Pastor’s Corner — October 22

AMEND Together to End Domestic Violence

October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month, and though there is so much violence against the vulnerable in our society, there are groups and people working diligently to change the statistics. Shan Foster, a former NBA player, is using his public visibility to bring awareness. Shan reflects on his travel experience with basketball and mourns the amount of violence he has seen. He also mourns our own culture that supports violence. He is the senior director of external affairs of the YWCA of Nashville and Middle Tennessee, and he has partnered with United Methodist Men to lead a group series that will teach men to recognize, respond to, and prevent violence against women, girls, boys and other men.

The group visits middle and high schools in the Tennessee area to teach healthy manhood, healthy masculinity, respect of women, and practical ways to hold each other accountable. Shan’s goal is to engage good men to be a part of the solution by challenging and changing the culture that supports violence.

“At the end of the day, this is a men’s issue,” Shan states. So, they are encouraging men to not stand on the sidelines but to be a part of the solution. The groups become a safe place for men to express how they are feeling and to be heard and supported. They allow men to be vulnerable and talk about possible violence they have experienced as well.

This partnership with United Methodist Men allows the movement to reach further than Tennessee. Let’s help them by spreading this program here in Helena!

How are we starting conversations with older men about what it means to be good role models of being a good partner and spouse, a good father-figure, and a productive citizen of society? How are we teaching our young boys and young men to function in a violent society? How do we create safe spaces for men to be vulnerable and feel supported?

For more information on this wonderful program, visit ywcanashville.com/programs/amend-together or umc.org
 
 

Peace,

Pastor Sami



Pastor’s Corner – October 15

I am pleased to announce that we have hired Dominic Tuttle as our Director of Young Peoples Ministry! Dominic, his wife Hannah, and their 2-year-old daughter, Sienna, currently live in Anaheim, CA. They are packing and preparing to move to Helena by November 1. Dominic and Hannah are attracted to Helena for two main reasons. First, because of the opportunity to do youth ministry full time. Dominic has felt a call to youth ministry since he was a teen. He felt like it was time to take the leap into this profession. Second, they are attracted to the lifestyle Helena offers—a smaller community with outdoor recreation opportunities year-round.

Dominic comes to us with sixteen years of experience in youth ministry. He has served in New Mexico, England, and Southern California. He and Hannah love teens and hanging out with them on their turf. On his visit he jumped right in with the youth, sitting on the floor with them and learning their names quickly. He is able to relax and have fun, but also settle into meaningful conversations. I was most impressed with his passion for working with youth and helping them grow in faith. He has a host of other talents as well, which we will all discover!

Interesting fact—Dominic and Hannah have written and illustrated two children’s books, The Caterpillar Princess and Ollie Poppet.
 

 

We do need to help them relocate to Helena. If you can help with any of these tasks in the next few weeks, please contact me!
  • We need to find them temporary housing. Do you know any snow birds who could make their house available to a few months? Or do you know of an appropriate rental property for a short-term lease? Other creative ideas?
  • Anyone want to make a road trip? We could fly you down to Orange County California, and then you would drive the U-Haul to Helena, so Dominic and Hannah and their 2-year-old can care for one another on the long drive in their car.
  • Any leads on mortgage brokers or real estate agents? They would like to purchase a house here in Helena.
  • Any help we can give Hannah to find a job here in Helena would be great.

It has been a long process finding the best candidate for this position. I believe our patience will pay off. Dominic brings a lot to this position and will be a great asset to our staff. And, most importantly, he will help our youth grow in faith.

 

Walking in Grace,

Patti


Pastor’s Corner – October 8

Our Call to End Gun Violence – We are called as United Methodists to eradicate the many forms of violence that destroy the integrity of individuals, families, communities, and nations. The Book of Resolutions of The United Methodist Church contains our official positions on many issues, including gun violence. The 2016 version includes some of the ways in which to prevent gun violence. As we sit in the rubble of yet another mass shooting, I invite you to meditate on these practices and how we as a community can do more:

1.) For congregations to make preventing gun violence a regular part of our conversations and prayer times.

2.) For congregations to assist those affected by gun violence through prayer, pastoral care, creating space, and encouraging survivors to share their stories, financial assistance, and identifying resources for victims and families.

3.) For individuals who own guns as hunters or collectors to safely and securely store their guns and to teach the importance of practicing gun safety.

4.) For congregations that haven’t experienced gun violence to form partnerships with faith communities to have experienced gun violence in order to support them and learn from their experiences.

5.) For congregations to lead or join gatherings for public prayer at sites where gun violence has occurred and partner with law enforcement to help prevent gun violence.

6.) For congregations to partner with local law enforcement agencies and community groups to identify gun retailers that engage in retail practices designed to circumvent laws on gun sales and ownership, encourage full legal compliance, and to work with groups that organize faith-based campaigns to encourage gun retails to gain full legal compliance with appropriate standards and laws.

7.) For congregations to display signs that prohibit carrying guns onto church property.

8.) For congregations to advocate at the local and national level for laws that prevent or reduce gun violence.

If you would like to read more about the United Methodist Church’s stance on violence, particularly gun violence, explore the www.umc.org website. This website provides helpful information, prayers, statistics and articles!
 
 

Blessings,

Pastor Sami


Pastor’s Corner — October 1

“For everything there is a season, a time for every activity under heaven. … A time to hold on and a time to let go.” Ecclesiastes 3:1, 6

The seasons demonstrate for us that the world, God’s beautiful creation, is constantly transitioning from what was, to what is, and eventually to what will be. Sept. 22nd was the autumn equinox. It is officially fall. A season of transition from the heat of summer to the cold of winter. The days are getting shorter. The leaves are turning color and soon will fall off. As this happens, may it be a que for us in our spiritual lives. May we use this season of fall as a time to let go.

It is our natural human tendency to hold on, to want things to remain the same, and to resist change. But truly, the only thing that we can count on is change. 

An important life skill is learning what to hold on to as if our life depends on it and what to let go of. In general, we should hold on to that which gives us life and let go of that which negatively impacts us. So, what are you holding on to that is bearing on you negatively? It may be guilt and regret. It may be anger, resentment, bitterness. It may be unrealistic expectations for yourself or others. It may be that you are too busy and need to let go of some activities or commitments. It might be time to let go of some stuff. This is difficult work. It can take more courage to let go than to hold on. But it is also life giving work. If it helps, write down the things you want to let go of on a piece of paper and dispose of it in some way. Sometimes a physical act can help us feel the spiritual work that is going on. What is holding you back? 

As you observe the leaves falling off the trees this fall, ask God to help you identify and let go of those things that are hindering you. For letting go makes room for new life.
 
 

Walking on the path of grace,

Pastor Patti