February 3, 2019



Pastor’s Corner 1/20/19

     For the last couple weeks, we have talked about stewardship through our connection with others and in sharing our gifts with others. We often focus on monetary gifts as the only way to give to the church, but what about our time, energy, experiences, or other resources? They all are valuable and worthy!
     As Jesus’ earthly ministry was coming to an end, he began to prepare his disciples for the time when they would be called upon to carry on the work Jesus had started. He promised the disciples that they would not be left alone and that the Holy Spirit would come and would teach the disciples all they would need to know in order to continue the ministry. Soon, Jesus did ascend into heaven, and the Holy Spirit descended upon the followers, and she was not picky! The Holy Spirit is generous and thorough!      
     We all have gifts to share; we all are worthy and needed in the community. We all have spiritual gifts (like the gift of teaching, or offering mercy, or knowledge, etc.) and all have talents ( life experiences, work experience, hobbies, etc).
     You will find a handout in your bulletin that has some questions to ponder and answer. These will help us create a ministry profile for you! Then, return the handout to the office or by mail or in the offering plate. This will help us build our ministry! Other than the Holy Spirit, you will also receive a prize!
Happy exploring!
Pastor Sami


Loving Self



Pastor’s Corner 9/9/2018

When I was in 5th grade, we had confirmation class at my church. Over twenty squirmy 5th graders met weekly with the pastors eating dinner, playing games, and learning about the Christian faith together. At the conclusion of the class we had the opportunity to join the church. My friend decided not to join the church because she didn’t believe in Jesus. Which got me thinking. What did I believe? I pondered that for a few days and decided that I did believe in Jesus, so I joined the church. Little did I know how that would impact my life! How has following Jesus impacted your life? Jesus summed up all the commandments in these two: Love God with your whole self and Love your neighbor as yourself. We love God and neighbor in our personal lives and as a faith community. See the graphic.

-Worship: Connecting with God in community through weekly worship, singing, sharing communion…
-Devotion: Connecting with God personally through prayer, devotion, walking, singing… -Mercy: Loving others through acts of compassion. -Justice: Loving others by confronting injustice and engaging in ministry with those on the margins. Which area of discipleship comes most easily to you? Which is a growing edge?
Let’s grow in faith together as we continue on this adventure of discipleship!
Pastor Patti



Pastor’s Corner 8/26/2018

 

Going to School Hungry

More than 13 million kids in this country go to school hungry. One in five children in the United States live in food insecure households. According to the No Kid Hungry campaign, “food insecurity is a family that has enough money to buy groceries three out of four weeks; it’s a mom skipping dinner; it’s having to choose between buying groceries and paying rent.”

What experts are now, finally, realizing, that hunger has an enormous impact on a student’s ability to learn, pay attention, and socialize. Hungry kids are more likely to miss school because of illness, and more likely to suffer from depression and anxiety, and develop behavioral problems. There is a lot of potential being squandered because kids are going to school hungry.

A creative idea that has blossomed in our country is the idea of sending food home with kids for the weekend and evenings. In New Hampshire, it was discovered when Clair Bloom, a resident, went to her local school to “throw some money” at the hunger problem, and the school told her they didn’t need money. They needed a program to pack food and send home with kids on Fridays. Bloom took on the project, arranging volunteers, crunching numbers for affordable meals for hundreds.

This problem, as you can see from the statistics, is here in our community as well. We all probably  know a child who goes without the basic necessities on a regular basis. Helena Food Share actively tackles food insecurity from many angles, one of which is through Kid Packs. It is entering its 10th year and costs around $125,000 annually to run. However, Helena Food Share sends 1,100 children home with meals each week. Plus, there is story after story of children attending school more often, sick less often, in trouble less, and improved grades…all because of having enough to eat through programs like Kid Packs.

Are you able to help? Are you able to build a little person through this?

 

The Kid Pack Food Drive is on September 8 from 10am to 4pm at Van’s Thriftway (306 Euclid Ave.)



Pastor’s Corner April 1, 2018 Easter

Each week, when I pray over our offering, I include these words, “we offer ourselves with our gifts.” I think it is important to remind ourselves that God doesn’t just want our money, God wants all of us. Each one of us is unique and has something special to offer this world. From time to time we receive a unique gift in the offering plate. Not monetary, but words. Words of hope. Words of life. Words of The Anonymous Poet of St. Paul’s II. May these words lift up your spirit.

EASTER 2018
Human he was, as we are,
I’m sure he had a bad day some.
Anxious he may have been
Knowing what was to come.
It may have felt unfair at time,
he may have cried out, “why me”?
As he anticipated his knowing death
there on Calvary.

Despite knowing what was to come
he persevered on,
feeding the hungry, loving the different,
forgiving his neighbors wrong.

Hope must have remained deep in his heart
as he knew what was beyond,
that he would indeed rise again
and the suffering would be gone.

Not only his own but ours too
as he came to save us here,
extending compassion, teaching what’s good,
and lessen that which we fear.

We celebrate now in the love of God
and the love of those around us,
May the spirit of Jesus fill our hearts
and that which is good surround us.

Let us take that hope for we have it too,
in our times that we feel depleted,
knowing that we are never alone
and therefore, never defeated.

For He Has Risen.

May the new life of Easter fill your heart with hope!

Walking on the path of grace,
Pastor Patti



Pastor’s Corner – February 4, 2018

We Welcome a new member to our team!
 
Here at Helena United Methodist Ministries, we are excited to introduce to you our new Administrative Assistant, Matt Hankins!
 
Matt and his wife Emily have been a part of the St. Paul’s community for a decade. They moved to Helena twelve years ago to begin a family, which includes Turner (age 8) and Nia (age 4).
 

In his life, Matt has lived in many places including Texas, Hawaii, and Washington but has been in Helena, MT for nearly thirteen years. He loves the mountains and the small town atmosphere. Matt has traveled abroad but says his favorite destinations are always where his family joins him.

“I love music, and through music, I feel like I share ministry,” Matt says.

He is active with the St. Paul’s children’s choir, has joined the Walk to Emmaus music team, and plays music around western Montana with his two bands, Across the Divide and Blackbird Reverb.

“I am proud to be the newest member of the St. Paul’s and Covenant office staff. I hope to see and work with you soon,” says Matt.

When you get a chance, swing by the office and greet Matt! We are excited for the possibilities that Matt brings to our team!



Shoeboxes for BUMP – Christmas 2017

BLACKFEET UNITED METHODIST PARISH (BUMP) CHRISTMAS SHOE BOX COLLECTION

We are delighted to continue our tradition of fostering a relationship with the Blackfeet by donating items for their children. Financial situations on the reservation are difficult for many. For some children the items in our shoe boxes are the only gifts they receive at Christmas.
 
Three Different Ways to Complete the Gifting
1.)  Assemble and wrap a standard size shoe box with gifts for a girl or boy of the age range you choose – newborn to 2, 3-7, 8-12 or 13-17. Suggested gift items include small toys, school supplies, hygiene items, winter gloves and scarves, etc.
 
2.)  Purchase some of the suggested gift items and deposit them in the box in the fellowship hall (Covenant UMC) or deliver them to the church office at 512 Logan Street (St. Paul’s UMC).
 
3.)  Give a monetary donation. Please make your check out to Covenant UMC or St. Paul’s UMC with “BUMP Christmas Shoe Box Project” on the memo line.
 
We hope EVERYONE will join us at a wrapping party at St. Paul’s on December 6 at 6 PM (following Wednesday Night Dinner) to culminate this meaningful mission project. United Methodist Women from both churches, youth, and individuals have purchased items to include in these gifts. Others have filled their own individual boxes or purchased individual items to be included and those may be taken to the office before that evening or brought to the event. If you are able to come on the afternoon December 6 at 2:00 PM, your help organizing the gifts will be appreciated. You do not have to commit ahead of time, but if you have questions, call Vicki Weida at 439-8390.


Pastor’s Corner — November 12

Life is a roller coaster. We experience ups, downs, loop-de-loops, and extreme curves. Often we can’t predict them and brace ourselves. This is true for us. It was true for the early believers. They were living under foreign rule, God seemed distant, life was hard. Then Jesus appeared on the scene and they had hope! He healed people. He taught with great insight and truth. He stood up to the religious authorities. He offered life! Then it all came to a shocking halt when Jesus was crucified. But he came back and appeared to the believers. Offering hope, direction, new purpose. I suspect those early believers felt like they had gone through the wringer the past couple of years. How did they handle it? How did they stay grounded? What did they hold on to? Acts 2:42 tells us “the believers devoted themselves to the apostles’ teachings, to the community, to their shared meals, and to their prayers.” They held on to their faith and to one another. God’s grace sustained and empowered them in this way. God’s grace will do the same for us.
 
Both congregations, Covenant and St. Paul’s, have experienced a wild roller coaster ride lately. Wonderful celebration alongside shocking grief. What are we to do? How do we find God in the midst of it? Let’s pattern ourselves after those early church people:
 
• Let’s devote ourselves to teaching, both in scripture and in contemporary spiritual authors. Those can be words of life for us, nourishing our souls.
 
• Let’s be devoted to the community, our church family. For God’s grace is living in and among the people. As we connect with one another, we will discover the presence of God.
 
• Let’s share meals together. Eating together nourishes our bodies and our souls. Connect with your friends. Share life together. Laugh and cry together, for in that we will be healed and sustained.
 
• And finally, let’s be devoted to prayer. Our tendency is to keep busy in seasons of grief, and there is value in that. But we also need to remember to pause, to breathe, to connect with the very presence and power of God who created us and loves us more than we can imagine.
 
Grief is a difficult journey. Grief is the pain we feel after a loss. And the more we loved the person, the more pain we feel. There is no way around the pain. To avoid or deny it only leaves us wounded and stuck. We need to find a way to embrace the pain and walk through it. This takes time. So be patient and gentle with yourself and one another. As we walk with one another, our goal is not to “get over it.” Our goal is to integrate our loss into our life. As we do, we will grow into a new reality and find meaning and joy again.
 
 
Walking on the path of grace,
 
Pastor Patti


Pastor’s Corner – July 9

When I was in college I took a public speaking class. One of my assignments was to write a short speech on a favorite saying. I chose, “When life gives you lemons, make lemonade.” I don’t know why I remember that, but it came to mind this week as I was reflecting back on my life and the joys and challenges I have faced. I guess I have always tried to see all experiences, whether good or bad, as opportunities to grow. Otherwise bitterness, anger, and resentment can take over my heart and joy eludes me. Perhaps the biblical equivalent is Romans 8:28, “in all things God works for good.”
 
I’m reading an inspiring book, Spiritual Formation: Following the Movements of the Spirit, by Henri Nouwen. The title is a good summary of his theme: spiritual formation is not so much religious practices we add into our lives, but rather paying attention to how we experience the spirit of God moving in our daily lives. In the first chapter he talks about time. We typically view time as chronos, the series of events that make up our days. And we never have enough of this kind of time! He encourages us to view time as kairos, which I’ve heard defined as God’s time.
 
When we view time as kairos then we train ourselves to see God’s hands at work in our everyday moments and every moment becomes a potential connection to God, whether we are doing chores, spending time with someone, resting, playing, or serving another. Each moment and each activity becomes an opportunity to receive the love of God, to be transformed by the love of God, and/or to share the love of God. Our days then, become a mosaic of God’s work in our lives. This sounds all too simple, but it is challenging for me. My “To Do” list tends to control my life. But, in the moments I can focus on kairos, and increase my awareness of God’s activity in my life, life becomes lemonade!
 
How do you see God at work in your daily life? I would love to hear your story!
 
Walking in Grace,
Patti