Change brings with it challenges and is always scary. If I have learned anything in my work here it is fear of change never really goes away, even if you are the wisest and most reflective person. Jesus took time to reflect and pray every time deep change was coming his way. Jesus also didn’t avoid the emotions that come with deep change, he embraced them and lived through them. However you are feeling today I invite you to not bypass it for a feeling of “being ok,” but instead embrace it as your authentic self. We are called by God to be our authentic selves, and letting go of who the world tells us we should be at any certain moment. I will join you in these emotions, because I believe that in letting emotions live and die that we will find new life.
I wonder what new life is forming in this amazing place we live and how our church might be a part of helping people live authentic lives. As I drove across the state this week I saw solar panels going up, I had conversations with a family that moved to Montana for the connected environments of our communities, and I jumped on trampolines at a Trampoline Park. All of these new things are happening through people taking risks on new relationships and new ways of thinking. If we are to embrace change, we have to live through some risks together and be willing to invite in new partners in God’s work.
In the coming months I hope to be in conversations and prayer as a community about what God is doing among us. However, you feel at the end of worship today, I hope you know one thing, “God is with us.” God is with us in the pain, the fear, the sorrow, and God is with us now and always.
I am thankful for the ministry of each of you.
Intermountain here in Helena is an unexpected lesson. This organization offers incredible gifts of healing and guidance to children and families living through mental health challenges. Intermountain grew out of a need at the turn of the century to provide a home for children who were left to fend for themselves. Behind that history is the story of Rev. Brother Van Orsdel who is said to have been in tears pleading at the Annual Conference for the Methodist churches in the region. The public tears of a grown man and the vital work of women deaconesses have become the hope of more children and families than we can count.
Hear the words of one parent who has seen hope in the work of Intermountain:
“I am a single parent of two adoptive children, one of whom has suffered with the emotional/behavioral chaos of attachment disorder since early childhood. At one point I was having to call our local police to help restrain my daughter during her violent behavioral outbursts. I was at the brink of losing my family (and possibly my life).
Now, after 18 months of residential treatment at Intermountain, we are an intact family ready to thrive. My daughter is returning home with the skills to manage her feelings and behaviors long before they get to the rage that previously overtook her mind and body. We as a family have learned important skills for success. This program not only changes lives, it literally saves them!”
Last year Intermountain treated 1334 children and youth, and made a difference in the health of Montana communities. This Lent we are asking members, friends and you as the disciples of St. Paul’s to make a difference by financially supporting Intermountain through a spiritual practice.
We invite you to journey with us through the unexpected.