June 21 Pastor’s Corner

Welcome to our 150 Year Jubilee Sunday. We hope this is a joyous celebration of the ministry completed in the last 150 years and a launch for our future ministry. We are thankful to have Bishop Elaine J.W. Stanovsky preaching at the Jubilee service, our choir for singing, the Junk Man’s Choir performing at our picnic, and for all of the people who helped make this day possible. We are especially thankful for everyone who could be here to share this Sunday of celebration. This Jubilee Sunday we wanted to share with people the new ways in which they can stay connected with St. Paul’s as we each go out to share ministry with the world.

St. Paul’s App
“There is an App for that.” In the ever-increasing pace of the world we want people to stay connected to their faith community. Our App is designed to get you things like our sermons, which you can download to your phone or stream right from the Internet. We hope this is a way you can stay connected to the ministry of our church. To get the App go to stpaulshelena.org and click on “Download our App.”

PushPay
For 150 years the generosity of people with St. Paul’s has been tremendous. We want to continue to make it possible for people to give and this means we have to provide ways for electronic giving (credit, debit cards). We have partnered with a company that works with non-profits and churches to make this possible, PushPay. There are two ways to use this multi-platform giving solution to give to St. Paul’s. 1. Text “stpaulshelena” to 77977 on your mobile phone and you will receive a link to give a one-time gift, and then will be invited to download the PushPay App. 2. Go to stpaulshelena.org/giving and follow the links to give.

Livestream and HCTV
For a significant portion of our history we were on the radio Sunday mornings. We have now moved to Livestream and Helena Civic Television. If you are unable to join us for worship on a given Sunday, we invite you to participate by watching live online at livestream.com/stpaulshelena or by watching our broadcast on HCTV channel 189 on cable at 7 PM on Wednesday nights. These ministries are designed to keep you connected to worship as you share your ministry in the world.

Thank you for your connection to our church and for the ways you will keep us Grounded, Growing, Giving and Going for Good in the future of our ministry.

See you in 2065,

Pastor Marianne and Pastor Tyler



June 14 Pastor’s Corner

This is a big week here at St. Paul’s.  First, we have the privilege of hosting the 47th meeting of the Yellowstone Conference.  Practically speaking, that means that some 300 clergy and laity from churches around Montana and northern Wyoming and Salmon and Lemhi, Idaho will gather to worship, learn together, elect delegates to General Conference, conduct business and celebrate our ministry as United Methodist disciples of Jesus.  The last time the Yellowstone Conference met in Helena for our annual meeting was in 1964.  Actually, at that time, we were still the ‘Montana Conference.’  We didn’t officially became the ‘Yellowstone Conference of the United Methodist Church’ until 1969 when churches from Northern Wyoming and the former E.U.B. (Evangelical United Brethren Church) merged with the churches in the Montana Conference.

All sessions of the Annual Conference which begins in the St. Paul’s sanctuary with worship at 10:30 a.m. on Thursday, June 18th are open to any who might be interested.  The Conference speaker this year is theologian Rev. Dr. Rebecca Parker who co-wrote  Saving Paradise: How Christianity Traded Love of This World for Crucifixion and Empire, with Rita Nakashima Brock. Her sessions might be of particular interest.  Also of interest might be the mission celebration on Thursday evening (hosted at Covenant UMC) and the ordination service in our sanctuary at 7:00 p. m. on Friday evening.   Rev. Jim Barth will be ordained. Check our website at www.stpaulshelena.org and find the link to “Resources for YAC participants’ for more detailed schedule information.  There will also be a Cokesbury bookstore set up in the west end of our Fellowship Hall – and that too is open to everyone.  It is a daunting proposition to have 300 guests for several days.   Special thanks to all of the St. Paul’s folks who have volunteered your time to offer hospitality to those who will be joining us!

But that’s not all!  After Annual Conference ends at noon on Saturday, we will turn our energy and attention to our Jubilee!   Our Bishop will be with us and will preach.  We will commission our Guatemala Youth Mission Team.  Our Chancel Choir will sing and we will all raise a joyful noise in thanks to God for the blessings of the past 150 years.   Following worship, we will have a Jubilee party with food, fun, bluegrass music and, maybe even some dancing in the streets!!  Thanks to the generosity of several donors, we will have a Jubilee Booklet available that day as well.  It is a snapshot of St. Paul’s at age 150.

This is indeed a big week here at St. Paul’s.  I hope you will plan to drop in for some or all of it . . . and don’t miss the celebration next Sunday!

Grace and peace and Jubilee blessings to us all!

Marianne



June 7 Pastor’s Corner

It’s A Jubilee…

Dave and Fay Buness, our Chancel Choir and wonderful instrumentalists made last Sunday quite a celebration! I hope you were with us as we were all blessed with hearing ‘Songs that Built our Faith.’ If you weren’t here, however, you can still experience the event by watching it online. The link is on our website. Our choir now takes a couple weeks off but they’ll be back again in two weeks, on Jubilee Sunday.

The central celebration of our Jubilee year is on Sunday, June 21 at the 11:00 service. Following immediately after the meeting of our Yellowstone Annual Conference (which we host this year), we will have a grand worship celebration. Our Bishop will be with us and will preach. We will commission our Guatemala Youth Mission Team. Our Chancel Choir will sing and we will all raise a joyful noise in thanks to God for the blessings of the past 150 years. Following worship that day, we will have a Jubilee party with food, fun and dancing in the streets!! The Junk Man’s Choir will be with us for the dancing part of things. Outside. In the street. Or on the patio. Thanks to the generosity of several donors, we will have a Jubilee Booklet available that day as well. It is a snapshot of St. Paul’s at age 150.

Today I want the opportunity to offer a special thanks to the members of the Jubilee Committee who have planned for the events of the year. Maleen Olson has been doing a marvelous job leading the committee. Where would we be without a leader? Others involved in the committee have been Tim Holmes and Marty Thieltges who have been going through pictures that highlight special moments in the history of the church. You have seen some of their work in the pre-worship slides that Sue McNicol has designed for projection. Judy Nielsen and Maleen have provided the historical tidbits that have been in the bulletin. Ron Waterman, Ed Glenn, Marti Johnson, Frank Montibeller and Phaedra Raymond have helped with ideas and plenty of behind-the-scenes legwork. Maggie Long has written our press release. Tim Holmes has done some hard work locating the actual site of that first pile of logs and we are working with Ellen Baumler and the City of Helena to get a plaque on that site. Sue McNicol has designed our Jubilee logo (which you now see on our bulletin cover) and has worked tirelessly to pull together the copy and do the layout for the Jubilee booklet. There will be lots more to do as our Jubilee year unfolds but, for now – thanks to all who have helped so far.

The celebrating continues . . . be sure to mark your calendars for the next event – 11:00 Sunday, June 21. (We will also have our regular 8:30 worship that day, with time for reflection, prayer and communion.)
Grace and peace,
Marianne


May 31st Pastor’s Corner

It’s a Jubilee!

As you know by now, we are in the midst of celebrating our Jubilee Year.  The church we know as St. Paul’s began when a young preacher gathered a small congregation, preached the word and began a ministry.  Helena was just a mining camp in those early days.  But, as it grew to become the Capitol City of Montana, so did St. Paul’s grow into a thriving, active, progressive community, welcoming all people into the full life and membership of the congregation.

 

We officially began our Jubilee year on Easter Sunday.  Today is another big Jubilee event as Dave Buness and the Chancel Choir present our very own Cantata, Songs that Built Our Faith, at both services.  After spending time reading our history and looking in our archives, he compiled a wonderful potpourri of music and commentary.  And, even our coffee hour today picks up on the theme. Using recipes from one of our St. Paul’s Cookbooks from years past, volunteers have made cookies and treats for your tasting pleasure.  Come to the Fellowship Hall today after worship and enjoy!

 

The central celebration of our Jubilee year is still to come and will take place at the 11:00 service on June 21st.  Following immediately after the meeting of our Yellowstone Annual Conference (which we host this year), we are planning a grand worship celebration.  Our Bishop will be with us and will preach.  We will commission our Guatemala Youth Mission Team.  Our Choir will sing and we will all raise a joyful noise in thanks to God for the blessings of the past 150 years.   Following worship that day, we will have a Jubilee party with food, fun and dancing in the streets!!  (Seriously, we are planning to have a band that day … we’ll provide the music but you’ll need to provide the dancing!)

 

We have more ideas for celebrations that will continue into the fall, through the Christmas season, with it all culminating next Easter.  More on that to come.

 

For now, though, do mark your calendars . . .  Plan to be with us on June 21st at 11:00 worship! (We will also have our regular 8:30 worship that day, with time for reflection, prayer and communion.)

Grace and peace,

Marianne



May 24 Pastor’s Corner

“The Jubilee is upon us!” If you ran down Last Chance Gulch yelling the aforementioned statement it would probably not strike fear in people. Instead the sight might bring laughter and hope like our St. Paul’s 150th celebration is meant to strike hope in people about what God is still doing in our community. We hope the events of the next year inspire our community to continue to seek ways to be of service to one another, and invigorate St. Paul’s to continue to be the source of that Spirit. On this Pentecost Sunday it feels right to share with you the spirit of the next two celebrations at St. Paul’s as a part of our 150th and remind us that the Jubilee is about planning for the future as much as celebrating the past.

Next Sunday, May 31, will be a Choir Sunday, featuring “The Songs That Built Our Faith,” to celebrate the music of the past and our song for the future. Dave Buness has been our Chancel Choir Director for 41 years, and his amazing direction has helped us to have music to inspire our worship. This Sunday presentation has been a special project of Dave’s and promises to give us inspiration for the future of our ministry, as well as honor the work of our past.

On Sunday, June 21 following our hosting of the Yellowstone Annual Conference, we will have our Jubilee celebration. As Marianne shared a few weeks ago, we will have a worship service with our full choir, a commissioning of the Guatemala Mission team, preaching from our Bishop Elaine J.W. Stanovsky, and lots of celebration of the hope God gives us for our ministry past and future. Following the service we will have a grand party with the bluegrass group “The Junk Man’s Choir” performing, food, dancing (if you choose), and fun for all ages. Please mark your calendar and plan on attending.

Let’s pray that the Spirit continues to move among us and through us for 150 years to come.

Enthusiastic Peace,

Pastor Tyler



Pastor’s Corner May 17

“Courageous” This is the adjective that Ann Waickman used about clients of Helena Food Share. She used this word for people of all ages who seek food assistance during her Challenge Helena talk. (youtube.com/challengehelena). It takes courage to be a parent who needs to admit that you cannot provide for your family, despite your best efforts. Courage for children to peer over a counter and ask for something to fill the empty place in their stomach. Courage for a mother to call Food Share and make sure they have milk, so she can trust the trip will bring nourishing food to her family. By giving to the Helena Church Challenge we have quite literally been lending “canned courage” to people in our community.

Bringing “canned courage” is what St. Paul’s and Covenant have done by their continuing support of the Church Challenge for Helena Food Share. The Church Challenge was started in 2014 during one of the lowest donation times of the year to get churches in Helena to cooperate by reaching a shared goal. We started knowing that 4,000 lbs was the average during April/May. We set out to double this number and brought in over 9,000 in 2014 and 8,213 pounds in 2015 from 20 churches. In 2015 St. Paul’s brought in 2,079 and Covenant brought in 780 lbs. “Canned courage” is our work and Christ is present in the courage.

Thank you for helping to share courage,

Pastor Tyler



Pastor’s Corner May 10

Prayer for Mothers on Mother’s Day
~ written by John Ballenger, pastor of Woodbrook Baptist Church, Baltimore, MD.
Found in Mother’s Day Resources on http://re-worship.blogspot.com
This day, our God, as we gather, we pray for mothers.
We give thanks for mothers who love and care for their children
and are loved and cared for right back.

But we also pray for women who have longed for children
and don’t and can’t have them.
And we pray for women who had children who shouldn’t have—
for children who grew up without the love and care they deserved and needed.

We pray for grandmothers—
for those for whom that turned out to be what they dreamed it would be
and for those for whom it didn’t.

We pray for mothers with sick children and children with sick mothers.
We pray for mothers with lost children
and dead children—
children with lost mothers and dead mothers—
for those who grieve what they had
and those who grieve what they never had.
We pray for women who are afraid.

We pray for all the dilemmas and doubts
and fears, frustrations and heartaches
and richness and wonder and sleeplessness of parenting.

We pray for mothers who parent by themselves.
We pray for women who carefully negotiate life with step children,
and for women trying to adopt,
and women hoping fertility treatments
will renew disappointed hope.

We pray for mothers whose children have grown up and moved out
and those whose children have grown up and
not moved out.

We pray for women who mother the children of others,
and we pray for women who give birth in every
conceivable way—
to ideas and art and possibility and wonder and joy—
to new life in job contexts and in relational ones.

This complicated day, our God,
we’re reminded again of just how much will not fit on a Hallmark card.
but does fit into Your full awareness of all that is—
that does fit into Your investment in love and grace
in and through all circumstances.

We pray for mothers in all the fullness of what it can mean—
informed by what we know of all those we know—
gratefully trusting You
to know so much more than we do or can—
gratefully trusting You
with the hearts of those we love—
gratefully trusting You
with all the deep pain and joy of this day,

in Jesus’ name, Amen.



Pastor’s Corner May 3

Save the date!
You are invited!
Invite your friends!

By now, I hope you have all heard that we are in the midst of celebrating our Jubilee Year. The church we know as St. Paul’s began when a young preacher gathered a small congregation, preached the word and began a ministry. Helena was just a mining camp in those early days. But, as it grew to become the Capitol City of Montana, so did St. Paul’s grow into a thriving, active, progressive community, welcoming all people into the full life and membership of the congregation.
We officially began our Jubilee year on Easter. Our next big event will be on May 31 when Dave Buness and our Chancel Choir present “Songs that Built Our Faith”. Dave spent quite a bit of time reading the history and looking in our archives as he compiled a wonderful potpourri of music and commentary. Come to worship at 8:30 or 11:00 that day and prepare to be inspired!
The central celebration of our Jubilee year will take place at the 11:00 service on June 21. Following immediately after the meeting of our Yellowstone Annual Conference (which we host this year), we are planning a grand worship celebration. Our Bishop will be with us and will preach. We will commission our Guatemala Youth Mission Team. Our Choir will sing and we will all raise a joyful noise in thanks to God for the blessings of the past 150 years. Following worship that day, we will have a Jubilee party with food, fun and dancing in the streets!! (Seriously, we are planning to have a band that day … we’ll provide the music but you’ll need to provide the dancing!)
We have more ideas for celebrations that will continue into the fall, through the Christmas season, with it all culminating next Easter. More on that to come.
For now, though, do mark your calendars . . . May 31 is a special Choir Sunday at both services. And, June 21 is our Jubilee worship celebration at the 11:00 service. (We will also have our regular 8:30 worship that day, with time for reflection, prayer and communion.)
Grace and peace,
Marianne