December Newsletter


Grand Valley United Methodist Church
December 2022 Newsletter


In this newsletter:
1. From the Pastor
2. Christmas Poinsettias
3. Longest Night Service
4. Christmas Eve Candlelight Service
5. Stewardship
6. Annual Conference, Part 2
7. Birthdays
8. Calendar
9. Event Details
10. Church Reports
11. Just for Fun

From the Pastor….

I have been reading the Christmas sermons of Dietrich Bonhoeffer, who was a theologian and pastor. He reminds us that we have made Christmas a bit too domesticated.

“We have selected from the Christmas story only the pleasant bits, forgetting the awesome nature of an event in which the God of the universe, its Creator and Sustainer, draws near to this little planet, and now speaks to us. The coming of God is not only a message of joy, but also fearful news for anyone who has a conscience.”

Our first reaction is indeed one of fear, as it was with Mary, Joseph, the shepherds, and Herod. God…Here…Now! But the angels tell us not to be afraid. For the coming of God is a movement toward healing, wholeness, restoration, reconciliation…salvation! It is good news! For God so loved the world that God walked among us so that we might see the way.

The way of God spoken through this child is that we need not wait any longer. “The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God has come near” (Mark 1:15) and Jesus will be with us always, “to the end of the age” (Matthew 28:20). Advent is simply a time to remind ourselves of this fact.

The problem is that we have domesticated Jesus’ presence among us. We picture Jesus as a good clean fellow who dresses appropriately, lives a good life, and goes to church on Sundays (preferably our church). We picture Jesus as one who walks with us in the garden and one whom we can call “friend”. However, Jesus told us that he is more likely to be “one of the least of these”, the hungry and thirsty, the unclothed and imprisoned, the stranger and the strange one. (Matthew 25:37-40).

Bonhoeffer says,

“With that we face the shocking reality. Jesus stands at the door and knocks. He asks for help in the form of a beggar, a down-and-out, a man in ragged clothes, someone who is sick, even a criminal in need of our love. He meets you in every person you encounter in need. So long as there are people around, Christ walks the earth, as your neighbor, as the one through whom God calls to you, demands of you, makes claims upon you. That is the great seriousness of the Advent message and its great blessing. Christ stands at the door. He lives in the form of people around us. Will you therefore leave the door safely locked for you protection, or will you open the door for him?”

This Advent season greet your family members as you would greet people on the street. It is easier to be a Christian to a stranger than it is to a family member. During this holiday season when family stress is eating away at your resolve to be Christlike, go for a walk, or stand outside, or whatever it takes to remember who is standing at the door of your heart. It will be the Christ child that will bring the peace that you need, that is why he came!

Yours in Christ,
Michael Ingersoll


Christmas Poinsettias

Our annual tradition of having poinsettias for our Christmas Eve Service continues. If you would like to bring a poinsettia in honor of or in memory of someone, please fill out the form at the end of this newsletter and get it to the office no later than Wednesday, December 21st so the information can be put on the insert for that service. These forms will also be available in the bulletins for Sunday Worship starting on December 4th. You can then bring your poinsettia to the church starting 9:00 a.m. Wednesday, December 21st and no later than Friday, December 23rd at noon. This is always such a nice addition to the Sanctuary, and we hope that you will be a part.


We will be holding a Longest Night Service at 4:30 p.m. on Wednesday, December 21st.

What IS a Longest Night Service? Not everyone is up and cheery for the Christmas holidays. Dealing with the death of a loved one, facing life after divorce or separation, coping with the loss of a job, living with cancer or some other disease that puts a question mark over the future, and a number of other human situations make parties and joviality painful for many people in our congregations and communities. This offers a sacred space for people living through dark times. The service is all about being reflective, accepting where we really are, and holding out healing and hope.

We hope you will join us.


Our Christmas Eve Candlelight Service will be at 6:00 p.m. on Saturday, December 24th. This is a very special, very beautiful service and we look forward to seeing you. There will also be a regular service on Sunday, December 25th.


Stewardship Time

Every year, we ask you to prayerfully consider how you can help the church. Early December you will be receiving your pledge packet in the mail where we ask you to commit to a financial amount – either weekly, monthly or annually – as well as how you can personally help our church through volunteering in numerous ways. Please fill out your card and either mail it back to the church, bring it to the church office W-F, 9-noon, or bring it to Worship on Sunday, December 18th – Commitment Sunday. We thank you!


In November, the Trustees were busy doing lots of “honey-do” projects around the church. One of the more noticeable one was a new grab rail that was installed by the kitchen door to help those who need it make that step up. Thank you, Trustees, for looking out for our congregation!


Annual Conference, Part II

The second part of the Mountain Sky Conference was held October 21st and 22nd via ZOOM. There was not a lot of business to do or report. Four Churches were closed- United Church of Walsenburg, CO, Ellicott UMC, CO, Carpenter UMC, WY, and Leroy UMC, Fleming, CO. Six Church disaffiliated; that is they are no longer a local church of the United Methodist Church. They included Cheraw, CO, 0UMC, Genoa, CO, UMC, Monte Vista UMC, CO, Mosca, CO, UMC, Chugwater, WY, UMC, and Statmoor Hills, CO, UMC. These Churches will be able to retain their buildings but must pay into the pastor’s retirement fund a calculated amount and must ensure that all tithes and health insurance are paid.

In addition to the above, the budget was set and compensations were set. The Conference budget is being cut 10%. Part of that cut is being accomplished by consolidating the districts to six instead of seven.

It is interesting to note that for 2021, out of 364 churches in the conference, only 36 paid their full 13% tithe to the Conference and that of the 51 churches in the Utah/Western Colorado district, only four paid the full 13%. GVUMC was one of those.

Thank you for the opportunity to represent you at the Annual Conference for five years. I have stepped down from this position to allow someone else to enjoy the Conference.

Penelope Olson


December birthdays:
3 – Amanda Largent
10 – Delcia Orona
13 – Dalice Heiser
17 – Deb Trujillo
18 – Carol Donaghue



Our Seekers Class(Adult Sunday School) meets every Sunday morning at 8:30. We invite all 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.

Choir practices on Wednesday afternoons at 4:00. Unfortunately, Bells are not meeting at this time.. 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]

Prayer Partners meet the 1st and 3rd 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]


Church Council Report
Church Council met on November 8th and reviewed and discussed the preliminary budget. There was no action taken at that time. Final budget decisions will be made via email.

Mission & Outreach
The Mission and Outreach Committee met in early October to review and have organized all of the upcoming events.

1. Thanksgiving Dinner – We held the Thanksgiving Dinner at the church on Thanksgiving Day. The dinner was at 1:00 p.m. Turkey, potatoes and gravy were provided Those who could brought a side dish, salad or dessert. Everyone was welcome.

2 We have again made a commitment to the Family Resource Center for 100 children in need. They have over 400 on their list this year. But with our commitment comes a very aggressive fundraising goal We feel that we will need $3,500 in order to get clothing and a toy for each of the 100 children. We ask that you be very generous in your giving for this important mission. We are so blessed may we share that gift with others.

3. Christmas is soon to be upon us. And the Mission and Outreach committee will be busy picking our clothing and toys for the 100 names that we have been given. If you would like to help in clothing selection, toys or bagging up all of the families’ gifts, please let Laurel know right away. We will be heading down to purchase the majority of the items immediately after Thanksgiving.

4. Christmas Day Brunch……since Christmas falls on a Sunday, we have decided to have a brunch immediately following the Sunday church. Think of some good brunch ideas….. egg casseroles, breads, and fruits…………that you might want to bring. We are sure that everything that is brought will be willingly enjoyed.

As a committee, we would like to say thank you for your continued support It is a very humbling feeling to know that our church does such wonderful good in the world!!!!


I’m always reporting way behind, because that is the way accounting is. During September, the old piano was sold. That allowed the Church to be in the black for the month of September by $238! That was wonderful. October statements are done too, and, because of a transfer of giving from the capital campaign to operating at the request of the giver, October was in the black to the tune of $4,000. With this, the Church has only used $3,700 of the reserves to cover operating expenditures so far this year.

As you all know, the stock market did not do well during September, and our long-term investments lost just under $10,000. There was an uptick in October of $5,200. They currently stand at $115,636, which is still above the initial investment amount. We also hold $43,200 in Certificates of Participation, similar to CD’s and $21,200 in money market accounts.

The Council, Finance Committee, and I are currently in the process of finalizing the budget. You will be hearing more about in the coming weeks. Please be prayerful when it comes time to consider your pledge to the Church.


Ten Interesting Facts About Christmas
1. 3 billion Christmas cards are sent in the U.S. each year.
2. Christmas trees have been sold in the U.S. since 1850.
3. It takes about 15 years to grow the average Christmas tree.
4. Alabama was the first state to officially recognize Christmas in 1836. Oklahoma was the last, in 1907.
5. Santa Claus is based on a real person: St. Nikolas of Myra. He is the patron saint of banking, pawn broking, sailing, orphans and New York City.
6. President Teddy Roosevelt, an environmentalist, banned Christmas trees from the White House in 1901.
7. Approximately 35 million living Christmas trees are sold each year in the U.S.; more than 45 million are planted.
8. Holiday purchases account for one sixth of all yearly retail sales in the U.S.
9. “White Christmas” by Irving Berlin is the best-selling single record of all time, with over 100 million sales, worldwide.
10. All the gifts in the Twelve Days of Christmas would equal 364 gifts. And as of December 2021, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, if you were to buy everything listed during the song, it would cost you $41,205.


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

Wednesday – Friday
9:00 – noon





You are invited to help decorate our sanctuary for Christmas Eve with poinsettias. Please complete the following and place it in the collection plate. On Christmas Eve there will be a bulletin insert acknowledging all our Christmas poinsettias. You may designate your poinsettia(s) in memory of a departed loved one, or in honor of a loved one still living.

______________________________ will provide poinsettias for Christmas Eve.
(Your name)

Please use one line for each poinsettia you intend to provide.
One plant may also be used for more than one person.

In memory / honor (circle one) of _________________________________

In memory / honor (circle one) of _________________________________

In memory / honor (circle one) of _________________________________

In memory / honor (circle one) of _________________________________

In memory / honor (circle one) of _________________________________

The last day for notifying the church of your Christmas poinsettias is Wednesday, December 21st.

Please deliver your poinsettias to the church on Wednesday, December 21st, Thursday, December 22nd or Friday, December 23rd between 9:00 a.m. and noon. Also remember to put a small tag with your name on your poinsettia(s) so you may take them home after the Christmas Eve service.