Children and Youth

What an incredible summer we have had in Children and Youth Ministry. From our Mission trip to Hannibal, Missouri—to Vacation Bible School and our Everest Expedition—it’s been a time of growth and fun as we celebrate our relationship with Jesus!

The Hannibal, Missouri Mission Trip offered us a chance to serve others as Christ’s hands and feet as we worked to “Re-frame” our relationship with God. The eight members of the Youth team experienced the joy and hard work of some pretty amazing home re-construction, as well as the chance to check out the sights of Hannibal. We have tons of awesome pictures that were sent to us by the Group Workcamps team, we will post the link on our Facebook page—check them out!

Thanks again to Lucy Hershberger and Mark Benton for spending a week of their summer serving with our youth! #GodSquad

God has the Power to PROVIDE, COMFORT, HEAL and LOVE FOREVER! It was an excellent Everest adventure at our VBS in July! We hosted over 200 kids, who wanted to learn more about God’s love through songs, games, Bible stories, crafts, snacks and activities. We are so grateful for the over 150 volunteers that helped make this week possible! From providing food for our family meals and snacks, to serving as crew leaders or station guides. Thank you everyone for your help with this tremendous ministry.

On August 23 we celebrated a “Blessing of the Backpacks” as we got ready to go Back to School. It was great to see so many kids with their backpacks, and we handed out over 100 Backpack blessing cards. We also provided Parent, Teacher and Kid Prayers to help give us ideas on ways to incorporate our prayer life in the school year. Our church community will continue to pray for all of our students of every age as they head back to school this fall. Thanks for sharing in worship with us.

Check out the dates below for Fall Kick Off dates. We have Sunday School Registrations available outside the office, or on-line. We are also still in need of a few Sunday School teachers for Pre-K music, it’s a small time commitment and great for someone who wants to get a start in Children’s Ministry! We also need teachers for our 10:00 am multi age classrooms. Please contact Beth at 626-2762 if you are interested in helping out.

Sunday School starts September 13.  Pre-K to 6th grade

8:45 – 9:40 am and 10:00 classes

EPIC starts September 13. 7th to 12th grades

6:00-8:00 pm Sunday Evenings

PEACEMAKERS starts September 18. 4th -6th grades.

meets on the 3rd Friday of the month 6:00-9:00 pm

Have a blessed fall everyone!

Mandy

picture: Freedigitalphotos.net

Welcome Team

Do you enjoy meeting new people? Do you have a heart for people to find a church home at North Liberty First United Methodist Church? If you answered yes to both of these questions then we are looking for you to help us serve on the welcome team. We are looking for people to assist welcoming guests to our church on Sunday mornings. No hard work attached, just need smiling faces and a welcoming attitude. We are looking for several people at each service to wear their name tags along with a button that says “Ask Me” in case guests need information on the location of the nursery, bathrooms, etc. and to answer any questions they may have about the church. If you are interested in serving in this exciting ministry then I invite you to join me in an informational meeting and training on Wednesday September 9 at 7pm in the library. Come find out exactly what we are doing and why this ministry is so important in the life of the church. The goal of this team is to make people feel welcome and at home at our church. We want people to have the information they need in order to feel comfortable and to help them find a wonderful life giving church home. If you have any questions please feel free to contact me by calling the office or e-mail me at pastorjoshrath@gmail.com.

Old Made New

One of the best ways to enjoy the beautiful Iowa weather is on a bicycle. The neighborhoods and bike trails are teeming with children and adults on bicycles.

Imagine, if you will, a child without a bicycle due to family finances or an adult in need of a bicycle to get to work. Gordon Doak is self taught in bicycle refurbishment. He started The Bike Ministry in 2005 as a way to provide bicycles to customers of the food pantry, to people in the community and to local charities.

The bicycles that Gordon uses can be salvaged or donated. Donations come from church members or people in the community. Gordon refurbishes them in a workshop-like station in the Ministry Outreach Center (MOC) at the First United Methodist Church in North Liberty. Several hundreds of bikes have been donated since Gordon’s mission began.

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Gordon states the “ministry gives me a chance to meet many people in our community. I enjoy a sense of accomplishment by turning something broken into something useful. I feel that this ministry is one small way I can demonstrate my faith by reaching out and helping people in our community.”

Cleaning out the garage? Have some bicycles that would be useful to this ministry? Do you or someone you know need a bicycle?  Want to find out more about this ministry? Contact Gordon Doak at gbdoak@yahoo.com

My Journey to Stephen Ministry

Priscilla Sackett

Stephen Ministry.. Have you ever heard of it? I was in a church to attend a funeral for a friend. While waiting for the service to begin, a question that had been on my mind for over a year came to me again. What am I supposed to do with the rest of my life? I had recently retired after working over 40 years as a nurse. Many of those years were in the field of psychiatry. I had enjoyed the challenge of helping others who thought they were at the end of their rope and help them find their way out of those life challenges.

I noticed a brochure on the seat next to me. It was about Stephen Ministry. I took it with me and read it over a couple times. A few weeks later I was at my son’s wedding and the incredible minister touched my soul with her words and prayers during their marriage ceremony. I “checked out” her church and Pastor Alecia was everything I heard that day and more. A few months later I joined North Liberty United Methodist Church with my husband Mike Nicholls. We were struggling with his son’s diagnosis of cancer, trying to help our aging parents, and keeping up with our blended family of 6 children and 13 amazing grandchildren. The love and support of this congregation has helped me through the death of his son and illnesses of our parents.

How to you give back to those who kept you sane, prayed every day, and just gave you a hug when nothing else would do? I picked up that Stephen Ministry brochure and asked God if that was what he wanted me to do with all the skills and talents he had so generously given to me. “What are you waiting for?” was heard loud and clear!!! I completed Stephen Ministry training and had a care receiver assigned soon after. What a blessing to walk with her on a journey I will never forget. I look forward to the many special women that God will choose to send into my life. He will tell me how to use the special gifts He gave me long ago, knowing the mission He has for me today.

 Pricilla Sackett

Meet Kathy Boyd -a Stephen Minister

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Out of the clear blue sky in March of 2002, a strange woman came into the Physical Therapy gym where I worked.  She told me that she had something for me to see.  I asked her if she had an appointment in P.T. and she said “no”.  I asked her if she was seeing a Physical Therapist here and was told to come and see me and she said “no”.  I asked her what she wanted me to see and she took her purse off her shoulder and opened her purse revealing a little black puppy. I loved him at first sight and had the lady and her puppy over to my house the next weekend. We named him Maxwell.

Bev Gates loved dogs and when she saw our puppy she offered to watch him whenever we needed. When she watched him she would take him into her family and include him in family pictures. One day she herself had a dog like Max.

Bev told me about the Stephen Ministry group in 2005.  She talked about the need to start a group of people that would be caregivers. Pastor Alecia expressed that there was a need within the congregation. The Stephen Minister’s group would be trained in confidentiality, trust, compassion, skilled instruction and most of all faith.  We would then be able to provide that care.  Guided by our Lord, God, I said “Yes, I would like to be a part of that group.”

The present Stephen Ministry group has helped, prayed and listened to me during my own struggles.

This service is a wonderful benefit offered by our church. Please consider joining and training to be a servant of God that can listen to and help another person or call if you are in need of a Stephen Minister to listen to and help you with your burden.

God Bless you!