ACEs – 150 Years of United Methodism…for Good

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In his book 3 Simple Rules the United Methodist Bishop, Reuben Job, sums up United Methodist theology in 3 rules: 1. Do No Harm. 2. Do Good 3. Stay In Love With God. For the past 150 years, St. Paul’s and Methodists in Helena have lived this out in our practice. To celebrate this historical achievement we chose to not just sit and cheer, but to stand and make a difference. We want to Do Good… for Good and to continue to share the love of God.

Intermountain has been a part of our history from our very early days and so this fall we are teaming up with them to learn about ACEs. This facility that we started, as the Deaconess Home for Children has turned into an organization that helps children with severe emotional and mental health needs through holistic, integrated services and a relationship-based approach. The education wing of Intermountain, Child Wise has begun a campaign to educate the community on ACEs to help us look at some big challenges we and our children are facing.

 

What is an ACE?

“ACE stands for Adverse Childhood Experiences. The ACE Study was initiated as a collaboration between the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and Kaiser Permanente’s Health Appraisal Clinic. A decade-long study, its participants numbered more than 17,000 members that underwent a comprehensive physical examination and chose to provide detailed information about their childhood experience of abuse, neglect, and family dysfunction. To date, more than 50 scientific articles have been published and more than 100 conference and workshop presentations have been made. No further participants will be enrolled, but the members are still being tracked for their medical status.” (This information and more can be found at elevatemontana.org)

What do ACEs mean for us?

The higher number of ACEs a person has in their lives the higher their risk for not only mental illness, but also chronic health conditions, like COPD or high blood pressure. The list of effects of ACEs are numerous and growing as we learn more and more. Learning about ACEs helps us do a few things:
1. Build relationships in our community to prevent ACEs from happening to children in our own community.
2. Remove stigma around people who have experienced high ACEs and their resulting realities.
3. Learn about our own ACEs to build awareness that “Adversity is not Destiny,” we can use the knowledge to bring a positive future through things like the treatment of ailments brought on by ACEs or helping our neighbors learn this knowledge.
Wednesday Night Dinner to benefit Intermountain
Hosted by 150th Jubilee Committee – November 4
Our 150th team has geared up to support our long!me mission at Intermountain by hosting a Wednesday Night Dinner. This event will highlight our work with Intermoun- tain from the past to the present and our work on the ACEs campaign. Please join us for good food and a chance to support Intermountain.
 

Chaplain Chris Haughee of Intermountain’s intensive residential program will be there to share his heart for the ministry and meet with those individuals that are motivated to combat the effects of adverse childhood experiences (ACEs) and how they present obstacles for these children and families that want to connect to a church community.

Beyond his personal and professional interest in ACEs, Chaplain Chris Haughee is an advocate for greater inclusion of foster and adoptive families in the life and ministry of local congregations. You can follow the ministry at www.intermountainministry.org or contact him at chrish@intermountain.org

After the dinner on November 4 in the Fellowship Hall, those that are excited about starting the conversation around what a faith-based response to ACEs would look like in our community are welcomed to meet with Chaplain Chris in the Library (Room 101). We
anticipate that this meeting would last no more than an hour.
 
PAST EVENTS

Design a Child’s Destiny: Adverse Childhood 

Experiences; Painting a Different Future 

ACEs Event – Friday evening, November 6, 6pm – St. Paul’s Sanctuary.  Join us to hear from two dynamic speakers: Dr. Elizabeth Kohlstaedt, Ph.D. the Clinical Director at Intermountain and Schylar Canfield-Baber will share two talks on the realities of ACEs and how “Adversity is not Destiny.”  Schylar will speak from his personal experience with ACEs and Dr. Kohlstaedt will focus on how ACEs affect the brain and development.  Please join us for this short presentation and then enjoy the Art Walk in Downtown Helena.

 
 
Challenge Helena – October 22 
Challenge Helena has spent the last year highlighting issues affecting vulnerable populations and then challenging Helena to make a difference on those issues.  This fall we are teaming up with Child Wise to challenge our community on ACEs.  Our goal is to provide personal and community ways you can make a difference to prevent ACEs and also to support those who have experienced ACEs.  Join us for a double header talk by the Executive Director of Child Wise, Todd Garrison and a young man who embodies “Adversity is not Destiny” when it comes to ACEs, Schylar Canfield-Baber.  We invite you to grab dinner and join us for two 20 minute talks, some Q&A, and a challenge.  Learn more at facebook.com/challengehelena
 
 
 


October 25 Pastor’s Corner

Starting Sunday, November 1, we will begin a church-wide study and worship emphasis called Treasure: A Stewardship Program on Faith and Money. The study will be based on Jesus’ words, “Where your treasure is, there your heart will be also” (Matthew 6:21).

Over a period of four weeks, we will look at the many ways that our treasure (time, energy, money) affects our hearts. We will consider how financial challenges in our personal lives affect our relationships with people and with God. We will see how giving helps to determine the way we feel and act. If you have stress related to money or feel there may be more that God is calling you to do with your resources, this will be a helpful study.

At the end of the four weeks, we will have the opportunity to make personal commitments of giving to St. Paul’s for the coming year. All of us will receive commitment cards in the mail, and the cards will also be available on Sunday mornings. We can fill out these cards and bring them to worship on Sunday, November 22.

We look forward to an exciting month considering our treasure and God’s treasure.

Schedule for the Treasure series

Week 1: Where Is Your Treasure? (Matthew 6:19-21)
Week 2: The Problem with Two Masters (Matthew 6:24)
Week 3: Giving Your Treasure Back to God (Matthew 6:1-6)
Week 4: Don’t Worry ’Bout a Thing (Matthew 6:25-34)

Enthusiastic Peace,
Pastor Tyler



October 18 Pastor’s Corner

Money affects your heart. Whether you are in plenty or in want, money has a direct connection to your stress level, your anxiety, and the health of your relationships. It is no wonder, then, that Jesus talked about the relationship between our treasure and our hearts as one that can keep us from connecting with God. By seeking a healthy relationship between treasure and heart we create a chance for better relationship with others and with God.

For a four-week period starting November 1, we will look at the many ways that our treasure (time, energy, money) affects our spiritual and emotional lives. Join us in worship November 1 as we begin our new sermon series called Treasure. We will explore Matthew 6 and Jesus’ teachings on money, giving, worry, and more.

At the end of the four weeks, we will have an opportunity to make personal commitments of our offerings to God through our church in the coming year. We will receive commitment cards in the mail, and cards will be available on Sunday mornings. We will bring these commitment cards to worship on Sunday, November 22.

I hope that you’ll join us in the coming weeks as we look at Jesus’ teaching on how we can avoid freedom from some of the common pitfalls related to money, and how we can give our lives and our treasure to God.

Enthusiastic Peace,
Pastor Tyler



October 11 Pastor’s Corner

Greetings Friends and Members of St. Paul’s,

Last Sunday, I stopped by St. Paul’s before the 8:30 service to greet folks and then headed across town to be present for the 10:00 service at Covenant. I preached there last week which was, as always, followed by good socializing. We are into our second year now of sharing ministry with the Covenant community. We call this expanding ministry HUMM (Helena United Methodist Ministries). Together both churches share three pastors . . . Rick Hulbert (primarily at Covenant), Tyler Amundson (Young Adult and Mission Ministry for the area) and me (primarily at St. Paul’s). It is an exciting time to share ministry together that, hopefully, will strengthen our overall outreach in the area. We will continue to look for ways to collaborate on various projects – and it all begins with something as simple as getting to know each other. So, while I miss being with all of you on a Sunday morning, I enjoyed my time at Covenant last week. It is great to see the good things the Covenant folks are involved in and to imagine the possibilities for what we might do together!

Congratulations to the United Methodist Women on another great Fall Bazaar. I am actually writing this before the bazaar takes place but I know how those UM women do things! I am absolutely certain the Bazaar was great! Thanks to all who worked and to all who participated to support the amazing mission work of the UMW.

This past week, we received a thank you note from Intermountain for the contributions we have made as a church community to that important work. Chaplain Chris Haughee wrote:
“Children, youth and families are finding a place to heal because you have made Intermountain a place where healing happens. Your partnership allows us to meet a family’s needs in the least restrictive and most appropriate setting available, whether they are birth, foster, or adoptive families . . . today, Intermountain provides residential and community based services to more than 1500 children, youth and families, while providing vital education and training to over 800 parents and professionals – making a very real difference in the health of our communities. “
As president of the Intermountain Board, I want to add my thanks! The work we as a congregation helped to begin over 100 years ago continues to be amazing!

I will be leaving this Tuesday for time with my family in Florida. My parents celebrate 65 years of marriage on Wednesday, Oct. 14 and we are planning a big celebration for them next Saturday. At this point the guest list is 95 people! I anticipate quite a celebration! My siblings and spouses and their children, as well as friends from around the country, are all coming to join in the party. Lyle and I are also taking a bit of time for ourselves after the celebration so I am hoping for some high energy time followed by some nice relaxing days.

Grace and peace,
Marianne



October 4 Pastor’s Corner

As we enjoy the beautiful fall colors, full moon nights, and visually crisp days it’s a reminder of the blessings God has offered to all of us. This past week I gathered with clergy from around the Yellowstone Conference (Montana, Northern Wyoming, and a sliver of Idaho). We shared our joys in ministry and were challenged by how to share God’s love in a world whose needs are constantly changing. As I listened to colleagues one of the great ways we are sharing love is service to our local schools. Our local schools are incredible blessings in our lives for educating and supporting our children into their future.

At the end of August many of us participated in Education Sunday. We blessed our children’s backpacks and wrote letters offering support to the local teachers at Central School and other schools in our community. We then left those messages in God’s hands to see how teachers and staff might respond. We got some amazing responses!

One paraprofessional at Central-Linc shared that our letter was one of the most meaningful offers of support she got at the beginning of the year. A kindergarten teacher asked if St. Paul’s could have a group help her prep art projects because she is assisting the other 1st year kindergarten teacher with all art projects. Another professional at Kessler contacted us about having members volunteer in classrooms to offer teachers additional support. As a congregation that values education we have shared our desire to be God’s hands and feet and the community has responded.

I would like to invite you to prayerfully consider these two requests we have been given. If you feel a desire and want to help out please sign up on the Presence Form or email the office.
We are seeking:
1. An individual or group that would be willing to cut/organize/prepare art supplies for both kindergarten classes at Central School. These supplies would be delivered to your group and picked up when completed.
2. Individuals who feel they have the skills and desire to serve in a classroom at Kessler School as a volunteer on a regular basis.

Thank you for your prayers and service to Helena,

Pastor Tyler



September 27 Pastor’s Corner

Friends,
Hasn’t it been a wonderful beginning of our fall season? Our Welcome Home Sunday was a success . . . lots of good energy and some marvelous music. The armchair tour of the many homes of St. Paul’s – written by Ellen Baumler and read by Dorothy and Rusty Harper – was also a great way to continue our Jubilee celebration. Last Sunday we celebrated our connection with Intermountain. We have also welcomed back our Sunrise Singers and Sunrise Players at the 8:30 service. We are all glad to have our Chancel Choir back at the 11:00 service – and we have welcomed our new Chancel Choir director, Tanya Anderson. All in all lots has happened already and it has all been a great launch of our ministry season.

As our worship and music programs have unfolded, so have our education programs. Promiseland and Godly Play are back. Our youth programs are in full swing. And just last Wednesday we once again began another Wednesday night dinner program.

During this busy time, we have also been going through a transition in our church office. On October 1, Sue McNicol will officially become our Parish Administrator. But, leading up to that, she has been learning that job even as she has continued the work you have appreciated from her at the front desk of our main office . . . answering phones, scheduling the building, working on the website, handling walk-in traffic, designing publications, working with the database, publishing the Covenant UMC bulletin, assisting with our bulletin . . . you get the idea. Both Sue and Lois Neal have worked hard to be certain the members and friends of St. Paul’s are well served!

It has helped tremendously over this time to have more limited office hours. The issue is not that people in the office have worked less . . . instead it has simply enabled Sue in particular to focus on learning the many facets of the work we need our Parish Administrator to do. We have had recent changes in both our database and our accounting software and that, along with a staff change, means a steeper learning curve.

With the blessing of our Staff Parish Relations Committee, we are going to continue with our more limited office hours at least through October. Again, let me be clear . . . this does not mean people are not working. Quite the contrary. They are working hard . . . and are simply able to target their work to the things that need to be learned and the systems that need to be developed.

Finally, I want to thank those who have volunteered to help in the office during this time. Our office volunteers have been invaluable. Thanks – your time, your energy and your willingness to give of yourselves is helping us all during this time of transition.

Thanks so much!
Marianne



September 20 Pastor’s Corner

This Sunday Chaplain Chris Haughee is joining us in worship at 11:00 AM to share a Children’s sermon. Chris is one of the many committed people that are a part of Intermountain. Intermountain is an organization that has long been associated with Methodism in Montana and our commitment to share to gospel in the world through putting our belief in God’s love into action.

For the past 150 years, St. Paul’s and Methodists in Helena have lived this out in our practice. To celebrate this historical achievement we chose not to just sit and cheer, but to stand and make a difference. We want to Do Good… for Good and to continue to share the love of God.

Intermountain has been a part of our history from our very early days and so this fall we are teaming up with them to learn about ACEs (Adverse Childhood Experiences). The facility we founded, as the Deaconess Home for Children has turned into an organization that helps children with severe emotional and mental health needs through holistic, integrated services and a relationship-based approach. The education wing of Intermountain, Child Wise has begun a campaign to educate the community on ACEs to help us look at some big challenges our children and we are facing.

Chaplain Haughee will be working with area faith communities to find a way for faith communities to respond to ACEs together.

To learn more about all we are doing to learn and make a difference through our ACEs study, go to stpaulshelena.org/update.

Enthusiastic Peace for Good,

Pastor Tyler



September 13 Pastor’s Corner

As you know, just over a month ago Debbie Irby announced her retirement as our Church Administrator. We celebrated her ministry last Sunday and August 31 was her final day at work. Ever since we knew of Debbie’s intent, the Staff Parish Relations Committee, Tyler and I have been working on a plan for our next steps. Times of staff change are challenging but they also provide opportunities to re-think how things are done and what is possible.
 
The Staff Parish Relations Committee, Tyler and I are pleased to announce that Sue McNicol, currently our part time Administrative Specialist, has accepted the full time position of Parish Administrator (note the name change for the position). Sue’s dedication to the ministry of the church, her skills and abilities and her hospitable spirit make her uniquely qualified for this important position on our staff. Though the position does not officially begin until October 1, Sue has already been learning some of the job responsibilities. In particular, she has spent time learning from Debbie in the week before she retired. And, throughout September, while Sue will continue as our Administrative Specialist, she will also continue learning more aspects of the Administrator position. That is why, with the support of SPR, we made the decision to limit the number of hours our office will be open for walk-in traffic in September. This will allow Sue, in particular, some needed time to focus on training for her new position. It will also relieve some of the stress on staff as we reassess how we cover office responsibilities in a changing environment. We will, of course, continue to return phone calls and respond to parish needs. We do hope you will be patient as we negotiate this transition.
 
Our intent is to use this time of transition to assess the overall administrative and office needs of our church. For the immediate future, we will not be hiring a receptionist but will rely on current staff and volunteers. If you are able to volunteer to assist in our office over the next several months, please let us know by calling the office or by indicating an interest on the Presence Form.
 
I know I speak for all of the SPR and our staff when I say that we are thrilled that Sue has accepted this position. If you have any questions about our plans moving forward, please feel free to contact SPR chairperson Dave Nielsen (d.nielsen@bresnan.net), Marianne or Tyler. Change is always daunting but it brings with it exciting possibilities as well and we are definitely hopeful as we move forward.
 
Grace and peace,
Marianne


September 6 Pastor’s Corner

As you know, just over a month ago Debbie Irby announced her retirement as our Church Administrator. We celebrated her ministry last Sunday and August 31 was her final day at work. Ever since we knew of Debbie’s intent, the Staff Parish Relations Committee, Tyler and I have been working on a plan for our next steps. Times of staff change are challenging but they also provide opportunities to re-think how things are done and what is possible.
The Staff Parish Relations Committee, Tyler and I are pleased to announce that Sue McNicol, currently our part time Administrative Specialist, has accepted the full time position of Parish Administrator (note the name change for the position). Sue’s dedication to the ministry of the church, her skills and abilities and her hospitable spirit make her uniquely qualified for this important position on our staff. Though the position does not officially begin until October 1, Sue has already been learning some of the job responsibilities. In particular, she has spent time learning from Debbie in the week before she retired. And, throughout September, while Sue will continue as our Administrative Specialist, she will also continue learning more aspects of the Administrator position. That is why, with the support of SPR, we made the decision to limit the number of hours our office will be open for walk-in traffic in September. This will allow Sue, in particular, some needed time to focus on training for her new position. It will also relieve some of the stress on staff as we reassess how we cover office responsibilities in a changing environment. We will, of course, continue to return phone calls and respond to parish needs. We do hope you will be patient as we negotiate this transition.
Our intent is to use this time of transition to assess the overall administrative and office needs of our church. For the immediate future, we will not be hiring a receptionist but will rely on current staff and volunteers. If you are able to volunteer to assist in our office over the next several months, please let us know by calling the office or by indicating an interest on the Presence Form.
I know I speak for all of the SPR and our staff when I say that we are thrilled that Sue has accepted this position. If you have any questions about our plans moving forward, please feel free to contact SPR chairperson Dave Nielsen (d.nielsen@bresnan.net), Marianne or Tyler. Change is always daunting but it brings with it exciting possibilities as well and we are definitely hopeful as we move forward.
Grace and peace,
Marianne


August 31 Pastor’s Corner

Endings and Beginnings . . .
As we come together today, we do so knowing that it is time to leave the lovely days of summer behind. But, the end of summer also means the beginning of new adventures. School has begun and by the time we reach Labor Day, our children and their teachers will have the entire first week behind them! I loved seeing the excitement in the eyes of our children last week as they brought their backpacks to church for a special blessing. The summer is ending but new adventures await as the fall unfolds.
Of course, we would all like to also bid farewell to the smoky skies of the last weeks as well! As I’ve struggled with the smoke, I’ve tried to keep in mind the firefighters all over the West who are dealing with much worse conditions than we have. I use the smoke here to remind me to pray in gratitude for their service and for their safety.
Today also marks another milestone in our church family. We say goodbye to Debbie Irby who has been our church administrator for the past 15 years. Debbie has seen us through the move into our new church building and all the challenges that entailed. She has helped us weather staff changes and reconfigurations in almost every area of our program. She has seen us through a computer server crash, phone service changes and software updates. She has paid bills, negotiated contracts, tried to keep track of keys, and scheduled weddings, concerts and presentations in our buildings. And, of course, that is just what I am thinking of today as I write this. Like all of our staff the ‘other duties as assigned’ is part of what keeps life interesting in this growing, thriving church community! And Debbie’s life at St. Paul’s has indeed been kept interesting! Blessings to you, Debbie, as you end your years of service as a staff member. Blessings as you begin the next phase of your life . . . retirement! At 9:45 in the Fellowship Hall the Staff Parish Relations Committee will host a reception to celebrate Debbie’s time among us. Stop by and/or send her a note of thanks!
Finally, today the Guatemala mission team will share some of their insights and new awarenesses from their mission experience. In a sense, this brings to an end their Mission Team commitment . . . they are doing what they committed to do at their commissioning: sharing what they learned with us. (And, by the way, we committed to listen and learn from them!) Thanks for sharing with us . . . and blessings as you let what you have learned impact your lives.

Grace and peace in this time of
transition for us all!
Marianne