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


Wednesday, May 31, 2017

Wednesday happenings

The GT crew at work
Invitation to John study underway
Belinda works on the church t-shirt order in Missoula
The Glad Tider crew was hard at work this morning in getting the GT ready for mailing. Thanks to Ruth Cleveland, Claire Kelly, Shirley McKelvey, and Betty Shorten for their hard work. This issue is the first issue for Dusty Schrock since she took over the admin job from Carol Goffe.

The Invitation to John study (using Disciple resources) enjoyed viewing the video on the new TV in the fellowship hall. This week, the group looked at the seventh and eighth chapters of John.

This afternoon, Belinda was at The Shirt Shop to place an order for more Stevi UMC t-shirts. They'll be ready for wear at the rummage sale and at VBS!

Tuesday, May 30, 2017

God on vacation?

We all need vacations, but not a vacation from church. When you travel, look on it as an opportunity to see some of the wonderful diversity that exists within The United Methodist Church. 

If you do need to be away on a Sunday, please visit our Youtube channel to see the sermon and musical offerings.

(Cartoon by the Rev. Jay Sidebotham and the Church Pension Group: www.cpg.org/global/online-resources/cartoons/)

Remember to wear red on Sunday

Monday, May 29, 2017

A Memorial Day Prayer

Arlington National Cemetery
By the Rev. Dick Kozelka (ret)
First Congregational Church of Minnesota - Minneapolis, MN.

Eternal God, Creator of years, of centuries, Lord of whatever is beyond time, Maker of all species and master of all history --

How shall we speak to you from our smallness and inconsequence? Except that you have called us to worship you in spirit and in truth; You have dignified us with loves and loyalties; You have lifted us up with your loving kindnesses.

Therefore we are bold to come before you without groveling[though we sometimes feel that low] and without fear [though we are often anxious].

We sing with spirit and pray with courage because you have dignified us; You have redeemed us from the aimlessness of things' going meaninglessly well.

God, lift the hearts of those for whom this holiday is not just diversion, but painful memory and continued deprivation.

Bless those whose dear ones have died needlessly, wastefully [as it seems] in accident or misadventure.

We remember with compassion those who have died serving their countries in the futility of combat.

There is none of us but must come to bereavement and separation, when all the answers we are offered fail the question death asks of each of us.

We believe that you will provide for us as others have been provided with the fulfillment of "Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted."


This week @ Stevi UMC

Monday: Memorial Day

8:00 am, WIC
10:00 am, Disciples Study

10:00 am, VBS planning meeting
6:00 pm, SPPRC
7:00 pm, Ad Council

10:00 am, Drop-in Bible Study, #1

Sunday: Pentecost Sunday
9:00 am, Adult church school
10:15 am, Praise singing                                                   
10:30 am, Worship
11:30 am, Fellowship time

Lectionary Readings for Pentecost Sunday

Sunday, May 28, 2017

A wonderful May Sunday

Memorial Day prayers
Praise music!
Lisa shares the children's message
Bob & Mitch offer the postlude
Fellowship done right!
On a holiday weekend one might expect the energy and the commitment to come together as a faith community to be lessened. At Stevi UMC, however, those who seek after Christ make worshiping their God a priority!
In the worship service this morning, the community worship was enriched by the music offered to God by Bob Edgar & Mitch Edgar,"Wayfaring Stranger" & "Awesome God." The sermon "So, what are you praying for?" was based on John 17:1-11.

Thanks this morning to: Theresa Tripp  (nursery), Bob Edgar (praise music), Liz Goddard (piano), Tom Bishop (video), Bob Edgar & Mitch Edgar (anthem), Lisa Nichols (children's message), Bev Schneider (liturgist), Mitch Edgar (acolyte wrangler), Mitch and Ava (acolytes), Cammie Edgar (overhead), joey & Dean Diers (greeter/ushers), Kathy Wood & Bonita Ziegler (offering counters), and Carole Koval, Carolyn Mickens, & Carol Word

Menstrual Hygiene Day: Empowering Girls through Education

UMCOR partner El Porvenir, based in Nicaragua
Across the developing world, the number one reason girls drop out of school is the lack of water and sanitation infrastructure to support their periods. Cultural stigmas, religious beliefs, and lack of information cause adolescent girls to feel ashamed of menstruation, as they experience teasing and/or fear of the unknown. Without the knowledge and facilities that they need, most girls will choose to stay home during mensuration rather than face potential disgrace, and thus fall behind in their classes. Menstruation, a girl’s natural physiology, shouldn’t keep girls from going to school.

Read more about what UMCOR is doing at this link.

A hymn for Ascension Sunday

Text: The Venerable Bede, 8th C.

A hymn of glory let us sing
New songs throughout the world shall ring
Alleluia, Alleluia.
Christ, by a road before untrod
Ascendeth to the throne of God.
Alleluia, Alleluia, Alleluia, Alleluia, Alleluia.

The holy apostolic band
Upon the Mount of Olives stand
Alleluia, Alleluia.
And with His followers they see
Jesus’ resplendent majesty
Alleluia, Alleluia, Alleluia, Alleluia, Alleluia.

To Whom the angels drawing nigh,
“Why stand and gaze upon the sky?”
Alleluia, Alleluia.
“This is the Savior,” thus they say.
“This is His noble triumph day.”
Alleluia, Alleluia, Alleluia, Alleluia, Alleluia.

“Again ye shall behold Him so,
As ye have today seen Him go.”
Alleluia, Alleluia.
“In glorious pomp ascending high
Up to the portals of the sky.”
Alleluia, Alleluia, Alleluia, Alleluia, Alleluia.

O grant us thitherward to tend
And with unwearied hearts ascend,
Alleluia, Alleluia.
Unto Thy kingdom’s throne, where Thou
As is our faith, art seated now,
Alleluia, Alleluia, Alleluia, Alleluia, Alleluia.

Be Thou our Joy and strong Defense,
Who art our future Recompense,
Alleluia, Alleluia.
So shall the light that springs from Thee
Be ours through all eternity,
Alleluia, Alleluia, Alleluia, Alleluia, Alleluia.

O risen Christ, ascended Lord,
All praise to Thee let earth accord,
Alleluia, Alleluia.
Who art, while endless ages run,
With Father and with Spirit One,
Alleluia, Alleluia, Alleluia, Alleluia, Alleluia.

Saturday, May 27, 2017

Church leaders look at possible U.S. structure

United Methodist leaders are looking at ways to strengthen the denomination’s worldwide nature. One idea on the table is to add a U.S. church structure that would deal solely with U.S. issues.
Members of the Connectional Table, the church leadership body working on the proposal, acknowledge they face a tough task.

For decades, United Methodists have considered creating some kind of decision-making body that would take up concerns exclusive to the U.S. — like pensions or U.S. social issues. Still, such proposals always have faced stiff resistance.

Read more at this link

Thursday, May 25, 2017

Giving blood is fun!

Ready to go
A busy morning
Dean does his part
Pastor Charles is motivated to give!
 The Red Cross blood drive today was a terrific opportunity to give life which is at the heart of the Christian message!

Why Ascension Day matters to United Methodists

Église Notre-Dame de Bon-Port (Nantes, France)
For many, Ascension Day will go relatively unnoticed. Forty days after Easter is just another Thursday with many of us in our ordinary weekday routines. The event it celebrates, however, is an important episode in the life of Jesus that the church has regarded highly through the years.

Luke tells the story of Jesus’ ascension both at the end of his gospel (Luke 24:50-53) and the beginning of his writing about the early church (Acts 1:9-11).

Our creeds affirm the Ascension as a central doctrine of the Christian faith. The Apostles’ Creed reads, “He ascended into heaven, and sitteth at the right hand of God the Father Almighty.” The Nicene Creed similarly states, “He ascended into heaven and is seated at the right hand of the Father.”

Read more at this link.

Blood Drive Today

Who: All types are needed
What: Red Cross Blood Drive
When: Today, 10 am - 2 pm
Where: Stevenvsville UMC (E. 3rd & College Streets)
Why: You just might know the life you save!

Ascension Day

The Ascension - Salvador Dali
O God of earth and sky,
as Jesus came among us in Bethlehem to raise us up 
to heaven,
so today we recall His departing from us at Jerusalem 
to be in all places.
Though He is hidden from our sight,
enable us to abide in Him
by the power and grace of the Holy Spirit,
until His mercy and grace fill Your whole creation. Amen.

Copyright © 2000 Order of Saint Luke Publications. Used with permission.

Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Final WOW of the season

The focus is on the avacados!
The final gathering of WOW (Worship on Wednesday) of the season took place tonight with nine on hand. Tonight's meal was a Mexican-themed fare which was througholy enjoyed by one and all!

Pastor Charles led the discussion, reading portions of several entries from John Wesley's journal of the days leading up to his "heart-warming" experience on May 24, 1738 (Aldersgate Day).

Invitation to John

A breezy spring morning on College Street
Learning and growing as disciples
Each Wednesday morning at 10:00 am, a dedicated group gathers to work through the Disciple Bible Study materials on "Invitation to John." It is a wonderful time of learning, sharing, and growing through study and fellowship.

Blood drive tomorrow

Who: All types are needed
What: Red Cross Blood Drive
When: 10 am - 2 pm, May 25th
Where: Stevenvsville UMC (E. 3rd & College Streets)
Why: Give blood, save lives

Aldersgate Day

Listen to the BBC program, Songs of Praise, featuring Charles Wesley hymns, from Wesley Chapel in London.

Almighty God, in a time of great need You raised up Your servants John and Charles Wesley, and by Your Spirit inspired them to kindle a flame of sacred love which leaped and ran, an inextinguishable blaze.

Grant that all those whose hearts have been warmed at these altar fires, being continually refreshed by Your grace, may be so devoted to the increase of scriptural holiness throughout the land that in this our time of great need, Your will may fully and effectively be done on earth as it is in heaven; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

             (Fred D. Gealy, U.S.A., 20TH CENT., ALT.)

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Room for your stuff!

The parsonage garage is ready for more items to be donated for the June 17 church rummage sale!  Drop by or call the church office (406) 777.5443 for a a pick up.

Monday, May 22, 2017

Scripture lessons for May 28

The Ascension of Jesus - Amiens Cathedral (France)
Readings for the coming week, Ascension Sunday (the Seventh Sunday of Easter), May 28, 2017:
Acts 1:6-14  • 

Psalm 68:1-10, 32-35  • 
1 Peter 4:12-14; 5:6-11  •
John 17:1-11

This week @ Stevi UMC

7:00 pm, Living Clean
Wednesday: Aldersgate Day
8:00 am, WIC
10:00 am, Disciples Study
6:00 pm, Last WOW of the season

10:00 am - 2:00 pm, Red Cross Blood Drive
10:00 am, VBS planning meeting

10:00 am, Drop-in Bible Study, #13

9:00 - 10:00 am, Adult church school
10:15 am, Praise singing                                                   
10:30 am, Worship
11:30 am, Fellowship time

Sunday, May 21, 2017

Splendid spring Sunday

UMCOR health kits on the table
Carol shares with the children
Pantry Partners donations
Fellowship is lively!
What a beautiful time we had on this picture-perfect spring Sunday!

The children's church school wrapped a very successful year of sharing the faith with our youngest disciples. The Lectionary study will continue through the summer, looking at the next week's scripture lessons.

In the worship service this morning, the community celebration was enriched by the choir's anthem, "I'll Fly Away". The sermon was "Where comfort is found" based on John 14:15-21.

The generosity of this mission-minded community was in evidence this morning with 100 UMCOR health kits being dedicated. These will be taken to Annual Conference in June. The cart with items for Pantry Partners was full of good things for that important outreach program.

Thanks this morning to: Belinda Alkula, Liz Goddard, Mary Hackett, Lisa Nicholls, & Bev Schneider, (children's teachers), Theresa Tripp  (nursery), Paul Ludington (praise music), Julie Ludington (piano), Hazel Smith (organ), Belinda Alkula (video), Brenda Bolton (choir), Bev Schneider (liturgist), Mitch Edgar (acolyte wrangler), Hannah and Cadance (acolytes), joey Diers & Linda Sunderland (greeter/ushers), Paul Goddard & Don Nelson (offering counters), and Linda Kauffman, Marcia Prather & Bev Schneider (hospitality).

Heritage Sunday

Observed on the Third Sunday of May (to correspond with Aldersgate Day, May 24), this day calls The United Methodist Church to honor its heritage by committing itself to the continuing call of God known and spread by Charles and John Wesley, along with others the early Methodist movement reached and with whose denominations we are all  joined as The United Methodist Church.

Almighty God, you have raised up servants to proclaim the gift of redemption and a life of holiness. For our spiritual forebears, Susanna, John, and Charles Wesley; Barbara Heck, Jacob Albright, Philip William Otterbein, and Martin Boehm, inspired by your Spirit, we give thanks.
In their ministry, through their difficulties, and in spite of their weaknesses, you were their hope and their salvation. You led them and their followers to create the heritage that is ours.
We praise you for the women and men, young and old, who followed them, who gave themselves unselfishly for the welfare of the Church, whose commitment and vision encouraged and supported the Church. Their talents, enthusiasm, idealism, and dedication infused the Church with energy. Their outstanding gifts and witness shaped our thought and life. We praise you for these countless members of your Church, whose names we now remember.

 Silence is kept to remember the names of saints.

And we give you thanks for the place of our rich tradition among the churches which comprise the Body of Christ. With all your people throughout creation, give us a new vision, new love, new wisdom, and fresh understanding, that we may serve you more fully; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.    

(Charles Yrigoyen, U.S.A., 20TH CENT., ALT.)
 from UMC Discipleship Ministries

Saturday, May 20, 2017

Rummage Sale is coming!

The rummage sale (June 17, 9 am - 2 pm) is right around the corner and items are being gathered from near and far. The parsonage garage is available for storing of items, ask any of the UMM to help if you need it!

An opportunity to give

Saying goodbye to Fred Jackson

The service for Fred Jackson took place this morning at Daly-Leach in Hamilton with Pastor Charles officiating. Many Stevi UMC members were present to say our goodbyes to this amazing man!

Saturday UMW Circle at work

The kits contain a lot of love
Hazel set up the stations
Attention to detail
Smiles all around!
Lisa preps the kits for delivery to Annual Conference
The Saturday UMW Circle was abuzz with activity this morning, assembling the UMCOR Health Kits that Passtor Charles and Belinda will take to the Yellowstone Annual Conference next month in Billings.

Thanks to joey Diers, Lisa Menery, Marcia Prather, and Hazel Smith for making quick work of the tasks invovled in preparing the 100 health kits! Thanks also to the many Stevi UMC members and friends who contributed items to this effort.

In Saturday Circle business:
+The Circle will be available to help with receptions and will receive a portion of the donations.
+Help in setting up (on June 16) for the rummage sale is needed as is help on the day of the rummage sale (9am-2pm, June 18)
+The Pantry Partners Sunday (June 18) will be asking for peanut butter and Mac & cheese.
+A nice letter of thanks was received from Cammie's cousin for the prayer shawl we sent.
+Other giving opportunities - Poverello Center, SAFE, "We Care" of Missoula were discussed, information will be put on the bulletin board in the library.

The June gathering will take place on June 24th due to the Rummage Sale on June 17th (our regular 3rd Saturday).

Armed Forces Day 2017

On Armed Forces Day, we encourage you to share this number with any service member or their families.

Friday, May 19, 2017

Annual Conference Book Study: Unafraid and Unashamed


Unafraid and Unashamed: Facing the Future of United Methodism by Wil Cantrell
  • May 23 at 8 p.m.: A conversation with the author
  • May 30 at 8 p.m.: A conversation with one another
I want to invite you to join me in a book study as we prepare for Annual Conference. These days we are living in as United Methodists haven’t been easy. We find ourselves on pins and needles as we wonder if The United Methodist Church will turn into the Untied Methodist Church when the special session of General Conference occurs in February 2019. At that time, the delegates will receive a report from the Commission on a Way Forward presenting their proposal for how we can live together in the face of our differences regarding human sexuality.

In many ways, we have been ground zero for these discussions and deliberations. The Mountain Sky Area has had a long history of wrestling together over matters related to ministry and homosexuality. The conversations haven’t always been easy, but they have been important as we seek to understand God’s Word for our day and place.

The Mountain Sky Area cabinet and I have been reading "Unafraid and Unashamed: Facing the Future of United Methodism" by Wil Cantrell. Rev. Cantrell writes as one who loves The United Methodist Church. He provides a historical overview of how we got to where we are today, but then, more importantly, provides a framework of how our theological strengths can help us through this time, if we choose it.

With a commitment to humility and truly hearing one another, Cantrell reminds us of the essentials within our Wesleyan heritage. He doesn’t provide an easy answer for the conflict and reminds us that depending on how we decide to move forward, we may choose untied instead of united, but Cantrell helps us have gracefilled conversations with one another, even in the face of our differences.

Rev. Cantrell will join us for a Zoom conversation on May 23 at 8 p.m. To join this hour-long conversation: https://zoom.us/j/149451109

The following week on May 30 at 8 p.m., we will continue the conversation.

Please read the book before joining the conversation! The book is available on Amazon and is a very engaging, quick read.

Bishop Karen Oliveto

Reaching Vulnerable Populations in Peru

In mid-March 2017, Peru experienced torrential rainfall, swelling the rivers and causing flash floods and landslides. Much of the northern and western region of the country was impacted. After the disaster, 748 counties were declared to be in a state of emergency.

According to ReliefWeb.net, it is estimated that the floods and landslides have killed at least 85 people and have displaced more than 150,000 individuals. More than 200,000 homes have been damaged and much of the infrastructure across the affected region is still in need of substantial repair. 

Peru and surrounding countries are still at risk for more rain, linked to the Coastal El Niño weather phenomenon, which is a result of rising temperatures in the Pacific Ocean due to climate change. With the projected amount of damage totaling to about $3 billion (USD), the government of Peru has called for international aid.

Read more at this link.