Pastor’s Corner 8/19/2018

Rev. Lydia Sohn, a pastor at St. Mark’s UMC in San Diego, CA interviewed the ninety-year-old people in her congregation. She wrote about it in her blog titled “What It’s like to Be 90-Something: Aging Well, Living Happier.” It is an interesting article about what she expected and was surprised by in these conversations. The paragraph that stood out to me is this:

This radical relational orientation of all my subjects caught me by surprise. As someone who is entering the height of my career, I expend much more energy on my work than my relationships. And when I imagine my future, I envision what I will have accomplished rather than what my relationships will be like. These 90-something-year-olds emphasize the opposite when they look back on their lives. Their joys and regrets have nothing to do with their careers, but with their parents, children, spouses and friends. Put simply, when I asked one person, “Do you wish you accomplished more?” He responded, “No, I wished I loved more.” (, accessed August 14, 2018)

That is a significant statement, “I don’t wish I accomplished more, I wish I loved more.” No matter what season you are in, these are instructional words. As I sit at the bedside of people close to death, the conversations typically center on the people and shared experiences in their lives. They take comfort in the impact they have had in this world. And that impact is measured by relationships, not accomplishments.

Jesus taught that the 2 most important commandments, i.e. the heart of living as a faithful disciple of Jesus, is to love God with our whole selves, and to love others as we love ourselves. It’s all about relationships. Relationships with God, with others, and with our selves.

What will your relationships look like when you are 90 years old? What does that say to you about how you are living your live today?


Walking on the path of grace,

Pastor Patti

Pastor’s Corner 8/12/2018

Who doesn’t love a new pair of socks? Well, you will have an opportunity to share that love with someone this winter! Bombas is a sock company that began in 2013 with the mission and goal to make wearing a clean pair of socks more accessible for everyone, especially those in homeless shelters.

The socks are engineered with an antimicrobial treatment for less-frequent washing, reinforced seams and dark colors, giving them greater durability with less visible wear.

So…how do they do it?

The first way Bombas works to meet their goal and mission is through “one for one”, similar to TOMS Shoes. For every pair purchased, there is a pair donated. If you love to give socks as gifts, order from Bombas!

The second way is through their giving program. And, we are all going to have the opportunity to participate in this because HUMM recently became a partner in Bombas’ Giving Partner program! This month, we will be the recipients of 250 pairs of Bombas socks! They are ours to give to others as we serve.

Thus, Matt and I have come up with the Sock It to ‘Em Video Contest!

Your goal:

1.) to think of groups in need of socks in our community here in Helena. Think outside the box. There are many people in need at places one might not have thought about. 2.) Then, make a short video about why they need the socks. The staff will judge the videos, and they will be awarded as such:

1st place-150 medium pairs of socks

2nd place-75 medium pairs of socks

3rd place-25 medium pairs of socks

The top 3 videos will be shared in worship an on social media. The videos are due by November 1. If you need assistance with making your video, please email Pastor Sami at Good luck and good skill!

Pastor’s Corner 8/5/2018

10 Jesus answered her, “If you knew the gift of God and who it is that asks you for a drink, you would have asked him and he would have given you living water.” 11 “Sir,” the woman said, “you have nothing to draw with and the well is deep. Where can you get this living water? 12 Are you greater than our father Jacob, who gave us the well and drank from it himself, as did also his sons and his livestock?” 13 Jesus answered, “Everyone who drinks this water will be thirsty again,14 but whoever drinks the water I give them will never thirst. Indeed, the water I give them will become in them a spring of water welling up to eternal life.” (John 4:10-14 NIV)

My daughter, Amanda, is visiting for a month or so. Last week we took a day trip to Glacier National Park. (Ask her how my handstand on a rock turned out, she’d love to tell you!) We chose a hike to Florence Falls from the St. Mary Falls trailhead. I love waterfalls. The flowing water is so renewing, full of life, powerful.

The hike was beautiful. The new growth after a fire about 10 years ago has the forest floor all overgrown and green. All kinds of colorful wildflowers. We made it to the falls and enjoyed sitting at the bottom, feeling the spray of the water cooling us off. We ate our lunch and took pictures. Then we started our hike back to the trailhead.
That was when I realized how much my feet hurt. 6 or 7 miles into this hike I discovered it is time to get new hiking boots…the hard way. My feet were hot, sore, squished in my shoes with wet socks. And we still had a long way back to the trailhead. The trail came close to a river and Amanda casually said, “Should we dip our toes in?” We kept walking a few steps, then I said, “Yes!!” So we backtracked to the river, sat down, took our boots off, and put our feet in that ice cold glacial water. Ahhhhhhh. It felt so good. So refreshing. So renewing. Got the blood flowing. We were invigorated to finish our hike.

Are you hot and tired? Do your feet hurt from your daily walking? What are you thirsty for?
In John 4, Jesus says he is the living water. Still water can be stale and stagnant. Living water is renewing, refreshing, enlivening. He is like that ice-cold glacial water. Life-giving water.

I’m not sure what the parallel is in your life for taking off your hiking boots and dipping your hot, tired, sore feet into the living water of Jesus, but I encourage you to reflect on that and do it!

Walking on the path of grace,
Pastor Patti

Pastor’s Corner July 29, 2018

The Taste of Liberation

In a world that tells black women, their lives don’t matter, cooking nutritious food can be a quiet act of resistance. I recently read an article by Taylor Nichole Johnson titled The Taste of Liberation, featured in a Sojourners Magazine issue from 2016. Over the past month or so, I have been leading a class focused on food and faith. We have discussed the ethical implications of our current food system, our human connection to God and food, and the theology of Holy Communion. My view and relationship with food have changed even in this short amount of time, and Johnson’s article resonated with me because food is more than just food. It is nourishment.

Johnson shares of her childhood filled with home cooking and family in the kitchen, teaching her hands the muscle memory of preparing and baking. Then, she shares how that wholesome relationship with food switched gears into an addiction to “non-food”. With a toxic combination of racial tension in college and body image struggles, Johnson found herself not well in her spirit or her body. Non-food became her self-medication.

The story of the woman outwardly keeping their entire world spinning while privately suffering in silence is many women’s story, especially women of color.

Johnson’s journey to healing through food did not begin with food options, but with theology and spirituality. Going to seminary, she began to wrestle with the meaning of hope and evil, suffering and invisibility. She began to ask herself if she truly believed she was created in the image of God. “Although I wasn’t aware of it at the time, I was being converted. The seeds my mother and I planted 15 years earlier in the kitchen burst forth with vitality”

Now, food fuels Johnson’s activism, her theology, and her work with nutrition, food sovereignty, and black girls. She describes nutritional violence against black bodies and poor bodies. Cooking and eating became ways of resistance to Johnson. It was a radical self-love. We cannot fight injustice if we are unwell.

What do you think? How can you use food and cooking to break chains of unhealthy self-care? How can you teach others?

Read the whole article at