December 2021 Newsletter


Grand Valley United Methodist Church
December 2021 Newsletter


In this newsletter:
1. Christmas Dinners
2. Christmas Eve Candlelight Service
3. Office Closure
4. Birthdays
5. Calendar
6. Event Details
7. Pastor’s Report
8. Church Reports
9. Goals
10. Just for Fun


Christmas Dinners
We are offering 2 opportunities to gather and celebrate Christmas this year. The first is a “dinner and show” on Sunday, December 12th at 5:00. A Christmas dinner will be served, followed by our children performing the Christmas Story in the sanctuary. We will also be providing Christmas Dinner on Christmas day at 1:00. We hope you can join us.


We will be having a Christmas Eve Candlelight Service on December 24th at 7:30 p.m. This is a beautiful service that concludes with lighting of the candles and singing Silent Night as we go into the world spreading the love of Christ. We hope you can join us.


The church office will be closed on Friday, December 3rd and the week of December 5th due to Karen having surgery. The office will be open for normal hours the week of December 12th. Thank you for your understanding and we apologize for any inconvenience.


December Birthdays:
10 – Delcia Orona
17 – Deb Trujillo
18 – Carol Donaghue


women serving others


Women of the Church, you and your women friends are invited for a morning of fun on Thursday, December 2nd at 10 a.m. The UMW meeting will be a social that includes a white elephant exchange and Christmas caroling. We ask that you bring a small, white elephant item from your home and two Christmas cards. A card will be exchanged with someone at the gathering, the recipient unknown, and the other will be sent to someone who is not there or who has moved away. Please plan on attending and enjoy the fellowship and refreshments.

Praying in Christ name
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 either Bert Botkin at (970)216-8682, the church office at (970)285-9892 or send an email to: [email protected]

Join us for Bible Study every Wednesday at 10:00 a.m. or at 6:30 p.m. in the Fellowship Hall. We hope you can join us.

Our Bell Choir and Choir are in full swing! Bell Choir practices on Wednesdays, 3:00 and Choir practices on Wednesdays at 4:00. 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]


Rev. J.R. Atkins
Grand Valley United Methodist Church
November 2021 Pastor’s Report

Church Goals –The goal process is completed and the goals are under consideration for action by church council.

Nominations Committee – Met on 11/9/21. Contacting people now.

Common Table – The Friday evening family gathering is now called Common Table. The Halloween/Harvest Festival served over 130 children and adults and was considered a success. Thanks be to God. Upcoming events include a Thanksgiving Meal on Friday 11/19/21 at 5:30 and a Christmas Potluck and children’s performance on Sunday 12/12/21 at 5:00

Piano Lessons – I have found someone to offer Piano Lessons at the church on Tuesday and Thursdays (day or evening), working around other scheduled activities at the church. The church council needs to approve before going further.
1. Teacher: Milli Hogan
2. Cost: $10.00 per 30 minute lesson (The money goes to the teacher)
3. Lessons in the Sanctuary
4. Practice available before or after a lesson in the fellowship hall and the faith house (the new piano will be in the sanctuary, our current two pianos in the fellowship hall and faith house).
5. 2 adults must be present at each lesson or practice session to follow safe gathering guidelines. Each person providing adult supervision will need to have a safe gathering background check which costs $37.00. (Parents serving as the 2nd adult supervising their children do not need a background check.

Peace be with you,
Pastor J.R. Atkins.


UMW met on Thursday, November 4th at 10:00 a.m. There were 5 in attendance. Plans were discussed regarding a Women’s Social (see information in the Events section).

Church Council
The Church Council took many reports from the committees. Here are some dates to remember:
Common Table Thanksgiving Dinner & Potluck 11/19 4-6
Thanksgiving Day 11/25 – Dinner at Church at 1 pm.
Hanging of the Greens – Saturday 11/27 at 10:00 a.m.
Special Thanksgiving music during November
UMW fun meeting 12/2 at 10 a.m. Bring an unsigned Christmas Card and a white elephant item.
Common Table Christmas dinner and potluck and children’s program 12/12 at 5:00
Handbells play 12/19
Christmas Dinner at Church 12/25 at 1:00 p.m.

Mission & Outreach
Mission and Outreach is collecting for the Grand Valley Givers – a program where we provide Christmas gifts to families. If you would like to donate to this, please be sure that you put GVG in the memo line of your check or on the envelope if you give cash cash. If you would like to help Laurel in any way please contact her or the church office.

Mission and Outreach will also be hosting a Christmas Dinner on Christmas Day at 1:00.


During October, there were some large expenditures, which you saw in the painting of the church building. The Faith House will be done in the Spring. The removal of the trees was also finally paid for. These large expenditures were paid from our reserves. The Church ended up using $4,000 in reserves.

For 2021, a deficit budget was passed. Up through August, the Church had not gone into deficit spending. However, in September, our expenditures finally caught up to our revenues and we are in a deficit position. What does that mean? Over the past ten plus years, we have had excess revenues at the end of the year – a savings account – also known as reserves. We are now using the funds in that reserve to pay for our expenditures. So how much do we have? As of the end of October, we have $125,250 in reserves. So we can go for a few years doing this, but must be careful how we go about using our funds. We must use them for programs that not only promote our spiritual growth and missions, but also the growth of our Church. We must continue what has been started. And we need some creative ways to increase our revenues so that we can continue the message that God wants us to send into the world.

Annual Conference 2021

One hundred and forty people ZOOMed in together for the Laity session to start the 2021 Mountain Sky Conference Annual Meeting. Dr. Ann Michel was our keynote speaker, speaking on her book, Toward Synergistic Leadership. Synergy means that we work together and the whole is greater than the sum of the individuals. This is how God wants us to work and was seen in Paul’s Church.

Ann went on to say that every Christian is called to ministry because ministry simply means service. The call is not for a selective group; the call to be chosen to ministry to God is for everyone, everywhere, in everything. So, we must listen for the whispering of the call. She asked us to think about what we are particularly passionate about or good at. Are there clues in your life history, especially significant turning points? What do others see in you? Those may help indicate your call.

There are three key elements of synergy:

1. Power of Relationship
2. Well-functioning and participatory decision making
3. Dynamic Leadership Ecology

I won’t go into the details, but would be happy to share my notes on these. But one thing I took from this that really stuck with me is that one should never leave a meeting room without clarifying what has been decided.

Friday morning began the formal meeting. Six-hundred and forty-three people were registered. Bishop Karen Oliveto led us in worship.

Reports were given, of course, and an interesting statistic is that our conference is 460,000 square miles in size. The Conference is offering all kinds of webinars that anyone may participate in. They are investing one-half million dollars for new church initiatives which includes things like our Common Table. The Conference supported eleven missionaries to the tune of $127,743 in 2020 which is more than any other conference.

On Saturday morning, the children’s choir of Trinity UMC, West Valley City, Utah, sang for us and presented an updated version of The Good Samaritan. They sang in Spanish, English, and Tonganesse. That is because, at this Church, the different parts of the service are given in these languages. Therefore, no one understands the whole service, but they understand some of it. And it is working for them. An interesting concept.

Then the Reverend Grace Imathiu from the First Church of Evanston, Illinois spoke. She said that at one time she had thought of the Church as The Love Boat but she realize that it is a rescue ship – those on board are expected to serve and take care of each other, not be waited on. Her speech can be seen on the Conference website.

Of course, there was business to attend. One thing that affects us is that the Trustees must do an official accessibility audit each year and report on it to the conference. Also, a task force is being formed to look into making changes to the minimum standards for building insurance and how replacement costs are determined. All of the items brought forward, except the insurance one which was replaced with the aforementioned task force, were passed. Please see the website for the other ones.

The meeting was closed with a communion service led by Bishop Oliveto.

Please let me know if you want to know anything more about Annual Conference. It is available on video on the website.

Penelope Olson


GVUMC Goals in Order – 10/19/21

The Grand Valley United Methodist Church shall be a Church that shows the world the true love of God and spreads the word of God as our Lord and Savior by educating people of all ages, in a loving accepting manner.
1. Attract 18-39 and 40+ age groups to start attending church regularly by attracting, by May 1, 2022, ten (10) families to regularly attend the Friday potluck meeting. (28 points)
2. Weeknight worship (25 points)
3. Attract, by November 12, 2021, six (6) new families or individuals to participate in our Church life. This includes Sunday worship, Bible Study, Prayer Shawl, UMW, Missions and Outreach activities, working in the garden, and being in the choirs. (24 points)
4. Increase size of Children and youth in Christian Ed. Such as Sunday School, Friday night, After School and or “Youth Group” night (24 points)
5. Church Outing, to Events, Travel such as plays, concerts, sporting events (20 points)
6. Form a Congregational Care Team (20 points)
7. Find fifteen (15) new people from our current congregation to help nurture the Friday potluck meeting. (18 points)
8. Missions: reach further away, in addition to current school age-oriented programs , to local seniors (rides, companionship), feeding beyond lift up and the resource center, (16 points)
9. Invite people from Friday Night, Bible Study, other events to Sunday Worship (16 points)
10. Children’s Music Program (14 points)
11. Contemporary Worship (13 points)
12. Blessing of the animals (12 points)
13. Expand Mesa Vista to include more people from church ( 12 points)
14. From a contemporary Christian music band/group (12 points)
15. From an “Events Team” to help with new events such as national night out, not current programs unless asked (10 points)
16. Form a Media Team or communications team (8 points)
17. Add solar power lights, little white lights, strung outside (somewhere, parking lot?) that come on at night (8 points)
18. Fly the Christian Flag (8 points)
19. Music Lessons taught at Church (7 points)
20. Open Church hours with volunteers, training on how to help: $, food, local information, prayer (7 points)
21. Offer Leadership Training for current and new people. (7 points)
22. Add lights to the Flagpole (6 points)
23. Invite people to become “Members” who are regular attendees (6 points)
24. Increase access by community on our property, “use of space”, additional playground items (5 points)
25. Develop list of possible memorial gifts: Van, tree, meeting space/room, (4 points)
26. Live Nativity on church lawn for Christmas (3 points)


I lost my girlfriend’s audiobook, and now I’ll never hear the end of it.
Why is ‘dark’ spelled with a k and not c? Because you can’t see in the dark.
Why is it unwise to share you secrets with a clock? Well, time will tell.
When I told my contractor I didn’t want carpeted steps, they gave me a blank stare.
Bono and The Edge walk into Dublin bar and the bartender says, “Oh no, not U2 again.”
Prison is just one word to you, but for some people, it’s a whole sentence.
Scientists got together to study the effects of alcohol on a person’s walk, the result was staggering.

Will finish these up next month!



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

Wednesday – Friday
9:00 – noon