May 31st Pastor’s Corner

It’s a Jubilee!

As you know by now, we are in the midst of celebrating our Jubilee Year.  The church we know as St. Paul’s began when a young preacher gathered a small congregation, preached the word and began a ministry.  Helena was just a mining camp in those early days.  But, as it grew to become the Capitol City of Montana, so did St. Paul’s grow into a thriving, active, progressive community, welcoming all people into the full life and membership of the congregation.

 

We officially began our Jubilee year on Easter Sunday.  Today is another big Jubilee event as Dave Buness and the Chancel Choir present our very own Cantata, Songs that Built Our Faith, at both services.  After spending time reading our history and looking in our archives, he compiled a wonderful potpourri of music and commentary.  And, even our coffee hour today picks up on the theme. Using recipes from one of our St. Paul’s Cookbooks from years past, volunteers have made cookies and treats for your tasting pleasure.  Come to the Fellowship Hall today after worship and enjoy!

 

The central celebration of our Jubilee year is still to come and will take place at the 11:00 service on June 21st.  Following immediately after the meeting of our Yellowstone Annual Conference (which we host this year), we are planning a grand worship celebration.  Our Bishop will be with us and will preach.  We will commission our Guatemala Youth Mission Team.  Our Choir will sing and we will all raise a joyful noise in thanks to God for the blessings of the past 150 years.   Following worship that day, we will have a Jubilee party with food, fun and dancing in the streets!!  (Seriously, we are planning to have a band that day … we’ll provide the music but you’ll need to provide the dancing!)

 

We have more ideas for celebrations that will continue into the fall, through the Christmas season, with it all culminating next Easter.  More on that to come.

 

For now, though, do mark your calendars . . .  Plan to be with us on June 21st at 11:00 worship! (We will also have our regular 8:30 worship that day, with time for reflection, prayer and communion.)

Grace and peace,

Marianne



May 24 Pastor’s Corner

“The Jubilee is upon us!” If you ran down Last Chance Gulch yelling the aforementioned statement it would probably not strike fear in people. Instead the sight might bring laughter and hope like our St. Paul’s 150th celebration is meant to strike hope in people about what God is still doing in our community. We hope the events of the next year inspire our community to continue to seek ways to be of service to one another, and invigorate St. Paul’s to continue to be the source of that Spirit. On this Pentecost Sunday it feels right to share with you the spirit of the next two celebrations at St. Paul’s as a part of our 150th and remind us that the Jubilee is about planning for the future as much as celebrating the past.

Next Sunday, May 31, will be a Choir Sunday, featuring “The Songs That Built Our Faith,” to celebrate the music of the past and our song for the future. Dave Buness has been our Chancel Choir Director for 41 years, and his amazing direction has helped us to have music to inspire our worship. This Sunday presentation has been a special project of Dave’s and promises to give us inspiration for the future of our ministry, as well as honor the work of our past.

On Sunday, June 21 following our hosting of the Yellowstone Annual Conference, we will have our Jubilee celebration. As Marianne shared a few weeks ago, we will have a worship service with our full choir, a commissioning of the Guatemala Mission team, preaching from our Bishop Elaine J.W. Stanovsky, and lots of celebration of the hope God gives us for our ministry past and future. Following the service we will have a grand party with the bluegrass group “The Junk Man’s Choir” performing, food, dancing (if you choose), and fun for all ages. Please mark your calendar and plan on attending.

Let’s pray that the Spirit continues to move among us and through us for 150 years to come.

Enthusiastic Peace,

Pastor Tyler



Pastor’s Corner May 17

“Courageous” This is the adjective that Ann Waickman used about clients of Helena Food Share. She used this word for people of all ages who seek food assistance during her Challenge Helena talk. (youtube.com/challengehelena). It takes courage to be a parent who needs to admit that you cannot provide for your family, despite your best efforts. Courage for children to peer over a counter and ask for something to fill the empty place in their stomach. Courage for a mother to call Food Share and make sure they have milk, so she can trust the trip will bring nourishing food to her family. By giving to the Helena Church Challenge we have quite literally been lending “canned courage” to people in our community.

Bringing “canned courage” is what St. Paul’s and Covenant have done by their continuing support of the Church Challenge for Helena Food Share. The Church Challenge was started in 2014 during one of the lowest donation times of the year to get churches in Helena to cooperate by reaching a shared goal. We started knowing that 4,000 lbs was the average during April/May. We set out to double this number and brought in over 9,000 in 2014 and 8,213 pounds in 2015 from 20 churches. In 2015 St. Paul’s brought in 2,079 and Covenant brought in 780 lbs. “Canned courage” is our work and Christ is present in the courage.

Thank you for helping to share courage,

Pastor Tyler



Pastor’s Corner May 10

Prayer for Mothers on Mother’s Day
~ written by John Ballenger, pastor of Woodbrook Baptist Church, Baltimore, MD.
Found in Mother’s Day Resources on http://re-worship.blogspot.com
This day, our God, as we gather, we pray for mothers.
We give thanks for mothers who love and care for their children
and are loved and cared for right back.

But we also pray for women who have longed for children
and don’t and can’t have them.
And we pray for women who had children who shouldn’t have—
for children who grew up without the love and care they deserved and needed.

We pray for grandmothers—
for those for whom that turned out to be what they dreamed it would be
and for those for whom it didn’t.

We pray for mothers with sick children and children with sick mothers.
We pray for mothers with lost children
and dead children—
children with lost mothers and dead mothers—
for those who grieve what they had
and those who grieve what they never had.
We pray for women who are afraid.

We pray for all the dilemmas and doubts
and fears, frustrations and heartaches
and richness and wonder and sleeplessness of parenting.

We pray for mothers who parent by themselves.
We pray for women who carefully negotiate life with step children,
and for women trying to adopt,
and women hoping fertility treatments
will renew disappointed hope.

We pray for mothers whose children have grown up and moved out
and those whose children have grown up and
not moved out.

We pray for women who mother the children of others,
and we pray for women who give birth in every
conceivable way—
to ideas and art and possibility and wonder and joy—
to new life in job contexts and in relational ones.

This complicated day, our God,
we’re reminded again of just how much will not fit on a Hallmark card.
but does fit into Your full awareness of all that is—
that does fit into Your investment in love and grace
in and through all circumstances.

We pray for mothers in all the fullness of what it can mean—
informed by what we know of all those we know—
gratefully trusting You
to know so much more than we do or can—
gratefully trusting You
with the hearts of those we love—
gratefully trusting You
with all the deep pain and joy of this day,

in Jesus’ name, Amen.