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


Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Worship on Wednesday is Wonderful!

Weekly communion is wonderful!
Lois and Mary look over the night's offerings
Lois gets us going
The importance of being 'RACK'd'

Twelve were on hand on a chilly November night for the weekly WOW gathering.

Supper was provided by Mary Costello, Dean Diers, and Dusty Schrock. And boy, was it awesome!

Lois Hansen led the talk tonight, sharing a creative twist on the Advent calendar idea (from coffeecupsandcrayons.com). The way it works is to count down to Christmas with twenty-four random acts of Christmas kindess (RACK). We were challenged to not look at the Advent/Christmas as something we get but as something we give.

2016 Advent Photo-a-Day: Patience

Rock from Temppeliaukio Church - Helsinki, Finland

Join #RethinkChurch and #RethinkAdvent with our Photo-A-Day experience. 

Today's word is "Patience."

Learn more @ http://bit.ly/2gmbU4U

Monday, November 28, 2016

YAC Mission News

Friends of Yellowstone Conference,
Pastor Famoloso Domingoes Serrote
“I want to thank Yellowstone Conference for their support with   supplement salary for the pastors in United Methodist Church East Angola, because it is the only income most of us and our families survive on. I have particularly benefited a lot from this support because I managed to pay school fees for my education at Quessua High School, where I graduated at the 12th grade last year. I also enrolled for a Bible course at the Faculty of Theology, where the savings from your support has enabled me to buy writing materials for my studies.  I am also supporting my two siblings with school fees with the same stipend.”   
- Pastor Famoloso Domingoes Serrote, age 24

The pastors we support in East Angola are doing essential ministry and changing the lives of people in need. Pastor Serrote has been a pastor for four years.  You may wonder why he has just finished high school.   For almost 40 years Angola suffered through wars- first for independence, then a civil war.  Whole generations missed out on an education.  Angola was on a path of rebuilding, until the drop in oil prices severely impacted their economy.
Rev. Andre Cassule - Kiwab’nozi UMC
Agricultural project
Rev. Andre Cassule visited Yellowstone Conference this past spring.  He traveled all across our conference sharing his story of faith and ministry, and the impact that Yellowstone Conference is having half-way around the world in small villages and towns in Angola.  His ministry is not only on weekends when he enriches peoples lives in faith, but he has also started an agricultural project for the people in his village where they raise food together (cassava in the photo) to benefit the individuals and the church.  

Here are some of his words:

“After graduating from Africa University and being ordained I was appointed to Kiwab’nozi UMC.  I was there two years and was not being paid.  I wanted to give up.  But, I started receiving money from Yellowstone Conference.  From this money I helped my sister and my mom, and paid for school fees for my kids and food for my family.”

You can watch a short video of him by clicking here.

The United Methodist Church in the U.S.A. faces struggles and uncertainties right now.  But what IS certain is this: The pastors we support in East Angola are doing essential ministry, and changing lives.  WE have the opportunity to offer hope.  Your continued support of pastors is needed.  $50 a month makes a difference.  As Rev. Cassule said: “My family and I need you in order to serve Jesus.”

You can give through your church using Advance # 3021453 (Angola pastor support), or by going to www.umcmission.org and use the above Advance #.  Learn more and find resources for Angola pastors  by going to yacumc.org.

Your continued support is important, and appreciated. 
 Sally McConnell, Yellowstone Conference Mission Coordinator

New adult study coming in January

Begin the New Year with an exciting new study being offered at Stevensville UMC... 

"Methodism & You: A journey from our roots to our future."

In January we'll look at the formation of our spiritual roots with attention to life at the Wesley's home in Epworth, the origins of "the Holy Club" at Oxford, the influence of Susanna Wesley on her sons, John and Charles, and the coming of Methodism to America.

In February we will turn our attention to the foundational readings of Methodism. We'll be exploring John Wesley's journal, his Notes on the New Testament, an anthology of his sermons, the hymnal, Book of Discipline, Book of Worship, and the Book of Resolutions.

In March we'll be focusing on the role of the United Methodist Men/Women/Youth, we'll look at some of the various caucus groups in the denomination, the role of the General Board, Agencies, & Commissions, and look to the future of the 12+ million United Methodist Church around the world.

Come for the entire course or just for a single session, there will be something to learn and share each week!

2016 Advent Photo-a-Day: Longing

This week @ Stevi UMC

7:00 pm, Living Clean

7:00 pm, Choir 

8:00 am, WIC

10:00 am, Christianity's Family Tree: Anglicanism
5:30 pm, Meet Bishop Oliveto @ Grace UMC - Missoula
6:00 pm, Worship on Wednesday/youth


6:00 pm, Cub Scouts


10:00 am, Drop-in Bible Study, lesson #1(at Doris T.'s home)
3:30 pm, Girl Scouts 
5:00 pm, Clothes Closet Christmas Party

Sunday: Fourth Sunday of Advent

9:00 am, Church school

9:00 am, Christianity's Family Tree: Baptists
10:15 am, Praise singing
10:30 am, Worship service - with Hanging of the Greens
11:30 am, Fellowship time

Sunday, November 27, 2016

2016 Advent Photo-a-Day: Hope

Join #RethinkChurch and #RethinkAdvent with our Photo-A-Day experience. 

Today's word is "Hope"
Learn more @ http://bit.ly/2gmbU4U

Blessings today @ SUMC

Thanksgiving weekend at Stevi UMC was a wonderful, spirit-filled gathering!

Liz Goddard and the children's ministry team had ten children present, a truly lively group to be sure!!! The adult class explored the Anglican tradition, the spiritual home of the Wesleys. Next week we'll continue our study with a look at the Baptist branch of the Christian family tree.

During our sharing of joys and concerns we blessed the Christmas shoe boxes that our congregation is sending to BUMP (Blackfeet United Methodist Parish) this week. We have at least eighty boxes to send as of this morning. We'll continue accepting boxes through Thursday of this week.

We were blessed this morning with an anthem by our chime choir, "Peace In Our Time" (based on a prayer by Martin Luther). Pastor Charles' sermon was Matthew 24:36-44.

Thanks today go to: Liz Goddard for leading the children's ministry; Paul Ludington for leading the praise singing; Julie Ludington provided the musical accompaniment; Lisa Menery for being our liturgist in November (and Marcia Prather last week); Ed Sperry and Sharon Wheeler for being our greeters/ushers today; Carol Gragg for leading the Children's message each week;  Marilyn Murphy for leading the chimes in this morning's anthem; Sonia Henry, Carole Koval, and Sue Pearson for serving as hostesses this morning; Carol Gragg, Lisa Menery, and Hazel Smith for wrapping more Christmas shoe boxes.

2016 Advent Photo-a-Day: Practice

Advent is the season of the Christian Year that is typically observed as a time of reflection and waiting with anticipation for the coming of the birth of Jesus that is celebrated at Christmas. It is a longing filled with hope in the potential joy found in the baby savior, Jesus.
People journey through the season of Advent in a multitude of ways. Some take reflection time each day or make a concerted effort to spread joy. Some spend the season anticipating the joy (or consumed by the stress) of visiting or hosting family members. And then there’s shopping…

Whatever your practices, we invite you to share your Advent season experience through the Advent Photo-a-Day Challenge. 

Read more at this link.

United Methodist Student Day

Across the country, the people of The United Methodist Church are serving the people God loves in Jesus’ name. We’re doing it at home, but so often we’d like to do more.
  • We want to serve those in other places who are suffering.
  • We want to offer spiritual words of hope and life.
  • And we want to be well-equipped to do both!
But the reality for most of us is that our responsibilities—home, family, work—don’t allow us to engage with every need we’d like to meet.

Read more at this link.

Saturday, November 26, 2016

10 creative ways to explore a Bible passage

[From United Methodist News Service]:

Let's be honest. We clearly believe that the Bible is the word of God and the source of spiritual life. Sometimes, though, it can be hard to understand. When that happens, we have a tendency to disengage from this powerful source of light. In those moments, it helps to have a tool to help unlock the meaning or simply keep us engaged. Once we understand the meaning, we can better communicate the message of each passage.

Read more at this link.

Christmas shoe boxes are due tomorrow

Bring your Christmas shoe box(es) to the church tomorrow as we bless them, those who shared, and the children who will receive them. 

On Monday, we will send them on to First UMC in Missoula on Monday for delivery to Browning.

Friday, November 25, 2016

Giving Tuesday and you

On Nov. 29, United Methodists will come together to support the work of Advance missionaries and projects on UMC #GivingTuesday. Last year, more than 770 Advance missionaries and projects received 8,757 gifts through The Advance, the denomination’s designated giving channel.
The theme for UMC #GivingTuesday 2016 is “Give Light, Give Love, Give Life.” Every day, you give God’s light, love, and life through your faithful work, prayers, and gifts.

This year, consider supporting a project that is working in an area you care most about. Gifts made through The Advance make a tangible difference in the lives of those we serve. 

About The Advance

The Advance is an official program of The United Methodist Church for voluntary, designated, second-mile giving. Through The Advance, United Methodist annual conferences, districts, local churches, and organizations, as well as individuals and families, may choose to support mission programs or mission personnel with their financial gifts. Each Advance project has been vetted and approved by Global Ministries and Advance staff.

For more information, go to this link.

16 Days of Activism Against Gender Based Violence

GBCS: Living Faith. Seeking Justice. Pursuing Peace.

From November 25, the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women, to December 10, Human Rights Day, women around the world will join the call for an end to violence against women and girls. 

Each year, United Methodist Women joins the Center of Global Women’s Leadership (CGWL) in their 16 Days of Activism Against Gender Violence Campaign.

This year, based on a global survey which discovered how unsafe getting an education has become, 16 Days of Activism focuses on the relationship between peace and education with the theme: “From Peace in the Home to Peace in the World: Make Education Safe for All.”

Read the rest of the UMW Action Alert at this link.

You can learn more here: http://www.unwomen.org/en/what-we-do/ending-violence-against-women/take-action/16-days-of-activism

And be sure to follow along on Twitter (@gbcsumc) for the next 16 days!

rom 25 November, the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women, to 10 December, Human Rights Day, the 16 Days of Activism against Gender-Based Violence Campaign is a time to galvanize action to end violence against women and girls around the world. The international campaign originated from the first Women's Global Leadership Institute coordinated by the Center for Women's Global Leadership in 1991.
In 2016, the UNiTE campaign strongly emphasizes the need for sustainable financing for efforts to end violence against women and girls towards the fulfilment of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.
One of the major challenges to efforts to prevent and end violence against women and girls worldwide is the substantial funding shortfall. As a result, resources for initiatives to prevent and end violence against women and girls are severely lacking. Frameworks such as the Sustainable Development Goals, which includes a specific target on ending violence against women and girls, offer huge promise, but must be adequately funded in order to bring real and significant changes in the lives of women and girls.
To bring this issue to the fore, the UN Secretary-General’s campaign UNiTE to End Violence against Women’s call for the 16 Days of Activism against Gender-Based Violence in 2016 is ‘Orange the World: Raise Money to End Violence against Women and Girls’. The initiative provides a moment to bring the issue of sustainable financing for initiatives to prevent and end violence against women to global prominence and also presents the opportunity for resource mobilization for the issue.

Join us!

Share your photos, messages and videos showing how you orange the world at facebook.com/SayNO.UNiTE and twitter.com/SayNO_UNiTE using #orangetheworld and #16days. For more information about “Orange the world,” see this year’s Call to Action and download the fundraising toolkit. For more information about Orange Day, please contact Anna Alaszewski, UNiTE Campaign Coordinator,  anna.alaszewski[at]unwomen.org
The United Nations Official Commemoration of the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women will take place on 21 November from 10 a.m. – 12 p.m. EST.  View the save the date and invitation.
- See more at: http://www.unwomen.org/en/what-we-do/ending-violence-against-women/take-action/16-days-of-activism#sthash.uqZeS1tG.dpuf

Friday morning with the Drop-in Bible Study

JJ keeps an eye on the proceedings
The members of the Friday morning Drop-in Bible Study met this morning at Ginny Mellgren's to conclude the fall study, "The Sovereignty of God."

Next Friday we'll gather again, this time at Doris Taylor's home, to begin the winter lessons, "Creation: A Divine Cycle." 

The group is always looking to welcome anyone who might want to grow in their faith in a friendly, low-stress sort of way!

Black Friday reminder

Thursday, November 24, 2016

George Washington's 1789 Thanksgiving Proclamation

Whereas it is the duty of all nations to acknowledge the providence of Almighty God, to obey His will, to be grateful for His benefits, and humbly to implore His protection and favor; and Whereas both Houses of Congress have, by their joint committee, requested me to "recommend to the people of the United States a day of public thanksgiving and prayer, to be observed by acknowledging with grateful hearts the many and signal favors of Almighty God, especially by affording them an opportunity peaceably to establish a form of government for their safety and happiness."
Now, therefore, I do recommend and assign Thursday, the 26th day of November next, to be devoted by the people of these States to the service of that great and glorious Being who is the beneficent author of all the good that was, that is, or that will be; that we may then all unite in rendering unto Him our sincere and humble thanks for His kind care and protection of the people of this country previous to their becoming a nation; for the signal and manifold mercies and the favorable interpositions of His providence in the course and conclusion of the late war; for the great degree of tranquility, union, and plenty which we have since enjoyed; for the peaceable and rational manner in which we have been enable to establish constitutions of government for our safety and happiness, and particularly the national one now lately instituted for the civil and religious liberty with which we are blessed, and the means we have of acquiring and diffusing useful knowledge; and, in general, for all the great and various favors which He has been pleased to confer upon us.
And also that we may then unite in most humbly offering our prayers and supplications to the great Lord and Ruler of Nations and beseech Him to pardon our national and other transgressions; to enable us all, whether in public or private stations, to perform our several and relative duties properly and punctually; to render our National Government a blessing to all the people by constantly being a Government of wise, just, and constitutional laws, discreetly and faithfully executed and obeyed; to protect and guide all sovereigns and nations (especially such as have shown kindness to us), and to bless them with good governments, peace, and concord; to promote the knowledge and practice of true religion and virtue, and the increase of science among them and us; and, generally to grant unto all mankind such a degree of temporal prosperity as He alone knows to be best.

Given under my hand, at the city of New York, the 3d day of October, A.D. 1789.

- George Washington

Wednesday, November 23, 2016

Bishop Oliveto in Missoula

Bishop Karen Oliveto will be touring the Montana District next week and will make a "whistle stop" visit to Grace UMC on Wednesday, November 30 starting about 5:30 pm.

The purpose of the tours is to provide an opportunity for Bishop Oliveto to meet clergy and laity in their own settings and learn of the hopes, dreams, and challenges they face in their ministries.

Please consider this invitation to meet with our new bishop and share what it is about Stevi UMC that she would like/need to know about our corner of the kingdom!

Tuesday, November 22, 2016

Council President Addresses “Division and Discord”

November 22, 2016

Washington, D.C.: 

In a pre-holiday, post-election letter to the people of The United Methodist Church, Bishop Bruce R. Ough, president of the Council of Bishops, called upon all Christians to “remember who we are” in this time of tension and anxiety and work to overcome hatred and discrimination.

The letter follows:

To the People Called United Methodist:

Grace and peace in the name of Jesus Christ!

On the eve of Advent and in the post-election climate in the United States, I write as President of the Council of Bishops to call for a renewed commitment to the vision of the Beloved Community of Christ.

Isaiah prophesized that a child would be born to re-establish the beloved community – a time of endless peace, a time of justice and righteousness, a time of reconciliation and unity.

For a child has been born to us, a son given to us;
     authority rests upon his shoulders;
And he is named
     Wonderful Counselor,
     Mighty God,
     Everlasting Father,
     Prince of Peace.
His authority shall grow continually, and there shall be endless peace
     for the throne of David and his kingdom.
He shall establish and uphold it with justice and righteousness
     from this time onward and forevermore.
                       Isaiah 9:6-7 NRSV

Read the rest of the letter at this link.

Monday, November 21, 2016

This week @ Stevi UMC

7:00 pm, Living Clean

7:00 pm, Choir
8:00 am, WIC
10:00 am, Christianity's Family Tree: Presbyterianism
2:00 pm, Thanksgiving potluck @ Corvallis UMC

10:00 am, Drop-in Bible Study, lesson #13 (at Ginny M.'s home)
9:00 am, Saturday Morning UMC Circle

Sunday: Third Sunday of Advent
9:00 am, Church school
9:00 am, Christianity's Family Tree: Anglicanism
10:15 am, Praise singing
10:30 am, Worship service
11:30 am, Fellowship time

Scripture lessons for November 27

Our scripture lessons for the third Sunday of Advent will come from Romans 13:11-14 and Matthew 24:36-44.

Sunday, November 20, 2016

The joy of community

Advent is unfolding before us
Paul leads the way this morning
Acolyte wrangler at work
We are blessed each week to come together as a community to learn, share, and worship before a loving God.

The adult class was learning about Presbyterianism in the fellowship hall while the children were busy upstairs learning from the Fruits of the Spirit lessons.

Brenda Bolton lead the choir in a delightful version of 
"Let All Things Now Living." and the sermon came from Luke 21:33, 37-43 (both can be found on our Youtube channel). During our time of joys and concerns we received our 17th annual Thank Offering, a joy indeed to participate in these wide-ranging ministries.

Thanks to Marcia Prather​ for serving as today's liturgist, Paul Ludington​ for leading the praise singing, and Ruth Cleveland, Julie McGarvey, and Bonita Ziegler for serving as hostesses during fellowship time.

A reminder...

Saturday, November 19, 2016

Saying goodbye to Kim Treis

Remembering Kim
Pastor Charles' shares from Isaiah and John
Our church family said goodbye to Carol Ann "Kim" Treis this morning. The service can be seen at this link.

Thanks to the United Methodist Women for hosting the reception for the family and friends who were present.

A wonderful Saturday morning gathering

Dusty and Ava enjoy the hospitality this morning
Checking in
"How is it with your soul?"
A wonderful start to the day!
 Twelve were on hand this morning for the second Saturday Morning UMW Circle at Stevi UMC.

Another milestone!

Early this morning we reached another milestone in our social media ministry: 

The blog marked its 50,000th page view!  

Let's share the good news!

Friday, November 18, 2016

Did you know?

The Rocky Mountain Conference and the Yellowstone Conference make up The Mountain Sky Area in The United Methodist Church's Western Jurisdiction. These two conferences, which contain all of Colorado, Montana, Utah, Wyoming, and Salmon, Idaho, total 434,925 square miles!!!