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Growing in Faith . . . . 

Perhaps as you sit in a pew on Sunday morning, an idea from the sermon will intrigue you or a line from a hymn will hit you in a different way than it has before.  Bingo!  You begin to see your life through a different lens.  Or you may be volunteering for Family Promise or Caring Ministries and have a heart opening moment with a person you hardly know. Bingo! In understanding something new about someone else, you are able to see or accept yourself in a new way.  Growth opportunities are everywhere once we become aware.
In the Adult Education program at St. Paul’s, we offer opportunities for those same ‘aha” moments through study and building relationships. When we grow in faith we become transformed.  In our transformation, we can transform the world. 
Join us for one or more of our current studies which are listed below!

Adult  Classes  &  Groups



Coming Soon – The Great Spiritual Migration 
Watch for more information in January 2018.



Community Singing: Beginning Wednesday, January 17 the people of St.Paul’s and Helena can join an exciting new musical opportunity. Community Singing is coming to St. Paul’s. Led by Maren Haynes Marchesini, Community Singing brings people together for a joyful exploration of faith through song. Unlike any other musical offerings at St. Paul’s, Maren’s class is not directed specifically to performance. The class is suitable for participation from a wide spectrum of interested people. Previous musical training or experience is not necessary. We learn some basic singing techniques, we play with rhythm and we sing, a lot. We sing songs from all over the world, we sing in parts, we sing in unison, we sing without accompaniment. We learn by repetition, and we laugh!
Within the 90-minute class is also a time for reflection and sharing. As we say each Sunday morning before our community prayer, “Our hearts are drawn closer to each other and to God as we pray together.” So, too, are hearts drawn closer by singing together. It is a marvelous way to be in community. Maren, who just successfully completed her requirements for a PhD in Ethnomusicology at the University of Washington, has nine years’ experience as a music minister in churches and seminaries. Her academic research in Ethnomusicology focuses on Christian congregational music. Here at St. Paul’s she has shared her cello playing with us for Special Music at 8:30 Worship. She co-leads The Helena Children’s Youth Chorus with Jillian Newton, St. Paul’s Chancel Choir Director, and coaches and leads the advanced players of the Helena Youth Orchestra.
Community Singing will begin January 17 when Wednesday Night Dinners resume. We will meet in the Sanctuary at 6:30 PM for the 90-minute class and will meet weekly throughout the winter and spring. We suggest a donation of $10 per class, but all are welcome. Don’t let anything stand in the way of joining us for this exciting, community building opportunity. Make it an evening out. First come for dinner, then come to sing!
Book Study Group: Perma Red by Debra Earling
Begins January 17 – runs through Mid-March. Sixteen year old Louise White Elk lives on the Flathead Indian reservation. Her ancestral homeland is a land crisscrossed by land owned and ranched by whites. The clash of cultures is immediate and compelling. Louise must choose among men, native and white, each with their own culture if she is to survive. Her story unfolds in a graphic, violent, yet beautiful world. In her effort to decide who she is and what will she value, she must learn to cope in both worlds. Perma Red is a coming of age novel of a people, their place and identity. Debra Magpie Earling grew up on the Flathead Reservation. She teaches Native American Culture and Creative Writing at the University of Montana.
This book study group, facilitated by Dale Waniata, will begin on Wednesday, January 17 at 6:30 PM in the Fireside Room at St. Pauls UMC (512 Logan). The group will meet weekly until the middle of March. Come spend the winter learning about Montana and its people. Sign up by contacting the church office at 442-5643 or email us at: Books may be purchased online or at used book stores.



Discipleship 101 – Amazing Grace: Who was John Wesley? Why was the movement called “Methodist?” What is it now? How can I learn more about the church? These questions and more will be answered in this class. Amazing Grace is required to join or transfer membership to St. Paul’s UMC or Covenant UMC. Amazing Grace class will be on Sunday, January 7, at 12:15 PM in the Library of the Church building. A light lunch will be provided.
Pastor’s Patti Agnew and Sami Pack-Toner will lead this class. Childcare is available upon request during Amazing Grace class if you contact the church office by Wednesday, January 3. Sign up by contacting the church office at 442-5643 or email us at:
Laurie’s Book Club: “Think before you speak, read before you think.” Fran Lebowitz. These are insightful words to try and live by. The magic of a good book is almost an indescribable feeling. The worlds we can visit, and the people we can meet in books–whether fictional or not–change our lives. Beginning this winter, Pastor Sami invites you to visit new worlds with her. A book group named in memory of our sweet Laurie Skillman is going to begin gathering once a month for a shared meal and time discussing a book. Laurie was an avid reader and learner, and she was even more so a people-person, sharing quality time with others around a good book. Sami picked the first month’s book for the group, but after that, it’s up to the participants to choose their own adventures together. Read at your own pace. Bring a snack to share. Join us Monday, January 29 at 6:30 PM in St. Paul’s Library downstairs. The book for January is John Green’s “The Fault in Our Stars.” It’s about love, God, mortality, and the love of books. Sign up by contacting the church office at 442-5643.
Knit & Crochet Group:   Get to know others while learning and sharing a craft. This group creates prayer shawls and works on other individual projects as the mood strikes them all in the name of service. Join them on any Wednesday when we have a Wednesday Night Dinner and see how much fun you can have in a creative circle of women. Wednesdays from 4 PM – 5:30 PM in the St. Paul’s Library. Leader: Lila Bock. 


God Hunger: Meaningful Midday Meditations. This popular prayer class invites a new group of people to journey with other laity in meaningful midday meditations. We invite you to bring your lunch for 30 minutes of prayer and 15 minutes of discussion. This class runs 12-1 PM on Tuesdays.  Come join us as we focus on God’s presence and learn the benefit of regular prayer in our lives. No sign-up necessary for this group. Please join us in the balcony in the church building at Noon.
Wednesday/Thursday Bible Study: 
There are two adult bible study classes at St. Paul’s. One class meets on Wednesday from 9:30 to 10:30 AM  in the library (lower level) at St. Paul’s UMC. The other class will meet on Thursday from 9:30 to 10:30 AM in the Fireside Room, Susanna’s Place (512 Logan Street).

The classes are studying Jesus and His Jewish Influences by acclaimed archaeologist Dr. Jodi Magness who will unearth the roots of Jesus’s actions and teachings within the traditions and beliefs of ancient Judaism.  Class format is a DVD lecture and class discussion.The classes are studying Jesus and His Jewish Influences by acclaimed archaeologist Dr. Jodi Magness who will unearth the roots of Jesus’s actions and teachings within the traditions and beliefs of ancient Judaism.  Class format is a DVD lecture and class discussion.
Jan. 3-4       The Jewish and Samaritan Schism
Jan. 10-11   The Jewish Diaspora and the  Golden Rule
Jan. 17-18   Alexander the Great’s impact on the Jews
Jan. 24-25   Jews and Greek Rule: The  Heliodorus Affair
Jan. 31-Feb. 1  Desolating Sacrilege and the Maccabean Revolt
Visitors are always welcome and new members may join a class at any time. Shirley Warehime leads both classes. For more information contact the church office at 442-5643.

Sew-Crafty:  Join us for a fun time of creation and fellowship!  Bring whatever creative project you are working on; whether it is sewing, knitting, scrapbooking, or anything else.  We will have several hours to work on projects, share ideas, visit, and appreciate each others creations!  We will meet in the Fellowship Hall from 3-8 PM on the 4th Thursdays of the month.  Bring your dinner or get together with others and order take out.  Hope to see you there.

Jung Reading Group: This on-going group welcomes new members with whom they could discuss Carl Jung’s works. The class meets on Thursdays from 12:15 – 1:15 PM. They meet in room 200 at Susanna’s Place. Facilitator: Marty Thieltges.



New Leaders Always Welcome!

Classes: Are you toying with an idea for a class?  Would you like to lead a class but have never led one before and want some help? Do you know you have the gift of leadership, but need an idea for a class?
Groups: Are you thinking of starting a small group?  Do you wonder how to make a group work?  Do you need guidance about how to get started? 
Adult Ministry Team:  Do you love to see people alive and learning more about themselves and God?  Do you thrive in an environment of learning? Do you have ideas of how our Adult Program could better serve the congregation?
If the answer to any of these questions is “Yes,” please give Sue a call at the church office (442-5643) or email her at