UMCOR Works Through Us to Help Blackfeet


14-foot snowdrift in the corral at BUMP

Bagging potatoes in Browning

Thanks to all who so quickly contributed to our collection of food and supplies for the recent emergency on the Blackfeet reservation.

Rev. Calvin Hill is pastor at the Blackfeet United Methodist Parish (BUMP) serving Browning, Babb, Heart Butte, and the entire Blackfeet reservation.  He and his wife Sheri have been working tirelessly to coordinate distribution of food and firewood to the people affected by heavy snow and drifting which closed off large parts of the reservation in February. As the Hills identified people’s needs, they communicated them to Rev. Dawn Skerrit, pastor of Columbia Falls UMC who is our conference’s disaster response coordinator. Pastor Skerritt assembled and coordinated teams of volunteers to help. Shown here are two members of the Browning church bagging potatoes while Pastor Hill and others (background) worked to distribute firewood. The food collected in Bozeman (and many other places) went to the Browning church annex for distribution – some on February 26th made it to Babb when the road was plowed through a quarter mile drift so that two fire department vehicles could get through.

An UMCOR grant of $10,000 purchased six semi-loads of logs which were cut and split by volunteers and distributed first to elders, then to others in need. 

The 14′ high snow drift shown was at the BUMP ranch (behind the parsonage).  It completely covered corral fencing, allowing horses to walk right over the fence, and limited access to a lean-to where the horses sheltered. The person digging out was one of 6 Montana Conservation Corps young adults who came over from Kalispell/Big Fork to help. 

The quick response through churches and from UMCOR has made a big difference to the Blackfeet nation. The UMC organization of volunteers and contributions helped people respond effectively and efficiently to the crisis.  The immediate danger has lessened, and food collection has stopped, but we are still involved with recovery efforts and are praying that the record snowfalls do not cause widespread flooding.

–Jim Robison-Cox, BUMC volunteer at BUMP

Join the Texas VIM Team

The Yellowstone Conference is organizing a UMVIM team to help with recovery work in Texas following Hurricane Harvey.  The United Methodist Volunteers in Mission Team (UMVIM) will be going to Sinton, Texas April 14-21 and will work along the coast, probably in Rockport or Anansas Pass.
Work to be done includes roofing, tape-and-bedding drywall, painting, and debris cleanup.  All ages above 18 years old, and all skill levels are welcome. This will be a team of 12 people, and the registration deadline is March 15.
For more information, visit the Texas VIM Team link or contact Sally McConnell or Cathy Baumbauer,

2018 Lenten Offerings

Our Lenten offering will be split three ways so that we can continue to support the BUMC general fund as well as projects near and far.

Fork and Spoon Homestyle Kitchen

One of the other recipients is Fork & Spoon Homestyle Kitchen, formerly known as the Community Cafe.  Specializing in homegrown, scratch cooking, they are a restaurant where good food does good and they are Montana’s first pay what you can restaurant!  They are open 6 days a week, Sunday-Friday from 5pm-7pm and are located at 302 N. 7th Avenue in Bozeman, MT.
BUMC provides 10 volunteers from 4:30-7:30 pm the second Monday of each month to serve food and clean up in preparation for the next evening’s meal. To volunteer, sign up on the list at the Welcome Center in the church narthex or contact Gloria Zimmer.  Our Campus and Young Adult Ministries (CYAM) provides a team on a Friday once a month.
The other third of our offering will go towards CYAM’s mission work in El Salvador over spring break.  They will be working in two places.  At Siloe school they will repair and paint the playground/sports court, which has not been done in many years, and teach English and Bible classes.  CYAM will also host a retreat with the 18 college students from Siloe who now attend university.  This will be a way for all the college students to share their experiences and offer encouragement to the El Salvadorans furthering their education.    
During the second part of their trip our college kids will visit the Methodist church and school in Ahuachapan where they will lead a science class, do more painting and lead English classes.  And there are always unexpected needs that become apparent in these situations, so your donations will go to support all of this work.
For more information on BUMC trips to El Salvador, please contact Vickie Wilkinson at

Siloe, El Salvador

Ash Wednesday is February 14, and the Lenten offerings will continue through Easter, which is April 1st.  Please write “Lenten Offering” in the memo line of your check.  Thank you for supporting people all around the globe, from Bozeman to El Salvador!

Get On The Bus!

Your BUMC Mission Team invites you to a special Lenten season of learning and community action.  As the church and as Christians, we can make an impact in showing the love of Christ to those who are hurting and broken.  Each discussion will be informed by local experts working in the areas of poverty, abuse, discrimination and mental health.  We will then learn how Methodists are working in these areas and how we at BUMC can join in the work or develop new actions.
We will join together the weekend of April 7-8 to put our faith and newfound understanding into action within the Bozeman area.  The weekend concludes with a celebratory dinner at BUMC.
Please come on Wednesday evenings for dinner in the Friendship Room and discussion in the Chapel.
5:15 – 6:00 p.m.  Hearty Soup Dinner
6:00 – 7:30 p.m. Teaching and                                          Discussion
Feb. 21 – Homelessness Among Bozeman Youth
Feb. 28 – Mental Health: Hidden Brokenness
March 7 – Discrimination: Continuing Hurt
March 15 – Spring break, no class
March 21 – Sexual Predation: Protecting Our Children
March 28 – Holy Week, no class
April 7 & 8 – work/service days
Sun., April 8 – group dinner at 5:00 
For more information please contact Vickie Wilkinson, chair of the Mission Team, or Cathy Baumbauer, Mission Coordinator at

Thanks for a Truck for Kutela

The truck for Quessua Agriculture

Kutela Katembo is the agriculturalist at Quessua Mission Station, which was a major center of education, agriculture, medicine and worship before Angola’s 25 year-long civil war.  Gloria Edwards visited there in November and describes him as “absolutely invaluable and a dear, kind man.”  In addition to providing food for the residents of Quessua and the surrounding villages, Kutela also teaches them about nutrition, provides seeds for neighboring farmers and teaches them how best to plant and harvest their crops.  Kutela has a tractor but it gets stuck in the mud because it is not 4 wheel-drive.

Kutela is transforming Quessua.  He has established fields where vegetables such as tomatoes, beans, maize, and carrots are grown.  He has overseen the planting of moringa trees and lemon, lime, avocado and banana orchards, and Gloria got to help plant more banana trees.  They now have a rabbitry to provide protein and fertilizer, two sheep as the start of a flock, and a fence has recently been erected in anticipation of the arrival of cattle. 

He has done all of this without a truck.

How do you farm without a truck?  It takes a lot of manual labor, and getting a ride from Ken Koome or taking a motor bike if you need to go to town to buy seed and supplies.  This was especially difficult after Kutela broke his foot last winter when he fell off a motorcycle.  There really are no other transportation options for him.

Here’s the good news – in the past few weeks Kutela was able to buy this truck!  The purchase was a joint effort of the General Board of Global Ministries, the East Angola Conference, the Yellowstone Annual Conference, and our financial contributions accumulated over a few years.  In fact, BUMC funded all but $1000 of cost of this truck.

On December 9 we received this letter from Kutela:

To: The Bozeman UMC Church
Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ:

I greet you in the name of our savior and Lord Jesus Christ. Great is my joy and pleasure to take this opportunity to sincerely thank God and  you for the great gesture that you have made by making one of our important dreams come alive. Quessua Agriculture now has a truck for his Mission!

Since arriving to Quessua Mission two years ago, transport has been a great challenge for our ministry work. God has answered prayers with your gift and being who he is has made our dream come alive.

This truck will be kept well for his purpose and I promise to look after it.  I ask that you pray for this truck and for me as I use it so that we may be protected and blessed as it enters into God’s mission through us. May the almighty God bless and protect it.

There is still much more to be done at Quessua Agriculture; your prayers and support to our ministry are very important in order to accomplish our work.

Once again, I thank you all and May God bless you and continue opening your hearts for doing good for others. Acts 20:35.

Your brother in Christ,

Kutela Katembo

You are helping to transform the world through the connections of the United Methodist Church.  You are making a difference in the lives of many people.  Thank you all for your support!

Kutela, carrots and kids at Quessua

Women in a farm trailer

Gloria planting banana trees

Gloria and a fence for the


Christmas Giving Opportunities

This year we are thankful to again be able to support our church and those in need in our community and beyond.  Because this year has been more challenging financially than past years for BUMC, we will be splitting the Figgy Pudding and Christmas Eve offerings between the general fund and mission opportunities described below.

Figgy Pudding, December 13 at 6:30 p.m.


Christmas Eve services at 3:00, 5:00, 7:00 and 9:00 p.m.

Our Figgy Pudding Offering will be split evenly between support for homeless youth in the Bozeman public schools and the BUMC general fund.
The Christmas Eve Offering will be divided three ways — 25% will go to UMCOR for US disaster relief, 25% will to go Angola Pastor Support, and 50% will go to the BUMC general fund.
Please make checks payable to BUMC.  Thank you very much, and have a Merry Christmas!

Thank You for Your Generosity

Thank you for your generosity this fall!
We had several giving opportunities, and you responded with open hearts.
— The Pluck-a-Feather fall food collection totaled 964 pounds of non-perishable food for the Gallatin Valley Food Bank, and they are very thankful.
— We quickly filled all the requests for gifts for children at Intermountain.  They will enjoy these at Christmas.
— Over $1200 in gift cards were donated to support homeless youth in Bozeman through the Bozeman Public Schools and HRDC.
— The HUGS Tree collected two large totes of new hats, underwear, gloves, scarves and socks which were delivered to the Browning UM Parish.

Traveling to El Salvador and Angola

Joanne Griffin and Gloria Edwards being commissioned by Bishop Oliveto at our annual Conference meeting.

Gloria Edwards is joining a team of three other women going to Angola in October.  The group is organized by the Florida Conference, and includes two women from there and two women from the Yellowstone Conference. 
While in Angola they will spend time in Quessia Mission Station, see our friends Ken Koome, Kutela Kutembo (the agriculturalist at Quessua), and Rev. Andre Cassule as well as other pastors in East Angola Conference.  They plan to strengthen the personal connections between our conferences, do some medical work, some agricultural work, and visit churches and pastors in the area.
To offer items of support this team is collecting basic first aid supplies such as gauze pads, tape, Band-Aids in a variety of sizes and Neosporin.
They are also collecting brightly colored girls underwear in sizes 10, 12 and 14 to use for sewing and hygiene classes.
This mission group will be gone about two weeks, and they thank you for your prayers of support.

Students in El Salvador

A team of 10 people from BUMC are traveling to San Salvador, El Salvador in October, too!  This team is headed by John and Vickie Wilkinson, who have worked in the Siloe area for many years.
This group will be working at a school in the city, organizing a job fair to help students see the possibilities available after graduation, and working at a very remote school on an island.
They are collecting basic school supplies to take with them.  Your continued prayer for safety, wisdom, endurance, and good health for the team is much appreciated.
Donations for either trip may be left in the narthex.  There is a giant, grey “school locker” for school supplies for El Salvador, and a red duffle bag for underwear and first aid supplies for Angola.

UMCOR Cleaning and Hygiene Kits

Lenten Offerings


This spring our Lenten Offerings are going to support two local projects:

HRDC Homeless Youth Matching Grant Challenge

Project Fresh Start Emergency Fund

The Homeless Youth Home matching grant was discussed at the class on Feb. 22 and was quite well received by those in attendance.  The challenge is to raise $30,000 by June 1, and the funds will be matched by the City of Bozeman.  The HYH provides stable housing while youth develop positive relationships with adults and learn necessary life skills.  The youth served here are between 16 and 19 years old.
Project Fresh Start is the voluntary program at the Gallatin County Detention Center that assists inmates who want to make a new start in society.  Many of them do not have a clean, safe place to live or a job to support them.  The PFS emergency fund is used to help them secure housing, helps with transportation to appointments, etc.  In the last year the PFS recidivism rate has been 10%, which is far below the typical rate.  BUMC has been collecting gently used shoes, boots and winter clothing for them for over a year, and our generosity is greatly appreciated.
Please see the January 2016 blog post for more information.
Donations will be split evenly between these two groups unless specified otherwise.  You may write “Lenten Offering”, Homeless Youth” or “Project Fresh Start” in the memo line of your check.  Thank you very much for supporting people in need in our own community.