Open hears. Open minds. Open doors.
The people of The United Methodist Church

Greetings to All!

One of my parishioners from a previous church, Mary, always sat in the same pew in the same spot every week. She loved sitting there because she could see and hear everything. She loved going to her church for the fellowship, the music, and the message. When the day came when she could not go back because of her arthritis, she really missed church and everybody missed her. Her spot on the pew remained empty as if to suggest she was coming.

I visited Mary many times and I filled her in on church activities. She always wanted to talk about church and when we did, she became animated and came to life. It occupied a special place in her heart. When I asked her what made it so special, she responded, “Well, everything. I just feel like God always speaks to me at church. The people are caring and the service is always wonderful. It’s like my spiritual home.”

In this world where there is so much turmoil and uncertainty, Mary found peace, safety and purpose at church. She could not have imagined her life without it. Many of us feel the same way. We find safety, peace and God’s love here in church. We can’t imagine life without it. It is our spiritual home.

Unfortunately many people feel exactly the opposite. They can’t imagine being at a church service. They can’t see all of the wonderful qualities that churches bring to our lives. In our highly secularized culture, it’s as if people have been inoculated from the Gospel message and church life.

There is much misunderstanding and misrepresentation of church in society and the media. For example, I was speaking with a friend the other day about social issues and somehow church came into focus. She made a comment, “Christians are so narrow-minded and judgmental.” I responded to her comments by saying, “That sounds pretty narrow-minded and judgmental to me.” She was blind to all of the good that churches do in serving community needs. I would argue that people of faith provide the stabilizing force in this crazy world. Church is the major civilizing force in this society. Beyond this, Christ offers us safety and security that the world around us cannot offer.

Mary loved her church because it was her spiritual home. It was a place of grace, love, mercy, and generosity. It brought her spirit to life and gave her a renewal for daily living and energy for reaching out to others. We understand her sentiment, because we share it.

Recently we gathered for a study and games here at Wheatland. There were seven of us for dinner, a devotional and Yahtzee. Kelvin & Kathy L., Ann C., Darlene B., WillaJean W., Irene J., and myself. We had a great time studying, talking and laughing. It was great to be with these people in fellowship.

Previously, on the first Sunday in January, Chugwater folks gathered for dinner and Bible Study. Twelve of us showed up for Lindy’s hamburger soup, bread and dessert. Yum! We had an energizing study and lots of fun sharing our faith and bringing the spirit to life. We plan on having both of these activities again this month and hope that you will join us. Information for each is here in the newsletter.

It is here, in church, that we share fellowship and relate to one another in a redemptive way. We offer one another support and friendship that the world cannot offer. Here too, we provide spiritual power for our community. Together we make the world around us a better place to live. So when you think about coming to church next time, remember how important it is for renewing your spiritual vitality. Remember how important your involvement is to the work of the Holy Spirit. Remember all of the benefits you gain from being a part of this Christian community. Then, invite someone you know to join you at a church function.

Peace and grace!
Pastor Robin

Karen & Roy B.; Marilyn L. and the family of John L. in his loss; Bill W.; Bonnie Y.; Richard B.;
Nora S.; Marian C.; Jim W.; Diane S.; Maxine S.; Leslie D.; Irene J.; Diane N.; Bronwyn B.; Jerry O.;
Tom K., Mike H., Dennis B., Deb H. & Harold D. of Chugwater, and the Red Bird Mission in Kentucky.

Tim & Peggy D.; Carol N.; Tom K.; Jeremy F.; Kim McB.; Lanetta C.; Will C.; Deb H.;
Deb H.’s Mom and Dad;Jim & Nancy C.; Bill & Grace S.; Mike H.; our veterans; and the
Chugwater community and school.

We are always in need of persons to supply snacks and cookies and volunteers to serve as monthly
liturgist, ushers, felloswhip coordinators and communion stewards. If you can 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.

The United Methodist Women are now selling Equal Exchange, Fairly Traded Coffee. This is the
same coffee as they are providing during our fellowship time. It is $9.00 for a full, one
pound bag of ground, caffeinated, Fellowship Blend coffee. It will be for sale after church
in the Fellowship Hall. Thanks for your support!


New Sunday School Activity Forming - Reading and Discussion Class
A number of people have asked why we don’t have a Sunday school class and I said, I didn’t
know! Then as we talked, I thought, “Let’s give it a try!” If you’d like to join the fun,
contact me (Pastor Riley) or Merle Walter. The new class will take place Sunday mornings
at 10:15 a.m. in the fellowship hall. Each week the group leader will focus on a scripture
of choice for reading and discussion. Leaders will select a scripture and lead discussion
about it. We will rotate leaders on a regular basis. We would like to start on February
18th, the first Sunday of Lent and continue from there on an ongoing basis. We are excited
and hope you are too.

February 4th: Soup, Song & Scripture in Chugwater @ 5:00 p.m.
February 6th: Project Patricia from 9:30 11:30 a.m.
February 7th, 14th, 21st. & 28th: Labor of Love from 9:30-11:30 a.m.
February 8th: UMW Lunch Meeting @ 12:00 p.m.
February 9th: Finance and SPR Meeting @ 6:30 p.m.
February 14th: Happy Valentine’s Day!
February 17th: 8:00 a.m. Breakfasts:

  • Men meet @ Tasty Treats,
  • Women meet at Western Sky’s.
    February 18th: Wheatland Sunday School @ 10:15 a.m. in Fellowship Hall

    Pastor’s scheduled weeks off - Seventh Week Dates: Feb. 26-Mar. 4; April 16-22; June 4-11

    by Kathy W., UMW President

    The ladies of the UMW met on January 11, 2018, for our first lunch and meeting of 2018.
    We received our officers’ reports and updated our list of members, schedule of events
    for the rest of this season, and planned for a potato bar fund raiser to be held on St.
    Patrick’s Day. We will not be providing a Fat Tuesday Pancake Supper this year. Rowann
    reported that we sent box number 55 to the folks in Kansas who prepare Project Patricia
    articles to be sent to the girls and women in Africa. Good job, everyone! We have new
    kits made up for the “cutups” to pick up from the table in the Fellowship Hall, take
    home and cut out, and return to the bins before the next Project Patricia meeting, on
    Feb. 6, 2018. If you can help us pack up the cut pieces and make up new kits, please plan
    to attend. A schedule of our activities will be posted on the UMW bulletin board in the
    Fellowship Hall, in case you need a reminder of when we’ll be meeting.

    We also scheduled our annual clean-up of the church kitchen and storage rooms for March
    15 at 9:30 a.m. Karyl W. will provide a delicious lunch when we’re finished with the
    cleaning. This is the time we wipe down all the shelves, discard broken or unused items,
    put things back where they belong, and investigate and clean the nooks and crannies of
    our kitchen and basement storage areas. Tall folks and those who can climb ladders and
    lift heavy objects are needed, in addition to our usual volunteers, so if you have
    time, please join us in this vital activity. Bring your own favorite cleaning tools
    and supplies, if you wish. With enough help, it should only take us a couple of hours
    to finish everything.

    The UMW decided to continue offering the free trade coffee for sale again this year.
    We charge $9.00 a bag for this delicious coffee, so you can enjoy it at home, as
    well as during Fellowship Hall events. Pick up yours today!
    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.

    On January 20th, we had 7 people gather for a study, devotional, and games here in
    Wheatland. Pastor Robin, Kelvin & Kathy L., Ann C., Darlene B., WillaJean W., and
    Irene J. all came for a great time studying, talking, laughing, and playing games
    such as Yahtzee,
    After two months of fiddling and working, we finally finished the Christmas puzzle!
    Kelvin and Kathy did the last of the tedious work. A new one will show up some time soon!