Pastor’s Corner 9/16/2018

Normally, Shane and I live in the world of recorded television and on-demand shows, but sometimes, we end up having to watch commercials (what a pain!). However, I am grateful for that because I have learned about some really interesting, creative ideas that companies have designed to sell their product. My favorite one is Domino’s Pizza. One might think, how can making and delivering cheap pizza become more interesting? How can this pretty old, pretty basic business style take a step past its competition? I believe Domino’s has done just this. The first thing I noticed was a few years ago. They began advertising transparency in their business. Blind taste tests, recipe improvement, and being honest were all the main message in their advertisements. Then, a while later, they compounded on that by advertising shop remodels, making the kitchen visible from the waiting area. Customers could now see their food being made and assembled. This added to the goal of transparency within the company itself. Then, more recently, they did even more. They added delivery places in public areas like beaches, parks, parking lots, and venues. It is advertised as getting people to order delivery pizza when they are out and having fun. But, the most interesting and creative idea Domino’s Pizza has going right now is pothole fixing. Pothole fixing! You call their special number if you find a pothole on your drive back home from your local store, and they will pay to have it paved. Their reason behind it is to save spilled pizza from bumps in the road. Far-fetched ideas right? Can you imagine the conversations in those boardrooms at Domino’s headquarters? Can you imagine the trust and risk that it has taken for the company to take these steps? Is it helping the company become more vital? Only time will tell. But, I believe this type of creative, innovative, possibly risky brainstorming is what the Church may need right now. What did that first meeting look like when St. Paul’s decided to rebuild the sanctuary? What opportunities has that decision brought to the city of Helena and our community? I encourage all of you to put on your thinking caps about how to “be a church” in this day and age. What are some far-fetched ideas that might actually work? Just the activity of brainstorming ideas can bring lots of creative opportunities. Your challenge: come up with 50 different ways to use a pizza box (only one pizza box) and 5 new ways to “be a church”. Your reward: a free Domino’s Pizza from me! Email lists to spack-toner@stpaulshelena.org Good luck! Pastor Sami


Pastor’s Corner 9/9/2018

When I was in 5th grade, we had confirmation class at my church. Over twenty squirmy 5th graders met weekly with the pastors eating dinner, playing games, and learning about the Christian faith together. At the conclusion of the class we had the opportunity to join the church. My friend decided not to join the church because she didn’t believe in Jesus. Which got me thinking. What did I believe? I pondered that for a few days and decided that I did believe in Jesus, so I joined the church. Little did I know how that would impact my life! How has following Jesus impacted your life? Jesus summed up all the commandments in these two: Love God with your whole self and Love your neighbor as yourself. We love God and neighbor in our personal lives and as a faith community. See the graphic. – Worship: Connecting with God in community through weekly worship, singing, sharing communion… – Devotion: Connecting with God personally through prayer, devotion, walking, singing… – Mercy: Loving others through acts of compassion. – Justice: Loving others by confronting injustice and engaging in ministry with those on the margins. Which area of discipleship comes most easily to you? Which is a growing edge?
Let’s grow in faith together as we continue on this adventure of discipleship!
Pastor Patti


Pastor’s Corner 9/2/2018

There have been many predictions throughout history about how fast technology would develop, thus changing our work week. In 1882, the first Labor Day celebration was observed in New York City. It was to honor workers who made contributions to the strength, prosperity, and well-being of our country. As time went on, economists predicted technological advancements would soon lead to a 15-hour work week by the 1930s. Then, by the 1960s, congressional leaders predicted a two-day work week by the year 2000. Yet, here we are almost 20 years past the prediction, and we see people overworked and underpaid, unemployment, and battles for safe and fair work environments. Working more hours simply hasn’t translated to greater production or higher levels of satisfaction. And, unlike how the predictions of our past had hoped, less work and more rest just aren’t realities for today’s laborers. In my personal experience, we ignore our mental, emotional, and spiritual need for rest. The phrase “let your soul catch up” has spoken to me lately. We can often work so dutifully and fast that our poor soul can’t catch up. And then, we are surprised when we are exhausted, irritable, and have developed unhealthy habits. This weekend, I invite you to meditate on the idea of letting your soul catch up. What does that mean to you and your family? What does “catching up” look like? I also invite you to remember why we have Labor Day: to acknowledge the social and economic successes of American workers. And, a part of that is acknowledging that not everyone gets Labor Day as a day off, and the fight for fair monetary compensation is still being fought. Let your soul catch up and be re-energized for labor. Your labor, in whatever form it exists, is important.   Happy Labor Day,   Pastor Sami



Pastor’s Corner 8/26/2018

 

Going to School Hungry

More than 13 million kids in this country go to school hungry. One in five children in the United States live in food insecure households. According to the No Kid Hungry campaign, “food insecurity is a family that has enough money to buy groceries three out of four weeks; it’s a mom skipping dinner; it’s having to choose between buying groceries and paying rent.”

What experts are now, finally, realizing, that hunger has an enormous impact on a student’s ability to learn, pay attention, and socialize. Hungry kids are more likely to miss school because of illness, and more likely to suffer from depression and anxiety, and develop behavioral problems. There is a lot of potential being squandered because kids are going to school hungry.

A creative idea that has blossomed in our country is the idea of sending food home with kids for the weekend and evenings. In New Hampshire, it was discovered when Clair Bloom, a resident, went to her local school to “throw some money” at the hunger problem, and the school told her they didn’t need money. They needed a program to pack food and send home with kids on Fridays. Bloom took on the project, arranging volunteers, crunching numbers for affordable meals for hundreds.

This problem, as you can see from the statistics, is here in our community as well. We all probably  know a child who goes without the basic necessities on a regular basis. Helena Food Share actively tackles food insecurity from many angles, one of which is through Kid Packs. It is entering its 10th year and costs around $125,000 annually to run. However, Helena Food Share sends 1,100 children home with meals each week. Plus, there is story after story of children attending school more often, sick less often, in trouble less, and improved grades…all because of having enough to eat through programs like Kid Packs.

Are you able to help? Are you able to build a little person through this?

 

The Kid Pack Food Drive is on September 8 from 10am to 4pm at Van’s Thriftway (306 Euclid Ave.)