December 2020 Newsletter

Grand Valley United Methodist Church
December 2020 Newsletter

In this newsletter:
1. What’s Happening
2. Upcoming Events
3. Birthdays
4. Notes and Reminders
5. Calendar
6. Event Details
7. Church Reports
8. Just for Fun

As we prepare for the holiday season, things will be looking a little different here at Grand Valley United Methodist Church. Our church leaders have chosen to follow the urging of our Bishop, Karen Olivet, to suspend all in-person worship through January due to the number of Covid cases increasing across the state. As she stated in her letter “We are not shutting down worship, we are shutting down COVID-19 transmissions.”

This is a difficult decision, not to be meeting in person during this most holy of times, but we have to think of everyone’s health and safety. We will get through this! We can still gather for online worship, in small cohorts of people we live with and interact with, and we can stay connected through Zoom and the telephone.

The worship committee is planning a short outside Christmas Eve Service. There will be a welcome, a prayer, a reading of scripture, and the lighting of glowsticks while singing Silent Night and walking into the neighbor, sharing the light of Christ with the world.

Please join us for online worship at 11:00 am on Facebook Live at
or Direct to the Live event
or after the service on

We look forward to seeing you all again in person as soon as it is safe.

We will offer drive-thru communion on Sunday, December 6th from 9:00-9:30 at the church. Please feel free to come to receive a personal blessing and the communion elements. Communion will also be available during online worship at 11:00 on Facebook Live.

Grand Valley United Methodist Church will be holding a special online “Service of Grief and Healing” on Thursday, December 10 at 6:00 p.m. This is a fairly simple service with pre-recorded music, prayer, scripture, and a time for sharing. If the holidays are hard due to a loss, please join us for this very special service. Click here for the event:

The office will be closed on Friday, December 25th and Friday, January 1st.

December Birthdays:
1 – BJ Lindauer
17 – Deb Trulillo
18 – Carol Donaghue


Greetings from Liberty Heights in Colorado Springs! We are getting settled in our new abode, slowly. Having been a member of GVUMC for over 18 years, we feel blessed to have been part of that family of warm, caring people and the many activities we shared. So many of our friends came out of that fellowship and we will certainly miss it. Our new address is listed below.
Regards to all, Pete and Hope

New Address:
Pete & Hope Perrine
12105 Ambassador Dr
Apt 416
Colorado Springs, CO 80921
[email protected]

There is a new, convenient way to pay your pledge. You can do it by automatically having it withdrawn from your checking or savings account on the same day each month. Forms to have this done are now available in the office or before or after worship. Please return the completed form to Penelope Olson or to the office in a sealed envelope.

If you have questions, please contact Penelope at 231-383-0488 or email her at [email protected].

The next UMW meeting will be held on Thursday, December 3rd at 10:00 in the Fellowship Hall. Our former pastor, Charles Thompson, will be doing the program.
We hope you can join us! Please wear a mask and take all the precautions necessary.

Prayer Partners meets the 2nd and 4th Thursdays at 10:00 at the church. If you have anyone that you would like to add to the Prayer Partner list, please contact the office (970)285-9892 or send an email: [email protected]

Our Emmaus Reunion Group meets on the 2nd and 4th Monday at 9:00 at the church. If you have ever gone on a Walk to Emmaus, you are welcome to join us! Please be sure to wear a mask and practice social distancing.

Our Bible Study meets every Wednesday at 10:00 in the Fellowship Hall. They study a specific book and lively discussions usually occur! We welcome anyone who would like to join us on Wednesdays. Please be sure to wear a mask and practice social distancing.

Our Bell Choir and Choir have started practices again! We practice Bells at 4:00 on Wednesday, followed at 5:00 with Choir. We are always looking for participants, so please join us for either or both!!


The November meeting opened with a prayer by Rev. Dr. Richard Bott, Moderator of the United Church of Canada:

A prayer as I put on my mask:
As I prepare to go into the world, help me see the sacrament in the wearing of this cloth –
Let it be “an outward sign of an inward grace” – a tangible and visible way of living love for my neighbors, as I love myself.
Christ, Since my lips will be covered, uncover my heart, that people would see my smile in the crinkles around my eyes. Since my voice may be muffled, help me to speak clearly, not only with my words, but with my actions.
Holy Spirit, as the elastic touches my ears, remind me to listen carefully – and full of care – to all those I meet.
May this simple piece of cloth be shield and banner, and each breath that it holds, be filled with your love.
In your Name and in that love, I pray.

Michelle and Stacy attended the annual UMW district meeting via Zoom. Michelle was elected District Nominations Chairperson.

Penelope, Allison, Joyce and Linda were recognized for completing the Reading Program. The World Thank Offering is one of our mission giving channels. It is an opportunity to share our gifts in gratitude for God’s abundant grace. Our local giving is combined with the mission gifts of other UMW groups to support national mission institutions and international projects to meet the needs o f women, children and youth. In 2020 the combined UMW mission dollars spent was $11,360,000.00.
There will be no Cookie Sale this year due to Covid-19 guidelines. We are looking forward to some alternative events next year.

The next meeting will be on December 3rd at 10:00 with Rev. Charles Thompson presenting the program.

Church Council

Minutes of the Church Council Meeting – November 17, 2020

The meeting was brought to order at 2 p.m. by president Ron Olson. Pastor J R Atkins led us in prayer. In attendance were Ted Birdsill, Fred Inman, Michelle Foster, Mary Jane Wahlman, Dave Penrose, Laurel Koning, Pastor J R Atkins, Ron Olson, Penelope Olson, and Grace Reuter.

Dave Penrose showed us a nativity set that he is willing to loan the church for our Christmas Eve service. The Council gratefully accepted the gift of the 8-piece set.

Fred moved, and Laurel seconded to accept the September and October minutes as printed in the November newsletter. Motion carried.

Treasurer’s Report – Penelope presented the financial statements and further explained the payroll tax credit balance. The Church continues to do well.

Finance – Penelope asked that she be allowed to pay all of the Mission Share that the Church was assessed even though it will be more than the 3% of revenue that would normally cover it. Fred moved and Mary Jane seconded that the Church pay 100% of the Mission Share. Motion carried.

Trustees – Fred reported that we have a new thermostat and that the grill has a new cover.

Missions and Outreach

Laurel reported that Missions will make a $30 donation from their budget to the Daily Bread for all of their booklets that the Church has placed in hotels.

Six people and Mesa Vista were the recipients of today’s drive-by hello. It was done well and well received.

Money is coming in for Grand Valley Givers. Over $1,600 has already come in and there is a $400 beginning balance. Some shopping online has already been done.
Some of the Mission and Outreach committee have been helping the Resource Center with Thanksgiving meals.

Worship – As worship will no longer be held inside, it is up in the air as to exactly how things will proceed. The committee will be meeting later today.

UMW – They have been meeting, though with only a few attending. Charles and Linda Thompson will be presenting the program at the December 4th meeting. They are looking at doing a cookie/candy/flower arrangement sale for Valentine’s Day, if it is possible. They have met all their commitments for the year.

SPRC – They have been talking to people about filling the pulpit when J R cannot make it. Penelope brought up that the Church will be under the Department of Labor rules of Covid-19 paid leave beginning January 1, 2021.

Old Business – The audio/visual committee met with Chris from the Palisade Church. He reviewed our systems and made recommendations. He said it would take about $2,500 to purchase what we need. Fred moved to upgrade our technology and to apply for a grant to do so. Failing the grant application, we will go ahead with the upgrade. Michelle seconded. Motion passed 5-2.

Pastor’s Report – Service will be on Facebook this week. People will be asked to type in responses to questions that JR may ask so it will be more interactive. The Worship Committee will be working on this at their meeting.

There was a discussion about things we can do to stay connected. It was suggested that small groups come into the Church to be trained on Zoom, Facebook and other technologies.

It was decided that we would allow small groups to still meet in the Church such as UMW and committees. It was discussed if outside groups should continue to use the Faith House. TOPS has stopped meeting, so that is not a problem. We believe AA should continue to meet, but yoga should not because of the concentration on breathing.

The next meeting will be December 8th, not the 15th, at 2 p.m. The meeting was adjourned at 3:23 p.m.

Mission & Outreach
The Mission and Outreach Committee continues to meet during these difficult times. We have had a number of projects that could be moved ahead within the directions of Covid.

Ted Birdsill has headed up an effort to distribute “The Daily Bread” devotionals to the various hotels in Parachute. The hotels have been open to placing a copy of the brochure in their hotel rooms. Big shout out to Ted for developing this program.

Another project that the committee wrapped their arms around was to do a “drive-by” to those members that aren’t able to come to church. With six individuals and the Mesa Vista group of ladies, we had a great time holding our encouraging signs and honking and waving as we stopped at their address! As we spent a little extra time at Mesa Vista, the women there showed their deep appreciation for being able to see the faces of friends from our church. Even the individual houses, the occupants were overjoyed to see the friendly faces that they have missed for some time…….. Thanks to all that drove their cars and helped make this the success that it was!!!

We are working very hard on our commitment to have gifts for 75 kids. If you have already given, we thank you so very, very much. If you haven’t been able to get your donations to the church, please hurry. We have to have the money collected by the first Sunday in December. And don’t forget to write Grand Valley Givers……or Christmas gifts on the memo line.
Our church is always the most giving group of folks that I have ever known.

Thank you and please be safe. Make Thanksgiving a day of just that…Thanks for being healthy!!


PLEDGES ARE ON BUDGET! When I did up the October financial statements for the November Council meeting, I was met with a real surprise. The pledged giving for the year was right on budget through October. That is so wonderful. And unpledged giving is way above budget. Those two things, along with restricted spending, even with the extra items we have needed for getting back into the church building, has led to almost a $17,000 surplus through October.

This is wonderful because I have estimated 2021’s budget and we are looking at a deficit that may be difficult to overcome. 2021 may be a year where we must use some of the excess reserves. It is a good thing that we are blessed in having more than one year’s expenditures in reserve.

You, during this time of Covid-19, have been gracious to the Church. Thank you. If, for the coming year, you can come up with any ideas as to how to raise some additional funds outside of pledges, please let someone on the Council know. We will explore all ideas presented.

A little old lady had just returned home from an evening church service when she was started an intruder. As she caught the man in the midst of robbing her home, she yelled, “STOP! ACTS 2:38!” (That’s the one that goes, “Repent and be baptized, in the name of the Lord, so that your sins may be forgiven,”)

The burglar stopped dead in his tracks. The woman calmly called the police to explain what she had done. As the officer cuffed the man to take him in, he asked the burglar, “Why did you just stand there? All the lady did was yell scripture.”
“Scripture?” replied the burglar, stunned. “She said she had an ax and two .38s!”

(taken from Readers Digest, November 2020)