Middlebury Methodists celebrate a new direction

MIDDLEBURY — Members and friends of the United Methodist Church in Middlebury met on Sunday afternoon, Sept. 15, and affirmed the new direction of their ministry. Don Jochum, church lay leader and chair of the new coordinating committee presided.
When Pastor Elisabeth Smith was reassigned to a new church in Rhode Island this past June, the congregation challenged itself to look at ways to reach out to the community and to each other in new patterns. Gus and Laurie Jordan, agreed to serve as part-time, interim coordinating pastors for Sunday morning worship. In the following statement, Gus Jordan described what is happening;
“The Middlebury United Methodist Church has reorganized its ministries with an emphasis on neighborhood programs and ministry teams led by our laity. The Jordans are helping to coordinate Sunday worship. The church welcomes visitors to come check out this new, revitalizing approach to worship and ministry in our neighborhood.”
A highlight of the summer was a Seminary Street block party with food, activities for children and folk dancing led by Mike Gleason and family. A number of families joined church members in this delightful afternoon. Looking ahead, a movie night this Saturday, Sept. 29, will feature “Soul Surfer,” the story of a teenager who loses her arm in a shark attach and courageously overcomes all odds to become a champion once again. A potluck meal will be available starting at 5:30 p.m. There is no charge for the movie.
On Sunday evening, Sept. 30, a favorite return to the church: Chicken and Biscuit Supper. This runs from 5 to 6:30 p.m. Donations are welcome, but no one will be turned away and free passes will be distributed in the neighborhood. There will be no take-outs, so come to the church and join in a fellowship and food time together.
Sunday morning schedule begins at 10 a.m. with an adult discussion class, followed by a gathering in the Fellowship Hall at 10:45 a.m., at which time the joys and concerns of the people gathered are shared, new songs may be learned, and announcements made. Immediately following at 11 a.m. those assembled move into the sanctuary for worship led by organ music played by Kevin Parizo, organist and choir director.
Participants in the Sept. 15 meeting mentioned above agreed the new direction of the United Methodist Church in Middlebury is exciting and welcome.

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