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October 8, 2017 – Pastor’s Corner

A message from our Pastor – 

Each week I will share a Pastor’s Corner or a member of our congregation will write a message.  These will come out on Friday of each week and will include reminders of the topic for Sunday Worship.  We hope this ministry brings blessings to you wherever you are on life’s journey.  
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Over this past week, I have seen the degrees of separation between myself and the awful events that happened in Las Vegas, grow smaller each day.  My family knew one of the people at the concert that night, members of our congregation knew another.  This event reveals how devastating acts of violence can be and the ripple effects they can have on a community and our nation. 
            Violence riddled the nation of Israel during Jesus’ time too.  It is why he shared the statement, “Happy are people who make peace, because they will be called children of God (Matthew 5:9 CEB).”  Jesus knew that if we were to be a better people, to be closer to God we had to seek out peace in all its forms, and we would have to work for it.  After this week and the trauma we have seen, it is clear that there is a lot of work to do. 
            I invite you to prayerfully consider what we might do to stop violence from happening.  How might we be called to curb this awful cycle we are on?  There is no simple answer, and even as answers come to this incident and about what caused it, they will not answer the compelling question of how we reduce violence in our world, our country and our communities. 
            In the meantime, pray, pray for the victims, the first responders, those families impacted.  Pray also for the perpetrator of this violence, as Jesus taught us to do.  Pray deep in your hearts that we might see an end of violence, and pray that God might open us to opportunities to stop violence, and prevent it. 
 
Blessings,
Pastor Tyler
 
Dear God,
Let our lives be free from violence,
And when it cannot let it be free from fear,
And when we feel fear, help us know your love,
Jesus help us to be the peacemakers you called us to be.
Amen

Worship on Sunday – Half Truths: “God Helps Those Who Help Themselves”
Video – https://www.facebook.com/shilohbillings.church/videos/1717022464986558/
 
There are several phrases that are associated with the Bible, phrases that are said at different times in our culture to evoke faith, and yet they are not in the scriptures anywhere.  Each of these phrases has the power to both endear people to our faith and frighten others away.  Over the next 5 weeks we will be exploring some of these phrases, seeking God’s presence in them, and dispelling the pieces of them that cause harm to others in the faith journey.

Worship begins at 8:00 am and 10:15 am on Sunday and childcare is provided. 

Reminders for the Shiloh Community

Choir practice starts at 9:00 on Sunday. 

“Animate” (Adult Bible Study) begins at 9:00 am in the Education Wing.  This is a multi-media class that focuses on seven aspects of faith: God, Religion,Jesus, Salvation, the Cross, the Bible and the Church. 

We will assemble dry soup mixes after each service.  These soup mixes are distributed to the Free Store, the Rescue Mission and the Women and Family Shelter.

Caregivers Support Group meets Tuesday at 1:30 pm. 

Dave Ramsey’s Financial Peace University will be held at the church on Tuesday at 6:30 pm. Childcare is provided. 

 

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October 2017 Newsletter

Fall harvest is upon us, please check out the newsletter to find out all the places Shiloh is supporting your faith journey.
 
 

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October 1, 2017 – Pastor’s Corner

 

Our time of ministry together is finally here.  In prayer, I keep getting the impression that God has been as anxious for this time, as we all have.  Well Shiloh, it is here, and we each get to take part in the growing work of Shiloh in Billings. God’s anxiousness is probably a hope that we love God, love one another, and love others in our growing discipleship.

As I was writing this letter, I came across an article in the Christian Century.  It was about a rural church at the end of a weather-beaten road who was searching for a new pastor.  The search committee was overwhelmed by the stack of resumes (they were Presbyterian) and decided the leader might be better to write a letter to their prospective pastor with their hopes and dreams.  They were sure the pile of candidates loved Jesus and “wasn’t too much of a lune about the creeds.”  They didn’t want just another pastor with their own agendas and programs, but wanted to be transformed.  In the letter, the committee leader penned this line:

“I’m trying to be as straight as I know how: Will you love us? And will you teach us to love one another? Will you give us God—and all the mystery and possibility that entails? Will you preach with hope and wonder in your heart?”[1]

My heart keeps resounding, “Yes!”  And each day in my morning prayer I hold up the people of Shiloh, as a faithful people of God who I am enthusiastic to partner with. 

Where will our ministry take us?  God is the only one with the complete picture, and my sense and hope is that we all have been called for a time such as this. 

I look forward to this partnership and to walking this Christian journey alongside you.  I will continue to pray daily for each of us, that God may give us vision for the journey ahead.

Enthusiastic Peace,

Pastor Tyler

[1]https://www.christiancentury.org/article/features/do-you-actually-want-be-our-pastor 


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September Newsletter

It is the start of a new school year, check out the September Newsletter to find out how to re-connect with Shiloh after the Summer.  Join us September 10th for kickoff Sunday.
 

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September 2017 -Pastor’s Corner

To the people called Methodists at Shiloh,

 

Our time of ministry together is drawing close and I am excited for us to start our journey.  I will officially start as your pastor on October 1, 2017.  However, you should know that I have been working closely with Pastor Dave Merkel throughout the summer.  We have been praying weekly, handing off projects, developing a new website for Shiloh that includes an App for your smartphone, and hoping for Shiloh a future of continuing to share the story of Christ.

 

In September, I will be offering a sermon for our September 10th Kick Off Sunday.  I will then attend a worship training in Billings on September 11, 12, 13 with some of our congregation(more of you are welcome to join us).   The third week of September I will be taking a week vacation with my family by doing fun actives to get to know Billings, and the final week of September I will be taking a spiritual retreat to Flathead Lake at the week-long Academy for Spiritual Formation.  (Anyone can still sign up for the academy at facebook.com/yac5day.)

  

My hope for this month of September is to get to know the Billings community, relax from a long summer of transition, and center myself in God’s Holy Spirit before I begin my official ministry with each and every one of you and the Billings community. 

 

In August, I attended the Administrative Council meeting at Shiloh and heard about the amazing work you are all doing. Ryan Sullivan who chairs the Community Garden shared that the garden was producing plenty of green beans and how each week he was taking a box of vegetables to a food bank.  It is an honor to pastor a church that is so engaged in the Billings community and where your ministry in Christ’s love is reflected even in your administrative work.  We spent the rest of the meeting humorously offering green beans for everything that needed a solution.  While it didn’t work for every situation, I am struck by how God’s abundance brought us laughter. 

 

As I am in prayer this next month with Shiloh I will have constantly in my mind this image of an overabundance of green beans.  We receive an overabundance of love from God in our faith life, that we are called to share.  Part of learning to be disciples is learning to prayerfully find ways to share that love.  During this month of prayer, I would ask you to pray over the questions, “What is your prayer for the community of Billings?” 

 

I invite you especially to take a walk in your neighborhood with this question in mind.  Let me know what God draws to your attention in these prayerful walks.  Do you see a neighbor in need?  Do you have an idea of where Shiloh might be able to accomplish an act of God’s love in the community?  Please send me your responses at

PastorTyler@ShilohBillings.Church.

 

In prayer,

 

Pastor Tyler

 

Joel 2:28 (CEB) – After that I will pour out my spirit upon everyone;
        your sons and your daughters will prophesy,
        your old men will dream dreams,

        and your young men will see visions.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


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August 2017 – Pastor’s Corner

To the people called Methodists at Shiloh,

In the scriptures, Shiloh has two places it derives its meaning from: 
One comes from Genesis 49:10 when it says, “The scepter of the people of God shall not be removed from Judah, nor the lawgiver from between his feet, until Shiloh comes and gathers the people together.”(This is a combination of translations.)  Early Christians took this to mean that Jesus was the embodiment of the ancient idea of Shiloh.

 

The other reference to Shiloh is in Joshua, when they construct the beloved Tabernacle, the dwelling place of God, in a permanent place.  This was a place in which God would dwell. 

 

This month I ask you to pray over the question,

“What is your prayer for the new people who find Shiloh?”

 

As I have prayed about this question I have been drawn to wonder what it would be like if Shiloh UMC was known as a place of rest, peace and of knowing God.  A place where people came to feel God’s presence to inspire and empower them to go out and share the love of Christ in the world.

 

The mission statement for Shiloh comes to mind when I pray about this question, “Peace, Hope, Love, Joy – Every One, Every Day, Every Where.” 

 

Shiloh as a place of “Peace” might mean we create an environment where people can worship God, feel God’s Peace, and be surrounding by the everlasting love we learn in Christ.  We invite people to attend worship regularly to engage in the practice of experiencing this peace, and

 

Shiloh as a place of “Hope” might mean we teach and learn together the ways of hope set out by Jesus.  The popular word for this in today’s church language is Discipleship.  This means that we consistently look to make sure we as a church are growing and empower leaders to teach the gospel lessons, so people new and old to our community can learn discipleship ways of hope.

 

Shiloh as a place of “Love” might mean we care for one another as a way of practicing how we will care for the stranger.  The Hebrew Bible(Old Testament) is full of lessons of why we should share hospitality, most of those stories end with the people entertaining God instead.  This embodies our ministries that care for people in our church community: visitation ministry, prayer ministry, and also the work of our administrative committees to ensure our facility and programs embody Christ’s love.  This love is not a happy-go-lucky love, instead it gives space for people to share their joys and pains, successes and failures, and their full experience of life with one another.

 

Shiloh as a place of “Joy” might mean we are excited to carry what we gain at Shiloh into our everyday lives.  This is embraced by the missions we share formally with the community, but also in the ways we encourage our people to share that same joy with co-workers, neighbors, classmates, friends, and strangers.  In the end of it all our “Joy” should be so infectious that people should ask, “Why do you share so much, care so much, and love others so much?”  In response we can say, “Because God loves me so much, that I feel called to share this love with every person I meet.”

 

As we continue to prepare for our time of ministry together, I invite you to pray over the above question.  And let me know your thoughts about our mission statement, and how we might accomplish the goals it sets forth. 

 

As you find answers or nudges in prayer I ask you to write them down and share them with me.  Please share your prayers with me by emailing me at

tyler.amundson@yacumc.org

or mailing me at 512 Logan, Helena, MT 59601.  We will use these prayers as we start our ministry together in October.  We will use your prayers both in ministry with your leaders and in asking God for direction in our dreaming. 

 

In prayer,

 

Pastor Tyler

 

Joel 2:28 (CEB) – After that I will pour out my spirit upon everyone;
        your sons and your daughters will prophesy,
        your old men will dream dreams,

        and your young men will see visions.

 


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July 2017 – Pastor’s Corner

To the people called Methodists at Shiloh,

This last month has been a whirlwind for my family and I.  We moved out of our house into temporary housing, bought a house in Billings that my wife and children will move into next month.  I ran my drone into a tree while flying it.  Got to participate in a great experience baptizing someone at church camp.  Welcomed new pastors to the church I currently serve and saw my longtime colleagues into new phases of their lives.  All throughout this my prayer life has been both the shallowest it has ever been and the deepest it has ever been. 

 

The character of Job is a person we often avoid in the Bible.  Job experiences the most horrendous parts of human life, and I often find myself avoiding that scripture for fear it might just rub the awfulness off on me.  However, the ending of the book God appears to Job in a whirlwind and actually speaks to Job.  It is a constant reminder to me that in the chaos of life, God is in the whirlwind with us. 

 

I am excited to announce that in this Whirlwind we have two opportunities to connect before I officially start my time at Shiloh.  First, I will be preaching at Shiloh to help kick off the fall on September 10

th.  Second, we would like to invite members of Shiloh to join me at a creative worship seminar at Billings Grace UMC, September 11-13th

.  If you are interested in joining us please contact the office. 

 

As we continue to prepare for our time of ministry together, I invite you to pray over the coming weeks on this question,

“What is your prayer for the people of Shiloh UMC?”

 

When I ask that we pray daily over these questions, please don’t feel guilty the day you forget to pray.

 

As you find answers or nudges in prayer I ask you to write them down and share them with me.  Please share your prayers with me by emailing me at tyler.amundson@yacumc.org or mailing me at 512 Logan, Helena, MT 59601.  We will use these prayers as we start our ministry together in October.  We will use your prayers both in ministry with your leaders and in asking God for direction in our dreaming. 

  

My prayer for the people of Shiloh as I have prayed this prayer this month is that we learn to love each other through good and bad, and learn with each other what God is calling us to offer to our neighbors and the world. 

 

In prayer,

 

Pastor Tyler

 

Joel 2:28 (CEB) – After that I will pour out my spirit upon everyone;
        your sons and your daughters will prophesy,
        your old men will dream dreams,

        and your young men will see visions.

 


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June 2017 – Pastor’s Corner

To the people called Methodists at Shiloh,

 

Worshipping God with you last Sunday was a joy and honor.  As I shared Sunday, each month this summer I am asking the people of Shiloh to pray daily over a single question as we prepare for ministry together.  When I join you in October it is my hope that we are deeply in prayer with one another about our future. 

 

This month I ask you to pray over the question,

“What is your prayer for Shiloh?”

 

When I ask that we pray daily over these questions, please don’t feel guilty the day you forget to pray.  Instead take this story to heart:

 

When I was young, each night before bed my mother would have me pray for each of my family and my friends.  I would add certain friends at points in my life, and forget certain people at other times.  It became disconcerting for my 5-year-old self to think that at times I was forgetting people.  So, at the beginning of my prayers I began to say, “I pray for these family and friends, and everyone even if I forget them tonight.” 

 

Sometimes we feel like we are trying to pray harder and better as adults, and we forget it is designed to be a playful and grace filled conversation with God.  When I as your pastor ask you to pray daily over this question, I don’t ask you to feel guilty when you forget.  Instead I ask you to playfully and gracefully put this question where you will see it daily.  Then when you see it, take a deep breath and simply offer the question up to God to see what God directs your mind to. 

 

As you find answers or nudges in prayer I ask you to write them down and share them with me.  Please share your prayers with me by emailing me at tyler.amundson@yacumc.org or mailing me at 512 Logan, Helena, MT 59601.  We will use these prayers as we start our ministry together in October.  We will use your prayers both in minitry with your leaders and in asking God for direction in our dreaming. 

 

My prayer for Shiloh as I have prayed this prayer this month is that we become a deeply spiritual people, learning from the ways of Christ, and dreaming with God how to make our community a place of peace, joy, love and hope. 

 

In prayer,

 

Pastor Tyler

 

Joel 2:28 (CEB) – After that I will pour out my spirit upon everyone;
        your sons and your daughters will prophesy,
        your old men will dream dreams,

        and your young men will see visions.

 


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