Pastor’s Corner 10/7/18

The Power of Gratitude
If you have been in the office the past couple weeks, you may have seen a little desk toy with five metal spheres hanging from strings. It’s called Newton’s Cradle, or, more commonly, “executive desk toy.” Whether you saw ours or another one, did you study it? Maybe you even lifted one sphere and watched it collide with the others, ending the last in line flying out. Then, just as quickly as that last sphere flew, back it came, colliding with the rest sending the original sphere flying itself. This simple toy is our new image and metaphor for Helena United Methodist Ministries’ Stewardship Campaign. Sir Isaac Newton discovered this conservation and transfer of energy and momentum, and this simple toy demonstrates not only the science Newton discovered, but it can also show and teach us about the power and energy we each carry and transfer. This year’s stewardship campaign will look a little different. Instead of a seasonal campaign lasting a month-long with 4 or so sermons, we will celebrate stewarship throughout our year. Stewardship is the care, love, and service of all things, whether this is through money, time, service, witness, or even presence. All of these aspects are vital to growing in our discipleship. All of these aspects are important to our mission at HUMM. What does it mean for you to say “yes” to Jesus? In what ways is God speaking and calling to you? We begin with the power of graditude. Generosity can only begin with gratitude. When we see our gratitude not just as a feeling in our hearts, but a powerful energy that can move us to do amazing things, we will witness God’s work together. Generosity will flow from our gratitude, and it will collide with others, sending our brothers and sisters in Christ out into the world to be God’s hands and feet. Keep an eye out for our mailing coming later this month. Then, watch for new opportunities to be stewards! We have plans for new ways to give of yourself, creative ways to use the power of gratitude, and celebrations of the impact our generosity and gratitude make in this world. You will hear stories of how the church has changed lives, how your pennies add up, and how much more powerful we are together. In January, we will celebrate our second Stewardship Sunday, focusing on the generosity of our time and talents. Again, you will see new ways to grow spiritually and share your energy. Then, in May, we will celebrate our third Stewardship Sunday and party! We will rejoice in the good news we have shared, the impact we have made, and the growth we have seen. We are excited to celebrate all year round with you! May you see your importance and your power!
Blessings, Pastor Sami


Pastor’s Corner 9/30/2018

Please help me welcome our two new staff people! They each bring a lot to our staff team serving both St. Paul’s and Covenant UMC’s.
Shanna Morin is our Office and Facilities Coordinator. She sits at the front desk and assists anyone who walks-in, calls, or emails. She will also be taking over the responsibilities of our facilities, working with Trustees, vendors, and custodial crew while also managing facility use. Shanna is very capable and learns quickly. Her email is office@stpaulshelena.org
Sienna Knott is our Communications Coordinator. She will be creating all of our communications such as the bulletin and newsletter, website, worship graphics, and social media. Sienna is very creative and techy. Her email will be communications@stpaulshelena.org (It will be activated by Oct. 3)
 
Walking on the path of grace,
Pastor Patti
 
Hello Congregation! My name is Sienna and I am very excited to be joining St. Paul and Covenant’s families. I just moved to Helena from Durango, Colorado about 4 months ago, My boyfriend and I bought a house and have an adorable 2-month-old son named Cayde. We also have two fun cats in our family! I love all the tech in our modern world and spend my free time (the little time that Cayde is napping)building computers, playing video games, music, and sewing or cross-stitching.
Nice to meet you all! Shanna Morin here and I am unbelievably excited for my new journey with Helena’s United Methodist Ministries. As a mom of 5 amazing children, ages 10 to almost 2, I am looking forward to being a part of such a wonderful community of people. I am a true, blue Montanan who takes full advantage of all the activities our beautiful state has to offer. When our family is not busy in the great outdoors, I follow my truest passions of photography, music, and philanthropy in serving our nation’s and community’s finest forces, law enforcement, firefighters, active and veteran military members, EMS personnel, and their families. I look forward to serving you all.


Pastor’s Corner 9/23/2018

Every Saturday I look forward to reading Bishop Karen Oliveto’s Facebook posts. This was her post 9/15 which spoke to me and speaks to our sermons this week. Enjoy. Pastor Patti
“Praying for the clergy and laity as we prepare to come together as the Body of Christ on Sunday. I write this from a retreat center south of Denver. Following the conclusion of a weeklong cabinet meeting, I stayed on to enter into a period of silence. I recognized within my soul a hunger to be in quiet communion with God as I ponder our life together as a new conference. My time has included periods of prayer, long walks, rest and reading. As I browsed the retreat center’s library, “Wisdom Distilled From the Daily: Living the Rule of St. Benedict Today” by Sister Joan Chittister seemed to literally fall into my hands. It is an exploration of St. Benedict’s Rule, formulated in 5th century Rome. Chittister beautifully breaks it down into guidelines for our present age. Chittister wisely notes: “Spirituality is more than churchgoing. It is possible to go to church and never develop a spirituality at all. Spirituality is the way in which we express a living faith in a real world. Spirituality is the sum total of the attitudes and actions that define our faith.” I have been reflecting on that paragraph ever since reading it, as I consider that across our conference, Sunday Schools, Bible Studies, Prayer Circles, and Adult Classes are getting back into gear after a summer hiatus. As Sunday School teachers pull out curriculum for our young people, what do we hope will be transmitted to them? Are we simply happy to offer some familiar Bible stories or are we helping our young connect spiritually in ways that will assist them as they grow to adulthood? What spiritual practices do we teach that can help them in their daily lives? Are our Adult Ed and Bible Study classes places where we attend mainly to socialize or have a good debate, or are we helping one another wrestle with God, seek a deeper understanding of scripture, open ourselves up to a fuller prayer life, in order to help us connect what we learn in class together to the demands of 21st century life, where there never seems to be enough time, where health problems arise, where loved ones break our hearts, where we think we hunger for more but what we really hunger for is meaning in the midst of it all? If spirituality is the way we express a living faith in the real world, are we giving one another the tools to face a challenging world? How are you expressing a living faith in the real world? Our time of worship, too, ought to be a time of individual and corporate spiritual growth (because communities share a spirituality as well). Our worship should help us not just regain a spiritual balance so we can face the demands of the new week, but should challenge us to greater connection with God and one another. It is this connection that needs constant tending if our spirituality will be mature enough to help us navigate the complexities and crushing disappointments of life. May you find your spirituality stretched in new ways tomorrow and may you bring that newfound wisdom into all you do in the coming week. With love, Bishop Karen”


Pastor’s Corner 9/16/2018

Normally, Shane and I live in the world of recorded television and on-demand shows, but sometimes, we end up having to watch commercials (what a pain!). However, I am grateful for that because I have learned about some really interesting, creative ideas that companies have designed to sell their product. My favorite one is Domino’s Pizza. One might think, how can making and delivering cheap pizza become more interesting? How can this pretty old, pretty basic business style take a step past its competition? I believe Domino’s has done just this. The first thing I noticed was a few years ago. They began advertising transparency in their business. Blind taste tests, recipe improvement, and being honest were all the main message in their advertisements. Then, a while later, they compounded on that by advertising shop remodels, making the kitchen visible from the waiting area. Customers could now see their food being made and assembled. This added to the goal of transparency within the company itself. Then, more recently, they did even more. They added delivery places in public areas like beaches, parks, parking lots, and venues. It is advertised as getting people to order delivery pizza when they are out and having fun. But, the most interesting and creative idea Domino’s Pizza has going right now is pothole fixing. Pothole fixing! You call their special number if you find a pothole on your drive back home from your local store, and they will pay to have it paved. Their reason behind it is to save spilled pizza from bumps in the road. Far-fetched ideas right? Can you imagine the conversations in those boardrooms at Domino’s headquarters? Can you imagine the trust and risk that it has taken for the company to take these steps? Is it helping the company become more vital? Only time will tell. But, I believe this type of creative, innovative, possibly risky brainstorming is what the Church may need right now. What did that first meeting look like when St. Paul’s decided to rebuild the sanctuary? What opportunities has that decision brought to the city of Helena and our community? I encourage all of you to put on your thinking caps about how to “be a church” in this day and age. What are some far-fetched ideas that might actually work? Just the activity of brainstorming ideas can bring lots of creative opportunities. Your challenge: come up with 50 different ways to use a pizza box (only one pizza box) and 5 new ways to “be a church”. Your reward: a free Domino’s Pizza from me! Email lists to spack-toner@stpaulshelena.org Good luck! Pastor Sami