Pastor’s Corner – July 31

As I have been in prayer and at work this week, it has been clear that the common theme this coming year in our ministry together will be transition.  Transition can be a good thing because it helps us to imagine with God new ways of sharing love in our community.  Jesus turned to prayer when transition was happening in his ministry, and I would encourage us to do likewise.  Jesus prayed because transition also brings with it challenge: someone who used to take care of that beloved thing is no longer there, a new experiment in ministry might not work out, or leadership might make a mistake while learning their way into uncharted territory.  As we enter this coming year of ministry, I invite you to be prayerful as we transition together.
We will be forming the new Mission Team this year.  This small group of individuals will work to help focus our mission, to look at the breadth of the mission we do now, to see how we can connect new people to the work, and also study more deeply the systemic causes of poverty in our community and world.
A group from our church will participate with Covenant UMC in the Whole Church Initiative.  This process will help us look at the Helena United Methodist Ministries (HUMM) work we have done for the past 2 years and to see what our future together might look like.  This team of leaders will be studying, praying, and sharing with our entire congregation the possibilities for how we might better be Church to the people of Helena.
We will be continuing to explore our Adult, Youth, and Young Adult education and our understanding of what it is to form disciples who are transformed people that go to transform the world.  Our education programs will begin to focus on creating disciples and helping develop our opportunities for people to grow in faith. 
The most dynamic transition will be Pastor Marianne’s retirement in June of 2017.  Marianne has been an incredible leader and pastor for St. Paul’s.  She is our first female pastor and, personally speaking, she continues to be a great mentor in ministry.  There are a lot of questions about what our leadership at St. Paul’s will look like next year. 
Throughout the year we will be providing several information sessions and opportunities for people to understand the Methodist process of appointing new pastors to churches.  This will help us prepare to receive new pastoral leadership in July of 2017.
The future is full of new and exciting things, but with all of this will come change.    I invite you to join me in following Jesus’ example and to pray as we transition together. 
Enthusiastic Peace,
Pastor Tyler