I was asked to share what it means to be able to support our church through the giving of my money, time and service to our ministries.
Throughout the 25 + years that I have been a member of the UMC in Stow, I have come to realize that this congregation is my family, and in a family, everyone contributes what they can, and supports one another in whatever ways possible- through the good, the bad, and yes, sometimes even the ugly.
I give of my money because I strongly believe in the mission of the church- to grow in personal relationship with God, to nurture one another in faith, and to share God’s love with others, so that they may have a personal relationship with our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ! Without financial support to pay the ministry team and the basic bills, this church could not exist and its mission would be lost.
In the past 25 years, I have given of my time and talents in a myriad of ways. I have served as a Sunday School teacher, Kid’s church volunteer, nursery worker, VBS station leader, Bible study facilitator, church sign changer, and member of UMW. I have been blessed to serve in our church mission of the UMC Preschool. I have organized many different community outreach collections, such as pillows, stuffed animals, books, and pajamas, for those in need. I support our food pantry with regular donations. I have volunteered to help organize or assist in special events, such as the Hanging of the Greens Christmas Party, special Sunday school events, and countless bake sales.
Why do I do all of this? Because I feel that if I am able to make a positive impact on someone, make someone’s day just a little brighter by what I may say or do, share the love of Jesus, even with just one person, within our congregation or in the community, then I am doing what God commanded me to do.
In the Bible, Jesus shared as the most important commandment: “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength. The second is this: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no commandment greater than these.” Mark 12:30-31
I give in many different ways and support our church family as an expression of LOVE for each of YOU, and for those in our community and in the world whom we are called by God, as believers, to serve.
I am convinced that it’s all about caring for one another and LOVE, my dear friends…. Giving and serving in God’s precious LOVE!
Written by a member of the United Methodist Church in Stow
This month Children’s Place Learning Center honored all of the special people in our children’s lives with a breakfast. We call this Breakfast with GrandPals. Many of our students do not have biological grandparents that live close to them; therefore, our center invites anyone that is close to the child. This year we had 98% participation by included extended family and friends. Our goal was to increase the bond between family and school. I am happy to report we have done just that! Our guests enjoyed a variety of breakfast pastries, participated in activities and received a hand-made gift from the child they were visiting.
We cannot wait for next year! Mrs. Angie Collier, Center Director
Having been asked to share my thoughts in our church blog, I was a bit nervous about doing so. My siblings and I (eight of us) often exchange our mixed opinions with one another and, knowing blood is thicker than water, I trust that none of them will disown me. Our family bond is very real, thanks to my late parents, Ruth and Stan Arthurs.
My belief in God has evolved over my entire life. Raised by a mom whose own faith began in the Missouri Synod Lutheran church of her youth, she carried on the tradition with all eight of us, having made it clear to her husband this would be the case and expected him to be an active member in her church. (Bringing a family of ten to church was a huge undertaking every week.) My mom served as organist, children’s choir director and Sunday school teacher. She is the person closest to being a saint I will ever know.
I sang in the choir and played the piano. This led to my being drafted to take the place of our organist. As a fifteen year old, who had not found her own personal faith, this would be my first job, not a calling.
Now, many decades later, I can state that my faith became real to me BECAUSE of my years on the bench at the United Methodist Churches of Aurora, Twin Falls and now in Stow. It was in my thirties I came to understand that God had been my strength and inspiration in my own personal life. My music ministry has truly been a great and glorious gift from God.
Soli Deo Gloria,
(Originally published July 19, 2016)
A young boy came to our Food Pantry with his mother and grandmother. When they had finished shopping, he took 26¢ out of his pocket and gave it to the Food Pantry volunteer to buy something for the food pantry! Does this bring to mind the poor widow in the Bible who put two small copper coins, about a penny, into the offering box? Jesus told his disciples, “Truly, I say to you, this poor widow has put in more than all those who are contributing to the offering box. For they all contributed out of their abundance, but she out of her poverty has put in everything she had, all she had to live on.” Please let this young boy’s generosity be a challenge to you to “give out of your abundance” and continue to keep the Food Pantry shelves stocked with your donations.
- Jan Mather, Food Pantry Volunteer
(Originally published June 21, 2016)