The Roundup -

Wednesday Night Services Resume Sept. 21 at Lonsdale United Methodist Church


Pastor Melanie Martin-Dent is a transitional minister who will be at the United Lonsdale Methodist Church in Sidney for the next two years.

Lonsdale United Methodist Church in Sidney welcomed Pastor Melanie Martin-Dent and her husband Ron in July. Pastor Melanie is a transitional minister, who leads congregations through the reflection process, learning from past church involvement and discerning where God is calling the church to go next. Additionally, she pastors the United Methodist Church in Richey, MT.

She has spent most of her life in the Pacific-Northwest, graduating from college in Washington and graduating from seminary in California. Pastor Melanie moved to Montana in 1997 and has spent the last two years pastoring a congregation in Dillon, MT. In the fall of 2008, she joined the Butte Symphony, playing the piccolo and flute, which is something she continues to be involved with. Ron Martin-Dent is a retired pastor who has a part time position serving three churches: the Methodist Church in Culbertson, MT and UCC churches in Medicine Lake and Froid, MT.

Their daughter is attending the Missoula College of Technology and their son recently relocated to Minnesota for an internship with Gray Wolf Press.

Her focus is on improving the communications between different and equally important groups within the church. Some of the areas that needed new insight were Wednesday night services, the Free Store, and the church's newsletter.

Wednesday night services are resuming tonight, Sept. 21st. When Pastor Melanie arrived, youth leaders were looking for a new approach and three of the five band members from the Worship Team had moved out of the area. Pastor Melanie suggested 'Growing in Faith Together' or GIFT, which promotes cross-generational education and worship. It is a combination of singing, prayer, and worship with a fun bible component like the 'Books of the New Testament Rap'; the goal is to build stronger families and healthier communities through strengthening relationships with God and one another.

"It will be a fun and uplifting time together; prime time for a prime purpose," she commented.

Next on the agenda was to address organizational and storage concerns for the Free Store, as well as determining a couple of key people to sort clothing and organize volunteers. The Free Store was a ministry started by former Pastor Vicki Waddington. Four upstairs rooms in the church have been designated for sorting, displaying, and storing donated clothing, which are free to those who need them. The Free store is open the first and third Saturday of each month from 10:00am until noon. The church asks that donations be dropped off during business hours, 9:00am – 5:00pm, Monday – Thursday or call to make arrangements, 406-488-3110.

The church's monthly newsletter continues to be mailed out, with more of those being emailed; it includes a monthly events calendar and has been pared down to streamline important information.

"My purpose is to build bridges within the church and I find my work fun. I get to spend a lot of time building relationships with folks. I help the congregation decide what they should move forward with, let go of, and how to unify them," Pastor Melanie said.

Traditional Sunday services begin at 8:30am in Richey at the corner of South 4th St and Royal Ave, and at 11:00am in Sidney at 205 3rd Ave SE. Contemporary Wednesday night services are from 6:00pm – 7pm in Sidney. For more information, visit their Facebook page, or stop by the church.


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