Nov 22 – Treasure Chest 4

Treasure – Stewardship 2015
To learn more about our entire church wide study, Treasure, go to stpaulshelena.org/stewardship-2015

Commitment Card

We invite you to complete your yearly commitment card for St. Paul’s by going to: stpaulshelena.org/commitment-card-2016/

Weekly Treasure Chest

A few years ago, our small family moved to Helena. After a couple weeks of unpacking, we were excited to begin visiting churches in town. We made a mental list of Christian churches to check out and dove right in. One day while driving through downtown, we noticed a beautiful building on the corner just across from the Holter. Its elegance and simplicity was representative of the religion we were seeking; its small footprint, well-maintained grounds, and thoughtful exterior were evidence of a healthy community within. With no experience with the Methodist faith, we added it to our list.

A couple weeks later, we attended St. Paul’s for the first time with every intention to continue our search with a different church on our list the following week. But on the morning of the following Sunday, both my husband and I and our two children wanted to return to St. Paul’s. The Sunday after that, the same thing happened. The Sunday after that…the same. We had found our community.

We had found a place to raise our children in the joyful Christian tradition that is a special part of both our country’s and our personal heritage. We had found a place where our children could feel welcomed and accepted, where they could learn Bible stories in a hopeful and kind way, where they could see many people joining together to help and serve for the well-being of the whole, where they could be supported as they experience the ups and downs of life, where they could witness
and be a part of generosity, hospitality, and compassion for others. In short, where they could live and breathe the Christian way.

At St. Paul’s, Christianity is not only experienced but it is experienced without superiority over the beautiful spiritual paths that others have chosen. St. Paul’s gives a gentle and gracious nod to other Christian faiths and to all faiths represented in our human family. Rather than putting up walls inside people that lead to judgment and self-righteousness, it aims for peace within each member’s soul, peace in our community, and peace in our world. This means everything to us. Truly, if religion is going to maintain its holy place in our culture, it has to step up its game and truly shed its unhealthy, unkind parts that are clearly unchristian to so many of us. St. Paul’s has done this with dignity, courage, and clarity, making us proud to be a part of it.

Having a church community that reflects the love and peace we feel inside for our fellow life travelers is something we value immensely. We are extremely grateful to participate in the experiences offered through the church. Though we are raising children and still paying off debts from our college years, we give what we can through a monthly automatic withdrawal. We feel comforted we are doing our small part to support the life and mission of St. Paul’s….a place we’re very grateful to have found.

This family has asked to remain anonymous

Sermon
Treasure Hunt
Each week we will hide an image of a treasure chest with a new word somewhere online.  We ask people to explore our website, facebook and app to find this treasure.  When you do email Pastor Tyler at tamundson@stpaulshelena.org.  Let us know what word was on it and where you found it.  When you find it you will be entered into a drawing for a Treasure daily devotional book that will happen each week at worship.
This week the image you are searching for is:
Love-chest-300x300

The image you are looking for is in a different location. Please note this is just a clue to tell you what you are looking for. The real image is somewhere on facebook, our app, or website.



Nov 15 – Treasure Chest 3

Treasure – Stewardship 2015
To learn more about our entire church wide study, Treasure, go to stpaulshelena.org/stewardship-2015

Commitment Card

We invite you to complete your yearly commitment card for St. Paul’s by going to: stpaulshelena.org/commitment-card-2016/

Weekly Treasure Chest

This past summer my wife and I did something unprecedented; we went on vacation without our children.  Being the good United Methodists we are, we elected to go to that most spiritual of places, Las Vegas.

During a morning stroll; we wandered to old Downtown Vegas.  On the hunt for a lunch buffet some street vendors approached us.  It was a slow morning and only a few vendors were interested in interacting at the un-Vegas time of 10:30am.  In Vegas you get used to avoiding eye contact and saying “no thank you” as you walk past. This worked in all cases except one, Bernie.

Bernie was a sweet looking man, probably in his late 70s.  He had an orange vest with identification demonstrating someone had given him permission to interrupt people.  Bernie also had a notebook with an adorable puppy on the front cover.  In a well practiced move he some how pressed some toy plastic fans into our hands while offering, “Good Morning!”  We paused our stride for a moment as our instinctual Montana politeness took over and we offered our own “good morning” in reply.

Game over, he had us.  In a mix of determination and politeness Bernie shared that he was out that morning collecting for the local no kill animal shelter.  Without ever feeling like he was rushing, within 90 seconds we learned that $20 would spay or neuter an animal and save potential offspring from a poor existence in the alleys of Vegas.

My wife, the animal lover, was hooked.  We were after all not blinking about $80 dinner tabs or $100 show tickets.  What’s $20 to do something good?

One hitch, we had no cash.  My wife and I don’t carry cash.  This was unfortunate because Bernie had sold us on his mission.  He had real concern for the animals and we shared it.

Figuring we’d find an ATM near whatever buffet we found, I asked if he’d be around later.  “No problem,” he replied, with no hint of disappointment.  He rummaged around in his fanny packand  produced his smart phone and credit card reader.  “Most of my donations are this way now.  Even in Vegas no one has cash because the machines all take cards.”

Somewhere in there our $20 donation became $40, probably in relation to some comment made by Bernie about how beautiful my wife is. Did I mention he seemed well practiced?  Our time with Bernie lasted only a few minutes.  We left with smiles and the thought we’d done some good that morning.

In today’s world, how we interact with money is changing.  I would not want to be in the check printing business in the 21st century.  However, while how we relate to money physically might be changing our desire to be generous is not.  Bernie was prepared to accept our generosity in the way we were prepared to offer it. I don’t know if we would have found an ATM and connected with him.  Thankfully, because he was ready, we didn’t have to find out.  I want to thank you St. Paul’s for being ready to accept my generosity.

Rev. Jeremy W Scott

Jeremy is Vital Congregations Developer for the Mountain Sky Area of the United Methodist Church.  His primary role is helping congregations achieve vitality to share the gospel message in their community.

Treasure Hunt
Each week we will hide an image of a treasure chest with a new word somewhere online.  We ask people to explore our website, facebook and app to find this treasure.  When you do email Pastor Tyler at tamundson@stpaulshelena.org.  Let us know what word was on it and where you found it.  When you find it you will be entered into a drawing for a Treasure daily devotional book that will happen each week at worship.
This week the image you are searching for is:

The image you are looking for is in a different location. Please note this is just a clue to tell you what you are looking for. The real image is somewhere on facebook, our app, or website.

Sermon


November 8 – Treasure Chest 2

Treasure – Stewardship 2015
To learn more about our entire church wide study, Treasure, go to stpaulshelena.org/stewardship-2015

Weekly Treasure Chest

 We bring our tithe to God, a dime from every dollar.
It even could be more, but never should be smaller.
For thus the Lord hath said, if we give cheerfully,
The nine-tenths will go farther to meet our every need.

I learned that little ditty when I was in 5th grade and while I didn’t understand the “nine-tenths” thing at that time, I certainly understood “a dime from every dollar.” I wish that I could honestly say that I have been a tither my entire life, but I would be lying. Tithing takes both faith and discipline: faith that God will really make my “nine-tenths go farther” and discipline to learn to dutifully give. And I am a work in progress.

What I have learned from becoming a tither is that it is impossible to out-give God. He will always provide, my job is to believe that He will always provide.

I have also learned that I have a responsibility to be a good steward of all the gifts that God has given to me (including my finances) so tithing is part of my budget. And budgeting isn’t something that comes natural to me…it’s a learned behavior. Around the first of the year my husband (Eddie Black) and I sit down to create our goals for the coming year. During this discussion, we commit to our budget which involves our tithe.

While our tithe goes to support the amazing ministries of St. Paul’s and I am proud to be a part of this Christian community, I still believe that tithing is not about what we give to God, it’s about being faithful to Him. Let’s be realistic, we’re talking about the Creator here, He doesn’t need my dime…He desires my faithfulness.

As I become more faithful to Him and disciplined in my actions, I am blessed beyond measure.

Tracie Kenyon

Treasure Hunt
Each week we will hide an image of a treasure chest with a new word somewhere online.  We ask people to explore our website, facebook and app to find this treasure.  When you do email Pastor Tyler at tamundson@stpaulshelena.org.  Let us know what word was on it and where you found it.  When you find it you will be entered into a drawing for a Treasure daily devotional book that will happen each week at worship.
This week the image you are searching for is:

THIS IS NOT THE IMAGE TO WIN THE HUNT. The image you are looking for is in a different location. Please note this is just a clue to tell you what you are looking for. The real image is somewhere on facebook, our app, or website.

Sermon


November 1 – Treasure Chest

Weekly Treasure Chest

My wife and I will continue to give to St. Paul’s because we have been taught by the teachings of an itinerant Jewish preacher who did his teaching about two thousand years ago. He taught many things, but one of his most important teachings was that we should take care of the poor and less fortunate. His teachings, as you well know, led to the establishment of the Christian religion, and continue to be taught by his followers.

In our case, as part of Methodism, caring for the poor and less fortunate was a principle theme of the founder of Methodism, John Wesley. In Montana, where our own church is one hundred and fifty years old, Brother Van and other early day Montana Methodist preachers carried on the teachings of Jesus. This is true today, as Marianne, Tyler and Rick continue this great Christian tradition.

Like any other human activity that is worthwhile doing, the work of St. Paul’s cost money.

What is really important to my wife and me, and I think also to you, is the outreach of St. Paul’s.

This is in two parts. We do a lot in the community of Helena. God’s Love, Family Promise, Helena Indian Alliance, to name a few. We also make our building available to many organizations in Helena that need a place to hold their meetings.

The other outreach is for programs and activities carried on outside of Helena. One of the missions we support is the United Methodist Committee on Relief (UMCOR). UMCOR moves swiftly into any part of the world where disaster has struck and provides relief to the stricken, without regard too religious affiliation. The point is those people need help and UMCOR helps them.

Or think of the direct outreach to various parts of the world by the members of St. Paul’s. For example, Don Skillman has lead more than one medical mission to the Amazon region of South America. Just this year our Coordinator of Children’s Ministry, Meg White, led a group of youth and adults to a mission in Central America. We have supported a university in South Africa. There are other examples, but you get the idea.

Another main reason that my wife and I are willing to continue supporting the church is the truly outstanding job the church does with its programs for children and youth. From Promiseland, to Children’s Time during the sermons, to the many programs and activities for older children and youth.

All of these many things cost money. All of them are worthwhile and carry on the tradition of carrying out the teachings of that itinerant Jewish preacher who lived two thousand years ago.

For these reasons we will continue to give to St. Paul’s.

Respectfully submitted,
Cordell Johnson and Kay Mathews
Treasure Hunt
Each week we will hide an image of a treasure chest with a new word somewhere online.  We ask people to explore our website, facebook and app to find this treasure.  When you do email Pastor Tyler at tamundson@stpaulshelena.org.  Let us know what word was on it and where you found it.  When you find it you will be entered into a drawing for a Treasure daily devotional book that will happen each week at worship.
This week the image you are searching for is:
Grace Chest

The image you are looking for is in a different location. Please note this is just a clue to tell you what you are looking for. The real image is somewhere on facebook, our app, or website.

Sermon