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Montana Herald • March 2022

Support for Ukraine

The Adventist Church is currently collecting funds to address the needs of our brothers and sisters in Ukraine. You may donate directly to ADRA through their website at adra.org.

Support can also be given through AdventistGiving. The "Ukraine" offering button in is under the "World" offering tab after first clicking on donate and selecting your local church. The offering category is a clickable field under "More Offering Categories."

Adventist Giving

Renewing Faith and Restoring Hope

Learn more about the Renewing Faith and Restoring Hope initiatives and how you can get involved. Below is a short video explaining the new Bible Study Project across the state of Montana.

Montana Conference Bible Study Project

Praying for our Children

Every Friday morning, our members from all over our conference join together to pray for our children. We are in a spiritual battle for our families. Come and fight for your children in prayer. Register by clicking the button below.

Register Here

Montana Conference News & Updates

Constituency Update - Town Halls

The Montana Conference Town Hall Tour has come to an end in preparation for the 2022 Constituency Session. Beginning in Kalispell on February 26, the tour stopped in Missoula on February 27, and then we headed to Billings on March 5. Great Falls was the next stop on March 12, and concluded March 13 in Bozeman. The Town Hall Tour Team included Conference President Ken Norton, VP for Administration, Jim Jenkins, VP for Finance, Erin Tungesvik, Education and Youth, Renae Young, and MEA Principal, Dane Bailey.

Enough with the formalities. It has been a lot of fun getting out and sharing with our conference family. We have greatly appreciated the faithfulness and support of each of those who have joined us thus far. The spirit of those attending has been a real blessing to our team. Everyone seems very appreciative and ready to be a part of God’s work in Montana.

We look forward to this same spirit building and growing stronger as we move on to our Constituency Session on April 10. Our prayer is that April 10 will be a high day as we gather as a conference and vision together of the great things God will do in this great conference to hasten His soon return.

If you missed the town hall in your area, we recorded the meeting in Billings and you can click on the video below to watch.

Montana Conference Town Hall 2022

It’s Here. It’s Montana Campmeeting.

Campmeeting Lodging

If you would like a dorm room or campsite for campmeeting this year (July 6-9), please call Laryssa Barlow at 406-414-9896. Reservations made for 2020 will be honored as best we can; however, rooms in the Old Girls Dorm are limited due to the academy's long-term rental program, so those that made reservations for that dorm may be moved to King Hall. Please call soon as rooms go quickly!

Dorm rooms are $100, campsites with electricity and water are $80, and campsites without hookups are $50 (prices are for all four nights total).

Meal ticket prices have yet to be determined and will be announced in a future issue of the Herald.

We look forward to seeing you there!

New Pastors across Montana

Pictured above: Pastor Rene Marquez

In the last Montana Herald, we began highlighting our new conference pastors. This month we are featuring Pastor Rene Marquez, who is pastoring in the Belgrade/Livingston District. As I write this, it is exciting to see what God is already doing through these pastors and their families in their respective districts.

Rene arrived in Montana this past November, Minnesota Wild stocking cap and all. He has been a true blessing to the Belgrade and Livingston church families and the young adults in the community and Mount Ellis Elementary School.

Rene began attending the Seventh-day Adventist Church at seven years old and continued until he was sixteen. Like many young people today, he stopped attending church. He then started pursuing becoming a rock musician and soon had his own band. During this time, God revealed a different plan for Rene's life.

A lady from his mom's church became God's messenger, telling Rene of God's love for him. This began a lengthy battle in Rene's heart, one that ended with him fully surrendering his life to Jesus. Soon after, he began studying to become a pastor. He graduated from La Sierra in 2012 and then received his master's in systematic theology from Fuller Seminary in 2016.

Rene enjoys reading, surfing, hiking, collecting guitars, playing baseball, along with watching hockey and football. Above all of those, he enjoys spending time with his family, wife Cynthia, thirteen-year-old daughter, Chloe, and sixteen-month-old son, Maverick.

Rene loves to preach and visit with people. He and Cynthia share a desire to lead their churches into a deeper relationship with Christ, helping them become disciples of Christ.

We are so thankful that Rene, Cynthia, and his family have joined us here in Montana. We know God has great things in store!

Education Highlights

Montana Schools Reopening

Article by Maurita Crew, Assistant Superintendent of Education

Two Montana Conference schools plan to reopen for the 2022-2023 school year.

Choteau Adventist School closed its doors in 1999. Now, 23 years later, under the leadership of board chair, Katie Harris, those doors will finally reopen. The church and school community has moved quickly with recruiting plans, finances, classroom space, and updating a classroom that hasn't changed for over 20 years. Some of the students who attended the school when they were in elementary will now send their children to the same school with a new name, Teton Adventist Christian School. Their new teacher is Xylia Capote. The church community is excited to see doors reopen and a teacher ready to begin.

The Missoula Adventist Church is also reopening Mountain View Elementary School. The school closed in 2020, but the school board has continued to meet, pray, and plan. Recently Sheila Armstead accepted the new teaching position for the school and is working closely with Jennifer Crider, the current board chairperson, getting everything off the ground. They are also working on creating a preschool program as well.

God has led these communities to step out in faith and restart a ministry of education in their churches. We ask you to pray for the new teachers and the school boards, as they have many challenges to overcome and work through as they reopen their doors. Also, remember to pray for the future and current students of our schools to not only receive an excellent education but to discover a God who loves them and wants to save them.

Toothpick Bridges

Article by: Maurita Crew, Assistant Superintendent of Education

Trout Creek Adventist School learners watched in anticipation as their toothpick bridges were placed on "The Breaker" and tested to see how much weight their design held. This is the third year of the STEM challenge for the school. Learners start by designing a bridge that spans 12 inches and is at least 4 inches across. Once they have precisely drawn their bridges, the 750 toothpicks are tested and chosen, and the building commences.

All 12 learners from grades 2-8 bridges held over 100 pounds this year. Learners cheered each other on with chants and clapping, and the gym was full of community, church, and family supporters. Colby Evans took the first place trophy when his bridge "The Blue Fireball "held 255 pounds. "Eliminator "bridge built by Seth Overbeck held 235 pounds for the second place win. Shannen McFarland built a bridge, "Charcoal," that held 225, which placed her in third place.

The challenge also was a chance for the learners to raise money for an upcoming excursion to Glendive to look for dinosaur bones. Supporters sponsored a bridge by the pound held or a flash rate. This year the contest has $4700 in pledges. Before the challenge began, supporters enjoyed a spaghetti donation dinner to help raise money for next year's school's lease payment.

The toothpick bridge challenge was a full and fun event that showcased learners' perseverance, ingenuity, patience, and sportsmanship. The learners are already discussing what changes they will make next year to make their bridge hold more weight.

Camp Paxson Registration is Open!

Camp Paxson summer camp is an event operated by the Youth Department of the Montana Conference Office of Seventh-day Adventists. This one week summer camp is open to those between 9-14 years of age. Sign up now to reserve your spot for June 26-July 3, 2022!

We hope your child has a great experience, learns new skills, and sees Christ in new ways! To register, click on the button below. If you have questions, you may contact the Montana Conference Office at 406.587.3101.

Camp Paxson Registration

Mount Ellis Academy

After a year's break due to the pandemic, it was great to invite students once again to join us for our annual Ski the Summit event. We had about 40 guests visiting on campus from around the state and from Oregon, Nevada, and California. In the weeks leading up to the event, we experienced unseasonably warm weather. We feared that there might not be enough snow to host the event, but as the weekend approached, temperatures began to plummet, and snow fell, giving us an improved snow base and a true Montana winter scape.

Pastor Doug Elsey (Kansas) returned to MEA to speak for our event and provided a spiritual message to book-end each day. We spent Sunday afternoon making tracks at the iconic Bear Canyon Ski area (Bozeman's first official ski area). Monday found us enjoying Bridger Bowl's "cold smoke" and sunshine, followed by a lovely soak in the Bozeman Hot Springs. Tuesday's frigid temperatures didn't deter us from enjoying the "biggest skiing in North America" at Big Sky Resort. Sub-zero temperatures? No problem. We are Montanan's, after all (and those who aren't are quickly adapting). As Warren Miller said, "the best thing about skiing backward is that you can see where you've been." With another fun and successful Ski the Summit in the books, we are already looking forward to next year.

Article by Kebrina Vinglas, Development and Alumni Relations

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Adventist Community Services

Food Distribution made possible with NAD ACS Covid-19 Food Grant.
Article by: Gabriele Laub, Montana Conference Adventist Community Service Coordinator

In our last Montana Herald, we highlighted food distribution in Three Forks. But they aren't the only ones who've taken advantage of the Food Grant to bless communities with free food.

In Columbia Falls, Larysa Hudson led several volunteers to assemble and distribute food boxes with the ACS Covid-19 Food Grant funds. The pandemic is not over, and families are blessed with this outreach. Many struggle to obtain food at reasonable prices as supply chain interruptions continue and inflation takes its toll. Thank you, Columbia Falls church, for blessing your community!

Marcy Culver of the Kalispell church delivered ten $200.00 gift cards to the principal at the Evergreen Middle School. The Kalispell church has had an ongoing relationship with this school as many students come from economically challenged families. Previously they have donated t-shirts and shoes at Christmas time. This year they were able to donate gift cards specifically for food. The principal and staff were thrilled that the Kalispell church cares enough to help the school. Earlier that day, the principal had a family come in that didn't know where Christmas dinner was coming from. She said they have a friend who has offered their house to cook dinner. She was excited to know that she could now go to the store and buy the supplies needed for that Christmas dinner and other families that needed help. Thank you to Kalispell for helping the families of the Evergreen Middle School.

Both the Eureka church deaconesses and the Hot Springs Adventist Community Services center, under the leadership of Diana Roosma, were able to supply Thanksgiving baskets for families in need. Hot Springs also distributed baskets at Christmas.

We are grateful to all of you that sacrifice your time and energy to reach out to the community and help people during this time of food insecurity. May God continue to bless you all!

"Christ's method alone will give true success in reaching the people. The Saviour mingled with men as one who desired their good. He showed His sympathy for them, ministered to their needs, and won their confidence. Then He bade them, 'Follow Me.'" Ministry of Healing pg. 143.

Church Stories

One Person

Article by: Norma Trent, Roundup Adventist Church Communication Coordinator

Scott Praye came to our church one Sabbath back in 2018. And are we are glad he did! Since then, Scott has led Sabbath School classes, preached several times, helped with church projects, helped church members with home projects, and generally been just a wonderful person to know.

His latest project was a city-wide gospel concert. All were invited from the surrounding area. All churches, all people. Scott took care of the advertising, the booking of talent, and scheduling the venue.

Scott grew up in Washington state. He was raised in the Adventist Church, and his father was a Seventh-day Adventist pastor. He currently works for a local company in Roundup and does handyman-type work as a second job. He is also finishing his own home outside Roundup in the hills.

Scott’s Winter Gospel music concert is just one example of what a layperson can accomplish with the support of a church. What can you do to reach your community?

Resources & Events

The Men’s Leadership Training Seminar was developed to inspire and equip potential men’s ministry leaders so they can successfully develop a men’s ministry (MM) in their local churches which will reach, disciple and train men of all ages to connect to their God-given purpose and experience emotionally healthy relationships and spirituality. The goal of MM is to create a support system for men so they can be healthy and inspiring role models as husbands, fathers, and brothers. This event will empower them to be committed disciples of Jesus Christ.

Register Here

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
Education Superintendent & Youth Ministries - Renae Young

Communication Coordinator & Newsletter Editor - Stephen Carlile