“Thanks God!” — Rev. Cassule is visiting Yellowstone Conference


Cassule at BUMC

Rev. Cassule shared the story of how he came to be a pastor, and shared his deep faith.


He also helped serve communion, reinforcing how we are all connected through the church.

Rev. Cassule arrived in Montana on March 31 from Angola, where the temperature hovers around 75 – 80 F.  He brought a strong love for Jesus, a deep desire to serve others and the church, and a compelling style of worship service through his speaking and singing.  At BUMC he shared the story of how he became a pastor, and this story is best told in his own words, which you can hear by
clicking this link.  He will be visiting churches throughout Montana and Wyoming for the next five weeks.
Angola is a west African country that was destroyed by 25 years of civil war, ending in 2002.  Now there is peace in the country and people are returning to the smaller towns and villages, infrastructure and buildings are being repaired, and the Methodist Mission Station at Quessua is coming back to life.  Rev. Cassule serves a rural church outside of Quessua, and they have started an agricultural project to help support the church.  They will soon harvest their first crop of cassava and also grow sweet potatoes and cabbages for sale.  These funds will help rebuild their church building, which was destroyed by rain, and assist members of the church.
The Methodist Church is growing through the hard work of people like Rev. Cassule and many others. He is one of the 65 pastors that receives funds through the East Angola Pastor Support project, and that $50 a month makes a huge impact in their lives, allowing them to send children to school, assist family members in great need, and undertake projects to improve their lives.  They are
very grateful for this support.
If you would like to donate to East Angola Pastor Support click here. To donate to Quessua Mission Station click here.

UMCOR helps feed displaced people in Iraq

The greatest upheaval since World War II continues to push millions of refugees across national borders. But at the Middle East epicenter of the upheaval, in Syria and neighboring Iraq, many of those displaced by conflict remain within their countries’ borders, where they suffer the same hardships of homelessness and are in desperate need of help.

UMCOR,United Methodist Committee on Relief, is helping to meet the needs of this uprooted population by combining its efforts with a long-standing partner in the region, the Turkey-based International Blue Crescent (IBC).Click here to read more. 


One Great Hour of Sharing is Sunday, March 6

hand heart
One Great Hour of Sharing (OGHS) is Sunday, March 6.  It is one of the six United Methodist church-wide Special Sundays with offerings.

OGHS enables UMCOR (the United Methodist Committee on Relief) to live out its mission to alleviate human suffering and respond to natural or human-caused disasters. And, it’s your gifts that make it possible for UMCOR to use 100 percent of all other contributions on the projects our donors specify, instead of on administrative or fundraising costs.

UMCOR does not receive United Methodist World Service or apportionment funds

, so without your offerings, UMCOR would not exist.
For more information, or to donate online, visit the UMCOR “One Great Hour” website.

Five Missionaries Connected with Yellowstone Conference

This article is taken from the  February 2016 Yellowstone Conference United Methodist Mission News.  Thank you, Sally McConnell, for this guest post!
Pray For Our Missionaries
Churches in Yellowstone Conference support five United Methodist Global Ministries missionaries. Churches begin a Covenant Relationship by establishing a financial goal of  $5 per member of your church per year.  Individuals can Covenant with a missionary for $500 per year. 
There are over 300 Global Ministries missionaries serving in over 60 countries that are available for support through a Covenant Relationship.  Individuals and churches can partner with a missionary and provide financial, spiritual, and emotional support. This partnership is much more than a financial commitment.  It is a dynamic relationship where the church and missionary pray for one another and communicate regularly.  When you Covenant with one missionary, you are supporting the entire United Methodist missionary community on their behalf and in their name.
Meet the missionaries connected with Yellowstone Conference:
Chin Cho:
is a missionary with the General Board of Global Ministries serving as the coordinator of the United Methodist Mission in Mongolia, based in Ulaanbaatar.
The Mongolia Mission is one of several recent mission initiatives of the church. It was launched in 2002 with a hospice ministry and has grown steadily and in 2015 included seven congregations, two children’s ministry centers, a detention ministry, and health services.  As the country coordinator, Chin oversees the several aspects of ministry, working with local Mongolian United Methodist leaders and other missionaries. He engages in the training of indigenous clergy, who study at the Mongolia Trinity Bible College, where he teaches Wesleyan studies.  Click here to read more about Chin Cho.
Ken Cruz: Serving with the Board of Global Ministries of the United Methodist Church, Kennedy (Ken) Cruz is in mission in Cambodia with the Community Health and Agriculture Development (CHAD) Program working as a Community Development Specialist.  Much of his work has been among the poor in organization of holistic community development and resource generation.  Click here to read more about Ken Cruz.  Click here to read the CHAD blog.
Kutela Katembo:
is a missionary with the General Board of Global Ministries of The United Methodist Church, serving as agriculturist at Quessua Mission in the East Angola Annual Conference.
Quessua Mission, a historical center of Methodism in Angola, was almost totally destroyed in the three decades of civil war that finally ended in 2002. The facility, which includes a church, a school, dormitories, and a farm, is still recovering. Quessua aims to produce enough food to feed its students and community. Kutela Katembo also works with the annual conference in evolving a sustainable agriculture policy that can help to overcome hunger and poverty in the region.  Click here to read more about Kutela.
Ken Koome:
is a missionary of the General Board of Global Ministries of The United Methodist Church assigned as the mission financial officer in the East Angola Annual Conference in Africa.
As financial officer, he is responsible for the delivery of mission funds to The United Methodist Church and its projects in East Angola, the keeping of accurate records, and providing support services to visiting Volunteer-In-Mission teams, church partners, and conference mission agencies. Angola experienced years of prolonged civil war, and only since 2002 has the church been able to engage in the significant rebuilding of ministries and facilities. The work includes the restoration of the Quéssua Mission Center, a theological education program, and care for orphans and vulnerable children.  Click here to read more about Ken.
Mark and Deidre Zimmerman:  Dr. Mark Zimmerman is a United Methodist missionary assigned to work in Kathmandu, Nepal, a predominantly Hindu country in the Himalayan region of Asia.
A medical doctor specializing in internal medicine, Mark has been working in Nepal since 1986 – initially as a hospital-based clinical doctor, later as medical director of Patan Hospital (1998-2005), and now as director of the Nick Simons Institute (NSI), an organization working in Nepal with a mission to train and support skilled, compassionate rural health care workers.  Click here to read more about Mark. 
Deirdre Zimmerman is a missionary with the General Board of Global Ministries of the United Methodist Church – in partnership with the Church Missionary Society of Ireland – serving with her husband, Dr. Mark Zimmerman, in Kathmandu, Nepal.
A nutritionist and dietitian by training, Deirdre was first assigned to work for United Mission to Nepal’s Nutrition Program, which addresses the problem of malnutrition in women and children through training and education. She now works as an advisor to Nutrition Promotion and Consultancy Services, an organization which is an offshoot of the previous Nutrition Program.  Click here to read more about Deidre.
The Zimmermans will be visiting YAC from July 5-17.  If you would like to host them at your church, please contact  Sally McConnell.
Click here to get information how YOUR church can form a covenant relationship with one of these missionaries. 

UMCOR’S US Disaster Training for the Local Church

The United Methodist Committee on Relief (UMCOR) responds to disasters around the world and right here in the United States.  Part of their program includes disaster response training that helps with immediate needs and long term recovery.  This February 9, 2016 article describes some of the benefits of quality training and its effects on survivors, and the link to “Seven ‘Fast Facts’ About UMCOR Training” offers more detail on the program.  
If you would like to receive the UMCOR Hotline newsletter, go to  the UMCOR.org website to subscribe.
From the UMCOR Hotline:
When disaster strikes, it is the local church that provides the first response to the community. This basic understanding, that disaster response is local, forms the foundation for UMCOR’s US disaster training and response.

UMCOR trains teams of volunteers, local churches, districts, and conferences in disaster recovery so that they have the tools they need to coordinate an efficient response. Whether it’s early response team training, case management, or “Connecting Neighbors,” a disaster-readiness program that equips volunteer trainers to help guide the church in recovery, UMCOR provides the expertise the local church needs during times of disaster.

“UMCOR remains the ‘go-to’ organization for disaster case management training,” said Catherine Earl, U.S. Disaster Response executive, “and it is through this long-term recovery partnership that lives can be changed in lasting ways.”

After a disaster, UMCOR provides financial assistance at the request of the affected annual conference, expertise in disaster response, and networking to connect the church, local government, and other experts and organizations to help communities get back on their feet.

Read “Seven ‘Fast Facts’ About UMCOR Training” now to learn more.

Gifts to UMCOR U.S. Disaster Response, Advance #901670 , support these training programs, as well as aid in disaster recovery.


Project Fresh Start

jail  There is a relatively new voluntary program at the Gallatin County Detention Center called Project Fresh Start, and its purpose is to help reduce recidivism by getting people recently released from jail on a path to a better lifestyle.  This is done by coordinating services such as housing, food, clothing, transportation and services before the inmate is released.
Project Fresh Start (PFS) took several years to develop.  Our own Dave Young, who is also a Gallatin County Chaplain, and Roxanne Klingensmith from St. James Episcopal Church are two of the primary forces behind it.  PFS is run through the Gallatin County Detention Center (GCDC) and overseen by Tiffani Pimley, Program Coordinator.  It has the full support of the GCDC and funds are run through the Gallatin County Treasurer.
Project Fresh Start focuses on people with absolutely no resources.  These are not a protected class of people, but they are people who have made poor choices.  The program is all voluntary, and PFS worked with over 100 people last year.  Treatment for mental health and substance abuse as well as development of job connections begins while inmates are still in jail.  The first 48 hours are crucial to reducing recidivism, but some of these people have nowhere to go upon release.  Often former friends and family are drug users or live in unsuitable situations.  Upon release inmates may not have any money, identification, or even proper clothing because they are released with exactly what they had when arrested.  If they were arrested in July wearing shorts and flip flops, that’s what they have to wear when released in February.

PFS, with help from a variety of faith communities in Bozeman, including BUMC, has established a revolving loan fund to help newly released people get into pre-arranged housing.  PFS also spends money on clothing, shoes, taxi vouchers, copies of birth certificate, state ID’s and other things as needed.  This grass roots effort is the only service like this operating in Montana, and it’s making a difference in the lives of those who truly want to make a change in their lives


What is the HRDC?

HRDC, the Human Resources Development Council, works to strengthen the community and improve people’s lives.  People in Gallatin, Park and Meagher counties have been helped by HRDC since 1975.  Today HRDC provides 34 programs and services in the areas of Housing, Food & Nutrition, Child & Youth Development, Senior Empowerment, Community Transportation, Home Heating–Energy–Safety, and Community Development.  They are the organization that oversees the Warming Center and Community Showers, Food Bank, Community Café, Head Start, Streamline buses, Galavan, Youth Development Program, Retired and Senior Volunteer Program (RSVP), Rental Assistance and Road to Home, and Energy Assistance.

BUMC primarily works with HRDC in the areas of food and shelter, so here’s a brief overview of some of their projects:

Housing – The Warming Center is open November 1 – March 31 to provide emergency seasonal shelter to anyone in need.  There are separate sleeping areas for men, women and families and the Center is open from 7 pm to 7 am.  This year they have averaged 35 guests per night and served over 150 individuals.  The Warming Center is entirely supported by community donations so they always welcome contributions and there are several ways you can volunteer.  You can read more about housing programs here. 

Food – Through the Gallatin Valley, Big Sky, and Headwaters Area Food Banks, food assistance is provided in the form of emergency food boxes, healthy snack packs for the weekend for elementary school children, nutritionally balanced lunches during the summer months, and supplemental foods to seniors. HRDC added the Community Café to its Nutrition initiative in 2012, offering free meals nightly, 7 days per week, 365 days per year. Nutrition is vital for our area’s vulnerable senior and child populations, and their services touch 1 in 6 persons in Gallatin County.  This link is to their food and nutrition webpage.

For more information on these and other projects, please visit the following websites:


Thank You for your Generosity in 2015!

Thank you for your continued generosity to people near and far.  In 2015 BUMC supported these groups, and more:
WOW Team, Youth Group, TNT, Habitat for Humanity, CROP Walk, Military Family Assistance, Haven, Gallatin Foster Families
Homeless Assistance:
Gallatin Valley Food Bank, Community Cafe, Warming Center, Community Showers, Family Promise, Homeless Youth Assistance Fund, Love INC, and Project Fresh Start
Beyond Bozeman: 
Intermountain; UMCOR Refugee and Migrant fund, US and international disaster relief, One Great Hour of Sharing; Kiva, Equal Exchange, TNT trip to San Francisco, East Angola Pastor Fund, a new truck for Ken Koome, hosting Kutela Katembo, agriculturalist at Quessua, during his visit to Bozeman, Blackfeet United Methodist Parish (BUMP), Missionary work in Mongolia.
It’s been a busy year and your participation has been vital to transforming lives and sharing the love of Jesus.  Thank you.  
There will be many opportunities in 2016!
January update: Figgy Pudding offerings of $5000 will go to help refugees, and will be matched by Rob Cox estate funds.  Christmas Eve offerings of $9700 will go to the Community Cafe, and $20,600 to East Angola Pastor Support ($10,300 from offerings and a match by Rob Cox funds.)  THANK YOU!

Christmas Eve Offering #2 – the Community Cafe

302 North 7th Ave., Bozeman, Montana
BUMC is blessed with a very generous congregation and as a result we are often able to give away our Christmas Eve offering to others.  Traditionally these gifts are split between a local organization and an international one.  This year we are supporting the East Angola Pastors fund, which was described in the previous blog post, and Bozeman’s Community Cafe.
The Community Cafe is Montana’s only “Pay
It Forward” 
Cafe; those who can contribute pay it forward for those who cannot.  The Cafe is open from 5-7 p.m. 365 days a year to anyone who eats and features freshly prepared meals in a sit-down restaurant setting.  The Cafe is part of HRDC’s Emergency Food and Nutrition Initiative, striving to improve food security throughout the Gallatin Valley.  In 2015 they provided over 50,000 dinners.
In addition to feeding people warm dinners, the Cafe offers other services.  They work with the Culinary Arts and Workforce Training Program and the Pro-Start Culinary Team at Bozeman High School to provide skills training for work and a successful career in the food industry.  The Cafe also provide a variety of catering services with pick up and delivery options available, and they can host up to 40 people at the Cafe.  And there’s a drive-up coffee bar coming soon!
You can find details about any of this at the Cafe website
BUMC staffs the Cafe the first Monday of each month.  The shift is from 4:30 – 7:30 p.m. and it takes 8-10 people to greet, serve and clean up.  If you’d like to join the fun, sign up on the clipboard outside the office or contact Gloria Zimmer.

Christmas Eve Offering #1 – East Angola Pastors

East Angola pastors
Because of your continuing generosity, BUMC is able to share its Christmas Eve offering with people outside of our building.  Traditionally, we split the funds between one international group and one local group.  This year’s recipients will be the East Angola Pastors, which are described below, and Bozeman’s Community Cafe, which will be detailed on December 20.
You can specify either recipient in the memo line of your check.  If neither is specified, the funds will be split 50/50 between the Pastors and the Cafe.  Donations to the East Angola Pastors will be matched by the Rob Cox Fund.  
Before the civil war in Angola there were over 200 Methodist Churches ~ in 2000 there were only 30.  Angolans have been rebuilding their churches, sometimes one row of bricks at a time. The East Angola Conference covers the poorest areas of Angola. Most of the churches are in villages where people work small scale farms. Most pastors in East Angola are not paid by their congregation but are paid in kind: eggs, cassava, sweet potatoes, a chicken or rabbit! Yellowstone Conference has partnered with the East Angola Methodist Church since 2003. We support 66 pastors in 3 districts and one area of evangelization (remote part). Each pastor receives $50 a month in salary (increased from $40 in July of 2015); and we pay Alcides Martins an additional stipend to administer the project. Global Ministries supports us in this effort. All money for pastors is sent to Yellowstone Conference office, then through Global Ministries and is subject to audits by GBGM, on-site visits, and yearly reports.
Rev. Luis Ribeiro Sambongue, pastor of Luavuri UMC in Angola sent a letter to the Yellowstone Conference via a Florida Conference team that just returned from Angola.
 “In the name of Jesus Christ the great Pastor of all of us, we greet you. . .  We are a small church in the rural area with very bad situations.  This friendship with Yellowstone has given us hope that in days to come things will be better.  In spite of being a small church, we have been winning souls through evangelization, praises and songs, preaching, classes and prayer.  We are thankful for the ministry of Tito de Fatima Jorge in Quessua Mission that has been influencing many young people and encouraging them in their faith. . . We only know about America what we read in books and news.  But we are praying day and night so that our prayers touch your hearts and help us endure this time of financial difficulties.  We thank God for you.  We wish God’s blessings in your work and greetings for all the siblings in Jesus Christ.”
His letter is a part of Sally McConnell’s end of the year letter describing our partnership with East Angola pastors.  To read her 2015 letter,  click here  It’s only one page and its very interesting.