(406) 777-5443 steviumc@gmail.com

Feb. 2021

 Feb. 17…

May the snow replenish the ground sources, nourish the living things, and illuminate the beauty in the quiet, slow and serene. May the snow also remind us that with each season comes a purpose that can serve the next. Thank you for all that is alive, even in preparation now for more life to come.

Psalm 27:14  Wait for the Lord; be strong and take heart and wait for the Lord.

Feb. 10th … Fellowship Hall space down, building secured, ramp for front in the works. Excavation to start soon.

May the materials bent and broken, wood saved and recycled, space opened and exposed, work applied in care all be held up to God as gifts to be used for good. In our distress, fill us again with hope, Holy Spirit. In our excitement, let us offer thanksgiving for God’s trust in this Body of Christ, the church.

For we know that if the earthly tent which is our house is torn down, we have a building from God, a house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens. -2 Cor. 5:1

Feb, 3rd…Building Closed & Power Off

  • Friday, Feb. 5 the gas, electricity, and water will be shut off.
  • The cost of time & money to reroute the power sources temporarily helped the Building Team decide to cut the power instead.
  • Saturday, Feb. 6: Workers will seal the wall between the library and new construction.
  • Monday, Feb. 8: Excavator begins taking apart the building.





 Jan. 2021

In early December, the building team invited 6 contractors to submit proposals and received three. For the selection process the committee considered cost, quality, proposed construction time lines and contractor reputation.  Of those three proposals, Carl Construction was clearly the leader in the criteria set by the committee. Carl Construction was started by native Missoulian, Fred Carl in 1993.  They have constructed several high profile projects in western Montana and received accolades for their work.  You can see and read more about them on their website carlconstruction.com.

Our project will be lead by Stevensville native, Lou Ralls.  In the interviews Lou showed a real passion for Stevensville and recognizes the need for an early learning center in his home town. He has committed to build the quality facility we envision in a cost effective, timely manner.

            The POD came on Dec. 14 to reside on the south side of the building, holding our beloved treasures until the new building is completed. Ben Longbottom, Dean and joey Diers packed up most of the fellowship hall. Bob Edgar led the crew in packing the POD, though for a minute we considered it as a new video recording studio for worship services: wild acoustics!
       Carl Const. is planning to start construction some time in February. If weather allows and we can get the building down sooner, it may be as soon as late Jan.  In our last interview Lou said that he felt we could have Sapphire Early Learning Center open at the beginning of the school year in 2021.
      If you have questions or ideas make sure to contact John Fisher, Paul Ludington, Lenny Johnson, Sara Malo, Gretchen Spiess or Pastor Sarah.
Happy New Year,
John Fisher


December, 2020

November, 2020

October, 2020


Sept. 2020

It is hard to believe that it’s time for another update as we watch August and with it, summer fade into the rear view mirror. On August 18th the District Committee on Buildings and Locations, (the conference oversight committee for churches with large building projects) officially approved SUMC’s building project plans. The committee asked good questions about the mission behind the project, business structure, tax implications, and funding. They gave an overwhelming blessing with unanimous approval, congratulating the congregation on its leap of faith and creativity to connect with the community.

Blessings, Leaps of Faith and Creativity will be our beacons as we move forward with plans to offer a distance learning space for the school aged children and families of our community. Uncertain times call for leaps of faith. With the commitment and creativity of our committee and the blessings of our congregation, we have outlined what SELC can look like in the near term. Our construction time-line in the midst of a pandemic has inspired what I’ll call, a “flexible response”. The traditional, in-person model of public education will not be taking place in Stevensville this fall. Apart from that, there are many uncertainties. SELC’s response to that uncertainty is to offer the following:

  • Care for Distance Learners
    • Offering space & supervision for school aged children, ages 5-12, to engage in Stevensville Elementary School provided distance learning
    • Monday – Friday, 8 am – 6 pm, $35 per day
  • After School Programming
    • Monday – Friday, 4 pm – 6 pm, $10 per day
  • Best Beginnings Scholarship applicable for either program


July 1, 2020

Since given approval to move forward with the Sapphire Early Learning Center project the building team has met twice. Here is a recap of what has been done to date:

  • The Mountain Sky Foundation has requested a bit more information from us regarding the project. That info will be submitted before July 1st. The foundation committee meets on July 15th and we are anticipating loan approval at that time.
  • The City of Stevensville has set the date for the public hearing for the SELC variance request. The meeting will be July 2nd at the library.
  • The building team met with Angela Stringham and began the design process. We discussed storage and some ideas on making the space more efficient including a door from the kitchen to the fellowship hall, rest room accessibility, and security issues. We will wait until after the meeting with Stevensville Town Council to go further.
  • Sara Malo and Gretchen Speiss have started putting together a marketing and capital campaign program. They will be working closely with Stewardship/Finance committee in regards to the capital campaign.
  • The SELC website will be up soon. We are looking at ways to share updates on the project with all of you and the community via the website, Facebook, emails, etc. Stay tuned.
  • Kendra Ruff has drafted a job description for an office admin person to fill the role of SUMC office admin and to help the SELC construction project administrative tasks. Along with SPR, we will begin a formal search for a candidate
  • We have submitted application for three grants to date totaling $11,000.
  • The building team is still anticipating ground breaking in early Sept. and opening the center in May 2021.