October 11 Pastor’s Corner

Greetings Friends and Members of St. Paul’s,

Last Sunday, I stopped by St. Paul’s before the 8:30 service to greet folks and then headed across town to be present for the 10:00 service at Covenant. I preached there last week which was, as always, followed by good socializing. We are into our second year now of sharing ministry with the Covenant community. We call this expanding ministry HUMM (Helena United Methodist Ministries). Together both churches share three pastors . . . Rick Hulbert (primarily at Covenant), Tyler Amundson (Young Adult and Mission Ministry for the area) and me (primarily at St. Paul’s). It is an exciting time to share ministry together that, hopefully, will strengthen our overall outreach in the area. We will continue to look for ways to collaborate on various projects – and it all begins with something as simple as getting to know each other. So, while I miss being with all of you on a Sunday morning, I enjoyed my time at Covenant last week. It is great to see the good things the Covenant folks are involved in and to imagine the possibilities for what we might do together!

Congratulations to the United Methodist Women on another great Fall Bazaar. I am actually writing this before the bazaar takes place but I know how those UM women do things! I am absolutely certain the Bazaar was great! Thanks to all who worked and to all who participated to support the amazing mission work of the UMW.

This past week, we received a thank you note from Intermountain for the contributions we have made as a church community to that important work. Chaplain Chris Haughee wrote:
“Children, youth and families are finding a place to heal because you have made Intermountain a place where healing happens. Your partnership allows us to meet a family’s needs in the least restrictive and most appropriate setting available, whether they are birth, foster, or adoptive families . . . today, Intermountain provides residential and community based services to more than 1500 children, youth and families, while providing vital education and training to over 800 parents and professionals – making a very real difference in the health of our communities. “
As president of the Intermountain Board, I want to add my thanks! The work we as a congregation helped to begin over 100 years ago continues to be amazing!

I will be leaving this Tuesday for time with my family in Florida. My parents celebrate 65 years of marriage on Wednesday, Oct. 14 and we are planning a big celebration for them next Saturday. At this point the guest list is 95 people! I anticipate quite a celebration! My siblings and spouses and their children, as well as friends from around the country, are all coming to join in the party. Lyle and I are also taking a bit of time for ourselves after the celebration so I am hoping for some high energy time followed by some nice relaxing days.

Grace and peace,

October 4 Pastor’s Corner

As we enjoy the beautiful fall colors, full moon nights, and visually crisp days it’s a reminder of the blessings God has offered to all of us. This past week I gathered with clergy from around the Yellowstone Conference (Montana, Northern Wyoming, and a sliver of Idaho). We shared our joys in ministry and were challenged by how to share God’s love in a world whose needs are constantly changing. As I listened to colleagues one of the great ways we are sharing love is service to our local schools. Our local schools are incredible blessings in our lives for educating and supporting our children into their future.

At the end of August many of us participated in Education Sunday. We blessed our children’s backpacks and wrote letters offering support to the local teachers at Central School and other schools in our community. We then left those messages in God’s hands to see how teachers and staff might respond. We got some amazing responses!

One paraprofessional at Central-Linc shared that our letter was one of the most meaningful offers of support she got at the beginning of the year. A kindergarten teacher asked if St. Paul’s could have a group help her prep art projects because she is assisting the other 1st year kindergarten teacher with all art projects. Another professional at Kessler contacted us about having members volunteer in classrooms to offer teachers additional support. As a congregation that values education we have shared our desire to be God’s hands and feet and the community has responded.

I would like to invite you to prayerfully consider these two requests we have been given. If you feel a desire and want to help out please sign up on the Presence Form or email the office.
We are seeking:
1. An individual or group that would be willing to cut/organize/prepare art supplies for both kindergarten classes at Central School. These supplies would be delivered to your group and picked up when completed.
2. Individuals who feel they have the skills and desire to serve in a classroom at Kessler School as a volunteer on a regular basis.

Thank you for your prayers and service to Helena,

Pastor Tyler

September 27 Pastor’s Corner

Hasn’t it been a wonderful beginning of our fall season? Our Welcome Home Sunday was a success . . . lots of good energy and some marvelous music. The armchair tour of the many homes of St. Paul’s – written by Ellen Baumler and read by Dorothy and Rusty Harper – was also a great way to continue our Jubilee celebration. Last Sunday we celebrated our connection with Intermountain. We have also welcomed back our Sunrise Singers and Sunrise Players at the 8:30 service. We are all glad to have our Chancel Choir back at the 11:00 service – and we have welcomed our new Chancel Choir director, Tanya Anderson. All in all lots has happened already and it has all been a great launch of our ministry season.

As our worship and music programs have unfolded, so have our education programs. Promiseland and Godly Play are back. Our youth programs are in full swing. And just last Wednesday we once again began another Wednesday night dinner program.

During this busy time, we have also been going through a transition in our church office. On October 1, Sue McNicol will officially become our Parish Administrator. But, leading up to that, she has been learning that job even as she has continued the work you have appreciated from her at the front desk of our main office . . . answering phones, scheduling the building, working on the website, handling walk-in traffic, designing publications, working with the database, publishing the Covenant UMC bulletin, assisting with our bulletin . . . you get the idea. Both Sue and Lois Neal have worked hard to be certain the members and friends of St. Paul’s are well served!

It has helped tremendously over this time to have more limited office hours. The issue is not that people in the office have worked less . . . instead it has simply enabled Sue in particular to focus on learning the many facets of the work we need our Parish Administrator to do. We have had recent changes in both our database and our accounting software and that, along with a staff change, means a steeper learning curve.

With the blessing of our Staff Parish Relations Committee, we are going to continue with our more limited office hours at least through October. Again, let me be clear . . . this does not mean people are not working. Quite the contrary. They are working hard . . . and are simply able to target their work to the things that need to be learned and the systems that need to be developed.

Finally, I want to thank those who have volunteered to help in the office during this time. Our office volunteers have been invaluable. Thanks – your time, your energy and your willingness to give of yourselves is helping us all during this time of transition.

Thanks so much!

September 20 Pastor’s Corner

This Sunday Chaplain Chris Haughee is joining us in worship at 11:00 AM to share a Children’s sermon. Chris is one of the many committed people that are a part of Intermountain. Intermountain is an organization that has long been associated with Methodism in Montana and our commitment to share to gospel in the world through putting our belief in God’s love into action.

For the past 150 years, St. Paul’s and Methodists in Helena have lived this out in our practice. To celebrate this historical achievement we chose not to just sit and cheer, but to stand and make a difference. We want to Do Good… for Good and to continue to share the love of God.

Intermountain has been a part of our history from our very early days and so this fall we are teaming up with them to learn about ACEs (Adverse Childhood Experiences). The facility we founded, as the Deaconess Home for Children has turned into an organization that helps children with severe emotional and mental health needs through holistic, integrated services and a relationship-based approach. The education wing of Intermountain, Child Wise has begun a campaign to educate the community on ACEs to help us look at some big challenges our children and we are facing.

Chaplain Haughee will be working with area faith communities to find a way for faith communities to respond to ACEs together.

To learn more about all we are doing to learn and make a difference through our ACEs study, go to stpaulshelena.org/update.

Enthusiastic Peace for Good,

Pastor Tyler