spiritual gifts God has given them.  Those gifts differ, but they provide the foundation for whatever ministry we do.  Learn more about your spiritual gifts – and how to help your congregation learn more about their spiritual gifts.  You may take this class even if you have not done the Basic Lay Servant Ministry class.  This is also one of the two core classes if moving into a Lay Led small church model. 
Rev. Deb will serve as the registrar for the class, and will send out the texts and class preparation information.  

Register through email to dolenyik@mtnskyumc.org  or calling 307-287-2192

The cost for others will be $20 paid at the class [checks made out to "YAC"].  This includes the cost of class materials and lunch.  Class materials are mailed out ahead of the class. Registration deadline is October 19 

There is a bit of reading and preparation required.  The church address is 6 N Main St.  For further information, please contact Rev. Deb. We look forward to seeing laity from many of our area churches participating.

Wednesday, September 14, 2016

Getting our learn on @ Stevi UMC!

Church school for children is coming!

Wednesday morning group learning about Hinduism
We're making learning and growing in faith a priority at Stevi UMC! 

We offer FIVE groups for adults:
+Christianity & World Religions study (Sunday @ 9 am and Wednesday @ 10 am).
+Lectionary study looks at the next Sunday's scripture lessons (Monday @ 6 pm).
+Worship on Wednesday (Wednesday @ 6 pm).
+Drop-in Bible study (at Doris Taylor's home, Friday @ 10 am).

High school youth meet at the Ludington's for supper and sharing  each Wednesdays @ 6:30 pm.

Our revamped children's program launches next Sunday at 9 am with learning, breakfast, and music!

Bishop Ough speaks words of support at Standing Rock

Photo: Quiet campsite near the Missouri River on Sept. 10th.
By Doreen Gosmire, director of communications, Dakotas Conference UMC

Bishop Bruce R. Ough, resident bishop of the Dakotas-Minnesota Area, traveled to the site of the large camp to make connections and gain understanding. Fr. John Floberg, rector of Episcopal churches St. James, St. Luke’s and Church of the Cross, on the Standing Rock nation, served as the guide for Ough.

Ough spent time visiting with various people in the encampment on the day after a federal judge’s decision and the Corp’s announcement.

Bishop Ough delivered a message of hope to those present at the camp.

“It is with intentions of unity, peace and hope that I bring you a message of support from the United Methodist Church,” said Ough. “I lift each of you up in prayer and will continue to do so daily. My hope is that you will not let the spirit of this gathering die. The United Methodists hope to work in a continued relationship to fulfill God’s commandment to be stewards of creation, and maintain loving relationships with all of God’s people.”

Read the rest of  the article at this link.

Monday, September 12, 2016

The excitement is building @ SUMC

Final planning meeting of the children's education team ahead of next Sunday's kickoff took place today.

A great program with enthusiastic leaders is being planned for the 2016-17 year!

Scripture lessons for September 18

This week the scripture lessons are 1 Timothy 2:1-7 and
Luke 16:1-13.

The lectionary study meets each Monday @ 6:00 pm to discuss the scripture lessons for the following Sunday's worship.

This week @ Stevi UMC

9:00 am, Face to Face @ Corvallis UMC
10:00 am, Children's Education meeting
6:00 pm, Lectionary study
7:00 pm, Living Clean

7:00 pm, Choir practice

8:00 am, WIC
9:00 am, Face to Face @ Corvallis UMC
10:00 am, Christianity & World Religions: Hinduism
6:00 pm, Worship on Wednesday
6:30 pm, Youth Group
7:00 pm, Stewardship/Finance

7:00 pm, Ad Council

10:00 am, Drop-in Bible Study, lesson #3

8:00 am, Western Mountains District fall UMW meeting @ Sacajawea Center - Salmon, ID
10:00 am,  Western Montana Walk to Emmaus picnic @ Mission Valley UMC
1:00 pm, Installation service for Bishop Oliveto @ Bozeman UMC

9:00 am, Church school - Children's kick-off Sunday
+Christianity & World Religions - Buddhism
10:15 am, Praise singing
10:30 am, Worship service
11:30 am, Fellowship time

Sunday, September 11, 2016

A September morning @ Stevi UMC

Morning light over Stevensville
adult class in session

Acolytes light the way

Marcia reading a poem by Wendell Berry
Fran (right) and Helen (left) enjoy being hostesses this week

With a beautiful sunrise greeting the faithful today we gathered for learning, worship, and fellowship @ Stevi UMC!

The adult class, studying Christianity & World Religions, explored some of the major beliefs and practices of Hinduism. Next week we'll look at Buddhism.

Marcia Prather brought our summer of sharing of music/poems to a conclusion this morning with a reading of three poems by Wendell BerryPastor Charles' sermon came to us from Luke 15:1-10.

Thanks to:
+ Bob Edgar for stepping in to share the children's message.  
+ Mary Costello, Helen Lowry, and Fran Jackson for serving as our fellowship hostesses today. 

The fun continues tonight with the return of the UMC book discussion group @ 6 pm.

Happy Grandparents Day

Prayer of Thanksgiving for Grandparents/Elders
God of Abraham and Sarah,
grandfather and grandmother in the faith
God of all generations:
We thank You today for those who are grandparents/elders.
We especially thank You for those who are grandparents to us —
those who are grandparents by blood relationships, and
those unrelated but older than we
who generously share
their love and wisdom,
their time and traditions
so that we have roots, stories, and hope.
We bless You for the gift of grandparents,
and we ask Your blessing on them,
that their days may be filled
with delight in their grandchildren.
May their giving and grace toward younger generations
bring fulfillment to them
and may they be a blessing
to all they love and call grandchildren,
through Jesus Christ, our Lord. Amen.

(from umcdiscipleship.org)

9/11: Fifteen years later

September 11, 2001 was a day no one can forget as lives were rocked across the U.S. and the world. We reached out to United Methodists living in New York at the time for this exclusive series of stories in which church leaders and members reflect on what happened that dark day and what lessons have impacted their lives and their congregations since then. 

It was not an easy thing to relive such hard memories but those we interviewed hope their words will help others continue to work for a more peaceful world. Read more at this link.

As you mark 9/11, we share this prayer for reflection also.

Prayer for the Anniversary of 9/11
by the Rev. Jeremy Pridgeon
O God, our hope and refuge,
in our distress we come quickly to you.
Shock and horror of that tragic day have subsided,
replaced now with an emptiness,
a longing for an innocence lost.

We come remembering those who lost their lives
in New York, Washington D.C., and Pennsylvania. 

We are mindful of the sacrifice of public servants
who demonstrated the greatest love of all
by laying down their lives for friends.
We commit their souls to your eternal care
and celebrate their gifts to a fallen humanity.

We come remembering
and we come in hope,
not in ourselves, but in you.

As foundations we once thought secure have been shaken,
we are reminded of the illusion of security. 

In commemorating this tragedy,
we give you thanks for your presence
in our time of need
and we seek to worship you in Spirit and in truth,
our guide and our guardian. Amen.

Saturday, September 10, 2016

United Methodist Men today

Don Nelson and Dean Diers at work in the kitchen
Good food and fellowship

Seven men came out this morning for the monthly breakfast at the church. Thanks to Don Nelson, Dave McGarvey, and Dean Diers for serving up the delicious meal today.

Don Nelson shared a devotional reading from the Sep/Oct "Alive Now" by Martin Stewart.

The group decided to take on the sponsorship of a Cub Scout troop (currently done by the local Knights of Columbus chapter). Dean Diers will be the point of contact for our group.

The next gathering will be October 8 @ 8:00 am.

Friday, September 9, 2016

Passing of Roy Haarman

It is with deep sadness that we report the death this morning of Roy Haarman.

Please remember in your prayers Roy, Kathy, and their family.

Standing Rock - A call for solidarity

Nobody wants their church to be desecrated, and the earth is our church.
Doug Crow Ghost - Director of water resources
Standing Rock Sioux Nation in North Dakota

The General Board of Church and Society of The United Methodist Church stands in solidarity with the Standing Rock Sioux Nation and the six Council Fires, and all those who are engaged in peaceful protest and resistance to the Dakota Access Pipeline.

Our church’s social teachings affirm “water is a sacred gift from God” and call us “to ensure that water remains pure and available to all.” (2016 Book of Resolutions: #1033, Caring for Creation: Our Call to Stewardship and Justice). Our teachings also recognize that too often we have turned native people’s sacred lands into dumping grounds and therefore call us to work diligently “to ensure the right of indigenous populations to free, prior and informed consent are transparently honored” (2016 Book of Resolutions, #1025 Environmental Racism).

As United Methodists continue our journey of repentance and healing with indigenous peoples, we understand that this journey is meaningful only if it leads us to action in addressing ongoing oppression and injustice.

Today, that commitment leads us to stand alongside the people of the Standing Rock Sioux Nation. To offer ourselves as partners in resistance against those who would marginalize the voices of native peoples, despoil sacred lands, endanger life-sustaining waters and prioritize profits over the health of God’s people and God’s planet. 

Susan Henry-Crowe
TAKE ACTION NOW and tell President Obama and the Army Corps of Engineers to listen to the voices of impacted communities and pursue a course of action that will protect God's people and God's planet.

P.S. Find more information on the Standing Rock Sioux Nation and the Dakota Access Pipeline here and read Bishop Ough's statement on the protest here.