December 20 Pastor’s Corner

Welcome to this year’s Christmas Choir Sunday! Today you will be treated to hearing the Christmas choruses of Handel’s Messiah. This is a wonderful way to enter the spirit of the season during this final week leading to Christmas. I am hoping you will take a minute to thank Tanya Anderson, our Chancel Choir director, for her work in making this possible. She has done an amazing job leading our awesome Chancel Choir this fall. She and Dave Buness have worked hard to make the transition from Dave’s leadership to her leadership a smooth one. I am so grateful to have the opportunity to work with such great talent and I know today’s music will be a blessing to us all!

Tomorrow night, we will be celebrating our annual Solstice Service featuring the Wilbur Rehmann Jazz Quintet. This has become one of the most popular events of the season as we simply spend time listening to wonderful music, reflecting, praying and learning together. We have traditionally shared this service with the Helena Jewish Community and this year will be no exception. Together we will reflect on the theme Leaning Toward the Light, which seems especially appropriate as we all deal with the challenges in our personal lives and in our world. This year’s Solstice event will again include the young fiddle player and singer Brigid Reedy and her Dad, John Reedy. I am told Brigid’s younger brother will also be joining them.

Next Sunday will be an opportunity to celebrate the joy of the season by remembering the many ways we have been ‘going in mission’ this past year. If you think about it, the service on Dec. 27 is the last service of our first 150 years of ministry! I sometimes wonder what those pioneers who began the community that would become St. Paul’s would think of what we have become and of all we have done. I personally think they’d be amazed and proud. I also think they are some of the saints in the ‘great cloud of witnesses’ who are cheering us on and supporting our ever expanding mission.

May the joys of Christmas be yours! If you are traveling this season, may your journey be safe and your time blessed. If you are here in Helena, I hope to see you at one of our Christmas Eve services. The Christmas pageant – the service especially geared toward families – is at 5 PM. That will be followed by the Christmas candlelight services at 7 and 9.

May the blessings of the coming of the Messiah be yours in abundance!

Grace and peace,

Marianne


A note from Meg White

My cherished St. Paul’s Family,

After much contemplation and prayer, Joe and I have decided that it’s time for me to pass the torch of Youth Ministry on to someone else. This has not been an easy decision for us, however, the peace in my heart and the yearning to be more present with family, tells us that it’s what we need.

When we lost Joe’s Mom unexpectedly in April last year, we were given a new appreciation of how precious time is. I want to be able to work with Joe in our electrical business, so that we can enjoy time together as family. I want to help Taylor and Kaiti navigate high school and begin looking at next steps. I want to spend more time snuggling Alyssa and volunteering in her classroom. I want to continue working toward good health for her with our doctors.

I want to be able to enjoy Wednesday Night Dinner and not rush out at 6 PM to get ready for Youth Group. I want to attend classes on Sunday mornings or Wednesday nights so that I can continue to grow in my faith. I want to slow down enough to cherish the memories along the way.

When I say “pass the torch”, I truly do mean that. Youth Group will continue to function. We have an amazing structure of volunteers and a talented youth leadership team who have committed to help with Wednesday nights and Sunday mornings throughout the year. I intend to help mentor throughout the next year, in any way that is helpful. This is by no means the end….just another beginning!

I’ve been SO blessed these past eight and a half years to work with all of you, and to have your love and support. (I expect that to continue by the way!) I treasure all of it. My plea is that you will hold all of us in your thoughts and prayers as we work through this transition, to ensure that the flame of Youth Ministry does indeed continue to burn brightly here at St. Paul’s.

Here’s to another step in the journey!
Love and Blessings-

Meg White
Youth Coordinator



November 29 Pastor’s Corner

Going in Mission…

Advent begins today; this is the church season where we prepare for the birth of God’s love into the world. God’s invitation to us is that we can help bear this love for the world, one way we do this is by going in mission. Today after church, at 12:30 PM, I invite everyone to join us at Covenant (2330 E. Broadway) as we wrap Shoe Box gifts for the Blackfeet United Methodist Parish (BUMP). Come join us for a free lunch and help participate in this mission project put together by Covenant, St. Paul’s and Clancy UMC. These shoe boxes represent our offering to the Blackfeet families and children who are in need of care during this season of hope.

Ministry with native people is challenging in a time when we understand the harm European Americans caused during colonization. For many years we thought this ministry was simply offering all the trappings of our culture to try and be more inclusive of native people. Slowly through a process of listening to the hurt caused by this attitude, it is sinking in and becoming clear that forcing our culture onto native people 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 toward the solutions presented by the native culture.

This year HUMM (St. Paul’s and Covenant UMCs) is teaming up with 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 Shoebox 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.

I invite us all this season to find ways to bear God’s love to others as we remember God’s love being born into the world for us.

Enthusiastic Peace,

Pastor Tyler



Nov 22 – Treasure Chest 4

Treasure – Stewardship 2015
To learn more about our entire church wide study, Treasure, go to stpaulshelena.org/stewardship-2015

Commitment Card

We invite you to complete your yearly commitment card for St. Paul’s by going to: stpaulshelena.org/commitment-card-2016/

Weekly Treasure Chest

A few years ago, our small family moved to Helena. After a couple weeks of unpacking, we were excited to begin visiting churches in town. We made a mental list of Christian churches to check out and dove right in. One day while driving through downtown, we noticed a beautiful building on the corner just across from the Holter. Its elegance and simplicity was representative of the religion we were seeking; its small footprint, well-maintained grounds, and thoughtful exterior were evidence of a healthy community within. With no experience with the Methodist faith, we added it to our list.

A couple weeks later, we attended St. Paul’s for the first time with every intention to continue our search with a different church on our list the following week. But on the morning of the following Sunday, both my husband and I and our two children wanted to return to St. Paul’s. The Sunday after that, the same thing happened. The Sunday after that…the same. We had found our community.

We had found a place to raise our children in the joyful Christian tradition that is a special part of both our country’s and our personal heritage. We had found a place where our children could feel welcomed and accepted, where they could learn Bible stories in a hopeful and kind way, where they could see many people joining together to help and serve for the well-being of the whole, where they could be supported as they experience the ups and downs of life, where they could witness
and be a part of generosity, hospitality, and compassion for others. In short, where they could live and breathe the Christian way.

At St. Paul’s, Christianity is not only experienced but it is experienced without superiority over the beautiful spiritual paths that others have chosen. St. Paul’s gives a gentle and gracious nod to other Christian faiths and to all faiths represented in our human family. Rather than putting up walls inside people that lead to judgment and self-righteousness, it aims for peace within each member’s soul, peace in our community, and peace in our world. This means everything to us. Truly, if religion is going to maintain its holy place in our culture, it has to step up its game and truly shed its unhealthy, unkind parts that are clearly unchristian to so many of us. St. Paul’s has done this with dignity, courage, and clarity, making us proud to be a part of it.

Having a church community that reflects the love and peace we feel inside for our fellow life travelers is something we value immensely. We are extremely grateful to participate in the experiences offered through the church. Though we are raising children and still paying off debts from our college years, we give what we can through a monthly automatic withdrawal. We feel comforted we are doing our small part to support the life and mission of St. Paul’s….a place we’re very grateful to have found.

This family has asked to remain anonymous

Sermon
Treasure Hunt
Each week we will hide an image of a treasure chest with a new word somewhere online.  We ask people to explore our website, facebook and app to find this treasure.  When you do email Pastor Tyler at tamundson@stpaulshelena.org.  Let us know what word was on it and where you found it.  When you find it you will be entered into a drawing for a Treasure daily devotional book that will happen each week at worship.
This week the image you are searching for is:
Love-chest-300x300

The image you are looking for is in a different location. Please note this is just a clue to tell you what you are looking for. The real image is somewhere on facebook, our app, or website.