Patti Agnew – Lead Pastor

pagnew@stpaulshelena.org I grew up on the beaches of southern California, in Pacific Palisades. I received my bachelors degree in Mathematics, from the University of California at Santa Barbara, always intending to be a high school math teach. But God redirected me, resulting in a Master of Divinity from Fuller Theological Seminary and ordination as a United Methodist elder in the Rocky Mountain Conference in 1994. In 2016, I completed my Doctor of Ministry degree, also from Fuller. I have served rural and suburban churches throughout Colorado in my 23 years as a pastor.

 I’m a single mom with two daughters in college (Amanda and Natalie) and have a dog, Molly. I love hiking in the mountains and am  a Colorado Rockies baseball fan. I also love chocolate, gymnastics, and ice cream. I feel closest to God when I am out in nature.
Sami Pack-Toner – Associate Pastor


I grew up in Sheridan, Montana and attended college in Great Falls. After graduation, I continued to live in Great Falls and work at a gymnastics academy while exploring a call to ministry. I also attended the Walk to Emmaus  in Helena. A year later, I found myself packed up and moving to North Carolina to attend Duke Divinity School for seminary. Over those three years, I worked in different churches as an intern, lifeguarded on campus, and continued to work toward ordination. I was appointed to Choteau and Pendroy UMCs following graduation and moved back to Montana. 
While serving Choteau, I met Shane, got involved with golf league, and a workout group. We started some new outreach ministries, read lots of books, and watched a lot of TED Talks during my time in Choteau. One of our goals was to begin conversation about topics that we usually avoid at church. By creating a safe space, we all learned more about ourselves and connected with others over generational lines.
Shane and I were married in May 2016, and we live a pretty adventurous life. We enjoy hiking and dirt biking, golfing and skiing. We are excited to get settled here in Helena and find more adventures! I am excited to begin a new chapter in my ministry here with the community of Helena and continue to create safe space for people to experience God.


Lynn Van Nice – Coordinator of Children’s Ministry

I am responsible for our children’s programming for ages birth through 5th grade. Children are my passion so this is the perfect job for me! I am also Staff Support for Wednesday Night Dinners and Caring Ministries, two teams that are very dear to my heart. I love spending time with family and friends; attending movies and plays; taking walks; spending time at the lake; and enjoying every moment I can with my three grandchildren, Ainsley, George and Maverick!

Dominic Tuttle – Coordinator of Young People’s Ministry
I’m incredibly excited to be serving the community of St. Paul’s UMC! My responsibilities include planning, organizing, and implementing studies, devotions, and events for the students of St. Paul’s, grades 6-12. I also offer support to Young Adult Ministry and always seeking to integrate the many stages of education and pastoral care, i.e. we’re one church and I hope to see everyone helping one another!

I love spending time with my wife, Hannah, and my 2-year-old, Sienna! I greatly enjoy hiking, baking, making stuff, reading, music, playing percussion, singing, juggling, hitting the gym, and playing games of all sorts!

Hailey Cole – Finance Manager

I am so happy to be part of the staff here at St. Paul’s and alongside the congregation.  My responsibilities include scheduling events, paying bills, creating yearly budgets alongside the pastors, setting the door unlock schedule, scheduling facility and grounds maintenance and repairs, and providing front desk coverage as needed.

When I am not working at St. Paul’s, I nanny a three-year-old girl and we enjoy playing outside and trips to Big Dipper Ice cream.  My hobbies include baking anything and everything, but gluten free cupcakes and macarons in particular, as well as reading, taking yoga and Pilates classes, and traveling abroad.


Dr. Maren Haynes Marchesini – Worship Director

I was born and raised in Bozeman, MT (a seventh-generation Montanan!), where I began to sing and play cello in elementary school. I attended college at Whitworth University in Spokane, WA, where I earned my BA in Cello Performance. I then spent a year with the Presbyterian Church (USA) as a volunteer with immigrants and unhoused people in Tucson, AZ, before returning to the Pacific Northwest for graduate school. I earned by MA (2012) and PhD (2017) in Ethnomusicology at the University of Washington in Seattle where I studied the role of music in the rise and fall of a controversial Seattle-based megachurch. While in graduate school, I served as Minister of Music at Ballard First Lutheran in Seattle, and then moved to Berkeley, CA, where I directed music and arts for chapel services at Pacific School of Religion. My husband Michael and I moved to Helena in 2016, and I currently co-direct the Helena Youth Chorus, the Helena Youth Orchestra Advanced Ensemble, play with the Helena Symphony Orchestra, and teach courses in music at Montana State University. I am delighted and honored to serve the community at St. Paul’s UMC in Helena! 


Angie Cejka – Office & Facilities Coordinator

My name is Angie Cejka (that’s pronounced “Chay-kuh” for those of you not familiar with the letter-salad method of Czech spelling!) and I recently joined Helena’s United Methodist Ministries as the office manager and facilities coordinator. If you need something, I’ll do my best to make it happen with speed, grace, and precision. My goal is the be the glue that holds the office together. I moved here with my family in 2016. My husband Greg is a shop and welding teacher at Helena High; we have a 20-year-old adopted nonbinary nibling named Lupe and a 6-year-old biological son named Charlie. We moved here from Togiak, Alaska and while we miss the ocean, we’re learning to love the mountains. In my spare time, I create fiber arts such as cross stitch and crochet, read fantasy and horror novels, and I love to cook. If you see me out and about, make sure to say hi!

Sienna Knott – Communications Director
My name is Sienna and I am very excited to be joining St. Paul and Covenant’s families. As Communications Director I am responsible for maintaining our websites, applications, social media, bulletins, power-points, and any other graphic or media needs that may come up! I just moved to Helena from Durango, Colorado about 8 months ago, My boyfriend and I bought a house and have an adorable 6-month-old son named Cayde. We also have three fun cats in our family! I love all the tech in our modern world and spend my free time (the little time that Cayde is napping)building computers, playing video games, music, and sewing or cross-stitch.

Fay Buness – Organist
As organist/pianist I provide music for the enhancement of the worship experience. I accompany the choir, vocal and instrumental soloists, and frequently play for weddings and funerals. My recreational time includes exercise, gardening, singing and entertaining. In the summer when I’m not teaching voice, Dave and I enjoy traveling out of state to visit our children and grandchildren.

Rob Bonnes – Sound Team Coordinator rob.stpaulssoundteam@gmail.com

I’m the lead person for “all things sound” at St. Paul’s – whether it’s running the sound booth on Sunday mornings, assisting with sound/media and lights for special events, working with Livestream broadcasts or updating equipment and coordinating volunteers. We have an amazing sound team at St. Paul’s with highly skilled technicians.

Phyllis Michelson – Nursery Assistant
Having taught school for over 30 years, my favorite grade is kindergarten. Serving the tiniest folks and their families is a perfect fit for me! I strive to make the nursery a warm, loving environment so that little ones can enjoy their church while other family members explore all of St. Paul’s offerings. So many wonderful helpers volunteer their time that my blessings just multiply!