Open hears. Open minds. Open doors.
The people of The United Methodist Church
Season’s Greetings All!

We are coming to the end of a year of challenges and the next one looks to prove challenging as well. There are tests facing us from many directions, yet we keep chugging along serving the Lord. We have seen a gradual fall in attendance as well as in giving and it looks like the Wheatland pledge amount for 2019 will be $8,000 shy of the amount pledged for 2018. Over the last year Wheatland and Chugwater have worked hard to reduce overhead costs as we tighten our belts in order to continue these church ministries. Nevertheless, both churches have been drawing from reserves to cover operational costs.

Average attendance is down as our older members face new challenges in getting to church. We have lost members who have gone on to be with the Lord. Looking forward to next year, there is plenty of anxiety about the upcoming special conference to vote on the “Way Forward” and people are concerned about how the outcome will impact our churches. (We have included a comparison of the two options in this newsletter for your review).

That’s a lot of discouraging information! I am putting these points in the newsletter because it is important that we are informed about the situation facing our churches. It also helps us to focus our prayers in seeking solutions. We know things are tough, but we continue to serve and be committed to this church because God is with us and because we are part of something bigger than ourselves. We are bound to one another in faith life.

As we look toward a new year of challenges, I invite each of you to consider your love for this church, for its work and people. Consider how it has blessed you over the years and then consider spending more time in prayer for its well-being and health. For this reason, I am scheduling a shared time of prayer at the Wheatland church at 3 p.m. on three Saturday afternoons in December [the 8th, 15th, 22nd] We will focus our prayer on three areas: For unity as church body (Ephesians 4:1-3); for our church leaders here and in the denomination (Ephesians 3:1–10); for the strength and well-being of individual members (Isa 40:31). Please join us as you are able.

It’s the Christmas season, a time when the focus turns to the birth of the baby Jesus. It’s a time of expectation and hopefulness. In spite of the challenges, our work continues. Let us keep our courage up and trust that God is leading us as we continue with our mission in this church.

Our friend Tim Crawford from Red Bird Mission offers us a word of encouragement in this short video message. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-LjGJ8kVRg

Blessings to you and your family in this special holiday time!

Grace and peace,
Pastor Robin Riley

Family of Mark S.; Marc B.; The family of Ralph D.; Johnny’s cousin’s
son, Eric; Derek S.’s cousin, Joseph; Ron & Kathryn C.; the Larry Fletcher
family; Irene J.; Bonnie Y.; Maxine S.; Leslie D.; Bronwyn B.; Jerry O.;
Tom K., Mike H., Harold D. & Deb H. family of Chugwater, refugee families
at the border, and the Red Bird Mission in Kentucky.

Deb H. family; Steve S.; Family of Leonard C.; Harold D.; Tim D. family;
Carol N.; Tom K.; the Larry & Barb F. family; Josh F.; Kim McB.; Lanetta
Chapman; Bill & Grace S.; our veterans; refugee families at the border,
and the Chugwater community and school.

December 1st: 9:00 a.m. Circuit Meeting at Frontier UMC in Cheyenne
December 1st: Live Natvity on the Courthouse lawn after the Christmas Parade
December 4th: 9:30-11:30 a.m. Project Patricia
December 5th/12th/19th & 26th: 9:30-11:30 a.m Labor of Love
December 13th:12:00 p.m. UMW bring-your-own lunch in the Fellowship Hall
December 15th: Monthly breakfasts at 8:00 a.m.: Men meet at Tasty Treats; Women meet at Western Sky’s
December 21st: Newsletter Deadline
December 24th: Christmas Eve Service
January 13th: Church budget/business meeting and vote following fellowship

Pastor’s scheduled Seventh Week-off Dates
December 26-30th.

We are always in need of volunteers to supply snacks/cookies for fellowship hour,
volunteers for Communion preparers, Liturgists, and Ushers. If you can do this
once or several times a year, please put your name on the sign-up sheet in the
Fellowship Hall.

Please remember to write down any meetings, gatherings, etc. on the calendar in
the Fellowship Hall so nothing is forgotten.

Be sure to purchase your 2019 GOD'S CREATION Calendars. They are the same
beautiful quality, pictures and scriptures, as always. The calendars cost
$8.00 each and they make wonderful gifts for Christmas or for 'just because'
gifts. The proceeds will go to help with Church Mission expenses. Contact Rodene
or see her at church!

If you have youth ages from 9 to 13 or know someone who does, we invite you to let
them know about our joint youth activity on Sunday nights at the Episcopal Church
here in town. Children from Covenant Lutheran also participate in this time of
learning, activities and a meal. Join us on Sunday nights from 5 to 7 p.m.

In 2019 Wheatland United Methodist Church will be celebrating the 125th anniversary
of its organization. We invite anyone in the congregation to help us plan for this
momentous occasion. If you have pictures from past years (and can tell us who is in
the pictures), we'd love to have copies.

Dearest friends, who have grown into more like family,
I thank you so much for your kindness and everything you’ve done for me at my time
here at Wheatland United Methodist Church. I have taken a full-time accounting position
and will be leaving the church. I have grown to love each and every one of you and I do
hope everyone will stay in touch. I will still be here in Wheatland, so I won’t be going
too far! I wish the church the best, as well as all of you! You will always have a special
place in my heart. I am looking forward to a new chapter with different challenges, and
would truly appreciate all the prayers for my son and I’s new venture. Best wishes and
forever love,
Mandy Miller

by Kathy W. UMW President

The meeting of the UMW was held in the Fellowship Hall at noon on
November 8, 2018. Six ladies attended. After everyone had finished
their lunches, Kathy W. led the group in a small ceremony commemorating
the United Thank Offering. After the offering was collected, Kathy asked
WillaJean W. to come forward. Kathy thanked WillaJean for her many years
of service as the UMW Treasurer (since 2006!) and presented her with a
commemorative pin and a certificate indicating that we donated money in
her name to the national UMW mission fund. WillaJean was applauded and

The committee chairmen reported on their recent activities. Rowann mentioned
that three of us attended the Project Patricia meeting. We packed a larger-
than-usual box with cut pieces and made up multiple new kits for the “cut-ups”
to pick up, take home, cut out, and return to the Fellowship Hall. The box
(no. 66) was tightly packed and cost a little more than $40 to ship. Thanks
to Karyl W. for helping Rowann get the box into the post office to mail it.

After hearing the unit reports, the group discussed the UMW unit’s budget for
2019, the current status of our funds, and to which charities we wish to send
our end-of-year donations. Because we have maintained our spending to around
the budgeted amounts, the group decided to use the same budget for 2019 as we
had for 2018. That budget included donating $1,000.00 to our mission charities
at the end of the year. Carolyn reported that there was a mix-up about the
Grenemyer’s funeral dinner, so she is planning to take copies of our funeral
dinner policy letter to the local funeral home and give a copy to Pastor Robin.
The letter includes a request that the family of the deceased contact Carolyn
or Ann to make arrangements for a funeral dinner and lists the items for which
we will charge. Meats have become so expensive that we ask for help in paying
for them for the dinners.

The Harvest Celebration Potato Bar was a definite success. We served 59 plates,
compared to our usual 35-40. The team did an excellent job of spreading the word
about our planned event, including Pastor Robin, who took some of our posters to
other churches in town. Thanks to all!

The UMW ladies discussed our December plans, and decided that we’d like to repeat
our donation to the Heifer Project for Christmas again this year. We will invite
the congregation to contribute, as well. Last year, we bought two goats and two
flocks of chickens. We also decided to encourage the whole congregation to donate
to the Food 4 Weekends program.

The next UMW meeting will be held on December 13 at noon. Bring your own lunch and
your donation for the Heifer Project. Happy Holidays!

All ladies of the church are invited to attend any of these events. We need all the
help we can get to carry out the activities UMW does at WUMC and in our community.
If you need a ride to any of these activities, please call Kathy W. at 322-1623.

***Please join us on Dec. 1st for the Christmas parade (5:30) and live nativity
afterward on the court house lawn! Thanks to EVERYONE who is participating and

***Remember the “decorating jobs”
list passed around in church? Thank you in advance!! Please have your volunteer
jobs done by Dec. 2nd.