Thursday, August 13, 2009

Introducing EncounterHelena 2.0

It's been over a year now since we first introduced the Encounter Helena blog. We are excited to unveil the new EncounterHelena 2.0 — a new look and feel over at

With all the momentum Encounter Church has been gaining lately, the amount of news updates and information on the blog has increased two-fold. It's been getting more difficult to find the information you needed.

The front page of now highlights some of our featured news with a revolving image gallery, our new introduction video, a number of key article teasers, and a series of great pull-down menus to find out everything you need to know about Encounter.

You can still find the blog under the "Latest News" menu link at the top. All the old articles from the very beginning are still there, but now they have the brand new look.

We would love to hear how you like the new site. Just make a comment to on the new site, or on tell the world on Facebook and Twitter (there are new fancy links at the bottom of every article to make this easier). Also, we are still taking the plastic wrap off this thing so if you find any glitches, please let us know.

Oh yeah, if you've been going to this old legacy site at, please switch over to the new URL at today! There will be no new posts at this old blog!

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Serving Friends at Memorial Park

This last Friday, August 7, we had the opportunity to serve our friends from Blue Cross Blue Shield at Memorial Park.

We hosted employees' families by providing and operating a rock wall, two kids inflatable bouncers, as well as a cotton candy and snow cone booth.

The volunteer team of about ten people from Encounter did an awesome job as well as some volunteers from our Helena sponsor church Big Sky Fellowship.

We see it as just another way to share God's love in tangible way by "being the change" in Helena.

What an awesome way to make a difference, demonstrate God's crazy love in action, and engage our culture! We invite you to to Be The Change in Helena and join us in our next project at Encounter Church.

You can also find some great photos of the effort on Facebook here.

Saturday, August 8, 2009

EncounterCast 8.8.09: Introducing 36 Parables

From the Journey Block in Helena's Great Northern Town Center, this week's EncounterCast introduces the new Encounter Discussion series '36 Parables.' Come join us at 6:30pm on August 11 at the Staggering Ox. More here.

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

New Discussion Series:
Introducing '36 Parables' on August 11

Our Encounter Discussions are about getting out into public spaces and creating a dialogue. The weekly discussion is an intentional way to meet new friends, build relationship, and engage our community. More than that, you'll have some great conversation about life and faith.

Parables make us think. They cause us to engage and ask questions. We can look at these stories and determine how we ourselves are changed by them.

Of the 36 parables that Jesus told, we will examine and discuss five of these which have been adapted into short films depicting real life in a modern setting.

Consider that Jesus told these stories so that we could relate them to our everyday lives. Jesus reveals himself through such common experiences, and we can encounter Him in the most unlikely places.

So join us. Step beyond safe and routine faith. And discover for yourself the deep spiritual truths in these often ordinary stories.

Have you ever lost something that, perhaps had little value to others, but had great value to you? What things do we value and why? We'll look at the distinction between intrinsic and extrinsic value and why it matters.

Our first week, we will start with the short film "Found" which is an adaptation of the Parable of the Lost Coin in Luke 15:8-10. Don't miss this week's discussion at the Staggering Ox this Tuesday, August 11 @ 6:30pm. You're invited to join us for a weekly short film and discussion response — a forum of honest interaction and exploration.

Each week's discussion stands on it's own. So even if you're just curious, drop by and bring a friend. Arrive early at 6:00pm and grab a sandwich with us.

Check out the 36 Parables short film series here.
Check out the Facebook event here.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Fun Night at Sleeping Giant Lanes
Everyone Welcome!

Yep! That's right people. We're having an Encounter Fun Night on Tuesday, August 4 instead of our usual Encounter Discussion at the Ox. Our motto for the night, as seen in the dandy graphic, is "Have Fun!" And it should be a lot of fun for all ages!

Just show up at Sleeping Giant Lanes about 6:30pm so we can get everyone organized on lanes, and bring $7.50 for shoes and 2 games of bowling. If there are no open lanes available, we'll look at mini-golf. Either way, it will be a lot of fun! Kids are welcome to come and always have a blast.

Oh yeah, we'll also be announcing our next Encounter Discussion series topic and location which is going to be awesome! So if you're hesitating whether to come or not, just come on. Everyone is welcome. It's just a casual get-together and a great opportunity to get to know some peeps.

WHAT: Encounter Fun Night
WHEN: Tuesday, August 4 @ 6:30pm

WHERE: Sleeping Giant Lanes [map/directions]
WHO: Everyone - All Ages
MORE: Bring $7.50 each

If possible, RSVP on Facebook here or contact us here – it's not required, but it helps us to know how many to expect.

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Now Is The Time

When I look at Helena, this is what I see.

Some of us seem desperately lonely. Some of us are heavily burdened. Some of us are extremely busy with work schedules, with kids, or both. Still others of us lament past hurts. We experience damaged lives, broken marriages, and financial hardships.

Now is the time for a change.

Then we look at some of our friends and it is even worse. We have friends whose lives are being destroyed by alcohol or even meth. We want to help, but don't know how — life is difficult enough for us.

Now is the time for a change.

When most places close down by 9pm (if not 5pm downtown), many teens and young adults in Helena can find nothing better to do than to either drink or have sex. There are no cool local hangouts for this generation. We all know that 24-hour Wal-Mart is as good as it gets.

Now is the time for a change.

On our radios, John Mayer sings these words: "now we see everything that's going wrong / with the world and those who lead it / we just feel like we don't have the means / to rise above and beat it / so we keep waiting / waiting on the world to change."

And we embrace those words as our mantra for life. We keep waiting for our worlds to change. We're dissatisfied with the status quo, with the way things are in our lives and with our friends and in our city — but not enough to stop waiting and take action.

Now is the time for a change.

These are the “early moments” of a movement within Helena to see a generation encounter a better life. Let me assure you that God IS moving. He is moving to heal broken families and hurting individuals — not just through Encounter, but through the lives of few individuals across this city.

The question is "Are you still waiting?"

Too often we wait and do nothing, but God Himself is also waiting. He's waiting for you to join Him in His vision for Helena. Will you join Him? Will you join the lone dancer who is living out what God meant us to be?

If you embrace this challenge, I guarantee that your life and the expression of God's crazy love shown through you, will awaken and revitalize your family, your friends, your coworkers and even those complete strangers that come across your path.

Now is the time for a change.

Now is the time for you to fulfill the purpose for which God created for you – you can passionately and actively be involved in something significant, that is greater than yourself.

I challenge you to take a moment to ask God what He is preparing you for. I challenge you to consider how joining the first couple of dancers at Encounter could change the face of Helena.

Specifically, I challenge you to join us this Friday for the Dream Team Introduction (Facebook here). We'll be discussing how to make a difference in Helena as part of the Encounter launch team. Join us.

Now is the time.

Friday, July 24, 2009

EncounterCast 07.24.09: Dare to Dream

From the campus of Carroll College in the heart of Helena, this week's EncounterCast highlights the new Encounter t-shirts, the Crazy Love Discussion wrap up at the Staggering Ox on Tuesday at 6:30pm, and the upcoming Dream Team Intro Meeting.

Dare to dream about changing the face of Helena through God's crazy love — Come find out more about Encounter Church on Friday, July 31 @ 7pm at the casual and informal Dream Team Intro Meeting.

Dream Team Introduction - July 31

We're having an Encounter Dream Team Introduction on Friday, July 31 at 7pm and you are invited...

We want to learn, discuss, and dream about how Encounter will impact this generation and beyond in Helena. If you have heard about Encounter or seen us online and want to know more about our vision and strategy to impact this generation in Helena, then you should attend.

We will further explore the vision and three essential focuses of Encounter. We will discuss specifically: How can we see lives changed positively in Helena? What are the next steps for Encounter? How can you make a difference on the Launch Team?

We are a people who are passionate about and understand God's vision and strategy for Encounter.

We are not just volunteers, but actively involved in something significant for God - looking to BE the church in Helena, not just attend a church.

We are excited about what God is already doing in our city and eager to celebrate successes and learn from mistakes. We want to tell everyone about this new faith community that exists for this generation and beyond - and we desire for them to encounter Jesus through us.

If you have been coming to some of the Encounter Discussions or been involved in our Community Service Projects and want to know more about Encounter Church, this is a great opportunity to ask specific questions about what God is doing and the great things He has in store.

If you are already part of the launch team, this will be a great opportunity to put specifics to the dream and vision God has already placed within in us. How we can passionately and actively be involved in something significant, that is greater than ourselves.

If you are tired of a dried out "version of Christianity," if you share a desire to see the people far from God encounter Jesus in a real life-giving way, if you want to explore a creative, innovative, and fresh way of experiencing authentic relationships with others on your same journey of faith, please join us.

Finally, this will be a great opportunity to find out more about Encounter in a less formal and conversational venue. Don't miss out.

UPDATE: Arrive at 6:30pm for free pizza and pop.

WHAT: Encounter Dream Team Introduction
WHO: Those who dare to dream
WHEN: Friday, July 31 @ 7pm
WHERE: Powell Home [map/directions]

If possible, RSVP on Facebook here or contact us here – it's not required, but it helps us plan. Kids are welcome, but there will be no childcare or babysitter.