Last Fall Helena United Methodist Church was blessed with a visit from a person who decided she wanted to attend our church that particular Sunday. We welcomed her with open arms and proceeded to have worship service. After the service our visitor did not rush out the door but stated: “Pastor, may I have a word with you?” And that was only the beginning. The word turned out to be a vision and message she said God had laid upon her heart to deliver to our church thus the reason for her attendance that day. Through much prayer and time spent with God, the congregation embraced the vision and decided to go forward.
So, on Saturday, March 15, 2014 the vision took a step toward reality. Approximately 40 men gathered at Helena UMC for a men’s breakfast. This was not an ordinary breakfast. This was an ecumenical gathering to hear about the vision and a presentation. The vision was and is that we come together as a community, a community without boundaries to strengthen the family. In so doing we were to start with strengthening the fathers and men. This was the beginning of a formation of a men’s mentor men group.
In our research we found a lot of men who are incarcerated receive teaching, guidance, and spiritual uplifting but once released have nowhere to land. And no place to connect. This group is to support other men who are currently having struggles and difficulties that only other men who have been in similar situations and circumstances could possibly understand. This group will be a place to connect.
After a hearty breakfast provided by the congregation of Helena UMC the group heard a presentation from Mr. Michael Jackson from the Lexington Leadership Foundation in Lexington, Ky. He spoke about the Fayette County Fatherhood Initiative Program and how that program through addressing the needs, problems and concerns of men are strengthening the family. Some of the issues presented were absentee fathers ( and how to work with that father) addictions, homelessness, economic problems and others. Mr. Jackson explained the Fatherhood Initiative Program is a national program and that each area will need to utilize the program in a way that fits the needs of the communities they serve.
At the end of the presentation there was a lot of discussion, and the most important thing that came out of this gathering was the decision by the group to continue on and go forward with working together to make this vision an even greater a reality.
Those in attendance were a great representation of not only ecumenical clergy and leaders but also government officials as well. Present for the breakfast and presentation were minister: 4 Baptist, 1 from the Nazarene church , 1 from the Church of the Nativity, and 2 Nondenominational. Also, government officials present were a judge, a state representative, a police chief and a school board chairman.
Counties represented were Bracken, Fleming, Lewis, Mason and even Brown county in Ohio
Helena UMC is a small church located in the southern portion of Mason county. The congregation believe that while we may be small in number we are big in heart, spirit and doing the work of our Lord. We try to continually find was to help make disciples of Christ and to be God’s obedient servants.
Helena UMC is pastored by Elizabeth L. Smith.