A note from Meg White

My cherished St. Paul’s Family,

After much contemplation and prayer, Joe and I have decided that it’s time for me to pass the torch of Youth Ministry on to someone else. This has not been an easy decision for us, however, the peace in my heart and the yearning to be more present with family, tells us that it’s what we need.

When we lost Joe’s Mom unexpectedly in April last year, we were given a new appreciation of how precious time is. I want to be able to work with Joe in our electrical business, so that we can enjoy time together as family. I want to help Taylor and Kaiti navigate high school and begin looking at next steps. I want to spend more time snuggling Alyssa and volunteering in her classroom. I want to continue working toward good health for her with our doctors.

I want to be able to enjoy Wednesday Night Dinner and not rush out at 6 PM to get ready for Youth Group. I want to attend classes on Sunday mornings or Wednesday nights so that I can continue to grow in my faith. I want to slow down enough to cherish the memories along the way.

When I say “pass the torch”, I truly do mean that. Youth Group will continue to function. We have an amazing structure of volunteers and a talented youth leadership team who have committed to help with Wednesday nights and Sunday mornings throughout the year. I intend to help mentor throughout the next year, in any way that is helpful. This is by no means the end….just another beginning!

I’ve been SO blessed these past eight and a half years to work with all of you, and to have your love and support. (I expect that to continue by the way!) I treasure all of it. My plea is that you will hold all of us in your thoughts and prayers as we work through this transition, to ensure that the flame of Youth Ministry does indeed continue to burn brightly here at St. Paul’s.

Here’s to another step in the journey!
Love and Blessings-

Meg White
Youth Coordinator



BUMP Boxes Sent

Sunday, NovembIMG_1852er 29, Helena United Methodist Ministry in cooperation with Clancy UMC packed 130 shoeboxes for thboxese Blackfoot United Methodist Parish(BUMP).  The day was a huge success with United Methodist Men(and one amazing woman) from St. Paul’s providing the chili for lunch, Covenant UMC for providing our rolls, and Clancy UMC bringing dessert.  People need great sustenance for mission work.  Lunch was followed by a coordinated effort of all in attendance(all ages) packing and wrapping shoeboxes from the supplies we had gathered, and at the end the ceremonial “loading of the truck.”
IMG_1854
For many children on the reservation this is the only gift they will receive this time of year. – Craig Cleveland, BUMP Lay Member
Thank you to JoAnn Hanson(Covenant) for helping manage the kitchen and dish washing, Carol Bruderer(St. Paul’s) for helping organize the supplies for our process, and Patti Wilbanks(Clancy) for giving us support and direction to complete the boxes.  This truly was a project of United Methodists connected in Mission.

A special thanks to Craig Cleveland for coming down and transporting our shoeboxes. Below is a thank you he had for the shoes and clothes we have also provided for their clothing store.  Craig’s dedication to the ministry at BUMP is making a huge impact in sharing God’s love there.

 



Advent Study – Week 1 – Silence

silence-390331_960_720“When was the last time you experienced silence? Real silence.  The living silence of the earth or sea”(13),
 
Remember the words to the hymn Silent Night, that enchanting melody that is the bookend to many Christmas Eve candlelight services.  In a sanctuary full of people there is a moment right when the song ends where there is the real silence.  In the darkness with candles(electric for many) are ablaze in a room full of hopeful people, people seeking calm before the busy Christmas day.  Welcome to our Advent journey together.  We will be journeying with Jim Harnish as he explores different characters in the gospel Christmas stories and how they can help lead us to spaces where we might experience God born in us this season.  We will journey from now until Christmas, seeking moments where we can experience the real and hopeful experiences of God’s presence.
 
The moment at the Christmas candlelight services is one of my favorite as a pastor.  When Silent Night ends there is a truly silent moment right before myself or others share our final words of the night.  The people in room seem to be in anticipation of some hopeful good news.  No one moves because it feels like any sudden movement might shatter the fragile moment, and yet to let the moment pass without ending it in a hopeful moment would seem to waste it.  It is almost as if all the singing, music, preaching, readings, and work of the service lead up to that moment of silence.  We have to end that silence with hope or else all of it seems would be for nothing.  Have you had moments of silence like this in your life?  Moments of silence that seem like your travel, work, or journey has brought you to and it would be a shame to waste?  Perhaps after a long hike on a mountain top, in a recliner after a long day of work, or even sitting in your living room staring at a lit Christmas tree after decoration completion?
 
In the first chapter of our study, Jim Harnish shares the story of Zechariah, we will call him Z.  Z is a priest in the temple.  Each year the priests draw lots, draw straws.  The person who draws the short straw gets a rope tied around their waste and they enter the Holy of Holies.  The Holy of Holies is the center of the temple separated by a curtain where no one enters except certain priests, and where God is said to dwell.  The rope on his waste is to pull Z out if God’s presence knocks him out or even kills him.  Z’s job was to go and spread incense and prepare the space for God.  It was probably pretty silent in the space when suddenly an Angel of the Lord appears to Z.  The angel explained to Z that he and his wife Elizabeth would be having a baby, named John(AKA John the Baptist.  This child would bring people closer to God and prepare the way for someone greater(We know this to be Jesus).
 
Z’s response was to laugh.  I actually don’t blame blame him, when I am faced with new and surprising news I sometimes do this too.  Elizabeth and Z were not young and the thought of a child was a lot surprising.  Z shared his doubt with the angel and in turn he was told, “You will remain silent until the things you have learned about come to pass.”  This seems like a punishment, but I think it was an opportunity.  The angel granted Z an extended perfect moment of silence.  After preparing the space for God, Z got an extended moment of silence in preparation for some very good news of hope.
 
Here in lies our spiritual practice for this first week: silence.  This can be challenging in the chaos of Christmas activities, so here is a little advice, “Start small.”  Over the next week take a deep breath each day.  One a day is a good start.  When you take that breath notice the small moment of silence you receive.  As you experience your moment of silence ask yourself, “What hope do I feel in this moment?”
 
 
God enter the silence prepared for you,
help us to seek the hope you offer.
As we live out our lives,
we ask you to live through us
that out of silence may be born hope.
And when things seem hopeless, 
may we find hope in those around us and in you.
 
Amen


November 29 Pastor’s Corner

Going in Mission…

Advent begins today; this is the church season where we prepare for the birth of God’s love into the world. God’s invitation to us is that we can help bear this love for the world, one way we do this is by going in mission. Today after church, at 12:30 PM, I invite everyone to join us at Covenant (2330 E. Broadway) as we wrap Shoe Box gifts for the Blackfeet United Methodist Parish (BUMP). Come join us for a free lunch and help participate in this mission project put together by Covenant, St. Paul’s and Clancy UMC. These shoe boxes represent our offering to the Blackfeet families and children who are in need of care during this season of hope.

Ministry with native people is challenging in a time when we understand the harm European Americans caused during colonization. For many years we thought this ministry was simply offering all the trappings of our culture to try and be more inclusive of native people. Slowly through a process of listening to the hurt caused by this attitude, it is sinking in and becoming clear that forcing our culture onto native people has done significant damage. How then do we go about this ministry? There is no simple answer. The first thing we can do is to be in relationship with those who have been marginalized and listen to what the problems are. Then we need to work toward the solutions presented by the native culture.

This year HUMM (St. Paul’s and Covenant UMCs) is teaming up with Clancy UMC to create and collect Shoe Box gifts for children at the Blackfeet United Methodist Parish during the holiday season. By sharing in the Shoebox ministry with BUMP (Blackfeet United Methodist Parish) we are listening and maintaining a relationship with the Blackfeet. This ministry is an example of BUMP listening for needs, and asking us to assist. Financial situations at the reservation have not resolved, so poverty continues to be the predominant condition. For some the boxes are the only gifts the children receive.

I invite us all this season to find ways to bear God’s love to others as we remember God’s love being born into the world for us.

Enthusiastic Peace,

Pastor Tyler



Gratitude from BUMP

22695_293515580758267_1716431945_nEarly in November, Craig Cleveland (who with his wife Vicki have relocated to an acreage outside Browning) picked up an entire pickup load of clothing from St. Paul’s.  We received this note of thanks from Craig:

I wanted to thank everyone at St. Paul’s for the clothes you have been sending to the BUMP clothing store. To say that they are really appreciated is a big understatement! Vicki, with the help of Sheri Hill and others, has taken over the clothing store in Browning! This week I helped  at the store.  Now that the snow and cold have arrived, to have all the clothes and warm coats from St. Paul’s was a GIANT blessing!! 

 

Every week there seems to be a story to touch your heart. Last week we had a visit from a lady from the Blackfeet Boarding School who was looking for clothes for a couple of middle school kids that were dropped off with just the clothes on their back! We had to stay open late, but were able to get those kids some clothes.

 

This week one of our trustees from Heart Butte called and said he had a niece show up at his house with two little ones that had only the clothes they were wearing. He was able to bring them in (using the church van, as he has no car) and we sent them away with a couple bags of clothes for the kids!

 

Thank you all so very much!!

 

Pastor Calvin Hill is helping reconnect with families in the Heart Butte Community. They plan to try and keep the Heart Butte Church open all winter.  The fires this summer that filled Heart Butte homes with smoke damage gave Yellowstone Conference Missions the opportunity to show support and UMCOR sent money to buy specific cleaning items for smoke damage.

 

Our regular donations make things happen.  Craig is expected to make another trip as we have at least another full truck load of clothing from our Clothing Drive.  Your support of this drive will make a great difference for the people of the Reservation.  Thanks so much for doing this mission work with us.

by Vicki Weida, UMW member



Nov 22 – Treasure Chest 4

Treasure – Stewardship 2015
To learn more about our entire church wide study, Treasure, go to stpaulshelena.org/stewardship-2015

Commitment Card

We invite you to complete your yearly commitment card for St. Paul’s by going to: stpaulshelena.org/commitment-card-2016/

Weekly Treasure Chest

A few years ago, our small family moved to Helena. After a couple weeks of unpacking, we were excited to begin visiting churches in town. We made a mental list of Christian churches to check out and dove right in. One day while driving through downtown, we noticed a beautiful building on the corner just across from the Holter. Its elegance and simplicity was representative of the religion we were seeking; its small footprint, well-maintained grounds, and thoughtful exterior were evidence of a healthy community within. With no experience with the Methodist faith, we added it to our list.

A couple weeks later, we attended St. Paul’s for the first time with every intention to continue our search with a different church on our list the following week. But on the morning of the following Sunday, both my husband and I and our two children wanted to return to St. Paul’s. The Sunday after that, the same thing happened. The Sunday after that…the same. We had found our community.

We had found a place to raise our children in the joyful Christian tradition that is a special part of both our country’s and our personal heritage. We had found a place where our children could feel welcomed and accepted, where they could learn Bible stories in a hopeful and kind way, where they could see many people joining together to help and serve for the well-being of the whole, where they could be supported as they experience the ups and downs of life, where they could witness
and be a part of generosity, hospitality, and compassion for others. In short, where they could live and breathe the Christian way.

At St. Paul’s, Christianity is not only experienced but it is experienced without superiority over the beautiful spiritual paths that others have chosen. St. Paul’s gives a gentle and gracious nod to other Christian faiths and to all faiths represented in our human family. Rather than putting up walls inside people that lead to judgment and self-righteousness, it aims for peace within each member’s soul, peace in our community, and peace in our world. This means everything to us. Truly, if religion is going to maintain its holy place in our culture, it has to step up its game and truly shed its unhealthy, unkind parts that are clearly unchristian to so many of us. St. Paul’s has done this with dignity, courage, and clarity, making us proud to be a part of it.

Having a church community that reflects the love and peace we feel inside for our fellow life travelers is something we value immensely. We are extremely grateful to participate in the experiences offered through the church. Though we are raising children and still paying off debts from our college years, we give what we can through a monthly automatic withdrawal. We feel comforted we are doing our small part to support the life and mission of St. Paul’s….a place we’re very grateful to have found.

This family has asked to remain anonymous

Sermon
Treasure Hunt
Each week we will hide an image of a treasure chest with a new word somewhere online.  We ask people to explore our website, facebook and app to find this treasure.  When you do email Pastor Tyler at tamundson@stpaulshelena.org.  Let us know what word was on it and where you found it.  When you find it you will be entered into a drawing for a Treasure daily devotional book that will happen each week at worship.
This week the image you are searching for is:
Love-chest-300x300

The image you are looking for is in a different location. Please note this is just a clue to tell you what you are looking for. The real image is somewhere on facebook, our app, or website.



Nov 15 – Treasure Chest 3

Treasure – Stewardship 2015
To learn more about our entire church wide study, Treasure, go to stpaulshelena.org/stewardship-2015

Commitment Card

We invite you to complete your yearly commitment card for St. Paul’s by going to: stpaulshelena.org/commitment-card-2016/

Weekly Treasure Chest

This past summer my wife and I did something unprecedented; we went on vacation without our children.  Being the good United Methodists we are, we elected to go to that most spiritual of places, Las Vegas.

During a morning stroll; we wandered to old Downtown Vegas.  On the hunt for a lunch buffet some street vendors approached us.  It was a slow morning and only a few vendors were interested in interacting at the un-Vegas time of 10:30am.  In Vegas you get used to avoiding eye contact and saying “no thank you” as you walk past. This worked in all cases except one, Bernie.

Bernie was a sweet looking man, probably in his late 70s.  He had an orange vest with identification demonstrating someone had given him permission to interrupt people.  Bernie also had a notebook with an adorable puppy on the front cover.  In a well practiced move he some how pressed some toy plastic fans into our hands while offering, “Good Morning!”  We paused our stride for a moment as our instinctual Montana politeness took over and we offered our own “good morning” in reply.

Game over, he had us.  In a mix of determination and politeness Bernie shared that he was out that morning collecting for the local no kill animal shelter.  Without ever feeling like he was rushing, within 90 seconds we learned that $20 would spay or neuter an animal and save potential offspring from a poor existence in the alleys of Vegas.

My wife, the animal lover, was hooked.  We were after all not blinking about $80 dinner tabs or $100 show tickets.  What’s $20 to do something good?

One hitch, we had no cash.  My wife and I don’t carry cash.  This was unfortunate because Bernie had sold us on his mission.  He had real concern for the animals and we shared it.

Figuring we’d find an ATM near whatever buffet we found, I asked if he’d be around later.  “No problem,” he replied, with no hint of disappointment.  He rummaged around in his fanny packand  produced his smart phone and credit card reader.  “Most of my donations are this way now.  Even in Vegas no one has cash because the machines all take cards.”

Somewhere in there our $20 donation became $40, probably in relation to some comment made by Bernie about how beautiful my wife is. Did I mention he seemed well practiced?  Our time with Bernie lasted only a few minutes.  We left with smiles and the thought we’d done some good that morning.

In today’s world, how we interact with money is changing.  I would not want to be in the check printing business in the 21st century.  However, while how we relate to money physically might be changing our desire to be generous is not.  Bernie was prepared to accept our generosity in the way we were prepared to offer it. I don’t know if we would have found an ATM and connected with him.  Thankfully, because he was ready, we didn’t have to find out.  I want to thank you St. Paul’s for being ready to accept my generosity.

Rev. Jeremy W Scott

Jeremy is Vital Congregations Developer for the Mountain Sky Area of the United Methodist Church.  His primary role is helping congregations achieve vitality to share the gospel message in their community.

Treasure Hunt
Each week we will hide an image of a treasure chest with a new word somewhere online.  We ask people to explore our website, facebook and app to find this treasure.  When you do email Pastor Tyler at tamundson@stpaulshelena.org.  Let us know what word was on it and where you found it.  When you find it you will be entered into a drawing for a Treasure daily devotional book that will happen each week at worship.
This week the image you are searching for is:

The image you are looking for is in a different location. Please note this is just a clue to tell you what you are looking for. The real image is somewhere on facebook, our app, or website.

Sermon


BUMP Shoeboxes – A ministry between nations.

22695_293515580758267_1716431945_n

Ministry with native people is challenging in a time when we understand the harm European Americans caused during colonization. For many years we thought it was simply offering all the trappings of our culture to try and be more inclusive of native people. Slowly the process of listening to the damage caused by this attitude is sinking in and it is becoming clear that forcing our culture onto Native peoples has done significant damage. How then do we go about this ministry? There is no simple answer. The first thing we can do is to be in relationship with those who have been marginalized and listen to what the problems are. Then we need to work towards the solutions presented by the native culture.

This year HUMM (St. Paul’s and Covenant) will be teaming up with Clancy UMC to create and collect Shoe Box gifts for children at the Blackfeet United Methodist Parish during the holiday season. By sharing in the Shoebox ministry with BUMP (Blackfeet United Methodist Parish) we are listening and maintaining a relationship with the Blackfeet. This ministry is an example of BUMP listening for needs, and asking us to assist. Financial situations at the Reservation have11903899_747909435318877_4757819219401662950_n not resolved, so poverty continues to be the predominant condition. For some the boxes are the only gifts the children receive.

How to be a part of the shoebox gifting:

If you would like to help make a Shoe Box Gifts read below:

3 Different Ways to Complete the Gifting

1. Donate the contents and a shoebox and then join us for a wrapping party at 12:30 PM on Nov. 29 at Covenant UMC. This is a multi-generational and family friendly mission project. Come for lunch and help pack shoeboxes.

2. Wrap the bottom and top of a shoebox in Christmas paper – separately. Fill the box with gifts for a child of the age range you choose. Label the top with the age and gender of child you have chosen, tie with a ribbon to be sure top and bottom don’t separate and deliver it to the church office by Wednesday, Nov. 25. Please deliver M-F between 9 AM-1 PM.

3. Find a series of supplies from the list below list and donate them for our shoebox wrapping party by dropping them by the St. Paul’s office by Nov. 25.

Ideas to determine what to purchase to donate for the packing party, or to create your own shoe box gift:

1. Pick a Gender and Age Group ( Infants 0-2; Preschool 3-5; Age 6-10; Age 11-13; Age 12-17)

2. Shop for age appropriate ingredients to help us. Here are some ideas:

• Infants: onesies, toys, teethers, infant toothbrush, baby shampoo, lo on.
• Pre-school: crayons, small color books, washable markers, toothbrush, toothpaste, brush, lotion, toy.
• Age 6-10: comb or pic, lotion, shampoo, crayons, markers, small notebooks, small color books, puzzles.
• Age 11-13: Caps, hair do-dads, pens, pencils, crayons, markers, small notebooks, puzzles.
•Age 12-17: For Boys: winter gloves, gum, candy cane, pencil. For girls: make up, hair stuff, lotion, shampoo, shower gel, markers, small notebooks, gel pens, colored pencils, craft items.

*All boxes should have toothbrushes, toothpaste, hats, mittens or gloves, combs or brushes.



November 8 – Treasure Chest 2

Treasure – Stewardship 2015
To learn more about our entire church wide study, Treasure, go to stpaulshelena.org/stewardship-2015

Weekly Treasure Chest

 We bring our tithe to God, a dime from every dollar.
It even could be more, but never should be smaller.
For thus the Lord hath said, if we give cheerfully,
The nine-tenths will go farther to meet our every need.

I learned that little ditty when I was in 5th grade and while I didn’t understand the “nine-tenths” thing at that time, I certainly understood “a dime from every dollar.” I wish that I could honestly say that I have been a tither my entire life, but I would be lying. Tithing takes both faith and discipline: faith that God will really make my “nine-tenths go farther” and discipline to learn to dutifully give. And I am a work in progress.

What I have learned from becoming a tither is that it is impossible to out-give God. He will always provide, my job is to believe that He will always provide.

I have also learned that I have a responsibility to be a good steward of all the gifts that God has given to me (including my finances) so tithing is part of my budget. And budgeting isn’t something that comes natural to me…it’s a learned behavior. Around the first of the year my husband (Eddie Black) and I sit down to create our goals for the coming year. During this discussion, we commit to our budget which involves our tithe.

While our tithe goes to support the amazing ministries of St. Paul’s and I am proud to be a part of this Christian community, I still believe that tithing is not about what we give to God, it’s about being faithful to Him. Let’s be realistic, we’re talking about the Creator here, He doesn’t need my dime…He desires my faithfulness.

As I become more faithful to Him and disciplined in my actions, I am blessed beyond measure.

Tracie Kenyon

Treasure Hunt
Each week we will hide an image of a treasure chest with a new word somewhere online.  We ask people to explore our website, facebook and app to find this treasure.  When you do email Pastor Tyler at tamundson@stpaulshelena.org.  Let us know what word was on it and where you found it.  When you find it you will be entered into a drawing for a Treasure daily devotional book that will happen each week at worship.
This week the image you are searching for is:

THIS IS NOT THE IMAGE TO WIN THE HUNT. The image you are looking for is in a different location. Please note this is just a clue to tell you what you are looking for. The real image is somewhere on facebook, our app, or website.

Sermon