IN-PERSON WORSHIP OPPORTUNITIES
We have heard your desire to return to worship and so beginning on Tuesday, October 6th, we will begin allowing individuals to attend the video recording of our weekly virtual worship services. We’re calling these services “Preparing the Way.” Attendees will be limited to approximately 32 people who will be seated in the back of the church, socially distanced from each other and the musicians, videographers, other worship volunteers, and Pastor Chris. These services may look and feel a bit different than what you’re used to. These service recordings currently occur on Tuesday evenings with the expectation that attendees arrive by 4:40 pm so that everyone is seated and quiet when the recording begins at 5:00 pm. You can read all of the specific guidelines for these services for your safety and the safety of others here.
To sign up to attend a Preparing the Way service, call Karen Sitte at (406) 251-4945 by the Sunday preceding the Tuesday service you wish to attend. Anyone who cannot be accommodated with safe distancing will be on the list for the following Tuesday’s recording. As always, if you are not feeling well, we ask that you please do not attend. We also continue to urge that those in the high risk category continue to shelter at home as videoing and broadcasting of the services will continue.
ANNUAL HOLIDAY BAZAAR CANCELLED
St. Paul's Annual Holiday Bazaar, a long-standing tradition put on by the church's Women in Mission group, is sadly cancelled for 2020 due to the pandemic and rising infections in Missoula county. We're just as disappointed as you, but we look forward to next year's event in eager anticipation and wish you and yours a safe and healthy holiday season!
We invite you to worship with us online live on Sundays at 10:00 am followed immediately by Kids' Time at approximately 10:45 am! To connect, go to https://www.stpaulmissoulamt.org/watch-live for a link to the video, bulletin, and a way to make an offering online.
More information on our Virtual Gatherings and Programming and all weekly updates regarding our online ministries can be found here.
At this time, we intend to continue worshiping virtually until further notice. The safety of all is our primary focus. We continue to monitor and review the situation in light of potentially re-opening in-person worship in the future with the intent of continuing a form of virtual worship. Stay tuned to our announcements for more information.
WOMEN'S BIBLE STUDY
We invite you to join us for this fall's Montana-wide Women’s Ecumenical Bible Study (WEBS), gathering virtually on Mondays from 9:30 am to 11:00 am through November 16th on Zoom. Each gathering will include a time of prayer with both a large group presentation with various guest speakers and clergy from many faith traditions plus a small group break-out Bible study with a time of sharing. This fall the focus is on “Scripture Conversations: the Gospel of Matthew in Dialogue with Hebrew Scripture & the Epistles.” In last year’s WEBS’ study of Matthew, the WEBS women sought to make their own interpretive biases conscious and shareable and to identify Jesus’ distinct way of seeing. In this fall’s WEBS Bible Study, we seek to hear the voices of the Hebrew Scriptures and the Epistles in dynamic, transformative conversation with the Gospel of Matthew – in a dialogue set up by the Revised Lectionary A fall readings for the upcoming Sunday. In the spirit of Brian McLaren’s celebration of the Bible as “inspired and intended to stimulate conversation, to keep people thinking and talking and arguing and seeing across continents and centuries,” as he writes in A New Kind of Christianity, we anticipate that as we “listen and enter into the conversation ourselves” that “God’s Word, God’s speaking, God’s self-revealing will happen to us – transforming and disarming us rather than arming us with ‘truth’ to use like weapons.” We anticipate that “God’s Word intends to not give us easy answers […] but rather to reduce us, again and again, to a posture of wonder, humility, rebuke, and smallness in the face of the unknown.” We are excited to invite all women’s voices to be a part of this dynamic, ongoing conversation. Please RSVP to WEBS Administrator Ann Schrader by email here. Questions? Contact Facilitator Pastor Valerie at (406) 579-3980 or by email here.
ONLINE MINISTRIES & UPDATES
As we adapt to the changing times, we've moved many of our ministries and programming online! Read our latest updates including links to our virtual programming and worship services, the latest news from the church office, tips for getting through this period of transition, and a weekly devotional. Get access to all our virtual gatherings and updates here!
If you’re in need of pastoral care during this time, please contact Pastor Chris in the church office at (406) 549-4141 or by email.
RECONCILING IN CHRIST
Following a training last fall, we've started a Reconciling In Christ (RIC) team to explore how we as a church can be more welcoming to all peoples and particularly those who identify as LGBTQ+ in addition to those who feel excluded due to race or economic status.
Our RIC training focused on the journey of creating safe, nurturing, and affirming communities for people of all sexual orientations and gender identities to truly welcome all to worship and learn in our faith community. As a team, we are interested in promoting this inclusive welcome and possibly becoming RIC-rostered (as are Bethlehem Lutheran Church in Billings and our own Emmaus Campus Ministry).
To become part of the RIC roster, a congregation must make a public, specific indication of its welcome to people of all sexual orientations and gender identities. This is typically done by passing an Affirmation of Welcome or Welcome Statement at a congregational meeting. Beforehand, we're interested in lots of discussion and education around these topics.
We would love to hear your questions, thoughts, and feedback or to have you join our team. Contact Pastor Chris or Rebekah Cochrane in the church office at (406) 549-4141 (or email Pastor Chris here or Rebekah here).
ST. PAUL CORE TEAMS
Nine of our members recently completed training with the Missoula Interfaith Collaborative (MIC) and 35 other non-profit organizations and faith communities in Missoula to launch our very own "Core Team." This team will be reaching out to our community members to have one-on-one, confidential conversations to learn more about each person's vision for St. Paul's work as a church and in the greater Missoula community.
If you would like to participate in either our Core Team or in a confidential, one-on-one conversation with one of our Core Team members, please contact Ann Bailey at (406) 369-5649 or Vicke Schend at (406) 390-6074) or email Ann here or email Vicke here.
We love to give our younger children a special place in our church family and Sunday worship, so we literally put them first! Our PrayGround is a space at the front of the sanctuary designed for children to be active participants in every worship service. This space features quiet activities for kids during worship, and our youth director is present to guide them through the rhythms of worship in ways they can understand. Kids are invited to sing and pray with the whole congregation. A children’s lesson helps them connect to the Bible stories that shape our faith, and playing is always an option! All children are welcome, and parents can feel free to stay with their children at the PrayGround or sit in a nearby pew. We hope that the PrayGround is an engaging place for children to be present in the worshiping community and is of service to parents who want to direct their focus toward participating more fully on Sunday mornings. Questions? Contact Youth Director Rebekah Cochrane.