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

Pastor’s Corner April 12

Welcome to Holy Humor Sunday at St. Paul’s! This is our day of joy and of being silly as we recognize the ultimate last laugh Jesus had over death when he was resurrected. This tradition comes from the early church as a Sunday of jokes and laughs to remind people of the joy of God in their lives. We hope you can make time to engage your humorous side because that is a side that gives us hope and relief from the difficult parts of life. Part of being Christian is recognizing that God in Christ learned to appreciate a good belly laugh to help deal with stressful times, just like we do.

Holy Humor Sunday is about the resurrection of Jesus and resurrections in our own lives that take us by surprise, lead us to new life, and help us to laugh. Marianne and I were chatting with a group of youth last year and a question was raised, “What if someone faked the resurrection?” To which Marianne replied, “It worked didn’t it.” Here we are today celebrating resurrection because it worked. It invited a group of people into a new life of sharing God’s love with everyone they encountered.

One active way United Methodists continue to celebrate the resurrection is by giving back to our community. Easter Sunday marked the beginning of the 2015 Church Challenge from April 5-May 5. This event is a food drive to raise 10,000 lbs. of food to benefit Helena Food Share. Helena area churches are invited to participate. Please share our website with friends and neighbors(challengehelena.com or facebook.com/challengehelena).

St. Paul’s has adopted the audacious goal of raising 2,000 lbs. of food during this time. That is an average of 7 pounds per person in worship. Last year we raised over 9,000 lbs. of food with other churches, and over 3,000 lbs. of that came from St. Paul’s. The incredible fact is Helena Food Share distributes about 5,000 lbs. of food in one day. Let’s see if we can help bring resurrection to the lives of families in our community, by helping Helena Food Share complete two full days of service.

We invite you to join us in celebrating the resurrection in worship today and in any way God calls you to be Christ’s hands and feet.

Enthusiastic Peace,

Pastor Tyler

Pastor’s Corner Easter Sunday, April 5

Happy Easter! Please notice that, once again, the curtains are open! That can only mean one thing . . . Lent has ended and the Easter season has dawned. One of the Easter traditions we have had at St. Paul’s is an Easter music offering and this year is no exception. Once again Dave and Fay Buness and our Chancel Choir are sharing an Easter Cantata: Praise the God of Resurrection. We warmly welcome all visitors, regular attenders and members to our worship today. It is good to have you with us.
Today is also the kickoff for the celebration of our 150th Jubilee. From George Harper’s So Many Beginnings: The Story of the Methodist Church in Helena, 1865-1900, we read:
The town was spreading out of the Gulch toward the east. A pile of logs lay near the intersection of what was to be Joliet and Cutler Streets. On March 26, 1865, a sunny Sunday morning, a young Methodist preacher, E.T. McLaughlin, stood on them to preach the first sermon in Helena. By July, those logs had been converted into the first church building of the new town. . . the first Sunday school had been organized on April 16 and by summer one baptism was recorded.


That was the beginning of the church that would become known as St. Paul’s. Regarding that Sunday school . . . it is interesting to note that April 16 that year was Easter. Since there were only eight men who signed on as charter members of the new church, the preacher was probably counting on good attendance on Easter to get the Sunday school started! And, that one baptism? It was actually for a vigilante road agent who requested baptism just before he was hanged. Rev. McLaughlin was the acting chaplain for the Vigilantes. So, St. Paul’s has been involved in community outreach for a long time!

On the welcome screens today, notice the buildings we have called home over the years. We began – as most things begin – small. I cannot imagine that Rev. McLaughlin had any idea when he preached that first sermon and baptized that road agent and started that Sunday school that the ministry that would emerge would become a thriving congregation known for its social witness, youth and children’s programs, music and outreach. But he did what he could in his time and trusted God and . . . look what happened!
We have inherited a wonderful vision and the possibilities before us are amazing. We have much to celebrate and we will do much of that throughout the next year. But, the real question for us all during this Jubilee year is . . . what is next? To what is God calling us now? Of one thing I am absolutely sure. We stand on the shoulders of giants – men and women with vision and tenacity and hope – but we cannot rest there. The best is yet to come and who knows what is next?
Happy Easter!