August 9 Pastor’s Corner

From July 18-23 I was in Nashville, Tennessee to participate in the final meeting of the 2012-2016 Division on Young People’s Ministry. This group is made up of representatives of the United Methodist church ranging from youth (12-18), to young adults (18-35) and adult workers with young people from all corners of the world (The Philippines, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Sierra Leone, Angola, the United States, Germany, Austria, Switzerland, Norway, Kyrgyzstan, and more). Since 2012, we have met each summer in different locations to support the church in providing resources to youth and young people in their ministry to the world. If you want to see more of the work we helped support go to globalyoungpeople.org.

The part I value most about my experience was the opportunity to share ideas about ministry with peers who are in completely different cultural contexts. Our church is raising some of the most creative and inventive leaders who are beginning ministry as we speak. Two weeks ago in church, I shared a story about Pierre my friend from the Congo who taught 300 people the positives and negatives of Internet usage. Another friend in Germany is a part of a ministry involving an inflatable church building they take from one community to the next, having church services and supporting local ministries in multiple towns. These ideas and others have practical application in our ministry here in Helena and they could span all ages.

This opportunity to meet such a diverse groups is made possible because we are a part of a global church and due to our continued work at St. Paul’s to support the United Methodist Church in its ministry and witness of Christ’s love. Based on what I experienced interacting with my peers I think the church is in for a lot of fun, some incredible witness, and transformation as we see them begin leading the church. Thank you St. Paul’s for supporting me as your pastor and providing the opportunity for me to participate in this group. The stories and the connections I have made will be a valuable part of my ministry.

Enthusiastic Peace,

Pastor Tyler



August 2 Pastor’s Corner

As you read this pastor’s corner, you’ll notice that Marianne is preaching here at St. Paul’s. Tyler is preaching today across town at Covenant UMC. Rick Hulbert is still away. He returned from his trip to Russia last Thursday but needed to leave almost immediately for Pensacola. While he was away, his sister died unexpectedly and he returned to Florida for her funeral. Please keep Rick and family in your prayers.
As I mentioned last week in the pastor’s corner, we are beginning our second year as the Helena United Methodist Ministries (HUMM). This is a concept that Tyler and I presented to the Yellowstone Cabinet over a year ago. We envisioned the possibility for maximizing impact and multiplying ministries for good as an area wide United Methodist ministry encompassing both St. Paul’s and Covenant. To that end, the Cabinet has appointed Marianne as the leader of the clergy team and as the lead pastor at St. Paul’s; Rick Hulbert is appointed as the lead pastor at Covenant and a member of the clergy team, and Tyler is appointed as associate pastor at St. Paul’s and as a member of the clergy team. Tyler’s particular emphasis at St Paul’s and for HUMM is young adult ministry and mission outreach.
Rick, Tyler and I did some review of our first year and identified the following as some of the good that we have seen happening as a result of our efforts:
• Both congregations treated to variety with three pastors’ presence and services
• Positive congregational response to clergy team
• Cross fertilization of ideas
• Shared classes with both congregations
• Worshippers exploring both churches
• Improved communication/coordination on joint ministries
• Shared youth group responsibilities and support
• A Coordinated fall stewardship program with strong results
• Shared clerical/office support insures communication is effectively enhanced
• Continuity across congregations on seasonal/sermon topics
• Shared advertising and posting notices for all three services
• Purchasing materials in volume
• St Paul’s providing Website development support to Covenant
• Clergy team coordination facilitates congregations awareness of each other’s programs
• Worship service coverage with existing pastors eliminates need for outside substitutes
• St. Paul’s benefits from use of Covenant kitchen and fellowship hall for events
• Joint hosting of Annual Conference
• HUMM model provides for pastors to support one-another
• Shared calendar for efficient use of church spaces and resources
• Capacity for growth with both congregations and options for United Methodists in Helena
• Reassuring to know our counterparts at the other church are a resource for ideas

We are excited about our progress and ready to launch into another year. If you have feedback or observations or suggestions for us, please let us know by email or phone or in conversation.
Grace and peace,
Marianne



July 26 Pastor’s Corner

As you read this pastor’s corner, you’ll notice that Tyler is preaching here at St. Paul’s. I am preaching today across town at Covenant UMC. Rick Hulbert, who is the lead pastor at Covenant, is away on vacation.
We are beginning our second year as the Helena United Methodist Ministries (HUMM). This is a concept that Tyler and I presented to the Yellowstone Cabinet over a year ago. We envisioned the possibility for maximizing impact and multiplying ministries for good as an area wide United Methodist ministry encompassing both St. Paul’s and Covenant. To that end, the Cabinet has appointed Marianne as the leader of the clergy team and as the lead pastor at St. Paul’s; Rick Hulbert is appointed as the lead pastor at Covenant and a member of the clergy team, and Tyler is appointed as associate pastor at St. Paul’s and as a member of the clergy team. Tyler’s particular emphasis at St. Paul’s and for HUMM is young adult ministry and mission outreach.
Rick, Tyler and I did some review of our first year and identified the following as some of the good that we have seen happening as a result of our efforts:
• Both congregations treated to variety with three pastors’ presence and services
• Positive congregational response to clergy team
• Cross fertilization of ideas
• Shared classes with both congregations
• Worshippers exploring both churches
• Improved communication/coordination on joint ministries
• Shared youth group responsibilities and support
• A coordinated fall stewardship program with strong results
• Shared clerical/office support insures communication is effectively enhanced
• Continuity across congregations on seasonal/sermon topics
• Shared advertising and posting notices for all three services
• Purchasing materials in volume
• St Paul’s providing Website development support to Covenant
• Clergy team coordination facilitates congregations awareness of each other’s programs
• Worship service coverage with existing pastors eliminates need for outside substitutes
• St. Paul’s benefits from use of Covenant kitchen and fellowship hall for events
• Joint hosting of Annual Conference
• HUMM model provides for pastors to support one-another
• Shared calendar for efficient use of church spaces and resources
• Capacity for growth with both congregations and options for United Methodists in Helena
• Reassuring to know our counterparts at the other church are a resource for ideas
We are excited about our progress and ready to launch into another year. We also welcome your feedback and observations as we continue to do this new thing!
Grace and peace,
Marianne


July 19 Pastor’s Corner

Greetings everyone!
Happy Midsummer! Though the days are still long, they are getting shorter. The summer symphony is now over but the County Fair is still to come. It is indeed ‘midsummer.’ There are still some wonderful summer days ahead and yet we all know they will be over all too quickly. Soon, we will find ourselves saying ‘where did the summer go?’ It happens every year – so this is your friendly reminder to do everything you can to enjoy the blessing of each day!
I am often asked for tips or advice on how to pray. Volumes have been written about that subject but the practice of prayer still seems elusive to many of us. I suggest that the ‘art of appreciating summer’ can be a helpful strategy in learning to pray. Prayer is fundamentally about attention, about focus, about learning to be present to the moment. Summer is a good time to practice such things. Rather than thinking about learning a method or doing a Bible study, let the ‘practice of appreciating summer’ be a spiritual practice for you these days. Breathe the early morning air; notice the lingering sunlight late in the day; enjoy the flowers; appreciate the blessing of rain – and when it falls, choose to get wet, really feel the water on your toes in the lake, marvel at the produce at the Farmer’s Market, take special delight in the first Flathead cherry you find. We live amidst great beauty. People travel from all over to visit our state and this place. So, don’t let the (to us) ordinariness of our surroundings blind you to the extraordinary beauty we call home. Be attentive. Give thanks. And as you do so, you will have learned to pray for, as the opening words of the poem God’s Grandeur by poet Gerard Manley Hopkins , assert . . .
The world is charged with the grandeur of God.
It will flame out, like shining from shook foil;
It gathers to a greatness, like the ooze
of oil
Crushed . . .
May your summer days be blessed with the luxury of lingering a bit and laughing with friends and feasting with family. May you become skilled in the art of appreciating the summer!

Grace and peace,
Marianne