Vital Congregations: UMCOR is on 'bucket list' of two Georgia churches


From Debby Stikes
Griffin First UMC
There are times when mission statements and ideas of cooperative ministry are talked about, but never put into action. Not this time. Riverside UMC in Macon and Griffin First UMC are proving you can build a bridge to another conference and to the world!
Beginning in early 2012, a group of women from both churches began a quest to travel to Baldwin, La., to work in the UMCOR (United Methodist Committee on Relief) warehouse. 

“This trip is on the ‘bucket list’ of several women so we decided to make it happen,” said Kit Benson who has ties with both churches and with both the North Georgia Conference and the South Georgia Conference. 
Kit and her husband, Alan, served at Griffin First for 14 years. After his retirement, he began working at Riverside UMC on a part time basis. The idea of putting together a group was easy for Kit. She contacted members of both churches, then contacted the UMCOR warehouse. Soon a date for the trip was set. A team of 5 members from Riverside and 5 members from Griffin First, along with Kit who makes the 11th team member, will travel to Louisiana in June 2013.
Covering their travel expenses and a making a donation to UMCOR were important to the group, as was working together. To raise money for both purposes, the women crocheted and knitted ear warmers, hats, caps, scarves, and dish towels to sell at Griffin First's UMW Shopping Spree in November. There were all sizes, shapes, and colors of every item! 
In one day, almost $1,200 was raised through this effort. Riverside UMC took the remaining items and will be selling them in Macon. 
“It has been a wonderful experience using the connection of the United Methodist Church to bring together a group of women who are dedicated to missions“We really are building bridges,” said Kit.  "This will be a great trip and the beginning of more joint efforts between these two churches and these two conferences.”                          
PIctured are Debby Stikes (left) from Griffin First UMC and Kit Benson from Riverside UMC. Do you have a Vital Congregations story from your church to share? Email