Montana Herald • December 2021

A Note From the President

Holiday Greetings Montana Church Family,

What a truly wonderful time of the year. Tis the season where we are reminded that we are deeply loved by our Creator God who will spare nothing to give us joy, hope, and salvation. I pray that you will enjoy your time with family and friends in the upcoming weeks.

Recently I came across a quote I believe is applicable to the time we live in:

"A revival and a reformation must take place under the ministration of the Holy Spirit. Revival and reformation are two different things. Revival signifies a renewal of spiritual life, a quickening of the powers of mind and heart, a resurrection from spiritual death. Reformation signifies a reorganization, a change in ideas and theories, habits and practices. Reformation will not bring forth the good fruit of righteousness unless it is connected with the revival of the Spirit. Revival and reformation are to do their appointed work, and in doing this work, they must blend." —The Review and Herald, February 25, 1902

As we enter into 2022, you will be hearing a lot about the theme "Renewing Faith and Restoring Hope." Renewing Faith will focus on revival and Restoring Hope on reformation. Concerning Renewing Faith, the Conference will be helping to provide resources that are designed to inspire a revival of spiritual life among our membership. Those resources include Bible Study lessons, small group training and materials, and technology upgrades for our smaller churches so that evangelism programs and training seminars are easily accessible to all. Concerning Restoring Hope, the Conference will be providing support and help to local churches and schools who organize themselves to serve and reach their communities for Christ. The overarching plan is to reorganize the Montana Conference for mission, so we may reach those who are looking for hope. I pray that in 2022 your faith will be renewed, and you will be an agent in restoring hope to your family, friends, and neighbors.

Thank you for your prayers for our churches and schools across Montana. May God find each of us faithful to Him and to His truth as we face a new year with the challenges and opportunities to come.

Montana Conference News & Updates

Board of Directors Summary

The Montana Board of Directors is a committee made up of administration, employees, and lay members, chaired by the conference president. This committee prays over, researches, and makes decisions for the conference. The board does their very best to do the right thing, to glorify God, and do what is best for the Montana Conference. Here is a brief summary of things discussed or voted by the board of directors recently. Please keep in mind, due to the sensitivity of some items, not everything discussed can be shared publicly.

  • Nominated and voted NPUC constituency delegates.

  • As property insurance premiums have risen significantly, the conference has voted to help churches with this increase. The board voted that the conference will pay 2/3 of the increase for 2022, and 1/3 in 2023. By 2024, conference entities will be responsible for 100% of their property insurance premiums.

  • Voted to hire Donovan Kack, a pastor for the Libby, Trout Creek, and Eureka District starting in January 2022.

  • The NPUC is making additional evangelism funds available for the Montana Conference starting mid 2022.

  • The 2022 offering schedule from the NPUC was voted and approved. This will be printed with the offering schedule and we will be getting those out as soon as we can.

  • The Montana Conference Budget Offering percentage breakdown was approved for the 2022 year. These percentage allocations are changed from year to year depending on conference initiatives as well as financial standing. The following percentages for the Conference Budget Offering were voted: 40% MEA Student Aid, 25% Elementary Education, 35% MTC Special Projects (more details to come).

If you have any questions in regards to this summary, please contact our Vice President of Administration, Elder Jim Jenkins.

Education & Youth

Have You Thanked a Teacher Today?

Recently, I was looking at pictures on my phone, trying to hone down the overgrown collection. I came across one taken after a church service of an individual who had a significant impact on my life as a youngster…a former teacher.

It was in the mid-’70s, and I was a second-grader at Wenatchee Junior Academy (now named Cascade Christian Academy), where my dad was the principal. I loved school, but what made my second-grade year a stellar year was my teacher. Her name was Melody Beavon.

My dad likes to share the story of the interview he and the board chair experienced. The board chair at the time was a pilot, so he and my dad decided to fly to Montana in a small Cessna 2-seater plane to interview Mrs. Beavon for the teaching position. The trip took place during one of the infamous Montana storms. They felt grateful to still be alive from their flight and secured Mrs. Beavon for the position. It would be her first year of teaching.

Mrs. Beavon (I still have a hard time calling her Melody) had a Princess Diana way about her. The graciousness she exhibited in everything she did was of a regal form. Just by being around her, my fellow students and I did our best to have good manners. I quickly became fiercely loyal to her. During one afternoon at recess, some of us were sitting on the playground around Mrs. Beavon. Being a tomboy myself and full of unrefined manners, I asked her why she never wore pants to school. She kindly responded that the rule for women teachers was to wear dresses. I stated in an all-important voice that I would talk to my dad and have that rule fixed so she could wear pants. Her response was emblazoned on my young impressionable mind. She just smiled in simple appreciation of the effort this second grader was willing to put forth, knowing it wouldn’t succeed.

Going to school each day was thrilling because learning was made fun. Students also clambered to be teacher helpers, vying for the opportunity to straighten papers on the table, erase the chalkboard, or any other number of tasks our teacher needed to be done.

Now, as an adult who has chosen education as a career, I often find myself in conversations at teacher meetings that somehow inevitably work around the topic of our own favorite teachers. Aside from my dad being at the top of my list, I always mention Mrs. Beavon, my second-grade teacher. She didn’t stop at just teaching us academics. That part was easy. She showed us the way to being better human beings.

I’m glad I’ve had the opportunity to thank her in person as an adult for the impact she had on my life. Is there a teacher you need to thank? I encourage you to take the time to do that today. You never know what kind of impact it will have.

Mount Ellis Academy

The holiday spirit is taking hold at Mount Ellis Academy with Christmas trees, lights, and now, a new blanket of freshly fallen snow. It has been a whirlwind couple of weeks leading up to Thanksgiving and now heading into Christmas. Before Thanksgiving break, the students and staff put on an entertaining evening during the annual Talent Show. There were a wide variety of acts, including musical numbers, skits, and a comedy act that included some good-humored roasting of the staff. The Sophomore class had a successful fundraiser where they sold homemade truffles under the direction of Janice Hansen and her Trout Creek crew.

Basketball season is in full swing with the Lady Eagles winning their first three games against Heritage Christian, Billings Christian, and Yellowstone Homeschool, and the boys have had a valiant display of athleticism and sportsmanship on the court. Boys’ Varsity has not yet won any games. However, they have much to be proud of with closing their losing gap in their last game and coming close in another. Their game against Billings Christian was an expected challenge and provided a significant growth opportunity. JV played a solid game against Yellowstone Homeschool with a narrow victory. The Eagles demonstrate outstanding sportsmanship and represent MEA well on and off the court.

Students are eagerly anticipating the annual Winter banquet on Sunday, December 12. ASB has been planning an interstellar event with the theme of “Outer Space”.

We are looking forward to our upcoming Christmas concerts and invite you to join us in celebrating the birth of Christ. Concerts will be Friday evening, December 17, at 7:30, Sabbath morning sacred cantata for worship service at 10:30, and Saturday evening’s secular concert begins at 7:30 p.m. Check our Facebook page for any updates. We are planning on live-streaming the concerts. You can find the live stream on Mount Ellis Academy SDA Church’s YouTube channel. Links will also be posted on our website:

The second semester is quickly approaching, and students are looking forward to time up at the ski hill, Walla Walla University’s Friendship Tournament, and Ski the Summit.

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Adventurers Unite

The church service in Bozeman saw many children unite recently for the annual Adventurer induction service. The children were dressed in the Adventurer uniform and participated in the church program. They recited their pledge and law, followed by singing the Adventurer song. They and their parents pledged to support the program and actively learn about Jesus. The leaders then placed the Adventurer scarf around the neck of each participant. The Alpine Adventurers in Bozeman was started 3 years ago and has been actively providing learning experiences for their members regularly.

Adventurers is a co-ed family-oriented club for kids in grades 1-4. It was designed to provide an organized club of peers for children in this age group to learn truths about God and how to be good citizens in the world around them. Parents also attend with their children, which creates a nurturing and supportive network.

When a child reaches 5th grade, they may enter the next club called Pathfinders, created for those in grades 5-8. Once in Pathfinders, the activities become more challenging. There are also camporees, fairs, and campouts in which the clubs participate.

In both the Adventurers and Pathfinders, participants learn new skills and earn honor patches that are then mounted on their sash.

These clubs provide a healthy and active outlet for students looking for God-focused unique learning experiences. If your church would like more information to start a club in your community, contact Renae Young at the conference office.

Community Service

Jesus, Take the Wheel!

A few years ago, before the pandemic, I went to Calgary to help out my son and daughter-in-law and supervise my three granddaughters - aged 12, 10, and 8 at the time. Their Mom was going to be in Chicago for the Adventist Educators Convention that year. As the music teacher at Chinook Winds Academy in Calgary, she was also asked to perform a vocal rendering for the meeting. And their Dad was working while she was away.

I was happy to go a few days, a week or so, looking forward to spending time with the girls during their summer vacation time.

Everything was going well until the last day when Mom was supposed to return - the girls were excited and planning to stay awake until she arrived!

We got a phone call that evening. Mom was not feeling well on her return flight, and that she needed to stop at an Urgent Care on the way home from the airport. What happened!?! Urgent Care sent her straight to the hospital because they suspected meningitis! Our hearts were heavy with worry. How? Why? At the hospital, they diagnosed viral meningitis and immediately started an antiviral treatment. As it turned out, she had had a rash, and unbeknownst to her, it was a case of shingles. The meningitis was a complication thereof—what an experience. Of course, we had been praying all along and continued through the night. She told us the whole story when she was released after 24 hours and sent home with medication.

During the convention, she had continued to feel worse, fatigued and headachy, but tried to push through as she had responsibilities. At the airport, her back was hurting with every step she took, and she just hoped to make it home. After the Urgent Care visit and then going through the tests at the hospital, all she could do was pray. And the words that came to her were the words of a song* - 'Jesus, take the wheel, I can't do this on my own, I let it all go...'

I had never heard of this song before. Still, how many times have I thought of it in the last few years, "Jesus, take the wheel, I can't do this on my own" - during this pandemic, seeing the sickness make its way around the world, people dying, doctors and nurses dying...just heartbreaking. Jesus, please take over, take the wheel.

But not just in our physical environment do I want Jesus to take the wheel. Also, in my personal and our organizational ministry. So much to do and so little time - and the night is coming. 'Jesus, please take the wheel and direct our ministries. Take us to the people who are looking for you! Please help us reach out and provide hope and comfort to those in need and suffering. Amen.'

Gabriele Laub
Coordinator, Adventist Community Services
Montana Conference of Seventh-day Adventists

*"Jesus, Take the Wheel" is a song written by Brett James, Hillary Lindsey, and Gordie Sampson and recorded by American country music artist Carrie Underwood. It was released in October 2005 as the first single from Underwood's debut album Some Hearts (2005). The ballad tells of a woman seeking help from Jesus in an emergency and surrendering control to a higher power.

Pre-Thanksgiving Food Giveaway

Adventist Community Services is excited to see several churches in our conference take advantage of the ACS Covid-19 Food Grant to reach out and bless their communities with food baskets, boxes, and drive-up food pickups. The food grant was intended to relieve food insecurity caused by the covid-19 pandemic, especially in underserved or unserved populations.

The community of Three Forks was blessed the Sunday before Thanksgiving with free food. Altogether, more than 200 individuals and families benefited from this outreach event. The local newspaper wrote an article on December 1, which you can find here - Madalina Goia led out in this event and was supported by area churches, Adventurer club in Bozeman, and the Mount Ellis Elementary school. Individual families and the North Naples SDA church provided funds to add gas vouchers and spiritual literature in addition to the food items bought with the ACS food grant funds.

Disaster Relief from Tornadoes

Many have been asking how to help those affected by the tragic tornadoes that uprooted the midwest. Adventist Community Services is on the ground helping in various ways. Monetary donations are the best way to continue these efforts. You can give to the local Adventist conferences online through Adventist Giving. Below you will find the links and instructions for giving to each Conference affected.

Kentucky & Tennessee Conference

For KY/TN: Select ‘community services‘. (You can find this option by clicking “more offering categories” under “Conference/Union”)

South Central Conference

For South Central: Under Conference/union – choose ‘more offering categories‘ and select ACS – Disaster Response

Arkansas & Louisiana Conference

For ARK/LA: You can choose ‘Disaster Relief‘ for either Louisiana or Arkansas

I’d Rather Have Jesus!

Recently there was a big celebration in the Roundup church. On December 4, we had a re-baptism and a visit from our new Montana Conference President, Elder Ken Norton.

Dickie Sue Slaughter recently gave up her addiction to tobacco and desired to celebrate by rededicating her life to God. Elder Norton graciously agreed, and her re-baptism could be when he and his wife, Julie, scheduled a visit to Roundup.

Following the baptism, Elder Norton preached his sermon with the scripture of Psalm 16:11: “You make known to me the path of life; you will fill me with joy in your presence with eternal pleasures at your right hand.”

Ms. Slaughter’s rededication to the Lord gave us all reason to rejoice. Indeed God was with everyone during that church service. We all felt the sanctuary filled with the joy of His presence that afternoon.

Norma Trent
Roundup Seventh-day Adventist Church

Resources & Events

2021 Photo Contest Update

Thank you so much for submitting your Montana Pictures for the 2021 Montana Photo Contest. We are currently reviewing the pictures and are working on a way to share all of them with you. We will also be announcing the winner soon! The picture above was taken by Eddie Schwab on Fishercap Lake in Glacier National Park. Great shot Eddie!

The Montana Herald is the official communication publication of the Montana Conference of Seventh-day Adventists. If you know of another member of the conference not receiving this email, share it with them so they don't miss out on what is happening across our conference.

President - Ken Norton
Vice President of Administration - Jim Jenkins
Treasurer - Erin Tungesvik
Communication Coordinator & Newsletter Editor - Stephen Carlile