Bismarck Calvary United Methodist
Monday, July 24, 2017
A United Methodist Congregation



Greater Grand Forks CRU (Campus Crusade for Christ)


May 2017

The Singer's Score

     The last final has been taken, students have moved out of their dorms, and the seniors have received their diplomas.  The school year is officially over!  Students have moved on to their summer plans whether that be going home to work,    staying in Grand Forks to take summer classes, traveling, or maybe even living in a new place for an internship.   
     While every student has different summer plans, some of the students involved in Cru have surrendered their summers to the Lord to go where He wants them to go, do what He wants them to do, and say what He wants them to say.  Over fifteen UND students have decided to give between one and ten weeks of their summer to go on a  Cru Summer Mission.  
     During their time on summer mission students will be trained in how to share their faith, they will be discipled and grow in leadership skills, they will be stretched in their faith and experience a community unlike any they have ever experienced before.  More than anything else, these students will share the good news of Jesus with those they meet on campus, at work, on the beach, on the boardwalk, and many other places. 
     Please pray for these students as the places they are going range from North Myrtle Beach and the   Jersey Shore to places over seas like East Asia, South Asia, and Africa.  Pray that they would walk closely with Jesus, grow closer to Him, and that the Lord would use them to help others understand who Jesus is and how they can have a relationship with Him.
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 students going on Summer Mission to be teachable and bold in sharing their faith.
Pray for students who are going home for the summer, that they would continue to walk with Jesus and find a place to be connected to a community of believers.
Pray that Kamaya and the baby would continue to be healthy & for us as we prepare to be parents.


Todd & Kamaya Singer



Six Things You Won't Want to Miss at Annual Conference 2017

      Bismarck, North Dakota. The three-day conference session is a time for Dakotas United Methodists to worship and enjoy fellowship, learn from teaching sessions, seek God’s guidance as we make decisions about ministry direction, determine budgets, ordain and commission clergy, and receive the Bishop’s clergy appointments.

     Annual conference is not just for clergy and lay members, it is for anyone who would like to attend as a guest.  Here are six things you will not want to miss.

Pre-Conference Workshops — There are five different 90-minute workshops being offered on Wednesday, June 7 at 1:30 p.m. and at 3:15 p.m.  Topics include:  The Style and Strategies of a Multiplying Leader, Avoiding a Volunteer Vortex, Navigating Our Changing World and Communities, Church Financial Myths and The Power of Breakthrough Prayer.

Rev. Junius Dotson — Rev. Junius B. Dotson, General Secretary of UMC Discipleship, is preaching at opening worship on Thursday, June 8 at 8:30 am.  He will be our teaching speaker on Friday, June 9 at 9:45 am.  Dotson, who was elected to the position in April 2016, is an ordained elder in the Great Plains Conference and formerly served as senior pastor of Saint Mark United Methodist Church, a 3,500-member, multi-campus church in Wichita, Kansas.  “Discipleship has always been my passion,” said Dotson.

Festival in the Park — On Thursday evening, June 8, beginning at 5:45 pm, participants will enjoy food – hamburgers, brats and more – and fellowship at Sertoma Park in Bismarck.  The park has a zoo and an amusement park.  However, United Methodists will bring their own amusement and entertainment including: the Fargo First African praise team providing music, a 1-mile, 2-mile and 3-mile walk, lawn games, bean bag toss tournament, and a sand volleyball match between the Dakotas Conference youth and the cabinet. You can also sign up for a riverboat cruise when you register.

Kids Count Miracle Offering — You will not want to miss Bishop Bruce Ough’s episcopal address at worship on Friday, June 9 at 8:00 a.m.  The Kids Count Miracle Offering will be collected at this worship.  This year’s offering, “Kids Count Miracle Offering,” has both a hands-on and a financial component.  The goal is to raise $100,000 for grants for church-school partnerships and to help new worshipping congregations send the children in their target communities to our United Methodist camps, as well as have 10,000 volunteer hours pledged for Kids Count Miracle Offering.

Celebration of Life in Ministry Service — On Friday, June 9, at 7 pm, in a Celebration of Life in Ministry Service, we will remember United Methodist friends and colleagues who have died over the past year, honor clergy who are retiring, and celebrate those who were commissioned and ordained.  The service will be held at the Legacy United Methodist Church, built in 2015.  Bishop Ough is preaching and music will be led by the Legacy UMC worship team.

Baptismal Remembrance and Fixing of Appointments Service — United Methodists across the Dakotas will remember their baptisms, commission Rev. Keihwan Ryoo to the mission field, formally announce and fix the appointments of clergy to churches and bless those entering their first appointment. Rev. DeAnn Eidem, Rapid City Canyon Lake UMC, will deliver the sermon.  Music for this worship service, as well as the services on Thursday and Friday morning, will be led by Rev. Taylor Johnson, Sioux Falls First UMC.

     Come to Bismarck and connect with United Methodists from across North and South Dakota and beyond.  The fee to register as a visitor is $5 per day plus the cost of any meals.


Sunday School in Kensal, North Dakota is a Community Event

Kensal United Methodist Church sees an average of 15-17 in worship on Sunday but there are 24-30 kids at Sunday school each week.  How does that happen?  All of the kids in the community are invited and they can’t wait to show up each week.

     There are 40 students in the elementary school in Kensal, North Dakota (grades preschool-6), most of them show up for Sunday school at the United Methodist Church in Kensal each week.  “I can’t believe all the kids that are coming to the program,” said Pastor Becky Holten, who serves the charges of Kensal / Wimbledon and Edgeley / Ashley.  “We have some awesome volunteers that are making it happen.”

     Amanda Lee serves as the coordinator of the program. Lee recently moved back to Kensal from Fargo where she worked as a para legal. “My five-year-old daughter loved going to Sunday school and she wanted to continue going.”

     Kensal UMC was Lee’s home church and she wanted to attend there but there was no Sunday school program.  “There seemed to be a lot of younger kids 5-years-of-age and younger around, but none of the churches in Kensal had a Sunday school program.  We thought we may have to commute 30-plus miles so our daughter could be in Sunday school,” stated Lee.

     Lee was challenged by one of the Kensal community members, her insurance agent, to start her own program.  She approached Pastor Becky Holten who was very supportive.  Lee did some promotion around town with her sister, Kristina Nicholson and kids began to sign up.

     Each week, 24-30 kids show up to participate.  “One Sunday I was leaving Kensal to head over to Wimbledon,” said Holten. “I walked outside and there were bicycles, a wagon, a four-wheeler and a dog.  The dog got in the church, ran through the sanctuary and down to the basement.  I had to help chase the dog out before I could go onto the next service.  But it was worth it.”

     Lee said there are at least 12 students in the preschool group each week and 12 students in the elementary group. “We begin with a large group and do some singing.  Then we divide into two groups, preschool and elementary. We have crafts and a lesson each week.”

     The program is equipped with volunteers that include three high school students and the lone sixth-grade student, a boy.  “Our mom, Pam Bredahl, also helps out a lot.  She is great at lining up the crafts,” said Lee.

     One of the highlights of the year was the Christmas program.  “This is the first time in years that this little church has held a Christmas program,” said Holten.  “Catholics, Lutherans and Methodists gathered together to watch the program and then shared fellowship after the program.”

     The churches have enjoyed the kids singing throughout the year during church service.  “The kids sing at the Lutheran church as well as the Methodist church,” said Lee. 

     Parents and people around town have commented to Lee that they like the program.  “One person told me their kids couldn’t wait to come each week.  Another person said their child keeps asking what day of the week it is, is it Sunday school day?  One grandparent told me that their grandchild is always singing the songs they learn in Sunday school.”

     Plans are underway to hold a Vacation Bible School (VBS) in late May.  “Things are looking pretty good for VBS so far. We have 24 kids that regularly come to Sunday school signed up, plus about 5-6 additional.  We would like to see 40 kids sign up,” said Lee.

     Holten, Lee and Nicholson recently spent time planning for next year’s program.  The three participated in a training session held at Wesley Acres as part of the Youth Ministry Cohort.  “We took the concepts that we learned that day and the opportunity to plan for the upcoming year,” said Holten.

     Lee sees the community Sunday school as a blessing in her life.  “It has helped me connect to the pastor, community and the church. I am reading the bible again.  Since leaving Fargo, it has given me a meaningful focus and something to feel good about.”




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.