Pastor’s Corner – Oct. 9, 2016

You are invited to learn more,

One striking dynamic about church work in the 21st century is the speed by which we have to keep up with the culture around us.  The communication we do as a church is no exception and the methods by which we are required to communicate continue to grow.  Not long ago a church with a website was light years ahead of the rest, but now we have to keep up with social media, email, texting and an app.  All of these methods are things we do and the leadership of St. Paul’s has supported the development of our communication.

The reason we need to keep up with communication is that it is one of the primary ways we can stay connected to each other, but more importantly with our community.  If our community knows we are here, they know we share a vision of the deep love of God, and that we are willing to provide life giving resources to the community.  When I think about communication in this age I remind myself that there are three groups we are trying to reach with our information:

  1. Congregation – People who are already in our faith community.
  2. People associated with our church – People who want to be connected to our faith community.
  3. Community Members (Non and nominally religious people interested in our message.) – People that want to know a committed and caring church exists and who may want to be a part of our community at some point.

On Thursday October 13 at 5:30 PM, in the Fireside Room, we will be hosting a meeting on communications of the church.  This is our regularly scheduled Church Council, and we would like to invite anyone in the church who facilitates any communication for any reason.  The meeting will focus on how we use the communication tools available at St. Paul’s to reach the groups listed above.  We will learn about best practices of communication and how to use Facebook, our Church app, worship slides, newsletter, bulletin and other methods for communication.  It is the hope of our Church Leadership to increase communication knowledge and ability of our congregation this year. 

We invite you to join us for this learning opportunity,

Pastor Tyler

 

 



Pastor’s Corner – Oct. 2, 2016

            According to Wikipedia, the tradition of celebrating a World Communion Sunday began in the 1930’s by the moderator of the Presbyterian Church as “an attempt to bring churches together in a service of Christian unity—in which everyone might receive both inspiration and information, and above all, to know how important the Church of Jesus Christ is, and how each congregation is interconnected one with another.” It was officially adopted throughout the Presbyterian Church (USA) in 1936, and subsequently spread to other denominations. In 1940, the Federal Council of Churches (now the National Council of Churches of Christ) endorsed World Communion Sunday and began to promote it to Christian churches worldwide.

 

            World Communion Sunday is celebrated on the first Sunday of October throughout the mainline Protestant Church.  For me, each year, it is an invitation to remember that our need for bread and community is a human one and when we gather at the table, we celebrate not only with those present but also with sisters and brothers around the world.  I was especially touched by Jan Richardson’s ‘Table Blessing’ and share it here (with permission) as a prayer for us all on this day.                                  
Grace and peace, Marianne

 

To your table
you bid us come.
You have set the places,
you have poured the wine,
and there is always room,
you say, for one more.

And so we come.
From the streets
and from the alleys
we come.
From the deserts
and from the hills
we come.
From the ravages of poverty
and from the palaces of privilege
we come.
Running,
limping,
carried,
we come.
 
We are bloodied with our wars,
we are wearied with our wounds,
we carry our dead within us,
and we reckon with their ghosts.
We hold the seeds of healing,
we dream of a new creation,
we know the things
that make for peace,
and we struggle to give them wings.
And yet, to your table
we come.
Hungering for your bread,
we come;
thirsting for your wine,
we come;
singing your song
in every language,
speaking your name
in every tongue,
in conflict and in communion,
in discord and in desire,
we come,
O God of Wisdom,
we come
 
Prayer © Jan L. Richardson from

In Wisdom’s Path: Discovering the Sacred in Every Season

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Pastor’s Corner – Sept. 25, 2016

The United Methodist book of disciplines states, “No person deserves to be stigmatized because of mental illness (Paragraph 162x, 2012). As faithful Christians we believe this to be true and, as Helena United Methodists, we walk in the NAMI WALK each year. Additionally, Thursday night we will be hosting an interfaith gathering to help our community focus on the wellbeing of Montana’s children relating to their mental and physical well-being. This relates back to our work during our 150th celebration at St. Paul’s when we partnered with Intermountain to learn about Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACES). This study has helped communities understand how trauma can inform how they offering support to children and adults. To learn more about ACES we invite you to watch the presentation from last year at www.goo.gl/bCeFGG

NAMI Montana is the Montana chapter of the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI). NAMI Montana supports, educates, and advocates for Montanans with severe mental illnesses and their families. The 2016 Montana NAMI Walk will be held on today, 12:30 at Memorial Park in Helena. This is a great opportunity to join the fight against mental illness in Montana. Join us to help “stomp out stigma” by donating, joining our team, or offering a prayer to assist in this cause. If you would like to donate to our team go to http://www.namiwalks.org/team/HUMM. If you would like to join us for the walk today meet us on the north side of the playground at Memorial Park, by the picnic benches just after noon.

On Thursday, September 29 at 7pm we will be hosting an interfaith gathering for those concerned about adversity and trauma in children’s lives. This event is designed to help our community unify around the common cause of the wellbeing of Montana’s children. Chaplain Chris Haughee of Intermountain and Kimberly Konkel, Assistant Director of Faith Based Initiatives for Trauma-Informed Congregations in Washington, D.C. will be leading the gathering. The service will focus on creating space for different traditions to express their desire to support our children.

We hope both these events provide an opportunity for our faith community to grow our faith and go in mission.

Enthusiastic Peace,

Pastor Tyler


Pastor’s Corner – Sept. 18, 2016

loveYesterday was the installation of our new Bishop Karen Oliveto.  In an interview with the Denver Post she stated her hope for our churches was that each community would live better because one of our churches was there.  Bishop Karen’s work as a Bishop will be focused on helping our churches make an impact on our community through an expression of United Methodist grace and love.  I am personally thankful for Bishop Karen’s leadership and am excited about this dynamic vision of ministry in our area.  I encourage you to follow Bishop Karen’s letters and updates at http://www.mountainskyumc.org.

This Sunday I will be preaching on love, and our call as Christians to love our neighbors.  A few weeks ago I discovered a website called westandwithlove.org.  It is a movement starting in our country by authors, preachers, celebrities and everyday people to overcome the divisive rhetoric of this political and cultural time in our country.  The website states the following, “We are coming together to say NO to the hate rhetoric that threatens to divide us and YES to more just and generous ways of living with and loving one another.”  They do not advocate certain political views, but instead invite us to bridge the divide and listen to one another with respect.  This movement is an invitation for individuals and faith communities to step up when we hear hate and encourage rhetoric that is respectful of differing views. 

As a church it is our role to teach love to adults, youth and children.  Jesus gave us this example over and over again by telling us to love our neighbor and to love God.  Last month I shared my concern about the division in our country in a sermon and in an article for the Independent Record, Religion Page.  While my concern about our division is strong, my faith in a God who can overcome our division and bring love is stronger.  I invite us all this season to seek places to stand up for love and to follow Bishop Karen’s lead to make our community better.

Enthusiastic Peace,

Tyler Amundson