News & Events

Vista Sun Wheel

The Vista Sun Wheel
(a medicine wheel).
The Vista Medicine Wheel was constructed on our church property to honor the ancient people nearby who also built just such an observatory. Theirs was larger and more complex, tracking rising stars as well as the equinox and solstice.
The Vista Sun Circle is 63 feet/19.2 meters in diameter thus 197.8 feet/ 60.2 meters circumference. The circular edge and central cairn are made of broken limestone, 4 to 12 inch random. The bed is decomposed ½ inch granite with fines, standard landscape material for southern Arizona. The center post is marked by a sandstone block about 30inch/75cm tall. That post is nearly buried due to recent addition to the mass of the cairn.
The solstices and equinox are indicated very well. This site has irregular horizons (mountains) and this is compensated for by the 6 U shaped viewing stations. Note, this will make most sunrise “late” and most sunset “early”. Our truest level view and most accurate sunset time is during sunset, winter solstice. We work with what we are given! Amen.
Suggested visiting times: 1 hour before sunrise to 1 hour after sunset and all daylight hours. If the office is open check in as a courtesy.
Sturdy shoes are best to walk the gravel path. In warm weather wear a hat, bring water and watch for desert denizens! The toughest creatures I have seen in the time of construction were several horned toads and one gecko. These are a blessing from nature, live closest to the earth and see all. Please remain in the graveled area, do not go into the brush. Church policy does not allow overnight tenting/camping/RV parking on church property. Thank you for your consideration.
Photo Credit: James Bleess


Lunch With Pastor Fred

Do you have questions about Vista Church? About becoming a Methodist? Even if you are a member of another church, you can join us as Affiliate or Associate Member here at Vista and keep your home church membership! Join us for lunch following the service. Eat and meet with Pastor Fred and other members of Vista Church who will share their love of Vista. Our next luncheon will be on August 11.  We’d love to have you join us.


Construction News

Vista’s Groundbreaking 6/2/2019.
Please stop by and watch the construction!  Make sure you stay SAFE!  Use the looky loo windows to view the progress.

Photos by Concord



Congratulations, AJ Hernandez!  On May 19, you became the 1000th member to join Vista de la Montana United Methodist Church!


Monthly Food Bank Collection

On the first Sunday of every month Vista collects for the Impact of Southern Arizona Food Bank.  A grocery cart is available for depositing canned and dry food items.  Monetary donations are especially welcome.  Impact has a 3-1 wholesale buying power and can make your donations go a long way!  Monetary donations can be made payable to Vista UMC with Impact of Southern Arizona on the memo line.  For further information, please call Benith MacPherson at 825-5891.


Adult Education Classes

Adult Christian Education Opportunities Sunday morning 11:15 am in the Patio Room


Vista Church – San Manuel

Join us at Vista Church San Manuel at 4 pm every Sunday and experience faith, fellowship, food and fun!  There will be Sunday school for the kids, as well as nursery care.  We look forward to seeing you there!  You’ll find us at the Community Presbyterian Church, 801 McNab Pkwy in San Manuel.
Livestreaming over the internet and the ability to record and play back a worship service at any time and any place has given us wide possibilities to get out the message of Jesus Christ. Once the initial investment of equipment has been made, the cost of sending out our worship service for the world to join with us is virtually nil.
We have been Livestreaming our worship services for almost two years and have people joining in worship every Sunday from across the United States. We have had people join us from Australia to Switzerland. There is a regular group of people (between 25 and 50) who join us every Sunday. “We” are Vista de la Montana United Methodist Church of Catalina. Vista Church is much shorter, so I will use that name in the future.
In June of 2017 as I was walking and praying it occurred to me, we could use the Livestreaming of our services to start and support Satellite Fellowships of our church in the smaller communities of Arizona. A “local church” start or the beginning of a Fellowship as it is currently done in our denomination is an enormously expensive proposition. With land, building and personnel, it can easily run a million dollars over a 3-year period. Land, buildings and personnel is not what church is all about! The church is about the message of God’s love revealed to us in Jesus. It’s about groups of people drawn together by this message of love who work to live out that message with each other and their community. Christianity is as much about belonging as believing.
So, Vista Church and a grant is taking care of all the costs of starting Satellite Fellowships. Our intention is not to own any property, but either rent or borrow space. Our intention is to bring together people who would like to help us grow this new way of being the church and worshiping God in the age of the internet.
We will be gathering Sundays at 4pm starting January 20th, at the Community Presbyterian Church at 801 McNab Pkwy in San Manuel. We will be practicing what I call the “4fs”: food, fellowship, fun and faith. I encourage you to watch us online at You can join us live on Sundays or join in previously recorded worship services. Watch for future articles.
Some have asked what is the difference between a “Satellite Fellowship” and a “Local Church” besides the location? The modern phenomena of “Home Churches” opening up “Satellite Churches” is one in which I believe the Home church remains in a closer relationship with the Satellite Fellowship. Rather than starting a fellowship with the intention that the Satellite Fellowship becomes at some point a total separate local church, the two or more worshipping communities share a common ministry and mission only separated by location.
In a Home Church/Satellite Fellowship the members of the Satellite Fellowship are members of the Home Church and vice a versa. The precedence for this in our Denomination, which is United Methodist, is that when you become a member of a Local United Methodist Church you are a “United Methodist”. From that point on when you move from one UM Church to another you simply transfer your letter of membership to the new Church.
We as Methodists are really big on “Belonging and Believing”. We believe that when God calls us into a relationship with Him through Jesus Christ, God calls us into a relationship with other believers to strengthen our belief and join with them in ministry and mission. We believe we can do more together than we can do separately. There is more power in our common ministry and mission than we can exercise as individuals.
These two words, “ministry and mission” are often used interchangeable, but here is where I see the difference. “Ministry” is what the local church does for itself. Examples are: worship, Bible Studies, Sunday School, potlucks and fellowship events etc. Mission is what we do for others outside our local church. Examples of mission for Vista Church is that we support Family First, The Community Food Bank, Impact, and our work in Agua Prieta Mexico with the Fuente de Vida Methodist church along with many others.
A crossover of ministry and mission is our “Prayer Shawl Ministry”. These prayer shawls are crocheted and prayed over by a group of women in our church and then they are consecrated and blessed in our worship services. The “Prayer Shawls” are then distributed to members and friends both within and without the church who are in hospitals, nursing homes, rehabilitation and hospice situations. Several people in the past two years have gone home to God, either wrapped in a prayer shawl, or covered by one and in a real sense covered by our prayers as God accepts them home. You don’t have to be a member to be involved in such a ministry/mission you just need to know how to knit or crochet and like to pray as you work.
I and Vista Church Catalina are looking forward to working in partnership with the people of San Manuel as we begin worship there on Sunday January 20th at 4pm at the Community Presbyterian Church 801 McNab Pkwy in San Manuel.
In Christ,  Rev. Fred C. Baum,  Vista Church


Café Colonia Coffee

Café Colonia beans are purchased directly from the farmers in Southern Mexico, shipped to Agua Prieta to the Colonia Coffee shop where various varieties of coffee beans are roasted, ground, package, labeled and shipped to various churches throughout the Southwest. The sale of Café Colonia helps support the salary of the pastor and church operating expenses. Special orders can be made by phone or email.


Vista Remembrance Garden

Please consider ordering a personalized brick honoring a spouse, child, parent, family, etc.  The bricks are priced at $125, with most all of the money applied to the New Vistas Building Fund.  Complete one of the forms located either in the Narthex or the office, and then deliver it to the church office with your check.


Live Stream