Pastor's Note's - 2018 review of the year

Welcome to the month of December, we all look forward to celebrating a wonderful Christmas  and a Happy New Year! The church leadership and the pastor are grateful for your memberihip in the Mentor church family. Your presence, participation and service is the reason God's kingdom is so alive in this community.
In the year 2018, we have been able to participate in several ministry opportunities. In the month of January,
we held our first prayer service here at the church. Our lay speakers were in the forefront at organizing this event. Beautiful music was played by our pianist. Church members ate lunch together after the service and then gathered for a moment of worship. We sang beautiful hymns and choruses, got a word of encouragement and just spent a beautiful moment in God's presence. We also celebrated a covenant service which was a joint event befween Mentor and our sister church at Gypsum
Our youth group was also born around the same time. The leaders of this group have done a great job with the youth impacting them spiritually, emotionally, physically and socially. The months of February and March were tough for us all as our pastor's dad died back in Kenya. Our church supported her with the travel expenses needed to go and mourn with mom and siblings at the time. It was such a blessing to the whole family as they dealt with their dad's demise. Pastor Susan expressed a lot of gratitude to the congregation for being so gracious.
We ushered in the second quarter of the year by celebrating a joint Good Friday service with Roxbury,  First Baptist Gypsum and Gypsum UMC churches. Pastor Nancy Modin, Pastor of Roxbury then, Pastor Randy Moravec of Baptist church-Gypsum and Pastor Susan Murithi organized the joint Good Friday service. In the same weekend, we held an Easter egg hunt for the kids and it was a big success. On Easter Sunday, we started with the Easter sunrise service and breakfast, later the Sunday service was celebrated with a record 92 worshippers that day. Many visitors who had come to be with family joined us for a passionate worship event. The month of May brought with it students’ graduations including Courtney Balaun and Alexis Hotz. We also collected Tuna cans for project Salina and hit our goal of 200 cans. Additionally, we conducted a Bible-study series called the ‘Anatomy of a Disciple’. The members who attended were greatly enriched by the discussions and insights generated in the study forums.

In June, our church hosted a community Brunch, which was a meal between breakfast and lunch. Many people from the wider community showed up and we had a fantastic time of celebration and fellowship. We had many volunteers helping with food prep, serving the people and keeping the guests company. Everyone in the church helped as they were able. In the same month, our young people attended a confirmation camp at Fontanelle Nebraska, the camp was very enlightening for them and they got to learn many things about their faith and beliefs as Jesus’ followers.

The third quarter in July was equally active, Mentor church got involved in international missions as they supported the flood victims in the Tana Delta area in Kenya. We bought food items and seeds for the affected families. In the same month, we held our VBS which was a fantastic event. The Christian Ed team did a beyond expectation job in planning and executing a very well-choreographed ministry time. More than 30 kids showed up. They sang, clapped, played, made crafts and meditated on the word of God for a full week. This was a wonderful time.

In August, we had a prayer series called: “And this how you pray”, words taken from Jesus when his disciples asked him how they should pray. A visiting preacher from Wichita (Pastor Immanuel) gave a lesson and our pastor completed the other sessions in the following Sundays. We then concluded the series with a prayer service in September. We also began our afterschool program (ASP) around this time. Mike Garretson helped us to lias with the school to see how we can serve the school community. After some consultations, this came out as an area of need. In ASP, we engage the kids in games, crafts, cooking moments and end with a ‘spirit sendoff’ (a devotional session) ASP focuses on junior high kids teaching them social skills and Gods word.

In October, we had a wonderful community pig-roast, Rex Russel donated the meat and the whole church brought a side dish, the event was a wonderful opportunity of fellowship with our community and the collected free will donations helped with the repair for our audio-visual equipment. The children ministry also conducted an event called trick or treat for UNICEF, an event which was a great success in raising money to help needy situations.

JC’s coffee house was held in November. This event helped generate missions’ money. The congregation also participated in the shoebox project for Christmas gifts to kids all over the world. In December, Mentor and Gypsum will join for a Christmas Cantata, a time of beautiful Christmas music and prose. We will also go Christmas caroling on the 9th of December to share the Christmas joy with our neighbors.

Sadly, we have lost two beloved members of our church this year, Kirk Breen and Bob Tinkler. But on the positive side, the church rallied around these families to offer support and encouragement. Mentor ladies provided the needed hospitality especially the food that was needed. We have received reports of how grateful the families were for being so well supported. The ladies also supported the rescue mission and are actively involved in the Salina food bank. The missions committee and the Spark committee did a joint effort to help a little darling boy Juakin to offset his huge medical bill. The Sparc committee disbanded after this grand work having served this church for around 15 years. We thank God for you and celebrate your work Sparc. The missions team also sent help to Ashby house, rescue mission and passed out water bottles at the county fair.

This is a brief recap of the ministry that we have been able to do this year. We celebrate all your passion in serving God in these ways. It reminds me of 1Cor 15:58 which says: 58 Therefore, my dear brothers and sisters, stand firm. Let nothing move you. Always give yourselves fully to the work of the Lord, because you know that your labor in the Lord is not in vain. For those who did not get to participate at all, please find your area of ministry and determine to serve your Lord in some way next year.

Finally, we at Mentor UMC celebrate the Christmas season as a time of giving where God gave us the greatest gift. While you are making your holiday preparations, include in your joyful gifting an effort to honor the pledge you made to the lord early this year or make a special Christmas donation to our church so we can continue the good work of God’s Kingdom.

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year. 

Pastor Susan Murithi