Mission

We are about the business of transformation – a transformation of ourselves and our community and a transformation of our world. We do this by extending community through going out in mission and outreach. May your journey of faith be an adventure of transformation.
 
Local Mission focuses on the relationship between St. Paul’s and the Helena area by promoting service opportunities such as:
  • Collecting diapers for Good Samaritan and dollars for bus tokens for the Health Department.
  • Support for the Cruz Overlook Community Garden behind Susanna’s Place.
  • Collecting food and/ or financial donations for Food Share.
  • Collecting Christmas gifts for low income children at the Helena Indian Alliance, the Health Department and other agencies with a Giving Tree project.
  • Hosting Family Promise which is a ministry to help those who are homeless secure work and a home.
  • Working with God’s Love and at times collecting items such as socks or toiletries for the homeless. 
  • Challenging Helena to look at issues of poverty and injustice, and to then attempt to change the systems that cause them.
Mission Beyond Helena identifies and selects mission projects beyond Lewis & Clark County, coordinating and facilitating giving and service opportunities. Some of their projects are:
    • The Fair Trade Market in November which offers the opportunity to support Fair Trade ventures and other international aid programs by selling their products.
    • Monthly Equal Exchange coffee, tea and chocolate sales.
    • Mission Trips. Some past trips have been: Hurricane Katrina reconstruction work in New Orleans; medical mission teams to Mozambique and Brazil; and construction trips to Haiti.
 
 
 
United Methodist Women support many mission projects throughout the world through their pledges and are in service in many ways to each other and our congregation. There are currently five active Fellowships which are led by the UMW Mission Team. Some of their fundraising and outreach projects include:
  • Collecting gently used clothes for the clothing store in Browning and developing a relationship with the pastor and congregations of the Blackfeet United Methodist Parish.
  • Collecting items for UMCOR Health Kits
  • Collecting School supplies for the Helena Stuff the Bus program 
  • The Harvest Bazaar and Dinner
  • The Fall Art Walk and Dinner

 

 
 

Mission Accomplished!!!!

Re-entry into the US atmosphere is imminent as this is being written. Before we peel off our flight suits and go through the post-mission debriefing with Mission Headquarters, it seems fitting to reflect on a few snapshots from this maiden Montana mission to Cuba.

* During the final stage of our launch to Cuba we endured a Mission “hold” of one day in Newark due to a “Nor’easter” snow storm. No flights were then available from Newark for two additional days. Fortunately, our Mission Navigator (Eric) established contact with Houston (… “HOUSTON WE HAVE A PROBLEM”…) and rearranged final launch from Houston. Thus an extra flight stage and night in that Texas city. Hence our Mission time in Cuba was shortened by several days.

* From Houston, gliding over the blue expanse of the Gulf, we spotted Cuba!! Surrounded by a turquoise patchwork quilt shallow sea sifting into sand and green shore vegetation. Touch down! First the asphalt of the Havana Airport, then the chaotic motions of the Cuban baggage claim and Customs…. Finally!!!….on Cuban soil!!

* Havana is ruggedly handsome in it’s old age and patina, with stewardship apparent in it’s historic buildings and vintage automobiles, yet it’s people are youthful regardless of their age!

* Church services in Cuba resonate with enthusiastic and passionate worship. Booming amplified voices of Pastors, colorful young dancers with tambourines, music and songs that literally vibrate your heart. Via con Dios!!

* Astounding contrasts are everywhere in Cuba….rusted-out holes in sidewalk utility covers (watch where you step!), juxtaposed with the beautiful old, old, buildings dripping with the romance of Spanish architecture, shortages of staple foods (two weeks of rations per month), but the absolute best ice cream (Coppela – from Havana) that you will ever eat.

* Cubans share among friends, guests, and strangers with Christ-like action, backing up their faith through their service – as the hands and feet of Jesus. On the day we left, Oscar told us, “Christ is in Cuba, and He has grace for his people, and He will be with us forever. They (the people) do not have much money, but when we ask, He does not fail.”

* Friendships in Cuba are like bread — flour, water, salt, and yeast mixed with love patted, and rolled and allowed to rise baked to perfection and savored. Jokes and laughs, hand slaps (high fives are now universal), hugs, exchanges of gifts, food and mementos, promises of emails to come, vows of remembrance, and many, many prayers. God has been our cook and baker.

* Our governments may have differences, and we may be separated by tariffs, blockades, diplomatic exclusions, executive decisions, and legislation from souls who have not yet set foot in both countries….but, we remain neighbors only 90 miles apart – brothers and sisters, sons and daughters, grandparents….all of God’s family – drinking the same Earth’s water, breathing the same Earth’s air, warmed by the same Sun, and held in the same comforting and nurturing hands of God, guided on the same paths by the teachings of Jesus. Our intentional sameness is overwhelming.

* As we glide to a touch down on US soil, and the wheels of our craft are stilled, baggage is reclaimed and we disperse back to familiarity, the Mission travel is concluded….but the Mission continues. Each of the twelve pioneer Montana missioners to Cuba must now spread and share the great images, sounds, tastes, smells, touches, music, worship services, friendships, occurrences, and spiritual wealth that God has endowed on us from our Cuban experiences. This is our Quest. Our prayer of thanks to all who supported us in the name of Jesus thank you!!! Via con Cristo!!!! Amen.

2017 Montana Methodist Mission to Cuba



HUMM Mission Project – Blackfoot United Methodist Parish – Shoebox Gifts

Ministry with native people is challenging in a time when we understand the harm European Americans caused during colonization.  With events like Standing Rock at the very center of our reality, we know that this is a time to build relationships of support.  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 St. Paul’s and Covenant will be teaming up with our United Methodist Women at both churches and 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 shoe box 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.
 

Here are ways you can participate in this mission project:

 

 
1. Donate the contents and a shoe box and then join us for a Wrapping Par- ty at 6:30 PM on Wednesday, Nov. 30 at St. Paul’s UMC in the Choir Room. is is a multi-generational and family- friendly mission project. Come for Wednesday Night Dinner and help pack shoe boxes.
 

2. Wrap the bottom and top of a shoe box in Christmas paper – separately (we must be able to remove the lid). Fill the box with gifts for a child of the age range you choose. Label the top with the age and gender of the child you have chosen, tie with a ribbon to be sure top and bottom don’t separate and deliver it to the church o ce by Monday, Nov. 28. Covenant folks may give shoe boxes to Berma Saxton by Sunday, Nov. 27. Please deliver to St. Paul’s church o ce Monday-Friday between 9 AM -3 PM.

3. Find a series of supplies appropariate for one of the age groups listed below and donate them for our shoe box wrapping party by dropping them by the St. Paul’s o ce by Monday, Nov. 28.

 

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

 
• 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.

 



Letters to Educators

Picture1Thank you for taking the time to write a letter to a staff person or teacher at Central Elementary School, see sample below
.  This letter writing is a form of prayer and blessing that we can offer to one of the schools in our community.  Central was chosen because of its proximity to our church building (even while they are across town.)  If you feel called to write to a teacher or staff person at a different school, please feel free to also use the sample letter below.

You can locate other teachers and staff at helenaschools.org/contact/staff-directory.  Any connection we make to the education system will impact our community.  Thanks for doing this ministry together as a church.

 

 

 

 

Central Elementary School

1325 Poplar Street

Helena, MT 59601

 

(School Employee’s Full Name),

 

I am writing to thank you for all you do to support children and families in our community.  Your continued work educating, sharing compassion, and caring for our children makes a difference to the entire Helena community.  As a neighbor to Central Elementary School (even with you across town), we at St. Paul’s United Methodist want to offer you any support you may need. 

 

We have people of all ages in our church and we look forward to supporting you.  We are dedicated to letting you know this each year and hope you will take this offer seriously.  Perhaps you are seeking a retired person to read in a class, adults to provide support or special skills, or even teenagers to connect with younger kids. We hope you can dream of ways we may assist you.

 

As members/friends of St. Paul’s United Methodist, we are writing to Central School employees to offer our support.  A core value at St. Paul’s is supporting our community through service.  We offer this letter as a message of support for the work you do. 

 

Blessings on your work,

 

(Your Name)



Brazil Mission Trip Update

There has been a change in plans for the Brazil Mission Trip – July 2016.  There are not enough team members to justify using the medical boat for a mission, so the parameters have changed. Medical care and other mission activities will be done via small boat travel to small communities near Boa Vista. This includes an indigenous tribal village.

 

The team is ready to accept donations of Tylenol, ibuprofen, vitamins, and children’s clothing. Pastor Augusto in Manaus will fill out our group with members from his church. We will need to buy antibiotics and worm pills in Brazil. So, instead of donating a big bottle of Tylenol, it would be just as helpful to receive a monetary donation for a similar amount. Cash or checks to the St. Paul’s July 2016 Brazil Mission would be extremely welcome.

 

Please contact Don Skillman for more information at 461-8061;

donskillman24@gmail.com

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MISSION TRIP – BRAZIL – JULY 2016

You’ve heard about them. You’ve always wanted to go. You’ve seen the joy and sense of value in others when they return from a trip.  Now, it’s your turn. Don Skillman is putting together a team to go to Manaus, Brazil in late July 2016.  We will probably leave the USA on July 22, arriving in Manaus on July 23.  We will leave Manaus and come back to the USA on either July 31 or Aug 1.  It’s an overnight flight, so you’ll get to the USA a day after you leave Manaus.

Once we get to Manaus we’ll have 36-48 hours for tourism and acclimation while staying in a comfortable hotel.  Then we’ll go to a large boat where we’ll sleep in cabins with bunks (or possibly in hammocks) for the next five nights.  The boat will have a kitchen, bathrooms, showers, cooks, a meeting room, bathrooms, and perhaps a dental suite.  Pastor Augusto in Manaus is choosing the boat and we’ll use it to travel to several very small communities along the Amazon River where we will provide basic medical care, teach dental hygiene, distribute toothbrushes, assess vision and give away reading glasses, play with children, and make friends with everybody.  These last two items may be the most valuable thing we do, and it will be the part you enjoy the most.

We are not on a mission to recruit people to our church or any other with preaching and evangelism.  It’s all about selfless service and building relations.  As John Wesley said “Preach constantly! When necessary, use words!”  (He also said, “Don’t send help to the needy.  Take it!”)
 

I won’t promise that a trip like this will change your life, but I certainly won’t be surprised if it does.  You will serve some of the very poorest people in the world. They are people with the warmest smiles, people with the most gracious hearts, people with a spirit just like your own.

Major expenses are airfare, a passport, a Brazilian visa, and possibly some vaccines.  (There are rumors that Brazil will waive the visa requirement this summer because of the Olympic games being there!)  Please contact Don Skillman for more information – and don’t delay!  406-461-8061; donskillman24@gmail.com
brazil boat don s