By: Rev. Katharine Yarnell, Field Outreach Minister North Central District
Swaledale United Methodist Church participated in the Healthy Small Church Initiative this year, and Pastor Travis Stevick invited longtime church member, Don Hanson, to preach.
To Hanson, this was a bold step out in faith, and it was immensely appreciated!
During Hanson's childhood, the Swaledale church would ring their bell to call the town to worship. Over the years, that tradition had gradually stopped. Hanson encouraged the Swaledale congregation to continue their tradition of ringing the church bell.
Since Swaledale United Methodist Church is the only congregation still open in the area, they can let the bells ring out to the entire town now!
Thank you for your witness!
The second “Glory Sighting” is Gowrie United Methodist Church, which this year held its 128th annual Chicken Dinner during the Fourth of July Festival in town.
This event is so popular (and the chicken so tasty) that people need to wait in the sanctuary before it is their turn to go to the fellowship hall to eat. In previous years, bands would play entertaining music, but people usually talked over the music, so eventually they discontinued the music.
This year, however, Gary Vosberg thought it would be a good idea to have mission videos playing (sound off, closed captioning on) for people to watch while they waited.
Vosberg was able to play the mission videos from umc.giving.org and umcor.org under the Resources tab where there are several choices.
To play them using the closed captioning, click on the small black square marked "CC" on the bottom right corner of the YouTube video (about 80% of the videos have this button).
For the first time, while people waited, there was silence in the sanctuary as people watched how United Methodist's mission support and apportionment partnership funds are helping those in need.
As the United Methodist Mission Statement says, “Making disciples of Jesus Christ for the Transformation of the World.”
Thank you for this wonderful idea!
Pastor Lynn Gardner will be cutting at least 12 inches of her long white hair and donating it to "Pantene Beautiful Lengths" for cancer patients, as part of a Special Spring Fundraiser at Renwick United Methodist Church.
On Sunday, May 22nd, the Renwick United Methodist Church will host this special Hair Donation Event that will begin at 6:00 PM with a pot luck supper and the community is invited to join in the fun of the evening.
Following the community pot-luck supper in the Fellowship Hall at Renwick United Methodist church, 610 Kelling Street, Renwick Iowa, Pastor Lynn's hair will be cut by Linda Lane.
If the donation goal of $7,500.00 or more is raised, Pastor Lynn's hair could be as short as Nate Huntley's. Renwick Fire & Ambulance has been designated to receive 10% of the total cash collected. Another 10% of the cash collected will be given to help support Dr. Ashley & Mike McCurry who are serving at Kapsowar Hospital in Kenya, East Africa.
The Rev. J. Cephas Davis’ faith is stronger than most people’s. That is because he was tested at an early age, growing up in war-torn West Africa.
“That experience completely shaped my thinking and belief in God,” Davis said. “By the grace of God I have come this far, from growing up in a civil war. Children my age (and younger) lost their lives and I’m still here today.”
Davis, 39, is the new associate pastor at First United Methodist Church in Ames. He hopes his story can bring a different perspective on faith and the world to people in central Iowa. He will officially join the church during services on Sunday.
“When I talk about hunger, I know what it is like to be actually hungry. I’ve been hungry before,” Davis said. “I remember walking for days without food, just water.”
Born in the coastal country of Liberia in 1977, Davis said he lived in a peaceful country until civil war broke out when he was 12 years old. During that 14-year time span, death, war and starvation became an everyday occurrence. He said bombs would get dropped daily, and he became accustomed to seeing dead bodies in the street when he would walk home. By the time the war ended, Davis said approximately 300,000 people lost their lives. That period could have caused him to abandon his beliefs, but instead, Davis said they grew stronger.
“Coming to the U.S., I hear people talking about war, especially the Iraq War, and I just get sick to my stomach, because I have lived in a war-torn country,” Davis said. “I grew up in the church, and I think that is what really helped me.”
Davis became more involved with the church, eventually becoming a youth president in his home church, vice president of the district church school, campus minister and, finally, a deacon and elder in the United Methodist Church. He also began doing missionary work around the world and in his home country, where he worked with orphans, child soldiers and other children from broken homes.
He eventually immigrated to the U.S. in April 2005, where he became a volunteer youth pastor in Coon Rapids, Minn. (where he met his wife Phyllis), and then in various cities around Texas.- See more: http://m.amestrib.com/news/first-united-methodist-welcomes-new-associate-pastor#sthash.G2cg4xvP.dpuf