This is a copy of Leigh Law and Stephanie Burton’s remarks from worship yesterday, February 9, 2020.
Well, 2019 was an exciting year for Eastman First! Our faith is not private but is meant to be shared. Early Methodists lived into their understanding of this by opening schools, feeding the hungry, healing those who could not afford to see a doctor, speaking out against slavery, and so much more. They served others. And we are still called to care for one another. Here at our church, we stay connected to one another in our congregation, small groups and and we are connected to our community in our ministries that serve others.
We are going to highlight the “NEW, Expanded, Revitalized and Attempted Ministries” of the church for 2019. This is in addition to the already established ministries and mission work that is going on here. The councils reviewed this and made every effort for it to be an exhaustive list. So, if something was inadvertently omitted, please forgive us. Honestly, thereʼs so much going on around here that sometimes, itʼs hard to keep up with yʼall!
Ok, so here are the “Top 30” 2019 new, expanded, revitalized and attempted ministry and mission results – in no particular order
1- Larger quarterly events that include increased community attendance
-Egg Hunt had record attendance
-VBS – another great year with lots of new volunteers
-Trunk or Treat – boy, we had fun with this and the community really showed
up! Estimates were between 500-700 people! (make note – free candy will draw ‘em in)
-Adult Choir program which had a preview Sunday morning and an evening performance
2- Under the direction of the SS Superintendent, Sunday School classes were
revamped and a new Young Families class was established that has been well attended and has increased childrenʼs SS attendance
(Steph) – (toot horn)
(Leigh) I donʼt think you are supposed to toot your own horn (Steph)I thought thatʼs what this was all about
3- Young Adult Fellowship was established that meets monthly at the parsonage with an average of 15-20 people each time
4- Applied for and received District Grant for capital improvements – which enabled the purchase of a new van for the church. Property improvements on the way
5- Last summer, Eastman First served as a host site for the summer feeding program through the school system.
6- Back to school worship rally was planned for school age students – fell through when worship leader had to cancel without enough time to get another but the plan is in place and we will attempt again later.
7- Partnered with Rec Dept for Outdoor Movies. Although it was rained out each time, we established the connection to the community that can be built upon in the future. We also Sponsored 2 teams (soccer and baseball) that gave the church another connection to the community
8- Parents Night Out in the fall was a great success for several months. It dwindled but again – may bring that back at a later date with some tweaks.
9- Mission Area Wide UMCOR flood buckets service project. Not only did you meet the goal of 100 buckets donated, you showed up and showed out by traveling to WR to help put those together. And then delivered them that evening! We had (I think) about 20 members there!
10- In your monthly contributions to the childrenʼs gleaning, you donated almost $9K to the Backpack Ministry! And we also have a team of 10 adults each week and 15 youth every couple months that are physically hands-on involved in getting the food from Maconʼs Food Bank to Eastman and then out to the students each week
11- Established a campus ministry and held a cookout last fall for move-in day at Middle Georgia. We will continue to reach out to the students.
12- Set up much-needed new technology for the youth room that they are using.
13- Added museum-style placards next to each stained glass window here in the Sanctuary that explain the symbols in the windows.
14- Weʼve added organ music to the 11j00 service
15- Hosted “Eggs and Issues” breakfast that brought local farmers together with Austin Scottʼs office to advocate for the farm relief bill
16- Our church is now present and working with the After-School program to provide help for high school student in finding local jobs that pay a living wage.
17- Held blessing of the new Dodge County Botanical Garden in conjunction with Litter-Free Dodge
18- Last January, our youth group traveled to Columbia SC for the weekend to attend “Revolution” – a powerful youth conference
(Leigh) I found that one! (TOOT TOOT) (Steph) Give me that!
19- Also, the youth worked the Spring Road Race in Macon sponsored by Wesley Glen Ministries. They had a great time AND got to cheer on the dozen or so members who ran – or walked or crawled….whatever……they crossed the finish line!
20-The Ding-a-Lings have established themselves as a permanent part of the music ministry – and despite what you might think from their name, they are good ….and pretty smart!
21- Several members of the church adopted or sponsored families at Christmas to help provide gifts for them.
22-Planned and implemented the new Childrenʼs Morning Out program which now meets on Tuesday and Thursday
23- On a hot, hot day near the end of school last year, we had some fine folks who came and re-mulched the playground. It was not a quick nor easy job – but again – you showed up!
24- We have some great talent here at this church – including some actors and comedians – and they lent their talents and starred in the Art Guildʼs performance of “Fairy Tale Courtroom”
25- We all remember the day that Hurricane Dorian visited Eastman! We set up a storm shelter and we are equipped should we need to host evacuees in the future.
26- Meals on Wheels is a ministry that our church has long supported and worked. 2019 saw new volunteers to the program – another way you care for others.
27- Joy Fellowship helped meet the needs of others by donating to the Vashti Center, the Christian Life Center, the Senior Citizens Center, and CASA
28- The Knitting Group is back and meeting regularly
29- We hosted the Dodge County Football team came before a game for a cookout and devotional.
30- We scheduled Truth Be Told Art Party that would have benefitted the Refuge. Although it turned out to be poor timing, we will attempt that again
Well! Yʼall have been some busy folks! Congratulations to you all – thank you for your tireless work for the church and the community.
And the winner of the 2019 New, Expanded, Revitalized and Attempted Ministries is………..