Bismarck Calvary United Methodist
Tuesday, May 23, 2017
A United Methodist Congregation



Greater Grand Forks CRU (Campus Crusade for Christ)


March 2017

The Singer's Score

Bemidji State University
Bemidji State University is a campus of about 5,300 students, making it the second largest campus in our scope. About two weeks ago I had the opportunity to travel out to Bemidji again to sit down with a student named Robby who is working on starting Cru at Bemidji State University. It was a Friday afternoon and Robby and I sat down for lunch. We had plans to talk about all the documents that needed to be completed to get a campus org started. Before that our hope was to get an opportunity to share the gospel with a student in the eating area. Robby was a little nervous since he had never and shared his faith before, but he was willing to take a step of faith and give it a try. We asked two guys, Ben and Noah, if we could sit with them. They said yes.
As we proceeded to ask some spiritual questions they began to ask some questions back to the point where we were able to share the gospel with them. They both expressed interest in trusting Christ with their life but needed some more time to think. They also were very interested in the small group Bible study that Robby is hosting and said they wanted to invite
some friends as well! Praise the Lord for opportunities to share the gospel in Bemidji!
Life Update
We have some exciting news to share with you! Our family will be growing this summer as we are expecting our first child, a little GIRL, at the end of June! We are so thankful that the Lord has blessed us with the opportunity to be this little girl’s parents. For us, the journey of starting a family has been a long and painful journey; a journey that has caused us to seek the Lord and walk closely with Him, even when we were angry with Him. Because of the journey we have walked to get to this point, we are OVERJOYED that this has been a healthy pregnancy. Please pray with us that Kamaya and the baby continue to stay healthy. If you would like to read more about our journey to grow our family, check out the blog post Kamaya has written on our blog:
Pray for Todd & Jake as they continue to work with Robby & other Bemidiji students to start a Cru movement.  Pray for wisdom and guidance as they figure out what it looks like to coach Robby.
Pray for students to finish the school year well; that our leaders would walk with Jesus & look for opportunities to share the gospel with those around them.
Pray that Kamaya and the baby would continue to be healthy &for us as we prepare to be parents.

Todd & Kamaya Singer

The following will be our mission offerings for fall  2016 thru Lent 2017:

Harvest Fest Offering

CRU (Campus Crusade for Christ)

Heaven’s Helpers Soup Café

Operation Christmas Child Postage

Thanksgiving Offering

Christmas Baskets

Advent Offering


Saturday Banquet Serving

Lent Offering

Camp Scholarships

Teen Challenge

Contributions to Gideons International

Thank you to everyone who contributed to the exit offering on March 12 for the Gideons International.  The Calvary Church Family donated a total of $373.00.


Calvary Church supported Operation Christmas Child this year as its children’s gift box project.  The Calvary Church Family sent 42 boxes.  Thank you to those who participated.  



Our Christian Education Coordinators have come up with some great ideas and opportunities for all of us to participate in this coming year.  On February 18 they are sponsoring a Drive-In Movie Day from 1-3 pm.  If you have access to large boxes that the children can make into cars they can sit in for the Drive-In Movie, please bring them to the church by February 12 so we know how many boxes we will have to build cars.  Thanks.  Check out the Facebook page to find out more. 

Communion Ministry

Consecrated individual communion elements are on the information table of the church. These are meant for you as lay ministers to your community to take and share with homebound, family, or someone you believe needs this ministry.  Please share a communion scripture passage, prayer and the elements with those to whom you minister. 

Mission Outreach – Trinity Lunch

Our church will be serving the luncheon at Trinity Lutheran on February 18.  Marilou Voegele will again be heading up this outreach for our church.  If you are interested in helping out please contact her immediately.  God bless as you labor for the Lord.  Thank You. 

Mission Offerings

Our mission offering for Lent will be for camp scholarships and North Dakota Teen Challenge.


The appointment process

By Rev. Randy Cross, Eastern Sunrise District superintendent

     This time of year is known as appointment season.  It is a time when United Methodists across the Dakotas may hear that their pastor is moving to a new church. What is the appointment process and how does it work?

A word about the process

     Our United Methodist process of matching pastors and congregations is a "send" process; pastors are sent (appointed) to a congregation by the Bishop and Cabinet (the District Superintendents or DS). Some other denominations have a "call" system, whereby a local congregation "calls" or hires their pastor. All systems of matching pastors and congregations have their strengths and weaknesses. Our appointment process usually includes the following strengths:

·         The appointment of pastors and churches is based upon the missional needs of the church, not a process of hiring pastors who suit the preferences of the local church leadership.

·         Every church is appointed a pastor and every pastor is appointed to a church. There may be a few exceptions here.

·         The Bishop/Cabinet serve as the "search committee" to find the right pastor/congregation match.

·         Pastors have freedom for preaching the gospel without fear of being "fired."

·         Congregations may ask for a pastoral change without having to go through a painful "fight" to remove a pastor.

·         Pastors may ask for a change of appointment without losing their job.

·         Pastors may be appointed on the basis of their gifts and grace for ministry, without regard to their gender, ethnic background, or age.

·         A pastor whose fitness and effectiveness for ministry are monitored by the Board of Ordained Ministry serves local congregations.

·         Both the appointed pastors and the congregations to which they are appointed belong to a connection, which can provide support, training, mediation, and prayerful supervision.

·         Moving costs for pastors are paid through Conference apportionments, not by the local church or the pastor.

The people involved in the appointment process

     All clergy (ordained elders, ordained deacons, commissioned ministers, and local pastors) are appointed to their places of ministry by the Bishop assigned to the Dakotas-Minnesota Area. The Bishop works through the District Superintendents, who help the Bishop by supervising a portion of the Area, called a District. In addition, the Board of Ordained Ministry of the Conference (composed of laity and clergy) approves clergy for ministry, deems them appointable, monitors their fitness, and provides for their continuing education, removal from ministry, retirement, and other changes of their status. The local congregation is represented in the appointment process by the Pastor-Parish Relations Committee (PPRC) (or in larger churches it may be called the Staff-Parish Relations Committee) that is elected by the annual Charge Conference of the congregation.

Here is how the appointment process works:

     First, we gather the information.  Each year, each pastor serving a local church is scheduled to have a “one-on-one” conversation with his/her superintendent.  Among other things, during that conversation, the pastor is invited to talk about their current and future appointment, and if indeed, they are either open to a new appointment, asking for a new appointment, or talk about why the current appointment is the best at this time.  Later in the fall, the pastors are asked to fill out a profile, and to formally designate their hopes concerning an appointment.

     Each fall, each congregation is invited to update its parish profile, and also to denote whether they believe it’s in the best interest of the mission of the charge to keep their current pastor, or to ask for an appointment of a new pastor.

     Next, we pray, and make the best decisions.  At a retreat in January, the Cabinet meets to create the big picture of which churches and which pastors “need” a move.  That also includes retirements, and those pastors newly entering the pool, as seminary graduates or newly licensed pastors.  A great deal of prayer and time is taken to try to fit all of the pieces together.  The work then begins to contact pastors who will move, and begin the process of introductions of pastors with churches.

     We use the image of “chains” in making appointments; that is, as we begin with a church that has a clear opening (due to retirement or such) the superintendent meets with the SPR of the church to confirm the profile of the church, and to fine-tune the church’s needs in a pastor.  Very often, the profile fits well with what the Cabinet has estimated to be needed in each church, since it is the superintendent’s role to know the churches and the pastors and their needs.  If the profile is a match to what the superintendents believe is the best pastor to serve, the next step is to contact the incoming pastor, and inform him/her of the intention to appoint them to the new charge. 

     We introduce the new pastor and the new charge.  An introduction is set up, and the superintendent, new pastor and SPR meet as an “introduction,” not an “interview.”  The bishop is responsible for each appointment, and unless there would be red flags that arise during the introduction, the pastor introduced becomes the new pastor to be appointed at Annual conference to the new charge.

     As that appointment is made, a hole is created with the pastor’s intended leaving; a new link in the chain occurs as the process continues of profiling, contacting the pastor, and introducing the pastor in each new church setting.

     Yes, on rare occasion, something is missed in the process, and the bishop and cabinet, either by their own determination, or by the request of the pastor or parish, will reconsider the appointment to be made.  Sometimes, that means a new pastor is selected, but sometimes, the same pastor is selected to serve. 

     After each new pastor is introduced, an announcement is made in both charges concerning the change, and the charge and pastor prepare to begin the new ministry relationship. After the appointments are “fixed” at Annual Conference in June, the new pastors begin their appointment July 1.

     Appointments and appointment changes are formally made at Annual Conference and begin on July 1 of the year. Obvious exceptions include unexpected deaths or other events that remove a pastor from his/her appointment in between Annual Conferences. Each Monday appointments that have completed the process are posted at the Dakotas Conference website. (Photos: Dakotas Cabinet meeting in March, 2017)


Fargo “The Gathering” disbands

     After three years, the Gathering, a new church start in Fargo, North Dakota has decided to disband.

     Seventy people worshiped on and off at “The Stage at Island Park.”  Rev. Cody Schuler was the clergy leader part-time for The Gathering.  He serves as Assistant Director of the Fargo-Moorhead Coalition for Homeless Persons.  He will continue in that role on a full-time basis.  “What happens next is obviously in the hands of God,” said Ben Ingebretson, director of new church plants for the Dakotas-Minnesota Area.  “We are grateful for the work of Pastor Cody and all of those who were connected to The Gathering for their work in making disciples.” 


Solar Oven Partners (SOP) hires new director

     The Solar Oven Partners (SOP) Board of Directors is pleased to announce that Marjorie (Marj) Evans-de-Carpio has been hired as the new director of SOP.  Marj will begin work in mid-March, with current director Rick Jost officially retiring on April 30.

     Marj comes to the position with an extensive background in the skills needed to build cross-cultural relationships and a passion for the solar oven ministry.  Fluent in Spanish, the Wisconsin native and current Minnesota resident holds a BS in Spanish and Ibero American Studies and a Masters of Divinity.  She has been working as a certified Spanish interpreter for the Minnesota Judicial Branch, and previously worked at the Welcome Center in the City of Northfield, MN, where she assisted immigrants as they transitioned into the community.  The new director also brings a deep understanding of the Dominican Republic, where SOP is now working.

     We welcome Marj to Solar Oven Partners! 

(Marj spent her first two weeks of employment with Solar Oven Partners meeting and greeting supporting congregations in the Dakotas Conference.  Karen Workman from McCabe, who is very active in the SOP ministry, was Marj’s tour guide in Bismarck and the two of them met with Pastor Perry, Frieda Roth, and Sally Walker here at Calvary on March 22.)




The Open Door Witness, is now available on-line at Please click on that address, or copy and paste it into the address line of your browser. The Open Door Community Center in Bismarck is a special mission project of the Dakotas Conference and is supported by UMC churches in North and South Dakota. Our mission is "Through the Open Door Community Center, children and families receive Christian-based education and support services, enriching them to become responsible members of their families and community."

We welcome your comments and questions about the newsletter, programs and services. Contact me at 701-222-3004 or

Jolene Stading Puhalla, Director of Open Door Community Center.