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Pastor Msg

Men's Club
Ladie's Breakfast
Walk n Talk

Come join us for a healthy walk at the fairgrounds now that summer is here. We get an early start now in the warmer weather at 8:00 am . Tuesdays and Fridays are the 2 days of the week that we meet at gate 1. We walk at our own pace and we are even able to do some chatting at the same time. We'd love to have more folks joining us so hope to see you there.

  Free Friday Dinners
Join us for a free dinner offered from 5:30 - 6:30 pm on the last Friday of the month. Grass Valley United Methodist Church, 236 S. Church St., Grass Valley.
Hot Food
Free 2nd & 4th Mon. Dinners

A free, hot and nourishing dinner will be
served on the second and fourth Monday
evenings from 5-6 pm at St. Patrick’s
Catholic Church, 235 Chapel Street in Grass Valley.
Click to
A global ministry dedicated to supporting the spiritual formation of Christians seeking to know and experience God more fully.

The Living Prayer Center
Upper Room’s live, 24/7 prayer ministry.

The United Methodist Committee on Relief, a not-for-profit organization dedicated to alleviating human suffering around the globe. UMCOR’s work reaches people in more than 80 countries, including the United States.

An agency of The United Methodist Church, GBOD (The General Board of Discipleship) helps local church, district, and conference leaders fulfill the shared dream of making world changing disciples.
A website dedicated to grateful living.

Christian news in the 21st century.
“The intersection of faith and life.”

We encourage youth to check out The Upper Room’s Devo Zine, where you can find articles about spiritually active teens all around the world, connect with their social media outlets, post and respond to a live prayer wall, and even contribute articles and devotionals of your own.

General Board of Church and Society

General Board of Global Ministries www.umcmission.org

Methodist Federation for Social Action www.mfsaweb.org
            Our Local Church Staff

Pastor…………………………………..Kristin Sachen
Administrative Assistant......Peggy Hernandez
Lay Leader…………………………...Mark Michalski
Choir Director ………………………Eleanor Kenitzer
Praise Band Director…………...David Lynn
Wedding Hostess…………………Barbara Dean
Treasurer & Membership
    Secretary………………………….Kay Zuelsdorf
Financial Secretary……………….DeeAnn Bellows
Nursery Attendant……………...Jamie Beer
             And many wonderful volunteers!

             Our Connectional Staff

Great Northern District
Superintendent………………………David L. Samelson
CA-NV Bishop…………………………Minerva Carcano
Help Wanted
Our Emergency Food Closet needs your help! It is open Tuesdays and Thursdays from 12 noon until 2:00 pm. If you would like more details or would like to sign up for a shift, please contact Harry Spence.

HOSPITALITY HOUSE: Help is needed with our dinner every first Saturday...we need shoppers (you are reimbursed), cooks (recipes, and experienced chefs are there), and servers (5:30 pm to 7:30 pm, with others who know the ropes). Sign up in Fellowship Hall. You will be called with the pertinent details. Please contact Barbara Dean with any questions.

HABITAT LUNCH FOR CONSTRUCTION WORKERS: We serve lunch (for the folks who are building Habitat houses) every third Saturday. We need cookies and sandwiches. You can choose what and how much you will contribute. Sign up on the “sign up board” in Fellowship Hall. Please contact Barbara Dean with any questions.

Chicken Table
Community Chicken Lunch

  Chicken          Lunch
Our next chicken lunch will be Wednesday, September 12th at
12 noon in Fellowship Hall. The price is now $8. It remains the best deal in town! See you there!

                   Taize Service
  Our Next Taize service will be Weds., Sept. 5th at 6:30pm
A Taize service is a contemplative type service which includes prayer and short repetitive refrains. It comes from Taizé which is an ecumenical community in the eastern part of France. Begun in 1940 as shelter for refugees fleeing WWII, it is now made up of over a hundred brothers, both Catholics and Protestants from various backgrounds, coming from around thirty nations. The community is a representation of reconciliation between divided Christians and between separated peoples. The Taizé community has developed a tradition of prayer including the short repetitive refrains and silent meditation that are part of the service. All are invited to attend.

Taize services are also being held in the sanctuary at Peace Lutheran Church in Grass Valley the 3rd Wednesday of each month at 6:30 p.m.



Our church has a group of spritely folk who donate part of their Wednesday mornings to keeping our church building sparkling for Sunday worshipers, midweek activities, and guests. It is an amiable bunch of folk, but mostly all are retired and many in the upper end of that age group! Younger muscles and energy would boost their powers of sustainability! Granted, younger members of our congregation tend to be working full time and do not have Wednesday morning cleaning time, but an hour here and there — whenever available — could make the difference. If you have such an hour and would be willing to donate it to a task of cleaning, please contact Carl Godfrey. You will sprout wings and a halo immediately.

Life After Thursday

“Life After Thursday” is an informal pot-luck held every first Friday of the month at a private home. All adults are invited to join in the fellowship and fun.
On Friday, September 7th, the gathering will be held at Heather’s home. Start time is 6 p.m. with dinner service beginning at 6:30. Please bring one of the following: hors d’oeu-ves, salad, main dish or a dessert to share. In addition, a cold beverage of your choice, tableware and a smile are requested.
We will be sitting outside on the deck and in the yard so dress accordingly. In case you don't know how to find the location call the church office at 265-2797 for information.


Youth Ministry

Youth Ministry at NCUMC

The youth and some of their parents will take a shift staffing the Brat Booth during the fair.
To find out more call Sharon Delgado at 265-5976.

Womans Retreat







The Beginning of a Vision


            Conversion is a familiar word in Christian church circles. However, converting ‘souls’ is one thing, but what about converting a church’s source of electricity to solar?  That’s quite another issue.  At the Nevada City United Methodist Church, the notion of converting its primary electrical energy source to solar was not a new development.  “The idea of installing solar panels has been floating around the church for over 10 years,” commented Chris Newsom, an active member of the church’s solar committee.  “In 2007, our Church & Society Committee was deeply concerned about the environment, and particularly the harmful consequences of electricity generation through fossil fuels.”  With the awareness that 80% of commercially generated electricity comes from fossil fuels, contributing significantly to the harmful effects of global warming, Newsom, an early supporter of the idea, commented,  “the harmful consequences of electricity  generation through capturing the sun’s rays are—nothing.”


            Extensive investigation of such a project was then undertaken, including the inspection of the church’s roof structure, available sun exposure, cost projections, and the location in historic Nevada City.  Although It was determined that a solar installation was, indeed, feasible, the idea had to be dropped, as the cost of installing such a system was, at that time, too excessive for the church’s budget. 


The vision revisited


            The Church & Society team didn’t give up.  Its members were increasingly alarmed by the catastrophic effects of a warming planet, and the acceleration of greenhouse gases. They also wanted to join with the many other churches and agencies who had made decisions to reduce their carbon footprint.  This would be an an important step in its stewardship of God’s creation, and that planning for a future with reduced pollution and less extraction of the earth’s limited resources is what the church is called to do as a community of faith. With an awareness of the steady decline in the cost of solar, and the major advances in solar technology, in 2017, some eleven years later, the team decided to begin feasibility studies again.


            The chair of the church’s Board of Trustees, Gail Green, established a solar committee.  “It was a long process,” notes the church’s pastor, Rev. Kristin Sachen.  “There were many issues and hurdles to address, particularly the cost and whether or not the church could afford it.”  Months of exploration followed, eventually with bids requested from four area solar companies.  A detailed financial analyses of the cost/benefits of such an array was developed, and the results were startling!


A Visionary Payoff


            Could the church actually save money by installing solar panels?  Some, understandably, were skeptical.  Figures were gathered; costs were estimated; loans were projected, and - surprisingly - as graphs were presented to the church council, it was demonstrated that, with some creative financing of the project, the church could potentially realize a reduction in its electricity bill - starting the first month after installation!

            Sustainable Energy Group (SEG) of Grass Valley was chosen as the contractor.  At a price tag of approximately $41,000, a big question remained - “How are we possibly going to pay for this?”  Then prayer, commitment, and creativity stepped in. One key idea was to ask members of the congregation to support the project with advance donations. Amazingly, nearly one-half of the bid amount was pledged, reducing the size of the financed portion to just over $20,000.  As SEG project designer Penn Martin commented, “To me, one of the most exciting aspects of this project is how it got funded. The church congregation raised about half the money through donations, there was a poetry reading at the church, very well attended, and the remainder is being financed through the county's mPower program.”


            Upon seeing the careful planning of the project, the enthusiastic financial commitment from the congregation, and in complete sympathy with the environmental benefits, a special church conference unanimously, and enthusiastically, voted “yes” for the project.  Trustee’s chair Green has happily noted that, the minute the solar switch is turned on, the church’s monthly electrical bill will be much lower - by as much as $150  a month - because the monthly loan payments will be that much less than what the electric bill would have been without solar. The loan will be paid off in 7 or 8 years, at which time, with the church now generating 75% of its electrical needs from solar, it will only need to pay the utility company the cost of the remaining bill.


Architectural Design and Technology


            Penn Martin, when asked about his design process, stated that, as he began the design for the solar array, “my deepest concern was for the architectural integrity of the project.”   Because of the church’s very visible location at the top of Broad Street, Martin noted,  “My first impulse was to consider the visual impact of adding solar panels to the church.  Whatever we did, it had to blend in.”  

            The church had previously received an enthusiastic go-ahead from the Nevada City Planning Commission for the project, so Martin specifically zeroed in on the appearance of the panels themselves. “I chose black on black panels. These will work nicely with the slate black roof of the church. The panels themselves are made in the USA, actually in Hillsboro, Oregon, by SolarWord Americas, primarily of aluminum and crystalline silicon…..essentially purified sand!”         



The Spectacular Installation


            As the final day of the 5-day installation grew close, SEG project director Brian Gardner was asked what one might expect to see that morning.  After some thought, he replied, “It will be a spectacle!”  Truly it was.  In the early morning of Wednesday, July 25, a huge gradall” fork-lift lumbered down Mill St., the narrow one block link between Broad and Spring Street.  A group of five young workmen appeared, draped with ropes over their shoulders, tool belts strapped to their waists, with hardhats on for protection - looking like rock climbers getting ready to scale a Yosemite monolith - and began their ascent to the heights of the church’s steep rooftop.  The fork lift gently began elevating groups of four solar modules 43 feet up to the edge of the church’s roofline.  Then, with great caution, skill and experience, the rooftop ‘climbers’ carefully secured the shiny black solar panels to their individual ‘resting places’   A small group of church members watched with gratitude as the first concrete element of their vision was realized before their eyes.


Complimenting Nevada City’s Energy Goals


            Not only does this installation help the pocketbooks of church members, it runs parallel with Nevada City’s Energy Action Plan, requiring renewable sources for its energy use.  In August of 2017, the Nevada City council passed a resolution establishing a goal for Nevada City’s electricity to come from 100% renewable sources by 2030, and for all of its energy to come from renewable sources by 2050. The Nevada City council then established a new committee, the “100%  Renewables Committee,” to help facilitate this process.


            Rev. Don Baldwin, retired minister related to the church, commented, “We are delighted to be joining the “solar family” within Nevada County - the many homes, churches, businesses and agencies with solar power already in operation.  We know we’re not the first on the block to have made this transition, but we’re delighted to finally be there!  It’s also thrilling to see that many more are now able to consider the huge benefit that solar offers - both financially and environmentally.”


 A Bright Future


            “It’s truly a win-win scenario,” one church member explained. “We will now save money each month on our electric utility bill, and - at the same time, by switching to a clean and renewable energy source - the sun, we help save the planet!  That sure makes for a brighter future, not only for our congregation, but also helps us fulfill our sense of Christian stewardship to care for the earth.”


            Observing the installation, pastor Sachen commented that she loved the idea of modern technology on the old building. “It’s like ‘old dogs’ learning ‘new tricks!”’  She was thrilled when she had heard that the Nevada City Planning Commission was enthusiastically ‘on board’ with the project. “They were all ‘thumbs up’ - very pro sustainable energy!”  And when asked what this meant for her church members, she reflected, “This was a great ‘we can do it’ moment - a clear investment in the future. We’ve been here a long time, and we plan to be for a long time to come!”


Article by Rev. Don Baldwin

July 25, 2018


Don Baldwin is a retired United Methodist Minister

and Chair of the coordinating team for the Nevada County

Climate Change Coalition.  He can be reached at:


Click Pictures tab for Solar Pictures

Going for the Sun

Nevada City United Methodist Church Joins the Solar Family



Choir - VBS
Fanily Fun night