Steps of Nextness

1381440_10152475038809489_4854356501599473593_nBlack can be a color for celebration

Worship is rarely the end

Punctuation to lives of the endless rotation

Clouds cruising the sky watching us make the next step

Each step is effort

Climbing the mountain of expectations

Realizing God was waiting at the bottom for us all along

“God is with us”



At the bottom of hearts divine love waits

Quiet and strong, beating

Within a moment fire is kindled

Sparks spread wildfire

And while burning can be dangerous, it can also bring light.

Do we take the chance?

To be able to see God within and without

God without

Without power, without money, without stuff


Just be


Fire burns into smoldering embers

Black can still have warmth

40 can feel long

3 rotations even longer

Especially without food

People are hungry, everywhere around us


A flood of life to overflow

Carrying us to the spark

Resurrection is possible


For example, they have remake really bad movies

Bad movies, make a God without seem pretty Good

A space to be, to think, to live

Life springing forth from a Church?

Churches are more than punctuation

Scurrying each day, like ants they move supplies

Hope, Love, Faith

Into the crevasses of life

Light in the darkness

Black is dark

Smoldering is black

And from it a fire can spring

Lighting up the sky


The Yellowstone Conference of the United Methodist Church will hold its ordination service Friday night.  At the service the St. Paul’s UMC choir is singing, Bill Mullette-Bauer is preaching as a retiree, and I will be ordained.  My ordination, I hope, is the beginning of a series of ordinations of younger clergy in our conference.  In the next 5-10 years over half of the clergy in our conference will retire, leaving big shoes to fill.  We are going to need new faces to help lead churches throughout the Yellowstone Conference.

Over a hundred years ago Methodists in Montana were starting colleges, hospitals, and children’s homes.  Next year will mark 150 years of Methodism in Helena.  With a rich history of helping our communities through living out our faith, what will the next 150 years bring?  There are still challenges to face in our community and around the world, and how are we being called to meet that challenge?

I know our faith is still alive and Methodists proved it last month.  St. Paul’s and Covenant, in Helena, MT, partnered for the 2014 Church Challenge to benefit Helena Food Share.  Together we gathered the support of 15 churches and raised 9,203 pounds of food.  We brought in nearly 370% more food than churches brought into Food Share at this time last year.  That is a big deal, especially with the need at Food Share increasing.

Where is God calling us to dream big from here?  When I imagine inviting young people to become clergy I want them to know they have something to strive for.  If we can bring in nearly 5 times as much food just with a little gusto, can we take on the challenges of poverty in our communities?  Or perhaps we could help demonstrate new ways of sustainable living through our church network?  Or we could tackle one of the many problems of this generation?  How would Jesus invite us in to new ways of living in the next 150 years?

At my ordination I will wear my black robe.  Black is the robe most clergy wear during lent.  It is meant to reflect the ashes of Ash Wednesday and also a time of reflection.  I chose to wear this robe because I want to invite us  to listen to where God will call us as Methodists.  As we listen, we need to be moving to help share the life giving message of Christ.  We have stood still long enough.  As we call new people into leadership in the church lets provide them with a springboard of God’s call, and missional ways to transform our communities.

God is with us, may she light our path.

Enthusiastic Peace,


Pastor Tyler

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