WCI Update – Discipleship Conversations


WCI February Update

In my experience, the whole church initiative is not a cut and dry, do things this way, type of initiative, but rather a challenge to look at the ways we currently do Church, and to help us question whether there might be some changes in ways of communicating and serving that can help us better reach people who are un- churched and are seeking some spiritual nourishment.

Questions we have asked as a group are: How can we keep the church relevant in today’s world? How can each church best make disciples of Jesus Christ for the transformation of the world in the speci c environment in which they are located? With all of the changes in society and the many di erent ways people commu- nicate, are there better ways to reach them? Where do we see God leading us as individuals and as a community?

Currently we are looking at ways nature has adapted to t better into speci c envi- ronments and considering if some adaptation may be bene cial to some churches. Certainly some of this has already happened over the years as small rural churches no longer do things exactly the same way as large mega churches. So far we have

a lot of questions and we will keep you informed as we progress along this road of seeking how God might guide our churches in the future. If you have any ideas
or concerns that you would like to share, please feel free to talk to one of the task force members from either St. Paul’s or Covenant. We will be meeting with the Great Falls teams shortly after the rst of February and we plan to put other articles in future newsletters to keep

you informed of any progress or new ideas being considered. ank you all for your patience as we travel this road together.
WCI Team Member – Jim Fishburn


What is WCI(Whole Church Initiative)?

Leading us into our future, a 9-member team made up of St. Paul’s and Covenant UMC members will be participating in the Whole Church Initiative(WCI).  The Whole Church Initiative process will help us seek the future of HUMM, of Covenant and of St. Paul’s as we work together to help share God’s love in our community.  Two years ago our Yellowstone Conference Bishop and District Superintendents greenlighted a two-year trial of the cooperative we know as Helena United Methodist Ministries(HUMM).  HUMM has borne fruit in our Bridges program, shared discipleship and spiritual education, in increasingly shared Mission work, and an incredible unification of pastoral leadership.  As we are entering the third year, with Pastor Marianne’s retirement coming in June of 2017, the Bishop and District Superintendents have asked us to more clearly discern our future through WCI.  This process will give guidance to the conference leadership about what clergy leadership will best support our new and growing ministries and help our churches chart our future of ministry.unnamed


This process is built on the idea that there are no easy fixes. Moving congregations to greater vitality will take dedicated and prayerful work from clergy and lay leadership working in partnership.  The WCI process was developed by a pastor from Billings, Montana, Rev. Jeremy Scott.  Pastor Jeremy serves as our Vital Congregations Developer in Yellowstone Conference and is helping to plant new churches and re-inspire existing churches to follow God’s call for their ministry.


The WCI is built to expose local church teams to a variety of information about church in the 21st century, its opportunities, and its challenges. In addition to information sharing, the process will guide congregations in identifying and executing ministry experiments that will help us better live into God’s calling for our church.  Over the next few months you will be hearing more from our team through newsletters, Facebook, email, and more. 


We invite you to hold our team in prayer.  Our team members are Ron Guse, Berma Saxton, Jim Fishburn, Darrell Vallance, Mike Faehnrich, Bill Avey, Heidi Gold, and Pastor Tyler.