World Bicycle Relief

Sunday, June 22 is Bike to Church Sunday!  This has become an annual event, held on the Sunday before VBS, which features valet bicycle parking in our custom bike racks along Willson Avenue.  A tip jar is also available with all proceeds going to World Bicycle Relief, the group that provides sturdy bikes to Africa.  BUMC has bought 10 bikes in the past 3 years, and since the start of 2014, World Bicycle Relief has supplied more than 13,000 Buffalo bicycles in and beyond Africa.  A description of their Buffalo bikes follows; for more information visit the World Bicycle Relief web page.

 WBR banner

buffalo bike

Entrepreneurs, farmers, healthcare workers and students in rural Africa transport heavy loads long distances over rugged terrain to meet basic needs. Compared to walking, bicycles allow people to haul more goods over longer distances in less time – provided the bicycle is strong and durable. In Africa, the disconnect between suppliers and end-users has resulted in bicycles designed to be inexpensive rather than robust; most begin to fall apart within weeks because they are not suitable for rugged terrain and bulky loads. This has dire consequences for people without access to other transportation.

World Bicycle Relief has connected rural Africans with bicycle suppliers; the result is a robust bicycle engineered specifically for rural African terrain and load requirements. The Buffalo bike is designed, tested and assembled in Africa with close attention to end-user feedback and rigorous quality control. We are committed to providing the highest quality, most durable bicycles in Africa, and we operate with constant attention to innovation and product improvement to ensure that our bicycles meet their users’ needs. World Bicycle Relief’s Africa-based product management team oversees a fleet of riders who test current and potential components under the most punishing field conditions; their feedback is used to improve our bicycles. Furthermore, Buffalo bicycles are compatible with locally available spare parts, ensuring that with proper maintenance they will last for years. These design innovations make World Bicycle Relief’s Buffalo bicycles the best on the market: our bicycle is built for Africa.

Imagine No Malaria (INM)

This program is sponsored by the United Methodist Church and aims to partner with donors of many backgrounds to end preventable deaths by malaria in Africa.  The Yellowstone Annual Conference has a goal of saving 50,000 lives by raising $500,000.  BUMC donated $10,000 through the Rob Cox Mustard Seed gift, a matching grant of up to $1000 per church for YAC churches with an average worship attendance of 50 or fewer.  Our INM contact is Kristin Cates,  You can follow the Yellowstone Conference’s work here: Bite Malaria .


The INM webpage is a tremendous resource and the following information comes from that site:  

Imagine No Malaria will continue supporting Nothing But Nets because bed nets are an effective tool against the disease.  However, there is much more involved in this program.  First, INM will work in full partnership with communities  in Africa and provide necessary tools to empower people to be part of the solution.  The four-part solution includes prevention, treatment, education and communication.

Imagine No Malaria has partners to help make beating malaria a reality. We work with the United Nations Foundation, The Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. These organizations are global leaders in the fight against malaria and other diseases of poverty.

Why do they need us? The United Methodist Church brings some very unique resources to the table.The financial support of 11 million United Methodists worldwide is a significant part of it.  But there’s much more. The United Methodist Church has worked in Africa for nearly 200 years. We operate churches, school, hospitals and clinics across the continent in places where no one else will go. Wherever the road runs out, you’ll find us bringing hope to the hopeless and empowering the powerless.

These partners recognize the United Methodist Church is a key to healthcare delivery in Africa. As a result,  your donation is multiplied many times by the support it provides.

2013 Mission Giving Summary

Do you ever wonder where our Mission money goes?  Here’s a brief overview.

BUMC is a connectinal church, which means we are closely associated with United Methodist Churches across the state and country, and around the globe.  One of our most basic financial obligations is our annual Mission Share Apportionment which supports our Yellowstone Annual Conference and the larger church nationwide.  In 2013 our congregation’s Apportionment was $97,400  When determining our annual budget, Apportionments must be covered before we consider giving to any other causes.

Conference Askings are another portion of our connection with the larger Methodist organization.  In 2013 we gave over $5600 to projects within the Yellowstone Conference.  These include Rocky Mountain College, which is a Methodist college in Billings; campus ministries at UM and MSU;  the Blackfoot United Methodist Parish (BUMP) in Browning, MT which is a mission project of the greater Methodist Church; and small church development within our conference.

We also support six church-wide special Sundays each year.  BUMC’s contributions to these were over $15,100 in 2013.  The Sundays include Human Relations Day, One Great Hour of Sharing, Native American Ministries Sunday, Peace with Justice Sunday, World Communion Sunday and United Methodist Student Day.

Financial donations to UMCOR (the United Methodist Committee on Relief) advances totaled $16,200.  This money went directly to support victims of Hurricane Sandy, Oklahoma tornadoes, Colorado floods, and Typhoon Haiyan in the Philippines.  Because the money collected during One Great Hour of Sharing covers administrative and overhead costs, UMCOR is able to send all your donations directly to advances.

Locally we donated over $55,000 to a wide variety of mission projects, particularly those related to the homeless and children.  We made significant contributions to the HRDC Warming Center, Community Cafe, Billings Free Store, Roundup (Montana) Rebuild mission trip and Intermountain Children’s Home.  Other recipients were the Homeless Youth Fund, Love INC, Family Promise, Haven, Habitat for Humanity and other groups.  The Food Bank received over 1000 pounds of food.

Our financial assistance spanned the globe in 2013 as we supported a wide variety of projects.  Funds and hands-on support were provided via the UMVIM trip to Haiti with college kids.  Financial support went to the Imagine No Malaria campaign, Angola Pastor Support, Helen Sheperd (missionary in Mongolia), Jubilee USA, World Bicycle Relief, Heifer International and Books for Africa.

Habitat for Humanity of Gallatin Valley

HABITAT FOR HUMANITY OF GALLATIN VALLEY is a locally run affiliate of Habitat for Humanity International, a nonprofit, ecumenical Christian housing organization. Habitat for Humanity works in partnership with qualified families to build and renovate decent, affordable housing. The houses then are sold to the families at no profit and with no interest charged.

Volunteers provide most of the labor, and individual and corporate donors  provide money and materials to build Habitat houses. Partner families themselves invest hundreds of hours of labor – “sweat equity” – into building their homes and the homes of others. Their mortgage payments go into a revolving Fund for Humanity that is used to build more houses.

Habitat for Humanity is always looking for volunteers.  Several women from our church worked at this year’s Women Build fundraiser in early May, but there are many more opportunities to help:

–You can work at the ReStore pricing, stocking shelves, or helping customers.  They are particularly in need of folks who can volunteer on a regular basis.  If you don’t want to work there you can donate good used building materials or shop at the ReStore which provides funds for Habitat and keeps materials out of the landfill.  The ReStore is located in Bruce Industrial Park in Belgrade; for more information call 388-2852 or visit What is the ReStore?

–You can make a financial contribution.

–You can volunteer at a construction site.  They need skilled and unskilled individuals and groups to partner with in building Habitat homes, as well as to assist with volunteer management. Expert sub-contractors such as installers, drywallers and carpenters are particularly needed.

For details on how to get involved, and additional ways to support Habitat for Humanity, visit their website at Habitat for Humanity of Gallatin Valley  or call 388-8225.

2 in the hole


front yard

Intermountain: restoring hope for children




better coin can

“Adversity is not destiny.”  Terry Chaney gave this as a guiding phrase for Intermountain during his visit to BUMC on May 4.  Intermountain helps heal children who have experienced early childhood trauma so they can return to emotional health.  Their  services include a two year campus-based treatment program for 32 children ages four through 12.  There is an on-campus accredited grade school for the 32  inpatient children plus several children who  are so emotionally disturbed they can’t attend public schools.  Intermountain does therapeutic counseling for children in the Helena public schools and provides support for families who have adopted children from the treatment program.  The chaplain on staff provides spiritual support for children.  Intermountain also has many different outreach programs in Helena, Missoula, Great Falls,  Kalispell.

BUMC has a long history of supporting Intermountain, which was formerly known as Intermountain Children’s Home.  Their mission is to heal through healthy relationships, and so far they have helped over 1300 children and families.  Terry Chaney, Development Director for Intermountain, visited our church on May  4 to explain their services and programs, and how we can support Intermountain.

Currently the 32 resident children, ages 8 through 12, live in four cottages.  Two new cottages were dedicated in April 2014, and one of the old cottages is being remodeled into a chapel.  This will provide a designated space for the chaplain and his programs.  We were among the first churches to pledge our support for this project, and we continue to support the effort with the Change for Children coin collection campaign.  This will continue through the end of June, and will be a project of our Vacation Bible School.

If you’d like to tour Intermountain’s facility, our Mission Team is organizing an all day trip on Friday, May 16.  They will have lunch and tour a cottage, the classroom facility and hear about the chaplain’s program.  Please RSVP to 586-5413.

Tasty Tidbits of Information from the Community Cafe


The Community Cafe is a thriving service, and an opportunity to directly support those in need.  The Cafe provides a welcoming atmosphere for anyone in need of a warm meal from 5 to 7 pm every evening.  It is located at 302 North Seventh Ave. in Bozeman.  Donations are welcome from all guests, but not expected.

The first quarter of 2014 saw a 54% increase in total plates served.  From January through March they served 11,389 meals.   In March over 735 volunteer hours were logged.  If you would like to support the Cafe with your time and talents, here are a few ways to do so:

The Cafe is looking for plant starts — tomatoes, onion sets, leafy greens, broccoli, cabbage — for this spring’s Cafe Garden.  Contact Laura at 586-7600 for details.

BUMC serves dinner the first Monday of each month.  The sign up sheet is near the church office.  Seven or eight people are needed each night to greet, serve and clean up.  They now have a kitchen, so are able to cook food on site and use washable plates and silverware.  Shifts are from 4:30 to 7:30 pm and volunteers must be over 18 years old.  Saturdays may be another opportunity to serve, too. If you’d like to work on a Saturday, call Laura at 586-7600.

If you can’t volunteer but want to support the Cafe or learn more about it, please come have a meal!  Bring some friends or family and walk in just like you are a customer and enjoy the service you’ve come to know so well.  You can leave a donation at the table if you wish but there is no obligation.  By being at the Cafe and sharing the experience with others you help ensure that the Cafe continues to evolve into the community space that’s being envisioned.

Spread the word with a Community Cafe t-shirt!  They are available at the Cafe and are a great way to help promote it.

Thank you for your support.  The Cafe couldn’t function without you!

UMCOR Health Kits

Supplies for Health Kits

hand towels     wash cloths

large combs      adult toothbrushes

nail files or fingernail clippers (no emery boards or toenail files)

bath-sized bar soap (not Ivory)

adhesive plastic strip sterile bandages

1 gallon sealable bags  

$1 to purchase toothpaste


Here’s an easy way to help others in trying situations – donate items for UMCOR Health Kits.  Our Sunday School kids have assembled over 100 kits using supplies you have donated, but we are not finished yet.  You may drop off items at the church through the end of May.

The United Methodist Committee on Relief (UMCOR) has a depot warehouse in Salt Lake City where kits of many types are stored until needed.  The Sager Brown Depot ships kits around the world in response to natural disasters or human conflict.  Health kits are also used as learning tools in personal hygiene, literacy, nutrition, and cooking classes

Each year our annual conference rotates the type of kit we supply.  Other types of kits are sewing kits, school kits, bedding kits, birthing kits and cleaning buckets.  For more information visit .    

Lenten Offerings 2014

This year’s Lenten Offerings will support the Blackfoot United Methodist Parish (BUMP) in Browning, MT and Helen Sheperd’s missionary work in Mongolia.


BUMP serves the Blackfeet Indian Reservation just east of Glacier National Park.  We have sent mission teams there periodically to help with facilities and programs.  In addition to spiritual work, they have a clothing bank that is open every Wednesday to provide free clothing for an average of 46 adults per week.  This year’s offering will go toward purchase of a new washer and dryer to support the clothing bank.


Mongolia Mission Initiative

Helen Sheperd is a Methodist missionary serving in Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia where she is the director of the Grace Hospice homecare program.  She also supports the activities of two mission centers, three worshipping congregations and numerous projects in Mongolia.  In addition, she teaches preschoolers on Sunday morning, leads a weekly Bible study in English for young women, and works with two senior citizen groups that meet at the mission center.  For more information go to .