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Church moves ahead after damaging fire
by Jebb Johnston
Oct 21, 2016 | 2555 views | 0 0 comments | 52 52 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Despite the lingering effects of fire damage, First United Methodist Church isn’t standing still.

Two of the congregation’s annual events are coming up — Trunk or Treat on Oct. 26 and the Holiday Frozen Food Sale benefitting the Fillmore Street Chapel. With the help of the community providing places for the church to hold events, the congregation remains active.

“The community was overwhelmingly responsive to the needs of our congregation,” said the Rev. Roger Shock. “Offers of assistance came from many of our friends from other churches and denominations, and we are grateful for the support of the community that has enabled us to carry on with our programs.”

The Trunk or Treat event will be held from 6 to 8 p.m. at Christ United Methodist Church on Shiloh Road, which has housed First Methodist’s Little Blessings Daycare Center since the fire with only a one-day shutdown. The trunk or treat event, now in its sixth year, has drawn 600 to 700 participants in past years.

The Ladies Ministry’s frozen food sale, which is the main fund-raiser for improvements to the historic chapel, will have some new selections on the menu — broccoli-rice casserole, homemade yeast rolls, sausage-rice casserole and twice-baked potatoes. Returning favorites are chicken spaghetti, lasagna, cornbread dressing and apple pies. The food will be available at the Red Green Market on Nov. 19.

The church currently holds adult Sunday school classes at City Hall and Farmers & Merchants Bank, which also houses the church offices. The library offered use of the auditorium for the Best Ever Extraordinary Seniors, and Christ UMC has hosted other activities such as practice for the bell choir. Last spring’s remainder of the Lenten Luncheons relocated to Refreshments Inc., and the ladies’ knitting ministry meets at Pizza Grocery.

Using an auxiliary electrical system, only the sanctuary of the main building is functional. Many regular activities take place in the neighboring chapel, where the nursery and choir room are now located. The church youth meet weekly in the homes of members.

“We wish to thank all who have expressed concern and interest in our church and its future,” said Shock. “We hope to be back to full operations before too long and have our building available to our congregation and to those in the community who are accustomed to being with us for various activities.”

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