March 2022 Newsletter

Grand Valley United Methodist Church
March 2022 Newsletter


Remember to change your clocks Saturday, March 12th before you go to bed!


In this newsletter:
1. Ash Wednesday Service
2. Seekers Class
3. Our Covenant Missionaries
4. Mefor’s Newsletter
5. Updated Church Leadership
6. Memory Book Project
7. Birthdays
8. Calendar
9. Event Details
10. Pastor’s Report
11. Church Reports
12. Just for Fun


Ash Wednesday is March 2nd. We will be having a special Ash Wednesday worship service at 12:00 noon. All are invited to attend this service.


We have started up our Seekers Class (Adult Sunday School) again! We meet at 8:30 every Sunday morning. We invite all to attend!


Our Covenant Missionaries

A covenant relationship provides a tangible connection between a church and a missionary. This creates a partnership between our church and the Missionaries through the United Methodist General Board of Global Ministries

This relationship is three-fold:
1) Financial commitment – Our budget reflects a commitment of $1250 annually to the Board of Global Ministries for Emmanuel and Florence Mefor.
2) Church and missionary pray for each other and communicate regularly.
3) Share struggles and triumphs of the mission.

We have the opportunity and privilege of supporting specific needs as they arise. In the many years we have shared in ministry with the Mefors, we have contributed to numerous projects including building space for children, layettes, and more recently a refrigerator and bathroom facilities. There is a current need for funds for clothing for newborn infants.

Covenant missionaries usually travel every three years to visit their supporting congregation. COVID and travel restrictions have altered this schedule. The picture below was taken at their last visit to GVUMC.

The Mefors are truly a part of our church family – our hands and feet in a place where we are not able to be physically present.


December 2021 Newsletter
Mutambara Mission Hospital
Nhedziwa, Manicaland, Zimbabwe
[email protected]; [email protected]


Dear Brothers and Sisters-in-Christ,
We send you Christmas greetings from Mutambara; and trusting God that you are all doing well with families and friends. We want to thank God for his mercies and favors on all of us throughout this year. Enumerating God’s mercies and favors on us will include the gift of health of mind and body, journey mercies, protection from hidden dangers and deadly diseases, seeing us through difficult times as we trample down lions and snakes, fierce lions and poisonous snakes, and bringing us to the end of this year. Let us continue to praise him for his goodness and love.
Florence reports that the Waiting Mothers Home is receiving some face lift from the UNFPA (Nations Population Fund Agency). The UNFPA has done the renovation of two of the dormitories, kitchen and Rest Rooms which includes reroofing, repairs of doors, windows, tiling, painting. They also reinforced our existing solar system for the Home, water supply and its Security (fencing). That is a lot of improvement but there is still a lot to be done as other 3 dormitories are also yearning for renovations too.

The waiting Mothers Shelter.

On other hospital fronts, we have to setup a Neonatal unit resulting in the need to construct new staff Rest Rooms and Linen Room for the maternity as shown below, to accommodate the proposed location of the Neonatal unit. There is also a bit of landscaping by the main vehicle track. All these are made possible through your Advance support. We cannot thank you enough for your support throughout the years. Our God will replenish your resources.

Construction of Staff Rest and Linen Rooms.

There is also the renovation and expansion of our laboratory and the Operating theatre supported by the Global Health Unit of the GBGM. That of the Laboratory is underway (See below picture), and we will provide serial updates of the work progress in subsequent Newsletters.

                    The Laboratory expansion and renovation.

Weatherwise, the sun is now back to the Southern Hemisphere of the earth. This means the Cold weather is replaced by extremely hot weather ranging in temperatures of 30s and 40s degree Centigrade, and associated with rains. You all in the Northern Hemispheres will be battling with Snow storms for areas above the Tropical zone. Please keep warm with heaters in your homes.
We have been slammed with Travel Restrictions by the USA and European Governments following the news from Republic of South Africa about emergence of the new Omicron Variant of Covid-19 Virus. The variant is already all over the world. In Zimbabwe, the variant is gradually on the increase. Good thing is that the variant seems not as aggressive as the Delta. We continue using Masks, Hand Sanitizers and washing of hands.

Family News:
Our children and grandchildren are all doing well. We thank God that Anulika is finally back to school in Boston for the Masters’ degree program. We pray God’s guidance in her studies.
We started our vacation four days ago. Still weighing the travel restrictions on how our journey to Nigeria will be affected in both directions.

Prayer Requests:
1. We pray for safe travels for those travelling this festive season including ourselves.
2. We pray for God’s guidance on Anulika in her Studies.
3. Let us pray for one another that God’s Mercies and Favors will speak for everyone of us as we prepare for the coming of the Child Jesus into our lives.
4. We pray for World Peace.
We wish you all a very Happy Christmas and New Year Celebrations, devoid of any ill health including Covid-19 infection.
Thank you for your continued support and God bless.

United Methodist Church Missionaries:
Florence Mefor, Advance #13991Z
Emmanuel Mefor, Advance # 13990Z
Mutambara Mission Hospital Advance # 3022286


It was brought to my attention that there were some inaccuracies in the list of Church Leadership published last month. Here is the updated/corrected list:

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)
Church Lay-Leader (M): Fred Inman
Chair, Board of Trustees: Fred Inman (23)
Chair, Finance Team: Michelle Foster (22)
Chair, Memorial Team: Al Reuter (22)
Chair, Missions & Outreach: Laurel Koning (22)
Chair, Staff/Parish Relations:
Co-Chairs, Worship Team: Michelle Foster (22) & Mary Jane Wahlman (22)
Church Treasurer: Penelope Olson & Sara Francis
Chair, Christian Education: Bert Botkin (22)
Lay-Member to Annual Conference: Penelope Olson
Alternate Lay-Member to Annual Conference: Michelle Foster

Board of Trustees
2/3 (M)
Chair: Fred Inman
Vice Chair: Dan Temple
Class of 2022: Dave Penrose (M), Adelia Inman (M)
Class of 2023: Dan Temple (M), Fred Inman (M), John Koning, Steve Shaw (M)
Class of 2024: Shawn McElroy

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

Nominations and Leadership Development Team
All (M), Maximum one three-year term
Chair: Pastor
Vice Chair: Bert Botkin
Class of 2022: Dan Temple
Class of 2023: Mary Jane Wahlman
Class of 2024: Michelle Foster, Bert Botkin
Lay Leader: Fred Inman

Memorial Team
Chair: Al Reuter
Class of 2022: Al Reuter
Class of 2023: Jim Ness
Board of Trustees Rep.: Dave Penrose
Finance Team Rep.: Penelope Olson

Mission and Outreach
Chair: Laurel Koning (22)
Class of 2022: Al Reuter, Grace Reuter, Laurel Koning, Lee Allen
Class of 2023: Len Allen, Sharon Temple, Deb Penrose
Class of 2024: Dennis Caputo, Bert Botkin

Staff-Parish Relations Team (SPRC)
All (M); Maximum 2 consecutive 3-year terms
Chair: Dan Temple
Class of 2022: Carol Schelling
Class of 2023: Dan Temple, Deb Penrose
Class of 2024: John Chapman
Lay Leader: Fred Inman
Lay Member Annual Conference: Penelope Olson
Admin. Council Chair: Ron Olson

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: Dave & Deb Penrose (VBS), Bonnie Gana (VBS)

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


On Thursdays, at 10 a.m., all are welcome to come help put memory books together for the Care Center. These books are looked at by the residents to help stimulate their minds. They are easy to put together, and many hands will make light work of this project.

But we need your help, also. Do you have postcards sitting around that you don’t need? Or duplicates of photographs of scenery? How about those bulb catalogs or old calendars you don’t need? We are in need of pictures to make these books. Please bring them to Church and either give them to Michelle, Penelope, or put them on the small shelves under the UMW pledge. We appreciate any pictures we can get. Thank you.


March Birthdays:
9 – Charles Thompson
12 – Timothy Botkin
15 – Karen Dornan
20 – JR Atkins


Our Seekers Class (adult Sunday School) is held Sunday mornings, 8:30. All are welcome to attend.

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! 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]

The next UMW meeting will be held on Thursday, March 3rd at 10:00 in the Fellowship Hall. 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 either Bert Botkin at (970)216-8682, the church office at (970)285-9892 or send an email to: [email protected]


Rev. J.R. Atkins
Grand Valley United Methodist Church
February 2022 Pastor’s Report

1. New Worship Service – The launch of a new worship service on Friday night is on hold until we have a few more committed people. With Robin Troche moving we have lost our primary leader of potential worshipers.

2. Bible Studies – For the next 4 weeks, we have 4 Bible studies series being offered. Thank you to all who are making these opportunities come to fruition. If you have an idea for a new ministry of any type, I’d be glad to visit with you.
• Wednesdays at 10:00 AM
• Wednesdays at 6:00 PM
• Tuesdays at 10:00 AM
• Sundays at 8:30 AM
3. Tech It Up – Chris Portell and I met with Shawn McElroy, who has a technology background. He is willing to help by serving on the Advisory Board for Tech It Up. Thank you, Shawn. I hope that in time, we can offer the Tech It Up workshop at our end of the Grand Valley. It will be offered in April in Grand Junction and June in the Redlands.
4. McElroy Scholarship – The finance team, Shawn McElroy, and I have been developing the description, application, and evaluation process for a $500 scholarship to be offered to a deserving High School Senior. The process will be complete in the coming week and the application delivered to Grand Valley High School for distribution. If you know of a High School senior, we also will have an application on the Church website.
5. Facebook Advertising – Without a local paper, Facebook is the lowest cost method to share events and updates about the church. We strive to share community news to help the church’s Facebook page be relevant to more people. We offer 3 types of content. (1) Each day a post is shared from a service that provides high-impact visual and text content. We pay less than $5.00 per month for “Engaging Post” like this cost (2) When we have an event such as a Bible Study or Common Table gathering, we typically will post about it beforehand to get the word out, and “boost” or pay Facebook to share it with more people. A typical boost spend is $5.00 to $15.00 over a few days and for that 100-1000 people will see our post about an event. We restrict the people who can see the boosted post to the local area. I have listed a few examples with their results below. (3) We will also share local information or UMC information on our page to help it be relevant to more people.
2/13/22 Sunday Worship reached 5, engaged 9
2/11/22 Ruth Bible Study reached 365, engaged 1, paid $6.58
2/7/22 Engaging Post reached 15, engaged 2
2/2/22 Common Table reached 552, engaged 6, paid $10.00
1/31/22 Seekers Class reached 232, engaged 1, paid $11.95
1/23/22 Sunday Worship reached 13, engaged 6
1/21/22 Engaging Post reached 14, engaged 1
1/20/22 Common Table reached 1,200, engaged 21
1/14/22 Common Table reached 296, engaged 2, paid $5.00
12/8/21 Common Table reached 1,900, engaged 29, paid $30.00
12/17/21 Candlelight Xmas reached 192, engaged 9


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


UMW Report
Our UMW will be holding their usual monthly meetings on the first Thursday at 10:00 each month and the meetings will be focusing on business and planning for future quarterly events. This is a change from prior meetings, and the quarterly meetings will have a program/event instead of having a program each month. We hope that the new format will encourage more women to get involved. Our next business meeting will be on Thursday, March 3rd.

We are coordinating a new project called Memory Books (see article above) and will be working on those every Thursday morning in conjunction with the Prayer Shawl Ministry.

UMW is for all women in the community. Please join us when you can.

Church Council Report

Your Council met on February 15th and took the reports of committees. The Church will be using [email protected] to do an energy audit for us. There may be funds available from them to help us implement energy saving projects.

The Church has also applied for an energy savings grant of $1,500 to help pay for the new Faith House windows. Based on the order date, these could be put in by the end of March. We will not know about the grant until after March 1st.

The anticipated date for the new Sanctuary doors is March 18th. But we have been promised them before, so we will not hold our breath on this one! We discussed if we really needed them. However, they help with heat and humidity control, keeping the children out of the sanctuary on Fridays, and as a fire barrier.

There will be a mid-day Ash Wednesday service on March 2.

It was suggested that there be a decorated box just outside the sanctuary where people may deposit their bulletins and then they will be recycled. This is just another item to make us a greener Church.

The Council reviewed the Nomination and Leadership Development Team list that had been publicized. There were some errors on it. It has been corrected, will be republished and a new list sent to the District. Still desperately needed are a secretary for the Church Council (we have been without one since Linda Thompson left) and a financial secretary.

Mission & Outreach
The committee met on Friday, February 4th. We are continuing with the Food on the Fourth to help out the Early Learning Center families. There was talk about the garden, as it will be planting time before we know it! The latest publication “The Daily Bread” will be distributed to our local hotels.

The next meeting of Mission & Outreach will be on Friday, March 4th, 10:00.


Financially Speaking

I don’t have a lot to say about January except we ended up the month in the black. Thank you. We didn’t have any unusual expenditures besides our normal, fixed operating expenditures. We have paid the down payment on the windows for the Faith House, but those funds are coming out of the Capital Improvement Fund.


Out of the mouths of babes…..

One particular four-year-old prayed, “And forgive us our trash baskets as we forgive those who put trash in our baskets.”

A mother was preparing pancakes for her sons, Kevin 5, and Ryan 3. The boys began to argue over who would get the first pancake. Their mother saw the opportunity for a moral lesson. “If Jesus were sitting here, He would say, ‘Let my brother have the first pancake, I can wait.’ Kevin turned to his younger brother and said, “Ryan, you be Jesus!”

A wife invited some people to dinner. At the table, she turned to their six-year-old daughter and said, “would you like to say the blessing?”
“I wouldn’t know what to say,” the girl replied.
“Just say what you hear Mommy say,” the wife answered.
The daughter bowed her head and said, “Lord, why on earth did I invite all these people to dinner?”

Hope you enjoyed these! A little humor goes a long way.

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


Wednesday – Friday
9:00 – noon