Playsets, Gardens, and Listening Session OH MY!

August's Newsletter from Marceline UMC

August 2021

From Pastor John

I know I’ve been talking about it for a long time, or at least it feels like it’s been a long time for me, but we’re seeing some progress in the backyard! The garden beds have dirt in them and will soon be seeing some plants that we’ll harvest in the fall. We also have all the pieces of a boat in our parking lot. That will become our new playset! We’re looking at it and will start putting it together this week.

In celebration of those things being accomplished, on Sunday September 12th, we’re going to have worship outside, where I’ll be preaching from the deck of a boat (our new playset). We’re also working on a big meal for that Sunday too.

We’re going to skip around a few things in this note today because we have a number of things going on. One of them is that this last Sunday we blocked off every other pew again. We made this decision at the Church Council meeting as a precaution. We have a plan in place that if Covid numbers go up that we’ll implement other procedures to keep each other safe. These are precautions right now, we just want to be prepared and hope they don’t need to be used.

In the meantime, we continue to move forward. Late in August and in September we’re going to be having some listening sessions like we did when Emily and I got here. The focus of them will be on how things have changed in the last 18 months, what we’ve learned, and how that impacts our role as a church in the community. I’ve got some questions put together for that that I’ll have later in the newsletter.

I’m looking forward to what is coming and what we have started, and I hope that you are too!

Pastor John

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All youth, 6th grade and up are invited to join us for an afternoon of tubing at Lake Nehai on Sunday, August 15th, from 11:30 until 1:30. 

We will leave from the church at 11:00ish and return everyone back to the church at 2:00. (We might need some drivers.)  Brenda and Bill Moore have given us permission to use their place as a base.  Barry Smith will also be pulling tubers and I am checking on other boats.  (If you could help pull tubers, please let Donna Moore know.) 

We’ll have the fixings for ham or turkey sandwiches, water, and some soda.  I would like each youth to bring their favorite floaty, favorite life jacket (we will have some available to use), and a favorite snack, chips or dessert to share as well. Also bring your swim suit, towel and sunscreen.  Please let Donna Moore know if you are coming. We can't wait to see you all! 

Nurse’s Notes

After having one of our church members contract Covid in the last week or so I feel the need to share some of my concerns and to let you know that I am here to answer any questions to the best of my ability. 

There is a lot of misinformation and contradictory information even coming from the CDC. As well as, disagreement between some doctors and nurses. So here are some thoughts for you to ponder.

Public Health during an epidemic/pandemic is best served with testing and contract tracing. The Health Departments post the number of new Covid cases, but Covid positive individuals who refuse testing are not included in the count. These issues are concerning for people with immune issues (even if vaccinated) and kids under 12 who cannot be vaccinated.

Another disagreement involves vaccination. I am not for a vaccine mandate as there are people with valid reasons for refusing a vaccine. If you are not vaccinated, however, I would encourage you to talk to your doctor or another health care professional and not base your refusal on a Facebook post or a news commentator. Yes, there can be side effects. I have experienced several, but I would still get the vaccine, because of the serious long-term health effects that can result from having a Covid infection.

It’s easy to think “We stay home all the time, except for church on Sunday, and we have been vaccinated. We won’t get Covid.” Unfortunately, right now in our church most people are unmasked. The current Linn County Health Department page defines CLOSE CONTACT as “Those who are within 6 feet of a contagious person for more than 15 minutes total in a 24 hour period.” Some infectious disease doctors have expressed concern that the highly contagious Delta variant may spread to others in a matter of minutes.

When church was outside, I was not concerned about viral spread, but have been concerned since we started meeting inside. If you remember when Covid-19 first appeared, the fastest spread was found in restaurants and churches. Ventilation in enclosed spaces can help spread the virus; as does singing.

The current recommendation that fully vaccinated people continue wearing masks is a pain. It was so nice to return to church unmasked. But this recommendation is primarily intended to protect the unvaccinated – which includes kids under age 12. According to the American Academy of Pediatrics 38,654 child COVID-19 cases were reported during the week of July 15, 2021 to July 22, 2021. Click on the to find guidance for protecting kids.

This has been the hardest newsletter to write in trying to share concerns and avoid controversy around the virus, vaccine, and masks. As a nurse my concern is about protecting the health of all at UMC; especially the children and those with other health issues. 

In closing Matthew Holloway’s words sum up what we need to know-

  • We do know that the delta variant is capable of infecting children, and in some cases, making them severely ill. 

  • We do know that the delta variant is easier to transmit than primary strands we've seen here in Missouri.

  • We do know that social distancing and masking are considered to be among the best mitigation strategies.

  • We know that individuals who are fully vaccinated *may* be less likely to transmit the virus, but we also know that the vaccines are not failsafe.

  • We know that we are not yet at a place where our children can be vaccinated. They are not protected. 

  • We do not yet have a full understanding of the long-term effects of COVID-19. 

Philippians 2:4  Let each of you look out not only for his own interests, but also for the interests of others.

-Carol Klingsmith, Parish Nurse

Monthly Calendar

7am-7:30am Scripture Reading on KDWD 99.1

4pm Centering Prayer Live on our Facebook Page
5pm Prayer Group in the Elementary Sunday School Classroom

7am-7:30am Scripture Reading on KDWD 99.1

Online Worship on our website (click on the link for Sunday's date)
9am Worship in the Sanctuary
10:10am Worship in the Sanctuary

Other Church Events
8/2 3pm-5pm: The Food Pantry is open in the Fellowship hall
8/3 4:30pm: Start work on the playset
8/9 5:30pm: Celebrate Recovery meal at the Assembly of GOd
8/10 7am: Community Prayer Meeting at 1st Christian Church
8/11 2pm: Orpha Circle at Pioneer
8/15 11:30-1:30pm: Youth at Lake Nehai
8/16 3pm-5pm: The Food Pantry is open in the Fellowship hall
8/23: First Day of School

Community Calendars
Marceline School Calendar
My Country 99.1 Community Calendar

Office Hours
Beth: Wed-Fri, 8am-2pm
Pastor John: Monday all day,others by appointment (or stop in)

Orpha will be meeting at 2pm on Aug. 11th out at Pioneer. We’ll be singing with the residents. We will also serve Angel Food cake & ice cream. The residents love fresh fruit.  So lets take some with us for them.  Bananas & oranges were suggested. There are approximately 40 residents.

Sharing Table

The Sharing Table is in the sanctuary by the entryway and will continue through the last Sunday in September. You are invited to donate plants, fresh produce and baked goods any Sunday. The items donated will be sold for a donation which is given to eight Missouri based service agencies.


Below are questions I’d like you to consider for our listening sessions:

  1. What do you see as the purpose of the church?

  2. In your opinion, what are the most important ministries of the church?

  3. How would you describe our church to someone new to our area?

  4. What do you think are the greatest needs of our community?

  5. When you talk to someone who is struggling/hurting what scripture/songs/words of comfort would you share with them?

  6. What has changed for you during Covid? What has remained the same?

  7. How has our community changed? How has it remained the same?

  8. How do you live differently now than you did before March 2020?

  9. What is your greatest fear about any changes that might or might not come from Covid?

  10. What gives you hope?

Birthdays & Anniversaries

Breakthrough Prayer: Come Holy Spirit, come show us how we can be the spiritual heart of this community, Amen

Goals: Grow in faith, understand our role in the community, listening for God's voice daily

Church: Denomination, Conference, Area UMC's, Area Churches
Schools: Students, Teachers, Administrators, Employees
Government: Leaders, Local, County, State, National
Young Adults, Newcomers, Unchurched

Situations: Covid-19 Pandemic, Racism, Economic Disparity

Individuals: Bill Stephenson Family, Donald Boone Family, Kym Cochran Family, Garvey Family, Kris Wyatt & Kristen, Glenn’s sister Reba, Pat Biswell, Bob Marriott, Ed McLachlan, Mary Preston, Pat Watkins, John Hendrickson, Kevin Stanfield, Jonathan Fagan, Ron Chrisman, Gene Liebhart, Linda Sterbenz, Gary Carlson, Kyle Lake, Bryant Dunn, Linda Ewigman, Kara Robinson, Kenny Bailey,  Angie Builder, Bob & Pat Magee, Zoe Tolliver, Joan Sportsman, Shane Cavanah, Dan Brooks, Wayne Heins, Ruth Farris, Lynn Fellmann, C.A. Lain, Thomas Wellman

Pioneer: Mabel Worley, Marilyn Mears
Life Care: Annie George
Lenoir Woods: Ed McLachlan

Military Service
Patric Munson, Nick Cain, LTC John Casey Welch, Tyler Nanneman, Jeffrey Tucker, Kelly Tucker, Brandon Wellman, Heath Floray, Steve Graves, Michael Pyrtle, William Leukenotte, Kerry Lowrey

Parting Shots

Below are progress phots from our garden and playset. They aren’t done yet, but we’re on the way!