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Montana Herald • October 2021

A Note from the Editor…

Greetings to my Montana Brothers and Sisters in Christ,

I just wanted to take a moment to say thank you for reading the Montana Herald. This is the third edition of the Herald that I've edited, and I will tell you, the amount of time and effort put into this humble little newsletter goes far beyond what I do, I just simply get to share it with all of you. From community services, school activities, to behind the scenes planning, this newsletter wouldn't have much news if you weren't ministering to your communities. If your church or school has a story to tell, I'd love to connect with you so we can share it with others. Simply reply to this email so we can connect. Keep it up Montana! I hope you enjoy this month's edition of the Herald.

Peace & Grace,
Pastor Stephen Carlile
Communication Coordinator

Pastor Appreciation Month

October is Pastoral Family Appreciation Month, an opportunity to show gratitude to our pastors, and their families, for their ministry. Best Practices for Adventist Ministry has come up with a variety of creative ways to give back and show pastors, spouses, and pastor’s kids you care. Click the button below for 30 ideas to try in the month of October and beyond.

Pastor Appreciation Ideas

Montana Conference News & Updates

Constituency Update

September 30 may have been just another day for the majority of Montana. Still, for the Montana Conference, it signaled a visible beginning to a very busy period leading up to April 10, 2022. If you haven’t heard, April 10, 2022, is the date for the Montana Conference Constituency Session. September 30 was the day when delegates for the Constituency Session were due at the Conference office.

I want to say thank you to the churches for faithfully getting their delegate lists back to us here at the office and an even bigger thanks to the two hundred seventy-nine (279) faithful Montana church family who agreed to serve as delegates. When you add in the delegates-at-large, there will be well over three hundred (300) of us gathered in the Mount Ellis Academy Gymnasium on April 10. We can look forward to joining together and reflecting on how God has blessed us as a Conference and looking forward to where He desires to lead us in the future.

Between now and then, there is still much to be done to ensure a productive and successful session and we will be relying on your faithfulness. The By-Laws Committee has already begun their work with the Agenda Committee soon to follow. The Organizing Committee Caucuses come February 6, for the Eastern and Central Regions, and February 7, for the Western Region.

Well, that is likely enough for now. If you are like me, your head is probably spinning. Don’t worry; there will be plenty of information coming to keep us on track.

All of this brings me back to you, our faithful Montana Church Family. None of these things can happen without you and what God is going to do through you. I am grateful for your faithful service going forward and solicit your prayers over this entire process that God will be glorified when we come together on April 10.

Jim Jenkins
Vice President of Administration
Montana Conference of Seventh-day Adventists

Adventure Awaits - Outdoor School

What happens when nearly 60 students converge upon the Conference office for Outdoor School? Organized chaos! As students arrived for registration, many erupted in delight as they recognized those they had met at Camp Paxson last summer. Others, new to everything, looked on in wonderment.

Elementary Outdoor School was a welcomed event this year after having been canceled due to COVID in 2020. Typically an event reserved for grades 5-6, we opened it up to grades 5-8, so all who had missed out on the canceled event last year could enjoy it this year. This year's theme was "Adventure Awaits," with the content focusing on survival in the woods.

Mike Lowe, the guest survivalist instructor this year, also provided the daily worships for the group. His stories came from his childhood and how he survived a rough upbringing as an orphan, his spiritual conversion, and his time on the TV reality show, Alone. (season 2).

Outdoor School was survivalist in nature from the very beginning with the season's first dump of significant snow. The activities took place at Mount Ellis Academy's lodge at the Bear Canyon Ski Hill, with snow being 12+ inches deep and even deeper in drifts.

One of the first activities of each day is the traditional "Running Bear," where students walk/jog/run for a short exercise time to get the day going. It was discovered later that it was aptly named because there was a bear on campus rummaging around near staff houses!

Mr. Lowe spent the first day providing instruction and assistance for making fires. He first divided the students into small working groups and challenged them to make a fire without giving instruction. The weather conditions were challenging as snow continued to fall throughout the day, and all fire-starting materials were wet. Following that experiment (with some groups actually succeeding with making a fire), Mike showed how to find moss and place it between one's layers of clothing in order to dry it out, so getting a spark would be much easier. He gave additional tips and had students practice various methods. Jim Hanson, a sophomore at MEA, assisted Mike with instruction. Jim has attended training with Mike in the recent past and was able to provide essential assistance during this event.

The next day, students rotated between various stations learning how to do a bow drill fire, making markings on a trail, setting snares, making a snow shelter, and cooking camp bread over a fire. Several students remarked that the camp bread was the best dessert they'd ever had! (They sprinkled the bread with cinnamon/sugar).

Each evening after supper, MEA's Athletic Director, Andrew Thomas, hosted an hour of game time for the students. Dodgeball was easily their favorite! This was followed by an evening worship time where MEA students provided song service.

To cap off a great week, the group went to Bozeman Hot Springs to spend a couple of hours simmering in warm water before they headed home. All the students had a great time!

Renae Young
Superintendent of Education
Montana Conference of Seventh-day Adventists

Mount Ellis Academy

Students and staff at MEA have fallen into their regular school day rhythm, and it’s hard to believe that we are already had our first home leave in early October. While many of our students went home, our soccer and volleyball teams headed to Walla Walla University to represent MEA at their annual Fall Classic Soccer and Volleyball Tournament.

Some of the highlights from the beginning of school include Outdoor School, on the Missouri River, where students and staff bonded in wet and cold conditions. We made a smoky but successful Mt. Ellis climb, and the Seniors all survived Senior Survival. We also had a fun and successful Girls’ Retreat, where our young ladies were matched with mentors from our church community and learned all about their love languages and took beautiful Sabbath afternoon hikes.

After a year of COVID restrictions, we are excited to be able to revive “Montana Serves,” part of our spiritual mentoring program where we send our students out across the Montana Conference to lead our churches in worship. If you would like MEA to come to your church, please feel free to reach out to our school administration. We are always looking for ways for our students to serve and engage with our Montana church family. Our music groups (Dynamics, Choir, Bellisimo, and Strings) are all preparing to lead various churches throughout the conference in worship, and their first performance was at Mount Ellis SDA Church on Sabbath, September 25.

There is a vibrant spiritual pulse on campus, and the excitement for the new school year is palpable.

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Did you know that MEA is receiving some great rankings for private schools in Montana? We are ranked #1 for Best Boarding School in MT, #1 for Best Christian Schools in MT, and we received the top ranking in Gallatin County for Best Christian High School, Best College-Prep High School, and Best Private High School.

Let’s get the word out so we can continue to share the love of Jesus with more students and their families. Our deepest desire is to introduce young people into a life-long relationship with Jesus Christ.

Ranking Information

Roundup Celebrates 25 Years of Service

How to Apply for the Covid Food Grant
In 4 Easy Steps

1. Provide name, phone, and email of contact person, church name, pastor, address of the church.

2. List brief description of proposed activity - for example, put together x number of food boxes for the estimated number of individuals and families, or estimated amount of different food to be given away to homeless, shut-ins, etc.

3. Calculate $ amount of individual boxes, bags, or giveaways and request that funds be reserved for this purpose from the Covid-19 Food Grant.

4. Please email the information back to me at this email address:

Funds may be used for food or personal protective equipment - masks, sanitizer - for the volunteers involved.

We have masks from FEMA that we can ship to you for this purpose.

Looking forward to your requests,

In His Service,
Gabriele Miranda-Laub
Coordinator, Adventist Community Services
Montana Conference of Seventh-Day-Adventists

Tribute to Pastor Chris Barr

The Montana Conference was blessed in so many ways by the ministry of Pastor Chris Barr.

Chris served as an integral part of the conference ministerial and church ministries team. He worked tirelessly to assist the conference's mission, volunteering his time and often with only a modest stipend to cover travel expenses. He and his wife, Valerie (who would often travel with him), gave their time and energies to help whenever and wherever needed. Particularly in eastern Montana, they traveled extensively in support of our churches, especially amidst pastoral vacancies. They would minister to the needs - visiting, preaching, teaching, and always available for counsel and encouragement.

Often, he would attend and interact with us at weekly conference worships, join conversations regarding various ministry opportunities, and pray with and for us regularly. He led out in health ministries, leading and training people in conducting depression recovery seminars, eye clinics, and TELL (Tools to Equip Lay Leaders) weekends throughout Montana.

Not only was he a mentor and personal friend, but so much more- a man of God who believed so passionately about the mission and message of the Seventh-day Adventist Church.

Pastor Chris leaves behind a lasting legacy in the lives of the people he influenced throughout his ministry in unselfish service for our Master. We expectantly look forward to that great and glorious day when Jesus Christ will come to resurrect His sleeping saints.

What a great reunion that will be!

Respectfully Submitted,
Pastor Barry Taylor, DMin


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