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
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.

Pastor’s Corner May 3

Save the date!
You are invited!
Invite your friends!

By now, I hope you have all heard that 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. Our next big event will be on May 31 when Dave Buness and our Chancel Choir present “Songs that Built Our Faith”. Dave spent quite a bit of time reading the history and looking in our archives as he compiled a wonderful potpourri of music and commentary. Come to worship at 8:30 or 11:00 that day and prepare to be inspired!
The central celebration of our Jubilee year will take place at the 11:00 service on June 21. 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 . . . May 31 is a special Choir Sunday at both services. And, June 21 is our Jubilee worship celebration at the 11:00 service. (We will also have our regular 8:30 worship that day, with time for reflection, prayer and communion.)
Grace and peace,

A Message from Your Youth Coordinator

I thought I’d take this opportunity to say thank you once again for your on going support in fundraising for our Guatemala Team these past 8 months.

Our original goal of $13,000 has been met! HOORAY! We’ve been raising some extra money to afford exit fees and immunizations for youth. Our latest bump in the road is that our airfare is $280 more than the initial estimated cost per person. (Our contact hadn’t flown groups from MT before) This means we are raising another unexpected $4,760. All proceeds brought in between now and June 26 will go toward our airfare.

We did sell the scooter that was advertised last weekend, we are serving a delicious breakfast down stairs this morning, and we have M&M canisters still coming in, so all of that will help. If there has been one thing that God has done for me during this time, it has been to put my trust and belief (sometimes unbelief) in His hands. We went from needing to raise $13,000 to $16,000 and now to $20,000. That’s a lot of money. When I look at that alone, I get overwhelmed and think there is no way. When I look at it together, with all of you and God by my side, I have no doubt that some how it will all come together. Thank you for being part of that.

On a more personal level, as my family grieves the unexpected loss of a loved one, we walk through our days experiencing highs and lows. If we had to face this alone, we would not do that very well. But we are not alone. You continue to love, support, hug and pray for us. We treasure our church family here at St. Paul’s! Thank you for all the ways you support our family, the Guatemala Mission Team and the youth here at St. Paul’s!

With Gratitude,

Meg White
Youth Coordinator

A Message from Your Chancel Choir Director

It doesn’t seem like forty one years since George Harper and Annie Wix called on Fay and me as we were unloading our U-Haul, having newly moved to Helena from Missoula. Annie was the organist at the time and she and George asked us if we would consider accepting the positions of choir director and organist at St. Paul’s. We were delighted to accept as we had been doing tP1010212hat same work at the Methodist church in Missoula before moving to Helena. That was in 1973, and with very mixed feelings I have decided that it’s time for me to join the bass section of the “Best Church Choir in Helena” and let someone else do the leading. St. Paul’s UMC has been, and will continue to be our church home. Fay and I truly appreciate your wonderful support and friendship. Fay will continue to play piano and organ and I will continue to coordinate the music program.

It’s been an enriching 41 years as we have been involved in the building of a new church building, served under eight fine ministers and had the pleasure of raising our family in a very healthy and inspiring church community. As we enter this new phase in our involvement at St. Paul’s nothing will really change, except that you will see me from the front on Sunday mornings as I sit in the bass section of the choir, rather than from behind as the choir director. I am confident you will find a fine replacement for me with some fresh musical ideas.

Thank you for being wonderful friends, and there is no reason that warm relationship can’t continue as it always has been.

Dave Buness