Stephen Minsters walk alongside care receivers being Jesus’ hands and feet offering a “cool cup of water” for those going through a crisis with listening, prayer, and keeping Christ in the center of the ministry.
Stephen Ministry had it's second beginning in May of 2013 after a previous start to the ministry several years before that.
Wesley currently has:
- 14 Stephen Ministers (with over 700 hours training and 165 hours continuing education)
- 5 Stephen Minister Leaders (with over 200hours of training in St. Louis, MO)
- 25 Care Receivers (receiving 1, 423 hours of caregiving from Stephen Ministers)
Stephen Ministers serve people dealing with:
- Long-term Illness
- Health issues
- Primary Caregiver Support
- Hospital Visits
- Infant Loss
The Stephen Ministry program
- Has given 90 complete sets of 4 Grief Books sent to family/friends that have experienced the death of a loved one.
- Is available to members/non-members of Wesley
- Has a small Resource Library of support materials on a variety of topics available in the Library for anyone
Affirmations from Care Receivers:
- Helps to talk
- Love our visits
- Glad to talk to someone outside of family and friends
- Life-line keeping me going
- One thing stable in my life
- Grateful for the time together
- I know I can share anything
- Grew Spiritually
- God must have sent you
- I needed to talk
- 3:00 in the morning friend
- Can talk about anything
- Helps to talk
Stephen Minsters have said the following:
- Awesome to see how God works
- God led
- Just love ‘em
- Training helped me in daily relationships with work, family, friends
- Blessings received far more than I have given
Thank you for supporting your Stephen Ministry at Wesley through your prayers and monetary giving! You make Wesley’s Stephen Ministry possible. If you know someone or you yourself would like a Stephen Minister contact Pastor Brian or Janet Barry.
The Domestic Violence Shelter (DVS) in Muscatine provides a safe refuge for battered women and their children. Since December 2015, Wesley has delivered 30 baskets full of starting over items for residents leaving the shelter and starting fresh.
Each basket contains:
- towels and washcloths
- body wash and lotion
- nail polish
- cans of fruit
- cans of vegetables
- canned meat
- microwave meals
- toilet paper
- paper towels
- can opener
- pillow and pillowcase
- electric skillet or crockpot or pots and pans
- gift card
Frequently other items appear in the baskets as individuals feel led to donate. Things like:
- Dish towels
- Dish soap
- Laundry detergent
Every basket contains a card with an encouraging message and a quote from Eleanor Roosevelt, “Our own success to be real, must contribute to the success of others.” The cards are signed: Women Helping Women, Wesley United Methodist Church.
We have also donated …
Twenty-one air mattresses with pumps and batteries with complete sheet sets for those leaving without any beds.
Each year the Hospitality and Outreach Ministry Committee donates $300 dollars to buy needed items for this mission. We have also had $310 donated by individuals wanting to help.
One of the thank you's received said,
"Please share with everyone how much our clients love the moving out tubs and how excited they are to get them when they are starting over. Their faces light up when we give one to them. We are so thankful for your continued support to our clients and program. It really means a lot!!"
MCSA DV Shelter
The DVS baskets are yet another way Wesley strives to make a difference with our time, talents, and treasures. Thank you to all who support this ministry!
The Hospitality and Outreach Ministry supports our local Loaves & Fishes. Loaves & Fishes is a non-profit charitable organization that provides meals to our community every Saturday morning. These meals are held in the lower level of the MCSA building.
With funds from Wesley, Hospitality and Outreach Ministry is able to buy food, prepare meals, and serve meals FIVE times per year! The average cost per event is $150. This money allows Loaves and Fishes to feed an average number of 55 individuals for each meal.
Wesley's work with this ministry is a great translation of our vision to "transform lives through hands-on ministry with children and families in need". We thank all who faithfully serve through this ministry with their time, talents, and/or treasurers. We could not do it without you!
Today is our final post from a Franklin teacher to share her insight of Wesley volunteers at Franklin. Stay tuned next week for our gifts of time, talents, and treasures with the Loaves and Fishes ministry!
Students at Franklin School look forward each week to volunteers from Wesley Church who help in our classrooms. One of the nicest things is how flexible they all are! Whether it’s the curriculum content, the sizes of groups, the location, or anything we ask of them, they are beyond willing to help. They bring with them positive attitudes and patience, which is always a breath of fresh air to both students and teachers. We are so very appreciative and thankful to have them as part of our Franklin family!
4th Grade Teacher
Our previous post outlined how one teacher saw the benefits of our Wesley volunteers at Franklin Elementary. Here is another example of our impact there...
I am proud to have been working with the Wesley Volunteers for several years now. I am excited to share the impact that this has made on my students. My students have better attendance on the days the volunteers come because they look forward to reading with them. The volunteers make connections with each and every student to have another adult to encourage success in their abilities. The impact that the Wesley Volunteers have on my students is valued by myself and the students.
Mrs. Henderson, 2nd Grade Teacher
One ministry Wesley has been involved with for more than 5 years is helping at Franklin Elementary. Wesley has helped by providing books to students and the library, a carnival for several years, items for families in need, and much more. One of the most successful ways Wesley has been involved, however, is our gift of time with students in their classrooms. Below is one glimpse of how a teacher sees the benefits of our volunteers...
I have no idea how to completely express the gratitude I feel as I see our volunteers interact with our Franklin students. This feeling is mirrored in the faces of our students as they work with you throughout our days.
Our students look forward to their time each and every week. The students come back and share what they have done. They are proud of their work and always have smiles as they return.
For me, I have directly aligned the skills and strategies to address the gaps that our data has shown. When our students have another opportunity to work on these skills the outcomes usually show us growth in an academic sense. This is just one benefit of having wonderful volunteers
Another plus is simply having more adults our students can rely on to be an ear to listen, a positive role model, and a cheerleader for them. This is probably the biggest benefit. You might not know exactly how much this means, but I can simply say it can help make our children feel whole.
We always say we can't teach our students until they feel loved, safe, and appreciated. You are all helping us on this path.
To each and every volunteer, you are loved and appreciated!
Thank you from the bottom of my heart.
Cheryl Reed, 3rd Grade Teacher
Solomon, whose name means peace, found peace slipping away during the final years of his reign. His son Rehoboam was to take his place as ruler over the 12 tribes of Israel. A large party of disgruntled leaders led by Jeroboam showed up at Rehoboam’s coronation ceremony requesting that he grant relief from the heavy burden of taxation and forced labor that Solomon had placed on them. Rehoboam rejected the counsel of the experienced elders and took the advice of his immature peers who theorized that bullying and intimidation were better leadership tactics than servanthood. Rehoboam promised even heavier taxation and more forced labor. With one decision, the nation divided and its fate was sealed.
Only Rehoboam’s tribe of Judah remained loyal to him. The other 10 tribes to the north seceded, took the name of Israel and made Jeroboam their king. Instead of appreciating the gracious gift of God, Jeroboam, like Aaron centuries before, set up idols of counterfeit worship, leading Israel into idolatry. God sent a prophet who warned of judgment for their idolatry and predicted that someday a king named Josiah, a descendant of David, would destroy their pagan worship sites (this was fulfilled 290 years later). As a sign to authenticate his message, the pagan altar split in two and Jeroboam’s outstretched hand turned leprous.
This did little to curb Jeroboam’s pagan practices. When his son became ill, he sent his wife in disguise to the prophet Ahijah to inquire about their son’s fate. Though blind, Ahijah’s spiritual sight was 20-20. He not only saw through the charade, but gave Jeroboam’s wife a message of doom predicting that her husband’s dynasty would soon end and Israel would one day be carried away into captivity. The message of doom was to be authenticated with the death of their son as soon as her footsteps crossed the entrance to the palace. And so it came to pass.
God’s chosen people were now committing the same idolatrous and immoral practices that compelled God to purge the land of its Canaanite inhabitants in the first place. God’s righteousness and covenant loyalty moved Him to jealous anger. Rehoboam allowed Judah to fall into the same idolatry as the North. The golden years of peace faded further when God judged Judah by using Shishak, king of Egypt. He attacked Judah and carried off the all of the gold and silver treasures. Rehoboam replaced them with bronze, but the decline in moral and spiritual values was even sharper than the drop in value from gold to bronze.
The Lower Story is primarily a list of idolatrous kings who lead both Judah and Israel further and further away from God. Abijah son of Rehoboam became the next king of Judah. His tenure was short and sinful like his father’s. No good kings reigned in Israel after the split of the kingdom. Things went from bad to worse with the house of Omri. His evil son King Ahab and her royal wickedness Queen Jezebel drove Israel to new lows in idolatry.
But in the Upper Story, we see two things: First, those who reject the LORD will reap His grim judgment. But second, this judgment is always designed to redirect His people and produce repentance back toward the God who still relentlessly pursues His people, through prophets like Ahijah and kings like Asa who forged a path for people to find their way back to Him. The era of the kings, despite their terrible freedom, inaugurates a path to the King of Kings, who would redeem not just this era of division and strife, but every age from everlasting to everlasting.
What is the standard used in this chapter for a good king? What kind of standards are YOU setting for the generations that will follow YOU?
To watch this week's services, click here: http://wesleyonline.org/sermons/a-kingdom-torn-in-two/
We have seen a lot of progress on the sanctuary repairs and updates in the last few weeks. Latest updates include all stone work repair being finished; this includes the outside of the building as well as repairs to the chapel, education wing, and temple window. Our sanctuary is currently filled to the very top with scaffolding which allows the plaster and paint workers to reach all the nooks and crannies of the church. New paint colors are starting to appear on the ceiling. Most other construction work has taken a break while we allow these plaster and paint artists to do their work. Meanwhile there is still some electrical work going on as well as prep work and plans being created for the new woodwork that will be installed around the space. All repairs to the roof and chimney have been finished and our parking lot has been cleaned up.
This month we have seen progress in many locations around the outside of the building and in the sanctuary area. Outside the exterior structural walls have been rebuild, we are currently waiting on the repairs to the limestone veneer as it will need 30 new blocks. Roof repairs have been happening in both the main damaged area as well as shingle repairs over the entire church structure.
Interior repairs this month include the stained glass window frame work being reinstalled, a new closet build where an unused staircase was, and plaster work starting around the sanctuary.
Hi everyone, we have seen a lot of progress in the last month with the rebuilding project. We have seen the organ area finish getting cleaned out, as well as new floor joists and an I-beam installed and the first sub floor installed.
Progress has continued with the repairs to the stained glass window. The window glass was taken out and safely stored last month, and this month we saw the stonework making up the frame taken down for repairs. We know of two pieces of the stonework that will need to be made new and expect to see other pieces repaired.
We also saw the boiler removed this month. While this is not something that HAD to be done because of the damage caused by the tornado, it is something that the location of the damaged allowed us to do much more easily than if we were to do it at a later time.