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


Friday, March 31, 2017

Growing in Faith Together

We had a wonderful gathering this morning at Doris Taylor's home for the weekly "Drop-in" Bible study. 

Please join us each Friday morning (10:00-11:00 am) for good coffee, great people, and some in-depth learning!

Are you ready for spaghetti?

Dean Diers readies the spaghetti sauce
Who: Everyone who wants to have supper on Saturday!

What: Spaghetti Supper & Silent Auction

When: Saturday, April 25, 5:30 - 7 pm (supper)
Where: Fellowship Hall @ Stevi UMC (3rd & College Streets)

Why: To raise support for the youth ministry and camp scholarship efforts.

Remembering Bishop Asbury

Bishop Francis Asbury - Drew University, Madison, NJ
Bishop Francis Asbury has been called the architect of the American Methodist Church. He died on March 31, 1816 and within 75 years of his death, his efforts had helped make Methodism the largest Protestant church body in America. Tune in below! 


Hymns in Lent - Day 31

 "The Lord God, merciful and gracious, long-suffering, and abundant in goodness and truth." - Exodus 34:6
Great God, to me the sight afford,
To him of old allow'd;
And let my faith behold its Lord
Descending on a cloud.
In that revealing Spirit come down;
Thine attributes proclaim:
And to my inmost soul make known
The glories of thy name.
Jehovah Christ, I thee adore,
Who gav'st my soul to be!
Fountain of being and of power,
And great in majesty.
The Lord, the mighty God thou art,
But let me rather prove
That name inspoken to my heart,
That fav'rite name of love.
Merciful God, thyself proclaim,
In this polluted breast;
Mercy is thy distinguished name,
Which suits a sinner best.
Our mis'ry doth for pity cll,
Our sin implores thy grace,
And thou art merciful to all
Our lost apostate race. 
The Methodist Pocket Hymn-Book. New York:   
J. Soule and T. Mason Publishing Co., 1818.

Thursday, March 30, 2017

Hymns in Lent - Day 30

"Christ in you the hope of glory." - Colossians 1:27
My Jesus, my hope, when will he appear,
A soul to lift up that waits for him here,
In much tribulation, in troubles excess,
In height of temptation, and depth of distress?
O when shall I see an end to my pain,
And triumph in thee, my Saviour, again?
Lord, hasten the hour, thy kingdom to bring in,
And give me the power to live without sin.
O Jesus, thou know'st my sorroful load,
And seest that my trust is all in thy blood;
Thou wilt have compassion, my burden removed,
Thy name is salvation, thy nature is love.
Thy nature and name my portion shall be,
Who humbly lay claim to all things in thee:
The days of my mourning and painful distress,
Shall at thy returning eternally cease.
The Methodist Pocket Hymn-Book. New York:   
J. Soule and T. Mason Publishing Co., 1818.

Wednesday, March 29, 2017

A damp Wednesday in Stevi

Thirteen turned out on a damp evening in Stevensville for our weekly WOW! Marcia Prather led the discussion, a sharing about suicide and the need for the community to be aware of, and respond to, those affected by suicide.

Thanks to Dean Dean Diers, Mary Nelson, and Dusty Schrock for providing the amazing soups and breads tonight!

Help wanted

Our congregation has many tasks to be done, most of which take only a minimal amount of time. As with many organizations, much of the work at Stevi UMC is being done by a small number of people who burn-out through trying to do too much.

We are needing people to step up do their part in the following areas:

+Greeters (you can sit down to do this!) 
+Fellowship time coordinator (round up three people for each Sunday) 
+Fellowship time servers (many hands make light work)
+Liturgist (it's fun, really!)
+Shepherding Team - we need three new faces to help us keep in contact with our faith community. 
+Ushers (take up the offering, help with communion)
+Worship on Wednesday speakers (just talk about something you're interested in from a faith perspective) +Worship on Wednesday soup makers(chili, stew, soup, vegan, meat-lovers, gluten-free, pasta-based...you get the idea!)

The Glad Tider (GT) is ready to go!

Shirley McKelvey chats with the GT crew
There are many tasks involved in making the ministries at Stevi UMC possible. This morning, Ruth Cleveland,Claire Kelly, and Helen Lowry came together to prepare the Glad Tider for mailing.

We are blessed with such diligent workers!

Hymns in Lent - Day 29

  "But his delight is the law of the Lord, and in his law doth he meditate day and night." - Psalm 1:2
How happy, gracious Lord, are we!
Divinely drawn to follow thee:
Whose hours divided are,
Betwixt the mount and multitude,
Our day is spent in doing good,
Our night in praise and pray'r.
With us no melancholy void;
No moment lingers unemploy'd,
Or unimprov'd below;
 Our weariness of life is gone,
Who live to serve our God alone,
And only thee to know.
The winter's night and summer's day,
Glide imperceptibly away,
 Too shot to sing thy praise;
Too few we find the happy hours,
And hast to join those heavenly powers
In everlasting lays.

With all who chaunt thy name on high,
And holy, holy, holy, cry,
A bright harmonious throng!
We lon thy praises to repeat,
And ceaseless sing around thy seat
The new eternal song.
The Methodist Pocket Hymn-Book. New York:   
J. Soule and T. Mason Publishing Co., 1818.

Tuesday, March 28, 2017

Camp Scholarship Fund Raiser is Saturday!

Come join us on Saturday (April 1st) at 5:30 pm for the Youth Camp Scholarship/Youth Ministry Spaghetti Feed & Silent Auction.

Hynms in Lent - Day 28

"Looking unto Jesus." - Hebrews 12:2

Jesus, to thee I now can fly,
On whom my help is laid:
Oppress'd by sins, I lift my eye,
and see the shadows fade.

Soon as I find myself forsook,
The grace again is given:
A sigh can reach my heart, a look
Can bring thee down from heaven.

Believing on my Lord, I find
A sure and present aid;
On thee alone my constant mind
Be every moment stay'd.

Jesus, my strength, my hope, my rest,
On thee will I depend,
Till summon'd to the marriage feast,
Where faith in sight shall end.

 The Methodist Pocket Hymn-Book. New York:   
J. Soule and T. Mason Publishing Co., 1818.

Monday, March 27, 2017

The Duty of Constant Communion - 1787

The Holy Club at Oxford

Note: The Lenten Sermon series will come from some of John Wesley's sermons. Each week you'll find the sermon from which Pastor Charles will base his sermon. 


The following discourse was written above five-and-fifty years ago, for the use of my pupils at Oxford. I have added very little, but retrenched much; as I then used more words than I do now. But, I thank God, I have not yet seen cause to alter my sentiments in any point which is therein delivered.

"Do this in remembrance of me." Luke 22:19

It is no wonder that men who have no fear of God should never think of doing this. But it is strange that it should be neglected by any that do fear God, and desire to save their souls; And yet nothing is more common. One reason why many neglect it is, they are so much afraid of "eating and drinking unworthily," that they never think how much greater the danger is when they do not eat or drink it at all. That I may do what I can to bring these well-meaning men to a more just way of thinking, I shall, 

I. Show that it is the duty of every Christian to receive the Lord's Supper as often as he can; and,
II. Answer some objections. 

Read more at this link.

Hymns in Lent - Day 27

 "He shall see the travail of his soul." 
-Isaiah 53:11

Lover of souls, to rescue mine,
Reveal the charity divine,
That suffer'd in my stead!
That made thy soul a sacrifice,
And quench'd in death those flaming eyes,
And bow'd that sacred head.

The veil of unbelief remove,
And by thy free forgving love,
And by thy sprinkled blood,
Destroy the love of sin in me,
And get thyself the victory,
And bring me back to God.

Appear my sanctu'ry from sin,
Open thy arms, and take me in;
In thy own presence hide:
Hide in the place where Moses stood,
And show me now the face of God,
My Father pacified.

Come quickly, Lord, the veil remove,
Pass as a God of pard'ning love
Before my ravish'd eyes:
And when I in thy person see
Jehovah's glorious majesty,
I find my paradise.

The Methodist Pocket Hymn-Book. New York:   
J. Soule and T. Mason Publishing Co., 1818.

This week @ Stevi UMC

5:00, SPPRC
7:00 pm, Living Clean


7:00 pm, Choir 


8:00 am, WIC                                                                            
10:00 am, Methodism study                                        
6:00 pm, WOW

5:00 pm, SPPRC 

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

5:30 pm, Youth ministry/camp scholarship Spaghetti Feed & Silent Auction

9:00 am, Church school                                                   
9:00 am, Methodism study  
10:15 am, Praise singing                                                   
10:30 am, Worship                                                           
11:30 am, Fellowship                                               
11:45 am, Chimes

Sunday, March 26, 2017

A beautiful morning

Children's class in full-swing this morning
The view from the balcony
The children are loved here!
Isla is the newest addition to our family
Making time for one another is important to us
Spring is truly underway in the Bitterroot Valley as the faithful arrived for study, worship, and more!

The choir shared this morning's anthem, "Have You Not Known" a musical offering to our God. Pastor Charles took as his text, John Wesley's sermon, "On working out our own salvation" (1785) and Philippians 2:12-13.

Thanks this morning to: Liz Goddard, Bev Schneider, Mary Hackett, Lisa Nichols, & Belinda Alkula (children's teachers), Dave Lockman (praise music), Hazel Smith (organ/piano), Tom Bishop (video), Cammie Edgar (overhead slides), Dean Diers (liturgist), Ryder & Hannah (acolytes), Brenda Bolton (choir), Carol Varien & Vickie Vernon (greeter/ushers), Bill Gragg & Bonita Ziegler (offering counters), Carol Gragg (children's time in service) and Judy Fisher, Lynda Fisher, & Roberta Zielinski (fellowship time).

UMCOR and "Low-attention" disasters

Your contribution to the United Methodist Committee on Relief (UMCOR) is helping disaster survivors across the nation recover from events that never made the headlines.

How does UMCOR stretch your “disaster dollar” to quietly bring hope to countless people and their families? And what is a “low-attention disaster?” It often means that there is little financial assistance and volunteer labor for people most in need, said Catherine Earl, a disaster response program manager for UMCOR.

“It is possible, however, to turn a low-attention disaster into a highly meaningful recovery for survivors through the dedicated efforts of the church in partnership with UMCOR,” Earl said.

Read more at this link.

Hymns in Lent - Fourth Sunday in Lent

 "He is a recorder of them that diligently seek him." 
-Hebrews 11:6

Author of faith, to thee I cry,
To thee who would not have me die,
But know the truth and live:
Open mine eyes to see thy face,
Work in my heart the Gospel grace,
The life eternal give.

Shut up in unbelief I groan,
And mourning, seek a God unknown,
ill thou the veil remove;
The gift unspeakable impart,
And write thy name upon my heart,
And manifest thy love.

I know the work is only thine,
The gracious power is all divine:
But if on thee we call,
Thou wilt the benefit bestow,
And give us hearts to feel and know
That thou hast died for all.

Thou bid'st us knock and enter in,
ome unto thee, and rest from sin,
The blessing seek and find:
Thou bid'st us ask thy grace, and have:
Thou canst, thou wouldst this moment save
Both me and all mankind.

Be it according to thy word!
Now let me find my pard'ning Lord:
Let what I ask be given:
The bar of unbelief remove,
Open the door of faith and love,
And take me into heaven.

The Methodist Pocket Hymn-Book. New York:   
J. Soule and T. Mason Publishing Co., 1818.

Saturday, March 25, 2017

Why UMCOR Sunday (tomorrow) matters

Women Carrying Water. Photo by James Akena for Reuters
Civil strife and famine in South Sudan, the world’s youngest country, are tearing thousands of people from their homes, leading to starvation and lack of access to clean water. Countless refugees are pouring into neighboring countries as worsening ethnic conflicts and power struggles deepen the local crisis caused by severe drought in those adjoining lands.

The United Methodist General Board of Global Ministries, through its disaster relief and global health units, is attempting to alleviate some of the suffering in cooperation with regional partner agencies. UNICEF (the United Nations International Children’s Emergency Fund) reported in early March that an estimated 100,000 South Sudanese are starving and 1 million people face starvation. The World Health Organization (WHO) indicates that 4.7 million South Sudanese are in need of health services.

Read more at this link.

Hymns in Lent - Day 25

"And I will give you rest." 
- Matthew 11:28 

Jesus, in whom the weary find
Their late, but permanent repose;
Physician of the sin-sick mind,
Relieve my wants, assuage my woes.

Running from God, and far remov'd,
Long have I wander'd to and fro;
O'er earth in endless circles rov'd,
Nor found whereon to rest below.

Selfish pursuits and nature's maze,
The things of earth I all would leave;
Put forth thine hand, thine hand of grace,
Into the ark of love receive.

Now fill me with thy perfect peace,
'Stablish and keep my settled heart;
In thee may all my wand'rings cease,
From thee no more may I depart.

The Methodist Pocket Hymn-Book. New York:   
J. Soule and T. Mason Publishing Co., 1818.

Friday, March 24, 2017

Hymns in Lent - Day 24

"In the day of salvation have I succoured thee - 
behold, now is the day of salvation." 
- 2 Corinthians 6:2

When my relief will most display
Thy glory in thy creature's good,
Then, Jesus, take the veil away,
Sprinkle me with the atoning blood;
The power of living faith impart,
And breathe thy love into my heart.

Jesus, the promis'd help supply;
Support the feeble, fainting mind;
Nor let me from thy presence fly,
But seek till I acceptance find;
But ask till I am sav'd from sin,
And knock till mercy takes me in.

The Methodist Pocket Hymn-Book. New York:   
J. Soule and T. Mason Publishing Co., 1818.

Thursday, March 23, 2017

Adult Convo

Do you need a weekend to recharge? Explore your faith journey? And have fun? Check out Adult Convo! Take the chance to experience the camp feeling first hand! This retreat is led by young people to allow adults to re-charge, re-new and build relationships with young people in our churches and conference. We play games, listen to speakers, have small groups, and build relationships! If you are 18 or older, you are welcome! 
Call 406-465-5640 or email Abbie Thompson if you are interested in attending!
4/8/2017 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Grace UMC - Livingston, Montana

When: April 8, 9 am - 6 pm 
Where: Grace UMC (302 S. 9th St., Livingston, MT)

Leaving Our Legacy

Happy anniversary, United Methodist Women!

We're celebrating our 150th anniversary in 2019, just a few short years from now. The oldest of our predecessor organizations was founded in 1869. Like anniversaries of a marriage or school or university graduation, this anniversary is an opportunity for us to celebrate, to renew connections, to marvel at what has been accomplished in a century and a half, and to make new commitments for the work ahead.

Our predecessors established a strong, vital mission organization and left that legacy for us. During the 150th anniversary era, our challenge is to leave our legacy for this organization we love and for the United Methodist Women members who'll come after us in 2019 and on into the future. Our challenge is making sure that the direct service, advocacy, education and leadership development we've been doing for our first 150 years continue for at least the next 150. We'll leave our legacy by permanently underwriting the vital mission work of United Methodist Women.

Check out the planned giving section of the United Methodist Women website: umwgift.org.

Managing Our Money: Workbook on Women and Personal Finances by Joyce D. Sohl (Women's Division, General Board of Global Ministries of The United Methodist Church, 1984).

United Methodist Women Connection
From 2015 to 2019, all United Methodist Women members are invited to participate in an organization-wide campaign to grow the Legacy Fund, an endowed fund that already exists at the national office. When the campaign is finished, interest generated by the Legacy Fund will permanently support the work of United Methodist Women.

The three components of the Legacy Fund campaign are (1) an every-member annual challenge, (2) estate planning opportunities and (3) major gift opportunities. Various options exist for any woman who wants to create a thoughtful financial plan that distributes her assets the way she wants and leaves a legacy of love and caring for her family and for United Methodist Women.

Suggestions for Action
  • Collaborate with your conference Legacy Fund coordinator on fundraising efforts.
  • Make gifts to the Legacy Fund in honor or in memory of United Methodist Women leaders.
  • Name United Methodist Women and the Legacy Fund in your estate plans.

Hymns in Lent - Day 23

  "When thou prayest, enter into thy closet, 
and when thou hast shut thy door..."
- Matthew 6:6

Father of Jesus Christ, my Lord,
I humbly seek thy face,
Encourag'd by the Saviour's word,
To ask thy pard'ning grace.

Ent'ring into my closet, I
The busy world exclude,
In secret prayer for mercy cry,
And groan to be renew'd.

Thy grace I languish to receive,
The Spirit of love and power,
Blamless before thy face to live,
To live and sin no more.

Fain would I all thy goodness feel,
And know my sins forgiven,
And do on earth thy perfect will,
As angels to in heaven.

The Methodist Pocket Hymn-Book. New York:   
J. Soule and T. Mason Publishing Co., 1818.

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

UMCOR Sunday is next Sunday

When disaster strikes around the globe—Haiti’s 2010 earthquake or Typhoon Haiyan in 2013—so many watching the drama unfold on our living room televisions feel entirely helpless. How could any one person make a difference in the wake of such widespread devastation? As responders around the globe scramble to help survivors, the United Methodist Committee on Relief, UMCOR, is prepared to act.

Read more about UMCOR Sunday at this link.

Thank goodness for WOW!

Good eats each week at WOW!
The conversation is lively
Let's get moving at WOW!
Good talk!
Tonight's WOW gathering was certainly a lively one!

Thanks to Lois Hansen and Dean Diers for providing the soup supper (Dean also brought some homemade bread!).

Ava S. led the conversation, using our personal gifts (from God) and the catapults we made a few weeks ago, to get the sharing of those gifts among the attendees.

World Water Day 2017

UMW Day of Giving

Day of Giving is this Thursday, March 23. This is an opportunity for United Methodist Women members to give to the Legacy Fund and help prepare for the challenges women, children and youth will face in the next 150 years.

Your donation will ensure that the strong foundation laid by United Methodist Women foremothers continues to change lives in communities down the street and around the world!

Martha S. Knight
Treasurer, Chief Financial Officer
United Methodist Women
New York, New York 10115

United Methodist Women, turning faith, hope and love into action for women, children and youth for 150 years. Click here to see how!

Hymns in Lent - Day 22

"Who against hope believed in hope?"  
- Romans 4:18

 Hoping against hope, I wait
for redemption in thy blood;
Help me in my lost estate;
Take away my heavy load:
Save me from this tyranny,
From all sin my spirit free,
All the guilt and all the power.

Grant, O grant my last request!
Nothing do I ask beside;
Only give my spirit rest,
Rest from anger, lust, and prise;
Bring into thy perfect peace,
Give me strength to enter in;
Let me with thy people cease
From my own dead works of sin.

Power I want, a constant power,
My own evil to eschew;
Till my heart shall sin no more,
Till I am a creature new;
Let me in thy wounds abide,
Till the perfect grace is given;
Give me this, I ask beside
Nothing else in earth of heaven.

  The Methodist Pocket Hymn-Book. New York:   
J. Soule and T. Mason Publishing Co., 1818.

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

When the Words We Speak Become the Words We Hear

This picture reminds me of the time, not so long ago, when a dear friend was somewhat disturbed that I used the word HATE in a
Facebook posting. (It was a benign use such as "I hate the freezing cold" or "I hate cauliflower"... but still, the word was there). He reminded me that the word HATE is such a powerful word and often brings with it hurtful memories of judgment and injury to others.

O God, may HATE never be written across my face, on my hands or in my heart. Help me to be beautiful in the words spoken today... and tomorrow ... and the next day. And if such unsavory words can be seen within me, I pray that, in your mercy, you wipe the slate clean. Create in me a clean heart, O God. Amen.

- Anna Murdoch, Statesville (NC) UMC

Schism threat has some churches caught in middle

By Sam Hodges
March 20, 2017 | UMNS

When the Rev. Gary Nelson looks out over his congregation, he sees people who don’t believe homosexuality is sinful. He also sees people who do.

Nelson leads Cross Lanes United Methodist Church, near Charleston, West Virginia. It’s growing in membership and mission work, despite members’ differing views on homosexuality.

So the prospect of schism in The United Methodist Church alarms Nelson — especially if it means his congregation has to vote on whether to align with traditionalists or progressives.

“I think it would rip people to shreds,” he said of 600-member Cross Lanes. “I think it would just really, really hurt deeply if people are pushed to step across a line.”

Read more at this link.

Hymns in Lent - Day 21

"The blind receive their sight, and the lame walk, the lepers are cleansed, and the deaf here." - Matthew 11:5

 Ye neighbours and friends, to Jesus draw near:
His love condescends by titles so dear,
To call and invite you his triumphs to prove,
And freely delight you in Jesus's love. 

The Shepherd who died his sheep to redeem,
On every side are gather'd to him
The weary and burden'd, the reprobate race;
And wait to be pardon'd through Jesus's grace. 

The blind are restor'd through Jesus's name,
They see their kind Lord, and follow the Lamb;
The halt they are walking, and running their race:
The dumb, they are talking of Jesus's grace.

The deaf hear his voice, and comforting word,
It bids them rejoice in Jesus their Lord:
"Thy sins are forgiven, accepted thou art;"
They listen, and heaven springs up in their heart.

The lepers from all their spots are made clean,
The dead, by his call, are rais'd from their sin:
In Jesu's compassion the sick find a care;
And Gospel salvation is preach'd to the poor.

 To us and to them is publish'd the word:
Then let us proclaim our life-giving Lord,
Who now is reviving his work in our days,
And mightily striving to save us by grace.

O Jesus, ride on, till all are subdu'd;
Thy mercy make known, and sprinkle thy blood!
Display thy salvation, and teach the new song
To every nation, and people, and tongue.

  The Methodist Pocket Hymn-Book. New York:   
J. Soule and T. Mason Publishing Co., 1818.

Monday, March 20, 2017

On Working Out Our Own Salvation - 1785

John Wesley preaching atop his father's grace in Epworth

Note: The Lenten Sermon series will come from some of John Wesley's sermons. Each week you'll find the sermon from which Pastor Charles will base his sermon.


"Work out your own salvation with fear and trembling; For it is God that worketh in you both to will and to do of his good pleasure." Philippians 2:12-13 

1. Some great truths, as the being and attributes of God, and the difference between moral good and evil, were known, in some measure, to the heathen world. The traces of them are to be found in all nations; So that, in some sense, it may be said to every child of man, "He hath showed thee, O man, what is good; even to do justly, to love mercy, and to walk humbly with thy God." With this truth he has, in some measure, "enlightened every one that cometh into the world." And hereby they that "have not the law," that have no written law, "are a law unto themselves." They show "the work of the law," -- the substance of it, though not the letter, -- "written in their hearts," by the same hand which wrote the commandments on the tables of stone; "Their conscience also bearing them witness," whether they act suitably thereto or not. 

Read more at this link.

Spring Prayer

Dear God:

Spring is a metaphor for change. Some changes we eagerly await, and some we abhor. Some changes we plan and others arrive uninvited. To all these changes we ask the gift of Your perspective beckoning us to expectation, hope, and rebirth.

May the sunlight and the rain be reminders that You are at work renewing the earth. As a God of renewal, You are ever at work in our lives, too.

Open our eyes and lives to the needed changes in our lives this Spring. Awaken us to new life and perspective, for we pray in Jesus' name. 


Submitted by Rev. Mark Bekkedahl