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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.

 


Read more...

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.

 


Read more...