February 2022 Newsletter

Grand Valley United Methodist Church

February 2022 Newsletter


In this newsletter:

1.      Mountain Sky News

2.      Climate Justice

3.      Rev. Elizabeth McVicker Visit

4.      Coffee with the Pastor

5.      Going Green

6.      2022 Church Leadership

7.      Save the Date

8.      Birthdays

9.      Calendar

10.   Event Details

11.   Pastor’s Report

12.   Church Reports

13.   Just for Fun


As the November 5 open session began, Council of Bishops President Cynthia Fierro Harvey announced the actions the bishops took in closed session earlier in the week.
Among those decisions, the bishops approved five responses to the climate crisis that is increasing the severity of natural disasters around the world and contributing to record global migration.
The bishops pledged to:

  • Encourage and support action on climate change at the annual conference level, including support for moving toward net-zero greenhouse gas emissions.
  • Review the Council of Bishops 2009 document “God’s Renewed Creation” to determine how to best address the intersection of climate change, poverty, racism and colonialism.
  • Encourage the use of the United Methodist Board of Church and Society website to sign onto letters related to climate justice.
  • Join the denomination’s 13 general agencies’ pledge to achieve net-zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050 across ministries, facilities, operations and investments.
  • Reaffirm the denomination’s Social Principle on Global Climate Stewardship as an ongoing commitment. The Social Principle, approved by General Conference, supports government efforts to mandate reductions in greenhouse gas emissions.

The bishops’ pledge described climate change “as an existential crisis the Church cannot ignore.”

An invitation from Karen Bueno and Mary Ann Tabor:This is a 9+ minute video from United Methodist Bishops about awareness of climate issues.  It is old, but well done.  I would like to make that website available to all on the Creation Justice team who can take 9 minutes–even just the first 5 minutes!–to watch it and see how we can use it in our local churches.  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wRZmewufKoI

More information on the Climate Justice Conference is listed below.

(Opens Jan. 1, 2022.)

Consecutive Sundays
February 6, 13, 20, 27
2:00-4:30 p.m.

Mission u coming in February 2022

Climate Justice: A Call to Hope and Action

This study invites you to understand climate justice, which means setting right our relationships with each other and the earth. Climate injustice is the result of climate change. The study will challenge you to see what needs to happen for climate justice to become a reality in the world today. The church needs to more powerfully model a way of doing it differently. This will entail not just focusing on the environment, but also asking hard questions regarding financial profit, a growing economy, our independent way of thinking and our understanding of efficiency.

Offered consecutive Sunday afternoons in February (6, 13, 20, 27)
*The Zoom space will open at 1:30 p.m., with the study running from 2:00-4:30 p.m.

Waveland says, “I lived in such a variety of environments – desert (high and low), oceanfront, prairie, and now the mountains. It has given me a deep appreciation of the vastness and diversity of creation. I love being outside and soaking in God’s creation, as well as enjoying reading, computers, science, astronomy, photography, music, and gadgetry. I love feeling how the earth anchors and supports me, and how a sense of being immersed in the stars of the universe centers and connects me. I’m also passionate about issues around social justice, concern for the poor, feeding and challenging our hearts and minds, and sharing God’s love. So I’ve been deeply saddened by the climate crisis, by the immense harm it seems poised to do to life on the amazing planet we all call home, and most of all by the injustice, conflict, and divisiveness it’s causing among people. Understanding and addressing that injustice will be the subject of this course, as we seek ways to find hope for the future in actions we can do today.”

Waveland King is an avid photographer and climate justice advocate.

Originally published in 2016, this Climate Justice Study is being offered again — to address the burning needs of our climate. The book is quite expensive. Some in the conference will have copies to share. The Kindle version, however, is available for $5.95 on Amazon. The study is being offered by the Mountain Sky Conference United Methodist Women and the Conference Mission & Justice Team.


Mark your calendars! We look forward to having a visit from Rev. Elizabeth McVicker on Sunday, February 20, 2022 at 3:00. We will be having a nice coffee/tea reception for her and hope you can join us.


TUESDAYS AT 1:30 PM – 4:30 PM
Coffee with the Pastor
Do you ever need a supportive person to talk with? That is what Coffee with the Pastor is all about; a conversation with someone who does not judge you, who accepts you as you are, and wishes the best for you. No appointment needed, just drop in for coffee, tea, or water and some encouraging, uplifting conversation. All conversations are confidential.

It has been discussed how we here at GVUMC can go green – or at least more than what we have been doing. “Going Green” means saving money as well as the environment.

Here are a few examples:
– minimize the inserts in the bulletin
– getting an energy audit
– applying for a grant from the conference for green projects
– using reusable items instead of plastic: cups and plates, including the coffee cups
– turning off the lights in areas where there is no one present and when you leave an area

If you can think of anything else that we can do, please share your ideas with anyone on Church Council.

Church Leadership

Grand Valley United Methodist Church

Term of office expires December 31 of year in parenthesis
(M) = position requires church membership

Church Council
Chair: Ron Olson (22)

Alternate Lay-Member to Annual Conference: Michelle Foster
Lay-Member to Annual Conference: Penelope Olson
Chair, Christian Education: Robin Troche (22)
Church Treasurer: Penelope Olson & Sara Francis
Co-Chairs, Worship Team: Michelle Foster (21) & Mary Jane Wahlman (21)
Chair, Staff/Parish Relations:
Chair, Missions & Outreach: Laurel Koning (22)
Chair, Memorial Team: Al Reuter (21)
Chair, Finance Team: Michelle Foster (22)
Chair, Board of Trustees: Dan Temple
Church Lay-Leader (M): Fred Inman

Board of Trustees
2/3 (M)
Chair: Fred Inman
Vice Chair: Dan Temple

Class of 2022: Dave Penrose, Adelia Inman
Class of 2023: Dan Temple (M), Fred Inman (M), John Koning, Steve Shaw
Class of 2024: Shawn McElroy

Finance Team
Chair: Michelle Foster

Rep., Board of Trustees: Dan Temple
Rep., SPRC:
Chair, Church Council: Ron Olson
Lay Member to Annual Conference: Penelope Olson
Charge Lay Leader: Fred Inman
Financial Secretary: Deb Penrose
Assistant Treasurer: Sara Francis
Church Treasurer: Penelope Olson
Class of 2022: John Chapman, Dave Penrose

Nominations and Leadership Development Team
All (M), Maximum one three-year term
Chair: Pastor
Vice Chair: Bert Botkin

Lay Leader: Fred Inman
Class of 2022: Garland White, Dan Temple
Class of 2023: Mary Jane Wahlman
Class of 2024: Michelle Foster, Bert Botkin

Memorial Team
Chair: Al Reuter

Finance Team Rep.: Penelope Olson
Board of Trustees Rep.: Adelia Inman
Class of 2022: Al Reuter
Class of 2023: Jim Ness

Mission and Outreach
Chair: Laurel Koning (22)

Class of 2022: Al Reuter, Grace Reuter, Laurel Koning, Lee Allen
Class of 2023: Bert Botkin, Sue Knuth, Len Allen
Class of 2024: Dennis Caputo, Robin Troche

Staff-Parish Relations Team (SPRC)
All (M); Maximum 2 consecutive 3-year terms

Class of 2022: Carol Schelling
Class of 2023: Dan Temple, John Chapman, Deb Penrose
Class of 2024: Sara Francis


Worship Team
Co-Chairs: Michelle Foster & Mary Jane Wahlman

Class of 2022: Mary Jane Wahlman, Anita Elliott-Hodgden, Linda Elliott
Class of 2023: Lee Allen, Len Allen, Michelle Foster
Class of 2024: Dan Temple, Sharon Temple, Judy Beasley

Christian Education
Chair: Bert Botkin

Children & Youth Education:
Class of 2022: Robin Troche, Dave & Deb Penrose (VBS)

Adult Education:
Class of 2022: Bert Botkin, Garland White


February Birthdays:
2 – Bruce Knuth
3 – John Koning
5 – Debbie Penrose
6 – Steve Shaw
8 – Carol Lamb
11 – Anne White
15 – Thom Hamick
15 – Bobbie Prentice
15 – Grace Reuter
17 – Joyce Landrum
20 – Sarah Orona
27 – Sue Knuth

women serving others

The next UMW meeting will be held on Thursday, February 3rd at 10:00 in the Fellowship Hall.  We hope you can join us!

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]

You have two opportunities to join us for Bible Study every Wednesday. We hold one at 10:00 a.m. and do another at 6:30 p.m. in the Fellowship Hall. You can pick which time works best for you.

Wednesday Feb.2 will be the beginning of our next Bible Study series based on First John.

You are invited to join us in this time of learning, sharing and fellowship.


Our Bell Choir and Choir are in full swing! Bells practice at 3:00 on Wednesdays, Choir 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
January 2022 Pastor’s Report

1.      Coffee with the Pastor: – Beginning January 18, I will be available to meet with members of the congregation and our community from 1:30 to 4:30. The goal of the time is to increase availability for the congregation while offering members of our community a time and place to be introduced to the church.

2.      New Worship Service  – Participants in the Common Table and the Worship Committee are in the planning phase of a new worship service to launch in late January or early February. It will likely feature a simple worship order of music, a message with scripture, and end with prayers for the community. The music will be provided by video until we can identify musical talent for live music. Like the common Table, the people who show up will be leading elements of worship.

3.      Energy Audit? – Guess what Conference Team your pastor is on? The “Green Team” which is better known as the Creation and Justice Committee. I’m part of the local church engagement task force as well as the green team for the Annual Conference.  The first step for many churches is to contact their energy provider for a free or reduced-cost energy audit. Funds are being made available by the conference to cover the cost of an energy audit or energy-saving project such as changing to energy-efficient light bulbs.

4.      Commissioning Process – Last November 6th I was recognized as a local licensed pastor serving in the Mt Sky conference in a ceremony at St. Andrews UMC in Denver. I also learned that day that I was approved to begin the process of being commissioned as a provisional Elder, the next step in becoming an Elder in the UMC. I have been preparing 13 documents covering questions on Theology and Methodist Doctrine,  as well as a case study on a local ministry (I wrote on Mesa Vista), and finally a written Bible Study. These 60+ pages of documentation are due January 30. In March I will meet with members of the Cabinet and other candidates for provisional status for interviews.

5.      Bible Study on Ruth – As a part of my commissioning process, I am writing a Bible Study on the Book of Ruth which I plan to offer as a UMW event in February. This will be a 4-week study, meeting during the day, focusing on Women in the Bible and intergenerational lessons we can learn from Ruth. More details to come.

6.      Tech It Up – Tech I.T. Up is a technology education program designed for children. It seeks to provide exposure to informational technologies with a hands-on approach in a fun and uplifting environment. Tools and resources are provided to explore concepts in reverse engineering that give knowledge of how and why technology exists and works. By utilizing muscle memory, clear goals with proper guidance, and a constant reference to the great Creator, Tech It Up hopes to instill talents and skills that they can develop for a lifetime.

This ministry was developed by Chris Portell and was piloted last February at Palisade UMC. It was a success. The kids had a great time and the church gained 1 adult and one child member.

Tech It Up has received conference support in the form of professional coaching and assistance from a group called Ministry Incubators. It is one of the 12 programs being supported by the Conference Hatchathon Program designed to “hatch” new ministries.

When I’m not working on behalf of Grand Valley UMC, this is one of the other ministry activities I persue. Chris and I are in process of presenting the Tech It Up ministry to local churches and non-profits in the Grand Valley. The new workshop for kids is scheduled for April as a part of the Grand Valley Youth Ministry program.

At some point, GVUMC might want to consider offering Tech It Up to youth in Parachute and Battlement Mesa.
Peace be with you,
Pastor J.R. Atkins.

UMW Report

At the February 3rd meeting of UMW, our next meeting, Stacy Atkins will be speaking on “Who Loves Ya’, Baby?”  Please come at 10 a.m. and listen to what she has to say.

The woman will be starting a project for the residence of the Grand River care center.  We will be making notebooks with pictures for the residents.  But we could use your help by you donated used calendars and scenic pictures that you might like to get rid of.  These could be photos you no longer want.  We don’t need to know where they were taken.  They just need to be colorful.  We can also use 1” – 1 ½” notebooks in good shape.  Please leave them on the UMW bookcase in the fellowship hall.  Thank you for your support.


Church Council Report
Council Actions
One of the most important things the Council did at their 1/18 meeting was to pass the 2022 budget.  It was passed with revenues of $ 86,700, down $5,850 from 2021 budget, and expenditures of $116,593, up $8,853 from 2021 budget, for a deficit of $29,893.

There was much discussion on how we need to watch our costs and how we might do that.  One way is that we are going to have an energy audit done and then apply for a grant to help to pay for some of the items the audit might suggest.

Another item discussed was the use of paper products.  It was decided that the coffee mugs would be placed by the coffee pot to encourage all people to use one, rather than a disposable one.  It was also discussed to use regular plates, rather than paper.  The cost of paper products is high and it is an area we can control.

The other area was to ask people to donate one dollar, if possible, when they use the Keurig coffee pot.  The pods are an expense, much more that ground coffee, and it would be helpful if people would pitch in to help pay to these.  A locked box will be by these pots for people to donate and the money removed on a regular basis.

Another savings discussed was to use less paper in the bulletins.  We might just put the calendar in on the first week of the month, and then just list the upcoming events for the week in the bulletin.  Since the communion service is in the hymnal and on the screen, it was determined that it did not need to be printed out.  There may be other ways we can save paper, too, like saving a flyer that might be put in the next week’s bulletin to be used again.

If you have suggestions to cut costs, please tell J.R., Fred Inman (head trustee), or Ron Olson (Council president) know.  By working together, we can cut controllable costs and cut our deficit.

Mission & Outreach

No report



I feel I have the final numbers for 2021 so I can say how the Church did financially in 2021.  First, I will say it was not as bad as we had anticipated, that is for sure.  It was anticipated that we would be using our reserves, those funds that had been left over from years when revenues exceeded expenditures, in the amount of $15,250.  We did not have to use that much.  God provided.

What we did use was $10,000.  What caused the expenditures to exceed revenues by this much?  It is easy to pin it on three items.  The removal of the trees at the Faith House, the painting of the church building, and extra high bills to heat and light the church.  These three items totaled $10,575.  The trees and painting totaled $9,425.  However, these were much needed deferred maintenance, so we can say we were saving for those items in past years to do this year.  In addition, those items had not been budgeted in the expectation of us using $15,250 of reserves.  So, in my eyes, I see the Church as having done well financially.

If you have not yet sent in your pledge, it is not too late.  We will accept them any time.  Knowing what we may rely on makes it easier for us to budget what programs we may plan to do.  Thank you for your continuing support of GVUMC.

If you have not received your year-end giving letter, it will be coming shortly.  They are on the list of year-end things that must be accomplished.

If you have any questions, you may, of course, contact me at 231-383-0488, [email protected], or catch me after church.

Penelope Olson


Out of the mouths of babes…..

A Sunday school teacher asked her class, “What was Jesus’ mother’s name?” One child answered, “Mary.”
The teacher then asked, “Who knows what Jesus’ father’s name was?” A little kid said, “Verge.”
Confused, the teacher asked, “Where did you get that?”
The kid said, “Well, you know, they are always talking about Verge ‘n Mary.”

3-year-old Reese: “Our Father, Who does art in heaven, Harold is His name. Amen.”

A little boy was overheard praying: “Lord, if you can’t make me a better boy, don’t worry about it. I’m having a real good time like I am.”

I had been teaching my three-year old daughter, Caitlin, the Lord’s Prayer for several evenings at bedtime. She would repeat after me the lines from the prayer. Finally, she decided to go solo. I listened with pride as she carefully enunciated each word, right up to the end of the prayer: “Lead us not into temptation,” she prayed, “but deliver us from E-mail.”

A few more next month……

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

Wednesday – Friday
9:00 – noon