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

 

 
 

Letters to Educators

Thank 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

 



150th Jubilee Year-Draws to a Close

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Over the past year we have been celebrating the 150th year of Methodism in Helena with the St. Paul’s Jubilee.  It began last Easter with Marianne preaching about our church rising from a pile of logs, then we had an incredible Jubilee celebration in June with Bishop Elaine JW Stanovsky presiding, during the fall we invited the congregation to focus with Intermountain on Adverse Childhood Experiences(ACEs) and how this study would help us see new ways we could share God’s love in our community.  Our study and effort in this area helped to propel our community to found a coalition of people who are hoping to transform Helena through understanding ACEs.  We are going to draw this Jubilee Year to a close on Holy Humor Sunday, April 3.

 

As a part of this Jubilee year wrap-up we will be screening a 30-minute video on ACEs in the Church Library at 9:45 on April 3.  This video is a presentation by Schylar Canfield-Baber who identifies as resiliently overcoming 10 ACEs and Dr. Elizabeth Kohlstaedt, Ph.D. a member of our church and the Chief Clinical Officer of Intermountain.  Dr. Kohlstaedt and Pastor Tyler will be present to answer questions about why ACEs continues to matter and what our community is doing to use ACEs to transform how we work to help people better their life situation and be more resilient.  Please join us for this great opportunity.

 

To learn more about ACEs and why it matters to us as United Methodists read our introduction letter to ACEs at

http://goo.gl/vqQ2aF



Brazil Mission Update 2

 
It’s encouraging to build things because you get a concrete vision of what your labor accomplished at the end of each day.  Our team (with no surprise) spontaneously evolved into a highly efficient “amorphous blob” (Ron Waterman’s term) that does everything and anything with the constantly changing combination of people and skill sets to get the job done. We’ll explain further when we can.
The local people learned that I am a doctor. Each day a few will approach and ask if I can help with an ailment or two. Our robust first aid kit is all that I’ve got, and it has helped a lot. In two occasions I was asked to follow someone home because someone there was too sick to come to me.
 
Once it was to see a man if 59 years old. Decades of untreated diabetes made him appear more like 75 years. He was super sick. That was immediately evident from the horrendous stench of decaying flesh that surrounded him. He was sitting in a chair with his feet elevated on another chair in front of him. Both feet were wrapped in bloody gauze. Frank pus oozed from under the bandages. His legs were tremendously swollen, to the point that edema fluid dripped through the skin. Blood and pus were all around his left ear. His abdomen was hugely swollen with fluid. He clearly had end-stage kidney failure with massive fluid overload, and was horribly infected as well.
 
The scene of suffering and the overwhelming smell of dead flesh was too much for the New York nurse with me. She left her meager supplies and had to go. The Brazilian girl who brought me to him had to leave the house and sit outside.
Somehow I was able to talk with him and change the dressing on the foot that hurt the most. It was terribly infected, deep into the flesh and bones, draining pus and dark blood.
 
I gave him all of our narcotics and a few supplies. Then I stretched the limits of my comfort zone and asked him if he wanted me to pray with him. He said, “yes, definitely.”  So I knelt by his side and held his filthy contaminated hand that id watched him pick at his wounds with and began to pray out loud for him. He started to sob deeply as I did so. It broke my heart. I had to go be alone for awhile. Much later when I was able to share this with Mike, I told him that I was doing OK until Jesus walked into the room and blessed us both. It was intensely powerful.
 
By Mission Team Leader – Don Skillman