This morning as I was driving to work I was thinking about all of the things that I have on my list to do. It is one of those weeks where I have meetings every night this week, morning meetings a couple of days, a major youth event Saturday into Sunday, and about 500 things on the to-do list that are really time sensitive.
As I am making mental lists so that I can make real lists I turn into the parking lot and prep for the first day of my week and there was a pair of fire trucks at the curb of the church with lights on. I thought it might be a preschool thing but it was before 9:00am and it is a teaching work day so there are no kids.
Turns out the alarm went off because of some construction in the back of the church. They were jackhammering concrete that was buckling during the winter. The dust was coming through the back door to such an extent that it set off the alarm.
So I made a tarp to collect the dust and minimize cleanup later on. (see the Pic)
We are also getting a new roof on our education building.
With all of the chaos that the morning has given us I can’t help but think about the blessings we have. This past year the MUMC congregation has shown up in a big way in their willingness to be be flexible through the collapse of a roof, leaks, shifting of office space, rearranging VBS rooms because of new floors being put in, and many other logistical things due to facilities work. Also there has been a blessing of financial gifts that have allowed us to make some wonderful and much needed improvements and restorations. We are getting a new roof today, leaks patched, we have gotten new tile for the preschool and new bathroom fixtures in the works, sanctuary staging, carpet, paint, a remodeled gathering room, and some other work that was much needed.
My seminary youth ministry professor said he had the theology of, “Heavily use, but don’t abuse.” I think we embrace that here. Our building isn’t perfect, but we use it to the best of our ability and care for it in turn. We are a bring your coffee and snack into the sanctuary kind of church. We want everyone who walks through the doors to feel like they are in a place where they can be themselves. Sure, there are times when bumps and scratches happen and that is wonderful because the wear and tear is the cost of sharing that love God has for us with not just our congregation, but with our community at large.
Greeting friends, early this morning (1:30 am or so) a section of the church roof collapsed under the weight of the snow. This section of roof was over the office. After inspection it seems that the open area of the office suffered the most extensive damage. The other 4 offices and the copy room seem to have missed the impact of the collapse. When the roof fell it broke sprinkler lines that poured into the office area and below into the music room. The fire department was able to turn off the sprinklers. The sprinklers in the other parts of the building did not activate during the ordeal.
And now for the good news. First, there was no one hurt. Secondly, because of the way the roof fell we didn’t lose any of the office computers or media team computers. Third, we were able to respond quickly and swiftly to the incident in large part due to our Chair of Trustees,Chris Coffman, Tim Revis, the trustees and all of those who helped shovel snow.
We will know more tomorrow as we talk with insurance, fire and flood and sprinkler people. We will update you on the status of the church tomorrow evening.
As we wait on these meetings, the building is closed. In the mean time please keep us in your thoughts and prayers.
If you have specific questions, please email me (email@example.com)
An Article by Carlee Lammers
The youth of Middletown United Methodist Church held a Homeless for a Night event on Dec. 5-6 to raise awareness of homelessness and hunger not only in the surrounding communities, but across the United States. Approximately 82 children in Middletown live under the poverty level, 1,140 people in Frederick County face homelessness every year, and nationwide as many as 3.5 million people experience being homeless.
After being confronted with these hard facts the youth of MUMC challenged their congregation to make an impact in regards to this immense issue. They started the event off with a door-to-door canned food collection asking for items that were in great need by the Middletown Food Bank. The youth were able to collect over 650 canned food and personal care items.
For dinner they traded in their usual pizza and soda, for a simpler diet of rice and beans, which is very similar to what two-thirds of the world eats on a daily basis. Members of their congregation came to share their own personal testimonies of their experiences with homelessness and hunger. The members shared their eye opening experiences of being out on the streets, stereotyped, cold, hungry, and worst of all lonely and empty.
“(I think) the worst part is the treatment they receive and the emotional pain from knowing that no one wants you- your family, your friends, no one,” said member of MUMC youth group Sayre Posey.
The youth then broke into groups, and each group was given five-dollars to purchase healthy food to feed a family of four for one day. They then realized just how difficult it is to feed a family a healthy meal on such a limited budget.
” It made me realize how quickly you can spend 5 dollars and not even have a full meal, which made shopping really hard,” said MUMC youth group member Meagan Parker.
The whole MUMC congregation raised five-hundred-sixty-dollars to be donated towards heating homes in the local area, packed 142 shoeboxes with Christmas presents for children around the world, and given gifts to men at the Frederick Rescue Mission.
The youth along with their congregation aren’t stopping now. They made plans to continue to raise awareness and be in ministry to the homeless and hungry community.
Homeless for a Night Recap : lifeforceyouth.com
We went biking yesterday with a group from the church and I think we counted about 35 people that came out for the event. It was a really great time and I think everyone had fun meeting some new faces. We stopped in Harpers Ferry for ice cream and some time to talk. At one point we were blocking the street and a park police officer turned on his siren to get us to move 🙂 kind of fun. I think that this was a definite winner and we are going to have to do it again.
last night at youth group we had a ton of fun. There was singing, dancing, praying, and more water consumed than any other youth group in the history of MUMC.
This is because we had our very own Chili cook off. Gary Parker, Jay Menkee, Seth Pilarcik, Rich Posey and Big Papa Tice all entered their creations for the students.
All of the creations were really spectacular and had their own unique flavor. Gary made a spicy organic blend, Rich spiced his up with an optional hot sauce that gave his some zing, Seth made a vegetarian chili (I thought veg. chili was just baked beans but I was proven wrong), Jay had a great all around crowd pleaser, and John made his from a dutch oven.
What a great time. Then after dinner we were able to take part in a cool prayer labyrinth too. such a fun night. 🙂