Dear Grace Sisters and Brothers in Christ,
This has been a challenging season with the Coronavirus COVID-19 and trying to be the people of God. Some of you may wonder “When will Grace be able to worship together?” You are not alone in this question. There is a team of us working together to move forward in what is being called “Relaunching Church.”
The Mountain Sky Conference leaders have provided guidance for us to follow. It requires being able to keep everyone safe and preventing the spread of this nasty deadly virus. Team members are gathering the resources required to be able to sanitize, track, and gather safely. We are unable to give you a date.
This may cause you to question, “why can’t we gather, other churches are gathering?” It is up to each individual church to decide what the procedure will be and when to open again. Our church sanctuary is not large enough for everyone to come together. The recommendations are 6 feet by 6 feet area per persons with adequate spacing between them to pass. Our sanctuary would only allow about 13 people to gather at one time.
Our goal is to do no harm and keep everyone safe while celebrating in our Lord. The current recommendation still encourages people who are 65 and older, as well as those with underlying health conditions, to stay at home and not gather in large gatherings. This leaves most of our people being encouraged to be cautious and not come.
The team is continuing to prepare and evaluate our situation. We are currently going through the study the conference has provided. We are halfway through it. Each week we ponder the question, “Is it time for Grace to relaunch?” Currently, the decision has been to wait and begin the preparations.
We are all missing one another because at Grace we are family. Family members look out for each other and this is what we as the Facility/Safety Team are attempting to do. Look out for everyone’s health and wellbeing. The time will come when God will tell us, “Now is the time Grace can relaunch together.” Until then, pray and care for one another as you reach out to others in your life being the Love Light of Life in our world!
Peace and Understanding from God above,
I cannot tell you how excited we are as a family to be moving to Cheyenne and to serve Grace UMC! We look forward to meeting and getting to know you as soon as we can. Until then, here is a brief opportunity for you to get to know us, at least on paper. Along for the adventure is my Wife of almost 15 years, Mikel, our two daughters, Zoe (13), Ryann (7) and our son, Noah (10).
The Bechtold’s adventures in ministry have seen us in Montana, New Mexico and Texas. Mikel and I both grew up in Plainview, TX, a small town in the Panhandle between Lubbock and Amarillo. We met while working in youth ministry in 2003 at FUMC in Plainview and were married in the same church in 2005. We spent several years working with youth in Plainview, Tulia, and New Boston,Texas before making our way to New Mexico in 2011 where I was the Executive Director of the New Mexico State Wesley Foundation for 3 years. After leaving the Wesley Foundation I spent time as an Associate Pastor at FUMC in Hobbs, New Mexico and Associate Pastor at Grace/Tularosa Merger in Alamogordo, New Mexico. We moved to Montana in 2017 to pastor the Methodist Churches in Choteau, Brady, and Dutton
I received my BBA in General Business from New Mexico State University in 2016 and earned a Masters of Divinity at Iliff School of Theology in 2019.
In our free time we enjoy being outdoors, hiking, camping, fishing, and kayaking. I am an avid Colorado Rockies baseball fan and enjoy woodworking, playing the guitar and singing with Mikel. Zoe enjoys the outdoors and has been involved with Scouts BSA the last year and loves to read. Noah has a vivid imagination, loves to read, tell stories, and play video games. Ryann loves to laugh and to make others laugh. Mikel has had the joy of being a stay at home mom. She loves reading, crafting, and being with her family. I also host a weekly podcast with my friend and colleague, Rev Matthew Franks, who is a Methodist Pastor in Oklahoma.
I absolutely love being a pastor! My call is to be with people, with each of you. I look forward to building relationship with you and our community soon. As we continue to navigate a Covid-19 world, everything we do is different and almost new, changing pastors is no exception. I encourage you to continue to celebrate Rev Laura, her family, and the ministry you have had together. I can’t wait to hit the ground running and see where we can build upon the foundation she has passed on.
We hope to close on our house June 11 and begin to move our things south. Mikel and the kids will officially move June 22 and I will be in town with the moving truck June 23 and likely unload June 24. We hope to find creative and safe ways meet each of you soon.
Please feel free to find me on Facebook and follow our family adventures! You can also call or text me 406-868-8695 any time!
A word from Melissa Martin, SPRC Chair:
SPRC learned this week that Bishop Karen Oliveto and the Mountain Sky Conference Cabinet have discerned that the Rev. Laura Rainwater will be appointed to Park Hill United Methodist Church in Denver, Colorado, as the Executive Pastor beginning July 1, 2020.
She will oversee the operations of both Park Hill UMC and the Montclair ministries. She is uniquely gifted to serve this church and ministries at this point in its history with both her MDiv and MBA degrees.
Although we are disappointed to see her leave Grace United Methodist Church, we are excited for her opportunity to continue to grow in her leadership and service to our district. Rev. Laura has been a vital part of our congregation, and we have benefited from her guidance as our increase in lay leaders (including Certified Lay Ministers) has shown. It is a secure leader who can empower others to lead the congregation.
It is because of Grace’s strong sense of community that we will continue to be strong through this transition.
In the meantime, we know that this news comes as a surprise, especially during these unusual times. Feel free to reach out to an SPRC member with questions. You are also encouraged to reach out to Rev. Laura to congratulate her on her next appointment. She is not leaving our church family, only the position as pastor.
Melissa Martin, SPRC Chair
Exploring Migration: A Faith Journey
“Exploring Migration: A Faith Journey” is a program of migration in the 21st Century, through the lens of our Christian faith. This 8 session module offers participants a chance to find common ground and to discover more about themselves, their values, our God and the millions of people who are on the move in every part of the world. If you would like more information, please contact Michelle Aldrich.
Membership Directory – Please contact the Church Office if you didn’t receive one last week. Keep in touch with one another.
New Phone Tree – It’s coming out soon!! We will email everyone, and mail to those without email addresses. Call the church office if you would like one mailed to you.
Emails – Check your emails for up to date information and ways to stay connected.
Grace’s Facebook page – If you are on Facebook, check out our page (CheyenneGraceUMC) to keep up with opportunities to gather via Zoom for prayer time. Soon we will offer other small groups.
YouTube – Recorded videos will be posted on our YouTube channel (https://www.youtube.com/user/CheyenneGUMC).
Zoom – We will have prayer gatherings and other meetings via Zoom. Zoom is a platform to connect in video and phone calls. Church emails will include a Zoom link. If you are going to use your video on your computer/tablet/phone, just click on the link. When you use it for the first time, Zoom will need to get connected on your electronic device. Just follow the instructions.
If you are going to call in, just call the phone number provided and then type in the meeting id, which will also be provided.
Don’t know about Zoom? Contact Rev. Laura, Melissa Martin or Dave Orr for more information.
The church still needs your financial donations. We know for some of you, this is a difficult time financially. However, if you can still make a financial contribution, please either mail a check to the church or donate online: http://www.cheyennegraceumc.com/giving/. You can also Text-to-Give by texting the dollar amount to 307-209-9908. It should walk you through the process.
Pam Pallak is coordinating drivers who can help deliver items to those who are homebound.
Our church has a Member Aid fund. If you or someone in the church needs assistance, please contact Rev. Laura.
Family Promise is still helping families in this difficult time. Our Family Promise is currently housing up to 3 families in local hotels. They need support in the following ways, as shared by Lori Kempter, Executive Director:
- Be kind & pray. During this difficult time, Family Promise cannot underestimate the importance and impact of simply being kind to one another and praying for our neighbors.
- Give supply donations. They are receiving donations of the following: milk, eggs, meat, paper products, baby wipes, cleaning supplies, fast food gift cards, grocery gift cards, and gas gift cards. Call the Family Promise office to arrange dropping off donations (307-772-8770).
- Give financially. This transition is increasing costs for Family Promise of Cheyenne. Motel rooms cost $700 per week/per family. Housing 3 families for a minimum of 2-3 weeks costs $4,200-6,000. Donations can be made on the website: www.FamilyPromiseofCheyenne.org or mail to Family Promise of Cheyenne, 2950 Spruce Drive, Cheyenne WY 82001.
Important Letter from Church Council & Rev. Laura
Membership Directory, Phone Tree, Weekly Emails – Please email the church office ([email protected]) or leave a message (307-634-7472) if you need to get connected.
Grace’s Facebook page – If you are on Facebook, check out our page (CheyenneGraceUMC) to keep up with opportunities to gather via Zoom for prayer time.
YouTube – Recorded videos and playlists of music videos will be posted on our YouTube channel (https://www.youtube/com/user/CheyenneGUMC)
Sunday, June 21 – This will be Rev. Laura’s last Sunday. She will preach in our Zoom worship. After worship, there will be a drive-thru recognition in the church parking lot. Everyone is invited to come say goodbye, in a physically-safe, socially-distanced way!
Missie Martin (and her dog Khali) joined an awesome Mountain Sky Conference fundraising effort – Miles-O-Love – to benefit Feeding America and East Angola Pastor support. They are walking now through June 20th to accumulate miles and to raise money for these two worthwhile causes.
You are welcome to donate to her team – #7/Joe Loos’s team at https://mtnsky-reg.brtapp.com/MilesoloveAC2020? She will be posting about her my walks, so you can follow along on her Facebook page or on twitter at #milesolove2020
When you go to the website, you will also see that our incoming pastor – Zach Bechtold is also leading a team, now we have a friendly competition 🙂
Unaccompanied Students Initiative 20-20-20
USI is sponsoring a 20-20-20 event. Each participant finds 20 people to donate $20.00 in 20 days. USI started with their staff and board members and are now reaching out to our donors. The money raised will go to their everyday costs, especially new computers for online learning and summer clothes for our students. There are several ways for you and your new donors to donate $20.00:
- Use the PayPal link on their website at www/usinitiative.org
- Mail a check to USI, P. O. Box 22103, Cheyenne, WY 82003
- Coordinate a cash drop off with the Executive Director, Tamara Moore, by calling 307-220-2391
The final day for this 20-20-20 fundraiser is July 15th which is WyoGives Day.
Their wish list includes such items as:
- mini soccer goals/cones/balls
- hula hoops
- spike ball game set x2
- corn hole game set x2
- outdoor net/rackets for badminton
- tennis rackets/balls
- horseshoe backyard set
- Nerf guns/lots of ammo
- AA/AAA batteries
- grocery gift cards
- small stereo or good wireless speaker for workout room
- 2 new/gently used TVs
- roku sticks
- Hobby Lobby/Michael’s gift cards
- bicycle helmets
- bike/ball air pumps
- sleeping bags/camping stuff
folding lawn chairs (to take to lake, mountain and camping.
OTHER ITEMS OF NOTE
Eileen’s Gourmet Colossal Cookie Dough
Get your Eileen Colossal Cookies here!! Eileen’s Colossal Cookies Gourmet Cookie Dough is now available in 3 lb. tubs – makes 48 1 oz. cookies!!!
Available is these flavors: M&M, Chocolate Chip, Cranberry White Chocolate, Oatmeal, Sugar, Peanut Butter and Oatmeal Raisin!!!
Each tub is only $12.00 and you can get yours from Missie Martin or Kathy Orr or any Zonta member. Proceeds will go to Zonta Club of Cheyenne to raise money for projects like the Hospital Hope Bags.
How to Address Church Decisions in COVID-19.
The Mountain Sky Conference has created a resource to help church leaders determine how to decision when and how to move into the future.
- When do we worship together again?
- What is required to keep us all safe?
- What will worship look like when we do?
The Facilities and Safety Teams will begin working through the Study Guide provided by the Annual Conference, diving into the issues affecting our decisions. There are 5 Modules that the Team will work through, and all church leaders and members are welcome to participate as well.
Our first Zoom meeting working through Module 1 will be on Tuesday, June 2, 6:30 pm. You are welcome to participate.
We want to follow John Wesley’s rules: Do No Harm, Do Good and Stay in Love with God. We believe this Study Guide will help us be faithful.
Please contact Rev. Laura Rainwater, LuAnne Cook-Ludwick, or Brian Martin for more information.
Reminder Office Closed
Just a reminder and correction from Monday’s email that the church is closed to the public with the exemption of office staff.
Just Faith Sunday School Class
Every minute 24 people are forcibly displaced worldwide. “Exploring Migration: A Faith Journey” is a program of JustFaith Ministries that invites people of faith to explore what it means to be a displaced person in today’s world. This eight session module offers participants a chance to find common ground and to discover more about themselves, their values, our God and they millions of people who are on the move in every part of the world. We will be offering the Exploring Migration program beginning April 19. If you would like more information or would like to register to join this small group, contact Michelle Aldrich.
Family Promise Assistance
Lori will Family Promise has asked if anyone can help, they are in need of diapers and wipes and grocery cards due to the coronavirus. If you can help, please call the church office or Family Promise at 772-8770 so arrangements can be made to drop off your donation. Thank you!
Family Promise Help Needed
As Family Promise is helping more families outside our program, we are in need of supplies for those families. The following are items we are taking as donations right now-milk, eggs, meat, paper products, baby wipes, cleaning supplies, fast food gift cards, grocery gift cards, and gas cards. Please call our office to arrange dropping off donations since our office is only open by appointment 307-772-8770.
Yesterday, the new directory was sent out to our members. Please review and if you have any changes, please let the office know. On Monday, a new directory will be sent out. Thanks for your help!
Help End Human Trafficking
See something, say something!!! Call the anonymous hotline at 888-373-7888 or text INFO or HELP to “BeFree” (233733). Human trafficking is here in Wyoming. Let’s raise awareness to end this 21st century form of slavery!
The Grace Giving Grace Table is collecting undies & socks for the Cheyenne community youth in February and March.
Coins collected in February and March will go to UMCOR.
Lay Equaliztion Delegates to Annual Conference
If you are interested in attending the annual conference as a Lay Equalization Delegate, please talk to those who have attended in the past:
- Pam Pallak
- Brian Martin
- Wanda Denton
- LuAnne Cook-Ludwick
- Dr. Michelle Aldrich
- Rev. Laura
They can give you information on what to expect at the conference.
The annual conference will held in June in Gillette.
Pam Pallak is our delegate to the annual conference, as elected at our circuit charge conference. Several of you have attended in the past as a Lay Equalization Delegate. In short, each district should send an equal number or lay and clergy delegates. Because we have retired clergy in our district, we need to send more lay delegates. Because Annual Conference this June will be in Gillette, more lay members are asking to participate. The Wyoming Leadership has agreed that people can nominate themselves to serve as a lay equalization delegate. This will be approved at the Wyoming District gathering March 28 (locations to be decided soon). If you are interested, please let Rev. Laura know so that she can send on your information. It’s possible that everyone who would like to serve can, but we won’t know until later in March. Any questions, please contact Rev. Laura.
We are no longer accepting ink cartridges to recycle!!
We are no longer accepting ink cartridges to recycle. However, if you something that you would like to recycle, we have several empty drawers by the northeast door. Let the office know and I will put a label on it for you.
Check out monthly newsletter, Grace Notes.
Grace Notes is our monthly newsletter. In it you will find notes from the pastor and church leaders. You will find up-to-date information on upcoming events and read testimonies of the impact our church makes.