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


Sunday, December 31, 2017


January 1: The Eighth Day of Christmas

Our God, God of all men
God of heaven and earth, seas and rivers,
God of sun and moon, of all the stars,
God of high mountain and lowly valley,
God over heaven, and in heaven, and under heaven.
He has a dwelling in heaven and earth and sea
and in all things that are in them.
He inspires all things, He quickens all things.
He is over all things, He supports all things.
He makes the light of the sun to shine,
He surrounds the moon and the stars,
He has made wells in the arid earth,
Placed dry islands in the sea.
He has a Son co-eternal with Himself...
And the Holy Spirit breathes in them;
Not separate are the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit.

St. Patrick (c.389-461)

December 31: The Seventh Day of Christmas

Let the just rejoice, for their justifier is born.
Let the sick and infirm rejoice, for their savior is born.   
Let the captives rejoice, for their Redeemer is born.            
Let slaves rejoice, for their Master is born.                      
Let free men rejoice, for their Liberator is born.
Let All Christians rejoice, for Jesus Christ is born. Amen.

St. Augustine of Hippo (354-440)

Saturday, December 30, 2017

December 30: The Sixth Day of Christmas

O good shepherd, seek me out, and bring me home to Thy fold again. Deal favorably with me according to Thy good pleasure, till I may dwell in Thy house all the days of my life,
and praise thee forever and ever with them that are there.

St. Jerome (c 342 - 420)

Friday, December 29, 2017

December 29: The Fifth Day of Christmas

O Lord, who hast mercy upon all, take away from me my sins, and mercifully kindle in me the fire of Thy Holy Spirit.  
Take away from me the heart of stone, and give me a heart of flesh, a heart to love and adore Thee, a heart to delight in Thee, to follow and to enjoy Thee, for Christ's sake.

Ambrose of Milan (c. 339-397)

Thursday, December 28, 2017

2018 Lay Leadership

(2016 Book of Discipline ¶)

Lay Leader (¶ 251.1): Dr. Marcia Prather
Lay Member to Annual Conference (¶ 251.2): 
Belinda Alkula
Alternate Lay Member to Annual Conference:  
Dr. Marcia Prather

Ad Council Chair (¶ 251.3): John Fisher

Lay Leadership/Nominations Committee
(¶ 258.1):
Pastor (chair)
Class of 2018: Lisa Menery
Class of 2019: Amber Maclay-Schulte
Class of 2020: elected at church conference

Staff/Parish Relations (¶ 258.2): 
Class of 2018: Dave Maclay-Schulte, and Bev Schneider
Class of 2019: Lynda Fisher, Ed Sperry
Class of 2020: Carol Goffe, Mary Costello

Stewardship/Finance (¶ 258.4):
_______________________ (chair), Rev. Lois Hansen, Bill Schneider, and Kathy Wood (Finance officer)

Trustees (¶ 2524):
Class of 2018: Dave Rakiecki, Dr. Donna Lewis
Class of 2019: Tom Bishop, joey Diers, Paul Ludington
Class of 2020: John Soper (chair), Dr. Angela Haugo  

 Other committees, teams, and work areas:

Education Ministries:
Adults: Dr. Charles Alkula, Dean Diers, and Rev. Lois Hansen     Children / Youth Program Director: Sherry Paddie
Children: Carol Gragg, Mary Hackett, Julie Ludington (chair), Lisa Nicholls, and Bev Schneider                     

Hospitality Coordinator:  Julie McGarvey

Missions Team: Carol Gragg, Janet Lonski, joey Diers, and Dr. Ellyn Jones (chair)         
Clothes Closet: Gail Fisher (POC) and Molly Hackett
East Angola mission partners: Dr. Charles & Belinda Alkula, Mary Nelson, Dr. Marcia Prather, and Hazel Smith
Pantry Partners: POC Needed

Outreach Team: Belinda Alkula, joey Diers, Bill Gragg, ______________ (chair), Ava Schrock, Dusty Schrock, and Linda Sunderland

Prayer Chain: Phone – Janet Lonski; Email – Gail Moshier

Prayer Shawls (UMW): Carole Koval

Shepherding Team: Belinda Alkula, Chuck Benner, Mary Costello, Janet Lonski, Carolyn Mickens, Marilyn Murphy, and Bev Schneider

UMW:  Dr. Marcia Prather, president

UMM: Don Nelson, president

Worship Team:
Altar Guild: Linda Kauffman, Sara Malo, & Dusty Schrock
Chimes: Marilyn Murphy
Choir: Brenda Bolton
Greeter/Liturgist scheduling:  Needed
Organist: Hazel Smith
Pianist: Julie Ludington
Praise Music: Dave Lockman and Paul Ludington

Fifth Sunday Potluck this coming Sunday

Let's close out 2017 with a festive feeling @ Stevi UMC with a Fifth Sunday Potluck following worship!

December 28: The Fourth Day of Christmas

Jesus, my feet are dirty. Come even as a slave to me, pour water into Your bowl, come and wash my feet. In asking such a thing I know I am overbold, but I dread what was threatened when You said to me, “If I do not wash your feet I have no fellowship with you.” Wash my feet then, because I long for your companionship.

Origen (c. 185–254)

Wednesday, December 27, 2017

January's Glad Tider is on the way!

Thanks to Belinda Alkula, Sheila Hammitt, Claire Kelly, and Shirley McKelvey for coming out on a snowy Wednesday morning to help with the church newsletter.

Inivitation to Genesis in the New Year

There will be two opportunities to take part in the Disciple Bible Study's "Invitation to Genesis" at Stevi UMC.

Join us each Sunday morning (starts January 7)at 9:00 am or Wednesday mornings (starts January 10) at 10:00 am for this chance to go deeper into the roots of our faith.

This study takes groups into the rich tapestry of Genesis exploring the interaction between God and very human people - pride, family relationships, conflict and journey all showcase the best known stories of Creation, Noah, Abraham, Isaac, Jacob and Rebekah and Joseph.

The video reflects the drama of the Genesis stories, first with selected text dramatized by an actor, and then study writer, Peter Enns interviews a scholar to help unpack the meaning and the mystery in the stories.

Participants for this Invitation to Genesis do not have to have an in-depth knowledge of the Bible to enjoy and benefit from participation. Reading just two chapters of Genesis a week, they will discover the life altering stories that will invite them to follow Christ as true disciples. 

This eleven-week study includes daily reading assignments for group preparations, a 60–90-minute weekly meeting, and a video component providing interpretation and context for the biblical texts. 

  1. The Beginning...and What Went Wrong
  2. Another Beginning: The Flood...and What Went Wrong
  3. Another Beginning: Abraham and the Patriarchs
  4. Abraham and a Glimpse to the Future
  5. The Promise Fulfilled: Isaac
  6. Another Beginning: Jacob and the Uneasy Birth of a People
  7. Jacob: The Struggle Continues
  8. Another New Beginning: Joseph and the Family of Israel
  9. The Trek Into Egypt
  10. An End and Another Beginning: Israel's Story

December 27: The Third Day of Christmas

O Educator, be gracious to Thy children, O Educator, Father, Guide of Israel, Son and Father, both one, Lord.

Give to us, who follow Thy command, to fulfill the likeness of Thy image, and to see, according to our strength, the God who is both a good God and a Judge who is not harsh.

Do Thou Thyself bestow all things on us who dwell in Thy peace, who have been placed in Thy city, who sail the sea of sin unruffled, that we may be made tranquil and supported by the Holy Spirit, the unutterable Wisdom, by night and day, unto the perfect day, to sing eternal thanksgiving to the one only Father and Son, Son and Father, Educator and Teacher with the Holy Spirit.

Clement of Alexandria (c. 150–215)

Tuesday, December 26, 2017

December 26: The Second Day of Christmas

O Sovereign and almighty Lord, 
bless all Thy people, and all Thy flock. 

Give Thy peace, Thy help, Thy love unto us Thy servants, the sheep of Thy fold, that we may be united in the bond of peace and love, one body and one spirit, in one hope of our calling, in Thy divine and boundless love.

Liturgy of St Mark (2nd century)

Monday, December 25, 2017

This week @ Stevi UMC

Monday: Christmas Day

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

Sunday: First Sunday after Christmas
10:15 am, Praise singing                                                   
10:30 am, Worship 
11:30 am, Fifth Sunday Potluck

December 25: The First Day of Christmas

Christmas continues with the Twelve Days of Christmas. During this time it is easy to think that we’re done with celebrating our Lord’s birth for another year. You are invited to continue the journey to Epiphany through these prayers of the church that have been passed down to us across the centuries:

We beseech Thee, Master, to be our helper and protector.
Save the afflicted among us; 
have mercy on the lowly;
raise up the fallen; 
appear to the needy; 
heal the ungodly;
restore the wanderers of Thy people; 
feed the hungry; 
ransom our prisoners; 
raise up the sick; 
comfort the 

Clement of Rome (1st Century)

Sunday, December 24, 2017

Christmas Eve @ SUMC

It was a joyous gathering this evening as the community came together to celebrate the birth of the Messiah.
Thanks to Tom Bishop (video), Brenda Bolton (Choir), Cammie Edgar (power point), Dave Lockman (solo), Julie Ludington (piano), Lisa Menery (Liturgist), and Hazel Smith (organ).

Reaching out to the community

For the fourth year, the Outreach Committee delivered bags of holiday cheer to area businesses open on Christmas Eve.

Fifty-five bags were delivered this afternoon to: Blacksmith Brewery, Burnt Fork Market, Catered Table, Cenex, Full Moon Saloon, Living Center, Lucky Lil's, Lutzenhiser Jewelry, Mini-market & Laundry, Mission Bistro, Ole's,and Rooster's Casino.

Thanks to Belinda Alkula, Tom & Nilda Bishop, and Marcia Prather for participating in this ministry.

Fourth Sunday of Advent @ Stevi UMC

The Fourth Sunday of Advent came to Stevi UMC this morning with bitter cold and sidewalks cleared of this weekend's snow!

The choir praised God this morning with "Will We Know Him." Pastor Charles' sermon, "The promise realized," was taken from  Luke 1:46-55.

Thanks this morning to: Pastor Charles & Sherry Paddie (faith formation), Sara Malo & Vickie Vernon (Acolytes), Bonita Ziegler & her granddaughter (Advent wreath), Cammie Edgar  (power point), Marcia Prather, & Mary Costello (greeter/usher), Julie Ludington (piano), Paul Ludington (praise music), Tom Bishop (video), Lois Hansen (Liturgist), and Julie & Dave McGarvey (fellowship).

‘Twas the Advent of Christmas

This was shared by Brenda Bolton during the Hanging of the Greens service on December 3, 2017:

‘Twas the advent of Christmas, when all through God’s house
Some ladies were stirring, the decorations to rouse.
The crèche was nestled all snug in its box.
Mary, Joseph, manger and babe
Some shepherds, wise men…  And curious potato shaped rocks.

When in the fellowship hall, there arose such a clatter,
Anna, Emily, Julie, and Ruby dropped their ornaments to see what was the matter.
Up the steps, past the altar they flew like a flash
Past the kitchen and cookies without batting an eye lash.

Through the door they could see shadows on the new fallen snow,
Swaying and moving atop a creature below.
When what to their wondering eyes did appear,
A sleigh laden with tree from our forest so near.

With men pulling strong and a host of children,
They knew in a moment, it must be Dean, Ed and Ben.
More rapid than Mom Wesley, the children they came
And Belinda whistled and shouted and called them by name.

Now Aila, Annabelle, Ava, Cameron and Ellen   
Come Katie Rose, Cyrus, Hazen, and Elwyn.
On Palmer, Kalie, Luke, Mitch, Bob and Rollie,
Now Josh, Hannah, Ryder, Chevy, and Ollie

As dry leaves that before the wind fly,
They carried that tree from the night darkened sky,
To a perch in the sanctuary as high as birds flew,
With oohs, ahhs and the star of the east atop it too.

And then, in a twinkling, I heard on the or—gan,
The prancing and pawing of each little hand.
Hazel was playing, a beautiful sound
Carols of midnight, shepherds, and Bethlehem town.

The choir came in dressed in robes head to foot
Checking their music and caroling book.
To share the Nativity story, Julie and Paul were able,
With children placing each piece in the humble stable.

Anna, Emily, Julie and Ruby’s eyes how they twinkled; their dimples how merry
Their cheeks were like roses, their hearts filled with charity.
They invited the children from every pew and row
To hang an ornament in the spirit of the Jesus you know.

Betty and Lorraine watched with smiles full of teeth,
While Doris, Sharon, and Cleo encircled friends with arms like a wreath.
Lynn and Gail graciously welcomed every Fran, Chuck, and Cunningham,
And Arlene waited on visitors with jars full of jam.

Ginny was humming with a twinkle in her eye
To the podium with a prayer, pranced Pastor Charles so spry
As notes of Silent Night chimed overhead
The Stevensville United Methodist family was NOT ready for bed!

This family of God went straight to their work
Sharing fellowship and joy: never their duty to shirk
They cared for each other in loving ways
And spread that love beyond our sanctuary place.

Jesus sprang into this world without drum, horn or whistle.
He won’t fly away like the down of a thistle.
He exclaims in us all, in our word, action and heart,
Blessed Christmas to all, God’s work of art.