St. Paul's UMC grows relationship with Intermountain

St. Paul's UMC grows relationship with Intermountain


Story by Charmaine Robledo, Director of Communications, Mountain Sky Area

The Reverend Marianne Niesen and Crystal Amundson, both of St. Paul's United Methodist Church in Helena, Montana, have taken on new roles with Intermountain, a nationally accredited, nonprofit organization that provides mental health and educational services for children and families. Niesen was recently elected to be president of Intermountain's Board of Directors and Amundson joined the board in June following a nomination by Bishop Elaine Stanovsky.

Intermountain has a long history with The United Methodist Church. According to its website (, Brother Van and Louise Stork convinced the Wesleyan University board to convert the abandoned campus in the Helena Valley into the Montana Deaconess School. On September 14, 1909, the school opened with nine students. It has been operating for more than 100 years. The United Methodist Church is one of the three sponsoring denominations for Intermountain's board, along with the United Church of Christ and the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.).

Niesen said she'll serve for two years as president and two years as past president. However, she's been serving on the Board of Directors for the past 22 years. "I didn't take it on lightly," Niesen said about becoming president. "It's quite time-intensive."

In her role, she'll be an ambassador for Intermountain, helping to raise funds for the organization and championing its vision of relational and emotional health through transformative, integrated care. Last week, Niesen attended a film screening of Paper Tigers, which is a documentary by James Redford (son of Robert Redford) on Adverse Childhood Experiences or ACE. Information from that event will be used for Childwise -- the education arm of Intermountain.

"Intermountain does amazing work ... and literally saves children's lives," Niesen said.

For Amundson, she already spends her professional time providing pediatric mental health treatment, trainings and supervision. She is a Licensed Clinical Professional Counselor and Registered Play Therapist-Supervisor for Cornerstone Counseling in Helena. Amundson is also active in the Helena Emmaus Community.

She "hopes to use her tenure to re-ignite the passion that inspired Brother Van to establish Intermountain over 100 years ago."

In her role, Amundson is heading two projects: First, to disburse a pulpit supply list to interested clergy as Intermountain has several qualified speakers who are eager to share the message; and second, she's working with local congregations to sponsor summer camp for a child in treatment.

To learn more about Intermountain, visit their website at

comments powered by Disqus