Pastor’s Corner March 29

Greetings on this beautiful Palm Sunday!
 
We are entering the week called “Holy” in the Christian calendar. Christians have honored this week longer than any other . . . all the other Christian ‘holy-days’ came later (yes, even Christmas). But from the earliest moments of the Christian movement, believers gathered to remember a triumphant entry on the ‘Palm Sunday road,’ a last Supper, a painful death – and an experience of new life despite all evidence to the contrary.
 
Though this is also ‘spring break’ week and so a time of vacation and family fun (which is also ‘holy!’), I hope you will take at least some time to participate in the week as a journey with Jesus. The service on Thursday will recall the Last Supper, the service on Friday will be a reflective time to consider the power of self-sacrifice that was Jesus’ way of life that led ultimately to his death. And, of course, Easter Sunday will pull it all together! So, Happy Holy Week!
 
I can’t enter this week without reflecting on the many times I have walked the Palm Sunday road to the Garden of Gethsemane in Jerusalem or walked the Via Dolorosa to the Church of the Holy Sepulcher or visited the Garden Tomb. As we come to this week, I want to again extend an invitation for you to consider whether you might like to join us on our Holy Land pilgrimage next year. The trip is scheduled for Jan. 18 – 29, 2016. There is information in the brochure which is available in the foyer – or, of course, you can give me a call at the church office.
 
All-inclusive pricing is $3796 from Helena or Billings. If you wish to check it out for yourselves online, you can find the journey this way: Go to www.EO.travel/mytrip . When asked, enter the following information: Tour=HL16; Date: 1/18/16; Code=H; ID#: 23081. This will take you to a page describing the journey and allow you to download your very own brochure if you like! You’ll notice that there are small discounts for early registration. We have again secured the services of our guide, Doron. He loves working with our groups and especially loves our itinerary . . . we spend more time in the Holy Land than most groups which allows us to see and experience more.
 
I invite you to consider whether this may be the time for you to take this journey. Your relatives and friends are also welcome to join us … there is pricing available from just about every city in the US (and, as you know, often that is priced less than from Helena). Since 1974, the travel company we use, Educational Opportunities, has been dedicated to providing quality Christian travel programs at an affordable price. Over the years, more than 300,000 Christians have traveled on the various faith-based tours. They monitor all situations carefully, ensuring groups are safe and have good experiences.
 
Grace and peace, Marianne


Pastor’s Corner March 22

Good morning St. Paul’s,

For over 30 years we have been sharing a message of God’s love on the radio. We are going to be ending our radio ministry at the end of March due to an extreme increase in cost. In preparation for this change, Church Council unanimously decided to move our resources to make worship available through live internet streaming and Helena Civic Television(HCTV). This is a great example of how St. Paul’s continues to find new methods of service to meet the needs of the world around us.

Beginning today, the 11 AM service will be live on Livestream.com and our service will begin airing on HCTV(Channel 11 on cable) at 7 PM on Wednesday evenings. Our hope is that we can continue to bring our message and ministry to people who are unable to be with us on Sunday mornings. We recognize that both of these options are significantly different than our traditional radio broadcasts, so if you or someone you know will need assistance connecting to these new broadcasts please let us know by emailing office@stpaushelena.org or calling the office 442-5643.

With new adventures in ministry come new opportunities to serve the church. We need to recruit about six to eight people who would be willing to run the camera during the 11:00 service. No technical skill is required and training will be provided. If you think you could serve in this role one Sunday every six weeks then please email Pastor Tyler at
tamundson@stpaulshelena.org.

We will continue to have sponsors for our broadcasts and if you are interested in helping to sponsor a Sunday you can do so by contacting the church office. Thank you for your continued faithfulness to our ministry and helping us ensure we will continue sharing a message ‘for good’ in Helena, MT.

Enthusiastic Peace,

Pastor Tyler



Sunday, March 15 Pastor’s Corner

A father was walking down a neighborhood street with his young daughter on his shoulders. The child greeted neighbors as they walked past: “Hello, Mrs. DeLong! Hello, Mr. Weller!” The grownups commented on how much she had grown. The puzzled child said, “I haven’t grown this big – I’m just sitting on my dad’s shoulders!”
 
In many ways, the amazing work of the United Methodist Committee on Relief (UMCOR) today is a result of sitting on the shoulders of the people who have come before us, said Denise Honeycutt, UMCOR deputy general secretary. “Seventy-five years ago, the men and women of our church looked out into the world and said, ‘We’ve got to have a conscience as a church reaching out to the world.’ ” Since then, said Honeycutt, we as The United Methodist Church have expanded upon the commitment of the compassionate people who came before. “We are compelled by Christ to alleviate human suffering,” she said.
 
When you hear about a disaster or humanitarian crisis, and you give to UMCOR one hundred percent of the money you designate goes toward people in need.
 
How does UMCOR do that? Through the One Great Hour of Sharing. People who give this Sunday, March 15 provide the base of support for UMCOR’s work, explained Honeycutt.
 
“UMCOR is beloved by many for its ability to respond quickly to needs, whether those needs ever make the news or not,” she said. “The only reason we are able to do that is because people give to the One Great Hour of Sharing offering which provides undesignated funds for UMCOR.”
 
UMCOR does not receive any apportionment or World Service dollars, she added. “I love the fact that we can say to folks that, when you give to a particular, designated, named ministry, 100 percent of your money will go there because One Great Hour of Sharing covers the costs of administration and provides the foundation for UMCOR.”
 
I hope you will join me in supporting this special offering . . . it makes a tremendous difference to the most vulnerable people in our world.
 
Grace and peace, Marianne


Pastor’s Corner March 8, 2015

Today’s sermon is on Jesus’ saying “I Am the Light of the world.” We will learn in our sermon more about how this message invites us to seek God’s loving support as light to shine on our path. Life is hard and there will be challenges we will face. God’s light doesn’t solve all of our problems, but it does help us look ahead to see where we should place our foot to move forward.

As United Methodists we seek tangible ways to offer this same light in the world. One way we do this is through the United Methodist Committee on Relief(UMCOR). This wing of our church swoops in after major disasters caused by nature or humans and establishes long term support to help communities rebuild. When you donate to a specific cause through UMCOR they send 100% of your giving directly to the cause. We have seen this money come back and support our neighbors in Montana who have been victims of flooding and we see this money used internationally in the Syrian crisis and after the Tsunami in the Pacific.

UMCOR has administrative overhead like any organization, but they keep these costs very low and they never use money donated to a cause. Instead their administration relies on the One Great Hour of Sharing. This is the special offering we will take next Sunday, March 15. This donation taken at all United Methodists Churches promises that we can shine a light when great darkness happens. By giving to this special offering we are allowing UMCOR to be properly staffed to go into areas of great need and be the hands and feet of Christ. Next Sunday please give to this cause by using the offering envelope in your bulletin, or by marking One Great Hour when you give on PushPay.

Thank you for helping be the light in the world.

Enthusiastic Peace,

Pastor Tyler