January 2021 Newsletter

Grand Valley United Methodist Church
January 2021 Newsletter


In this newsletter:

  1. Emotional Stress & Support
  2. The Colorado Spirit Initiative & Mind Springs Health
  3. Leadership Development
  4. Worship by Phone
  5. Birthdays
  6. Notes and Reminders
  7. Calendar
  8. Event Details
  9. Church Reports
  10. Just for Fun

Emotional Stress and Support

We are all striving to make this a “Christmas to Remember” but we can only do so much. We get tired, stress, depressed, confused, irritated, and the next thing we know, we are doing or saying something we later regret. Next comes forgiveness, forgiving ourselves, and accepting God’s forgiveness. Then we say we are sorry to those we have offended and hope that they too forgive us.

With the increase in pressure we face, we may need more resources. Pastor J.R. is available for pastoral counseling and we also have resources being made available to our congregation by the Colorado Spirit initiative, a crisis counseling and assistance program. This program is funded by FEMA and delivered through Mind Springs Health in our area. They offer support and counseling to people in crises situations like natural disasters and the pandemic qualifies for the delivery of their services.
There is more detailed information in a separate article in this newsletter and I hope our community takes advantage of these services. As we are reminded in Romans 3:23, all have fallen short of the glory of God and thus we all need help from time to time. Now is one of those times.

To schedule a time with Pastor J.R. please contact the church office. To schedule a time with Mind Springs Health, please follow the directions below. I pray we all find the love and support of God from the various means we have access too: church, family, friends, and professional service.

The Colorado Spirit Initiative & Mind Springs Health

Happy New Year! We are starting a new year, hopefully with some positive changes in how things have been. 2020 was a challenging time for us all with COVID-19 keeping us from gathering with friends and family, keeping us from worshipping in person, keeping us from normal family traditions at the holidays, and the grief of losing loved ones during a time when we couldn’t be with them. It’s been a grieving situation – grieving for times of normalcy within our families and our church family. We had just started worshipping together again, and the rug was pulled out from under us.

We are looking at ways that we can offer comfort to you until we are all worshipping in person again. One of these ways is to let you know about a new program being offered by Mind Springs Health – the Colorado Spirit Initiative – that we are looking at partnering with. This Initiative consists of professionals and paraprofessionals who support the community in coping with disaster disruptions, like this pandemic. It was started to provide services to community members who have been impacted by COVID-19 – whether it be loss of family and friends due to the virus, social isolation, financial loss, and more, and ALL SERVICES ARE FREE with no enrollment or sign-up needed. They offer tips for stress and resilience education, grief processing, problem-solving, and ways to access community resources. For more information, please check out their website: https://www.mindspringshealth.org/Colorado-Spirit-Initiative

Lay Servant Ministries Training

Lay Servant Ministries is a program to provide training opportunities and experiences to equip disciples of Jesus Christ to realize and respond to their personal call to ministry. Lay Servant Ministries strive to help disciples become aware of their particular gifts by offering education to enhance and develop the skills necessary to bring them to fruition. It is an excellent way for people to be better servants of Jesus Christ, to become stronger church leaders, and to more capably assist their pastors.

Trinity District of the Mountain Sky Annual Conference is coordinating online courses across multiple districts and conferences. To see the upcoming course, go to their website, Lay Servant Ministries Training (layservanttraining.org)

Some of the courses being offered include:

  • Justice in Everyday Life – Sundays in January 2021
  • Introduction to Lay Servant Ministry: Offered by Alaska Mission Conference – Saturdays in January 2021
  • Introduction to Lay Servant Ministry: Offered by Oregon-Idaho Annual Conference – Tuesdays in January & February 2021
  • Called to Preach, Offered by Alaska Mission Conference – Sundays in January & February 2021
  • Devotional Life in the Wesleyan Tradition – Sundays in March and April 2021
  • Living Our United Methodist Beliefs, Offered by Oregon-Idaho Annual Conference – Tuesdays in March 2021


Worship by Phone

Since almost everyone has access to a plain old telephone, the church has added the ability for people to listen to Sunday Worship through a phone. After each Sunday Worship, the service is uploaded to a phone service. When you call 970-233-0048, you can hear the entire worship service from beginning to end. Each week the previous worship is replaced by the new worship service recording.

We need your help in getting the word out to those who can benefit the most through this service. Thank you in advance for your assistance.

January Birthdays

12 – Jim Bussey
18 – Mitzi Burkhart
21 – Anita Elliott-Hodgden
25 – Scott Parker
29 – Heather Bussey

Notes and Reminders

A note from Margaret Sorenson:

Dec. 2, 2020

Happy Holiday wishes to all the dear friends from Grand Valley United Methodist Church in Parachute. I will miss you all.

I have moved to Senior Housing in Rifle to be closer to family. My new address is:
Margaret Sorenson
251 Ute Ave Apt 11
Rifle CO 81650
My phone is the same.

Regards to all,
Update on Opal Morgenthaler

I spoke with Opal’s daughter, Marie, and received an update on Opal. She is in an Alzheimer’s facility in Springfield, MO. Physically, she is doing pretty well, having come through a bout of Covid-19 okay. She is in a wheelchair because she kept a walker out too far ahead of herself. She sits on the edge of the seat and pushes herself with her legs.

Marie is really not sure if it is dementia or Alzheimer that Opal has, but she for sure does not have a good short-term memory. She is very lonely and Marie said she would love to receive cards, as she can still read, though she cannot write. So, if you write to her, be sure to mention things in the past that will trigger her memory. Her address is:

Opal Morgenthaler
1146 E. Lakewood Street
Apt #34
Springfield, MO 65810

Grand Valley UMC Calendar

The next UMW meeting will be held on Thursday, January 7th at 10:00 in the Fellowship Hall. Please wear a mask and practice social distancing. We hope you can join us!

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

Our Emmaus Reunion Group meets on the 2nd and 4th Monday at 9:00. 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 group meets every Wednesday at 10:00 in the Fellowship Hall. Lively discussions usually occur! We will be starting a new study on January 6th. Books will be approximately $10. We welcome anyone who would like to join us on Wednesdays. Please wear a mask and practice social distancing.

Our Bell Choir and Choir have rehearsals on Wednesdays – Bells at 4:00 and Choir at 5:00. We are always looking for participants, so if you would like to join either of these wonderful musical groups, please contact the office at (970)285-9892 or by email: [email protected]

UMW Report
Charles Thompson brought us an uplifting program for the December meeting. It was a great start for our preparations for Christmas and the privilege of fellowship with friends, Charles and Linda.

Our January meeting will include election of officers and drawing names for our Secret Prayer Partners for 2021.

United Methodist Women welcomes all women to join in our mission to serve women, children and youth locally and around the world.

Next meeting: Thursday January 7, 2021 at 10:00 a.m.

Charge Conference Report
December 8, 2020

The meeting was opened at 2:10 p.m. by Rev. Elizabeth McVickers with a prayer. In attendance were Rev. McVickers, J.R. Atkins, Ron Olson, Penelope Olson, Michelle Foster, Fred Inman, Deb Penrose, Bert Botkin, and Grace Reuter.

A discussion was held on how worship was going. Rev. McVickers gave some suggestions.

The Lay Leadership Report was presented. The following changes was were made: Hope Perrine was deleted from Memorial Team; Al Richardt on Memorial Team was corrected to Al Reuter; Linda Thompson was deleted as Alternate Lay Member to Annual Conference and this position is open; Mary Miracle and Brenda Braspenninx were deleted from Nominating/Leadership Development Team; Adelia Inman was changed to Fred Inman as Chair, Board of Trustees; Added to Trustees as members were Thom Hamick, Steve Shaw, Betty Birdsill, Dan Temple, John Koning, Dave Penrose, Ted Birdsill and Adelia Inman. The Lay Leadership Report was then accepted as corrected.

The 2020 Mission Shares and Apportionment commitment was then reviewed. It was noted that Grand Valley United Methodist Church has paid 10% of their revenue. Rev. McVickers commended them for it. Penelope Olson noted that the Council had approved paying all of the Apportionment even though it was more than 3% of the Church’s income. The Church’s Commitment to Mission Shares for 2021 was read. Penelope assured Rev. McVickers that the amount was in the budget.

The Pastor’s compensation packet was reviewed and approved.

The Membership and Worship Attendance Report was reviewed. J.R. Atkins reported that sixty-two people joined in watching the service on Facebook this last Sunday. Rev. McVickers explained that it has been shown that for everyone “hit”, there are generally eight people watching. We could easily use five as the number to decide what our attendance at the online service is. It is just important to be consistent in the number we use. The report was accepted.

The Certified Lay Servant Report for Penelope Olson was reviewed and approved. It was noted that anyone can attend the classes offered, even if they have not taken the introductory courses.

The meeting was adjourned with a prayer by J.R. Atkins at 2:52 p.m.

Church Council Report

The meeting was brought to order by President Ron Olson at 2:55 p.m. In attendance were Ron Olson, Penelope Olson, R. J. Atkins, Grace Reuter, Fred Inman, Deb Penrose, Bert Botkin, and Michelle Foster.

Deb Penrose made a presentation on doing Vacation Bible School (VBS) this summer on June 14th – 18th. It would be the Rockies Railroad curriculum. The cost would be around $800. Penelope moved, and Michelle seconded, to have VBS. Motion carried.

Fred Inman moved, and Michelle seconded, that the minutes from the November 24, 2020 minutes, as printed in the newsletter, be accepted as printed. Motion carried.

Treasurer – Penelope reported that the Church is doing well financially. She noted that our investments increased $12,400 this month.

Finance – $15,000 has been moved into long-term investments.

Trustees – No report

Missions – The shopping for Grand Valley Givers is on-going. The committee is very pleased with the amount that has been donated to Grand Valley Givers. The Resource Center had expressed a desire for prepared meals but nothing was decided.

Penelope requested that the Church go to Mesa Vista caroling outside. She will contact Mesa Vista to see if this Sunday is available for caroling. If it is, she will send out an email asking for people to join in caroling and provide song sheets.

Worship – Fourteen people attended drive-thru communion this last Sunday. The committee is looking at ways to get people together in more inclusive ways such at a telephone tree and Zoom after church. Christmas Eve service will be an outside service at 7:30. Glow sticks will be used instead of candles.

UMW – At the December meeting, seven people attended, including Charles and Linda Thompson. Charles gave the program. The group is also looking at how to include more people. One way this would be done is by reaching out to Palisade and ask them if they would like to Zoom in. Also, the group may have an executive meeting before the regular meeting to do the business and then the meeting would focus on devotions, expanded program and, when they can again, socialization. They hope this would then bring in other people, including people from outside the Church.

SPRC – A standard form from the Conference regarding if the pastor should be retained was completed.

Pastor’s Report – 1. Worship Update: Starting November 22nd, worship is being delivered via Facebook Live with prerecorded participation from members of GVUMC and PUMC. The technology continues to challenge all but we are making progress. The interaction from those watching at home has helped to create some sense of community. 2. Tech Help with Worship: The first tech help session was held on Friday, December 4th. 8 people met in the fellowship hall and library/coffee area to discover ways to participate in online worship. In addition to picking up tips on technology, it provided an opportunity to release some of the anxiety we have about technology and remember, “I’m not the only one.” We are likely to hold additional sessions to help more people. 3. Charge Conference: An abbreviated Charge Conference will be held at the beginning of our Church Council Meeting on December 8th at 2:00 pm on Zoom. Rev. Elizabeth McVicker, our District Superintendent, will be leading us. 4. New Website: Our new website is almost ready for launch. If you would like to review it in “prelaunch mode” go to http://wpt.397.myftpupload.com/

There was no old or new business.

The meeting was adjourned at 3:26 p.m.

Respectfully Submitted,
Penelope Olson, Acting Secretary

Mission & Outreach Report

What can we say!!!!!!!!!!!! Our congregation came through and we wonderfully bought gifts for 75 kids and then some…….. A HUGE thank you to all of you that were able to donate!!!!!!!

On Christmas Eve morning, we will be preparing a warm meal for 10 families that are somehow not able to fix their own warm meal. They may be in the hotel, homeless, relocated to other homes, etc………. but we are reaching out to them and working with the Family Resource Center to meet this need.

Stay Safe and keep love in your heart!!!!

The Members of the Mission and Outreach Committee

Treasurer Report

One of the things that we have been able to do this year is increase the amount of funds we have in our investments. Early in December, $15,000 was transferred to the Mountain Sky United Methodist Foundation (MSUMF) long-term investment fund. We had been carrying excess funds in the Alpine Money Market, but that balance had become too high, and the interest rate was too low, so it was decided to transfer the funds.

This long-term investment fund is in a balanced fund. It is 65% equities and 35% fixed income. Through October 31st, it has returned an annualized rate of 4.36%. The three, five, and ten-year average returns have been 6.59%, 8.55%, and 7.85% respectively. 2019 returned 20.18%. The balance in this account as of the end of November was $156,801.

We also have invested in two Certificates of Participation, which are very similar to CD’s. These are also through the MSUMF and support the Methodist Helping Methodist Fund. The funds deposited are used to loan to churches for capital projects. GVUMC has used the Methodist Helping Methodist Fund for a loan. We currently have two CP’s. The first has a balance of $11,659, pays 3%, and matures in 2024. The second pays 2.55%, has a balance of $15,100, and matures in 2025. This CP was taken out this year. Individuals can invest in these CP’s and the current rates range from 0.7% – 2.32% depending on term and amount. To find out more about these, go to https://www.mountainskyumf.org/ .

Besides the checking account at Alpine Bank, we also have a money market account there, were money can be quickly transferred to earn some money but also may be easily accessed, if needed. The money market at MSUMF pays higher interest than the Alpine Bank account, but it takes a bit longer to get the funds when they are needed. That is why we opened the Alpine money market account.

So now you know about our investments. As for how we are doing financially this year, our revenues for November were $360 shy of our expenditures, but we still have excess revenues for the eleven months of $16,800. Thank you for your continuing support this year. It will help us get through the leaner times next year.

I will work on getting out the giving letters by mid-January. If you find any mistakes in them, please, be sure to contact me promptly, so that I can correct them and reissue statements.

If you have any questions, of course, please don’t hesitate to contact me at [email protected] or 231-383-0488. Penelope Olson

Things you didn’t know you had to know!
– A “jiffy” is an actual unit of time for 1/100th of a second.
– A shark is the only fish that can blink with both eyes.
– A snail can sleep for three years.
– All 50 states are listed across the top of the Lincoln Memorial on the back of the $5 bill.
– Almonds are a member of the peach family.

Church Contact Information
PO Box 125
Parachute CO 81635
[email protected]