Fifteen churches were represented among the 110 people attending the district’s Older Adult Rally at Keith Memorial UMC on Feb. 27. In addition to a meal served by Keith members, participants learned more about nutritional food shopping and meal-planning from Leah McGrath, Ingles Market dietician and enjoyed the storytelling charm of the Rev. Charles Maynard, Maynard, Maryville District superintendent. (“He was awesome as usual,” says Jackie Johnson, chair of the District Older Adult Council.)
John Forgety led an auction of restaurant cards, country ham, cake, candy, fruit basket, and other items to help the group raise $825 for Camp Lookout ministry. Joining the group was Don Washburn, Camp Lookout director, and the Rev. Dennie Humphreys, Keith Memorial pastor.
First Morristown UMC touched the lives of an estimated 1,500 people during its fifth annual “Love Morristown” project on Saturday, March 2. The congregation was almost “fully involved” with 350 participants representing 28 different groups, says Pastor Scott Layer: “Love Morristown is an endeavor to show God’s love to the community in practical ways. Groups were challenged to come up with their own ideas, but for the less creative, a long list of projects was available.”
Members broke into small groups to give out towels and washcloths at a homeless shelter, donate food and labor to a food kitchen, and give out quarters to customers at a laundry mat. The church Boy Scout troop helped clean up a school after a fund-raising project, and a Sunday school class handed out water and snacks during an Upward Basketball program. See photos on Facebook.
Another Sunday school class hosted a meal for Rivers of Living Water (Rios de Agua Viva), Morristown's United Methodist Hispanic congregation. The Rev. Arturo Reyna, Rios pastor, translated while the Rev. Darris Doyal, former First UMC pastor, preached for the combined congregations in worship. See video on YouTube.
Aiden Hash, age 7, attends Shiloh UMC every Sunday morning with his family. More than a year ago, Aiden decided he wanted to collect Change for Children money to help kids in Holston and in other parts of the world who were less fortunate than he. He told his mother, then he got busy making a treasure chest out of a cardboard shoe box, gluing "jewels" on the outside and cutting a slit in the top.
Aiden's mother told Pastor Gloria Rhudy that Aiden wanted to collect Change for Children with the ushers at offertory each Sunay morning. “Aiden started receiving coins in his box until it started falling apart for the weight of all that money,” Rhudy says. His mother found two wooden bowls and Aiden recruited his cousin, Ashlynn Spangler, age 6, to help. Aiden and Ashlynn have now collected more than $1,000 for Change for Children. “The word of God is so true when it says, ‘And a little child shall lead them,’” Rhudy said.