Learn and Pray – 1

Our team met to chart our course.  We watched the WCI  introduction video(Click to watch)  and then began our study together by engaging with a Night Line story from the late 90s called “The Deep Dive.”(Click to watch)  This story covered the need for our churches to think more innovative and less institutional.  The company in the movie is tasked with helping re-invent and design things that we use in our everyday lives.  As we engaged this with prayer and discussion we found people beginning to imagine church in a different way.  
Learn more about WCI: stpaulshelena.org/wci
Here is what the group learned:
“Fail often to succeed sooner.”  – Mike Faehnrich
“Whole Church Initiative is about much more than pastoral change.” -Bill Avey
“I learned what a good idea it is, to put all ideas on the table and take the best from each and build it.” -Hedi Gold
“A great start, fun group.” -Ron Guse
“I learned from the program “The Deep Dive,” that being playful can lead to invention.” -Berma Saxton


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.