Spotlighting Our Local, National & International Outreach
Fall means Back to School and once again, thanks to the generous contributions made by our congregation, students at Truscott Elementary will be prepared to hit the ground running with a lot of the supplies needed in the classroom. On Friday afternoon August 12th, just before the first week of school, the first round of pencils, erasers, glue sticks, backpacks and much more were delivered to Truscott. Principal Karen Hanford was delighted to receive the many boxes of school supplies.
For those of you who like to view the details, here are the totals for the school supply drive:
72 Pencil Boxes
12 Snack size Ziplock bags
21 Pencil Sharpeners
92 Large Erasers
173 Glue Sticks
166 Dry Erase Markers
26 Boxes of Colored Markers
51 Boxes of Pencils
24 Boxes of Colored Pencils
4 Crayon boxes
4 Kleenex boxes
That next Monday, Pastor Lee and Phyllis Wehrle brought treats for the annual rite of passage known as "Tea and Tissues". Children entering Kindergarten and their parents are invited to visit the school a day prior to the the official start of the school year. As the children go off to visit their new campus, the parents are invited to stay back for some tea and snacks. This gives parents a chance to ask questions, get to know each other, and possibly grab a tissue as the need arises (... and it certainly did arise!). As opposed to the previous year, more parents resisted the urge to follow their children on the tour. Both Lee and Phyllis felt the get together was a resounding success, but Phyllis hopes someone with a little background in Spanish might want to attend next year's event.
On a Saturday morning back in April, former church members Steve and Alene Burgert paid a visit to Coy Hall to recount their experiences as missionaries in Kenya and to thank us for our support of their mission. Through World Gospel Mission, an interdenominational Christian holiness missionary agency, Steve and Alene had been serving at Tenwek Hospital since 2009. Steve spoke about his time there employing his gastroenterology medical expertise to provide direct patient care, train Kenyan interns and residents and conduct research. He was eventually tapped to lead as Tenwek Hospital’s Medical Superintendent. Alene talked about her calling as pastor in charge of Tenwek’s School of Chaplaincy and her extracaricular activity resulting in the formation of the Correctional Ministry of Kenya. It was readily apparent that they cherished their time serving there and creating bonds with the Kenyan people.
Earlier this year, they made the decision to retire to care for Alene's parents at their home in a California town near Yosemite National Park. They plan to remain involved in service in retirement. Steve plans to return annually to Tenwek Hospital to provide medical care and training. Alene is considering joining a local hospice team as a chaplain. The Missions Committee, which is charged to establish and maintain covenant partnerships, resolved to continue their funding through the end of the year.
There are three such covenant partnerships funded at $2500 each per year that are overseen by the Missions Committee. Besides the Burgerts, there is Donna Chaat Pewo who was working with the Oklahoma Indian Missionary Conference (OIMC) and the Mefors, Emmanuel and Florence, who are in Mutambara, Zimbabwe serving as doctor and nurse-midwife respectively. Unlike the Burgerts, these missionaries are aligned with Global Ministries which is the worldwide mission, relief and development agency of The United Methodist Church. You can read more about our covenant partners and their accomplishments further on in this Mission Memo.
You may have noticed that Donna's service is referred to in the past tense. In 2020, Donna completed her missionary service with OIMC. The Missions Committee chose to continue funding the mission she had been supporting for now. In the coming months, the Missions Committee will be considering where to form new partnerships.
Steve and Alene Burgert
After serving in Kenya at Tenwek Hospital and in field leadership since 2009, Steve and Alene Burgert retired on June 30, 2022.
For Steve and Alene, the call to become involved in international missions came after they served twice for four-week stints at Tenwek Hospital in 2006 and 2008, utilizing Steve's skills as a gastroenterologist/endoscopist. Alene’s call was to serve with him, and she cultivated many meaningful connections along the way.
During their first years as missionaries, Steve and Alene were involved with ministries at and through the hospital that included medical and spiritual care. While Steve worked at the hospital, Alene taught in the chaplaincy program and facilitated prison ministry. Eventually, they both were asked to serve in leadership roles—Alene serving as the Kenya Area Team Leader and Steve as Tenwek Hospital’s Medical Superintendent.
They found that the greatest blessings of their time in Kenya were the close relationships that developed between national Kenyans and themselves. These relationships became valuable cross-cultural bridges especially during the challenges that they faced—seasons of civil unrest, the Sue Steury Building fire at Tenwek, and the COVID-19 pandemic, to name a few.
While Steve and Alene went to Kenya to “do” for the Lord, they look
back now and see that God used their service to conform them more
closely to the image of His Son. In Alene’s words, “My mission service
impacted me much more than I impacted others. It was more about God
transforming me through the relationships and circumstances
encountered than about my influence on any project or ministry I became
Steve said that an important lesson he learned was that his
investment in equipping and empowering Africans superseded anything that
he personally did, since those individuals will provide growth and
sustainability into the future, and they will become a greater long-term
legacy to the glory of God.
In retirement, they do not plan to just sit on the sidelines. They
want to be active participants in what God is doing where He has now
called them. Steve plans on making annual trips back to Tenwek Hospital
to provide medical care and training, as well as working one or two days
a week at a local hospital near their home in California. He will
continue serving on the board of the Friends of Tenwek charitable
Alene is currently caring for her elderly parents and is considering
an invitation to join a local hospice team as a chaplain. Meanwhile, she
will be pursuing online studies in Biblical Hebrew.
Steve and Alene would like to express their deep gratitude to WGM for
the excellent leadership, support, facilitation, and member care that
they received during their years of service.
First Peter 4:10 conveys their hearts’ desire for themselves and for each follower of Christ: “Each of you should use whatever gift you have received to serve others, as faithful stewards of God’s grace in its various forms” (NIV). This is how Steve and Alene have sought to live and hope to continue living—serving their Lord and those around them.
Dr. Emmanuel Ufonna Mefor, a medical doctor, and his wife, Florence Ogugua Mefor, are missionaries with the Board of Global Ministries of The United Methodist Church currently assigned to Mutambara, Zimbabwe.
A native of Kano, Nigeria, Emmanuel earned his medical degree at the University of Maiduguri College of Medicine in Maiduguri, Borno State, Nigeria. In 1997 Dr. Mefor began his service with GBGM as a Person in Mission (PIM) through the Global Mission Partners program. He served as a general practitioner at Chicuque Hospital in Mozambique from 1995 to 2003, and from 2003 until late 2006 he was with the UMC Rural Health Program in his home country.
A native of Abatete, Nigeria, Florence became a registered midwife following studies at the School of Midwifery in Awgu, Nigeria. She earned her nursing degree from the School of Nursing in Jos and spent 14 years nursing at the Evangel Hospital in Jos, which is in Nigeria’s Plateau State.
Florence served at the Chicuque Hospital in Mozambique from 1999 to 2003, and in her home country with the UMC Rural Health Program from 2003 until late 2006. Before her commissioning as a GBGM missionary, she served at Chicuque as a person in mission(PIM) through the GBGM’s Global Mission Partners program.
They have three children, Chukwuebuka, Osita Jude, and Anulika.
Donna was a missionary with the General Board of Global Ministries of The United Methodist Church, serving as a Church and Community Worker at the Clinton and El Reno Church and Community Ministry of the Oklahoma Indian Missionary Conference (OIMC).
The Clinton/El Reno ministry, a priority of the OIMC, primarily serves children of the Cheyenne-Arapaho Tribes in a rural area west of Oklahoma City. It includes worship, tutoring, and recreation. The ministry was launched when a former lay missioner saw the call for a church to respond to the needs of area children, many of them poor, surrounded by substance abuse, and having problems in school. It began with a very small group and had increased to 35 in 2011.
The ministry strives to win the trust of the Cheyenne and Arapaho, who have a skeptical view of Methodists. The Cheyenne and Arapaho remember that some 180 of their people, including many children, were massacred at Sand Creek, Colorado in 1864 by a territorial militia led by a Methodist preacher, an action for which the contemporary church has apologized. The United Methodist Church also contributed to a Sand Creek memorial.
Are you mission trip curious? There will be an informational meeting to answer all your questions about next February's trip to Guatemala. First United Methodist Church, Loveland will be teaming with Longs Peak UMC to help with construction of a home for a deserving Guatemalan family. You can join the meeting online or, better yet, attend in-person at FUMC especially since lunch will be served!
Check the "Groups & Events" tab or download The Window
The Pura Vida Mission Trip informational meeting will be hosted by Janie Williams (trip leader) and our own Keith Flaming (team leader). Janie has been with Pura Vida since 2012. She has been trip leader for all of the mission trips, except the first, in which FUMC has participated. She has excellent organizational skills that have kept our trips focused, safe and fun. She's participated in many construction and English camp trips over the years, so with her wealth of information about the area, she always has suggestions for what to see and visit. She has become a great friend of the church. Be sure to come out on Sept 11th to meet her and find out what's in store for this trip.
FUMC Charity Quilt Group
The FUMC Charity Quilt Group meets the 2nd Saturday of each month for a day of quilting, munching, and talking. About seventy percent of the fabric has been donated, I have a huge stash that can be raided and occasionally we visit JoAnn’s with a coupon in hand. Our group started in 2019 and in 18 months donated 48 quilts. We have not returned to that level for several reasons, one being that our group shrank during Covid and hasn’t grown back yet.
In the past we have donated quilts to Alternatives to Violence, the Johnstown Police Department, Palliative Care at Medical Center of the Rockies, Hospice, and a family who were experiencing life changing problems. We also spend one of our quilt days each year making pillowcases for Hospice. Last year we donated 60 cases, hopefully this year we’ll beat that record.
normal procedure is to make the quilt top, then take it to Susie
Huschka where the top, padding, and back are professionally (and
beautifully) machine quilted. When it returns, we add the binding
and it’s ready for donation. We prefer this but the cost is
$45.00-$55.00 and our budget allows just two quilts a month. I
sometimes will do the machine quilting, but the finished quilt is not
professionally and beautifully done. Did I mention we quilt, munch
and talk?? That’s the beauty of this, we have a good time and have
This busy group finishes more than two quilt tops a month and it became apparent and we needed different resources. Currently we have options for two new recipients, League of Northern Colorado Quilt Group and Hospice. If we donate to these, we only make the top and give it to a group to have it quilted and finished. We never see the finished project, and this is frustrating. Hopefully this will be a temporary situation. We will continue to finish and donate quilts as we have done in the past.
Most of the ladies bring their own machine however there are machines available here. We have outsiders in our group and it’s refreshing to see new faces. We’re always ready for more quilters, new or experienced doesn’t matter, all are welcome. We have several experienced quilters available to help and I don’t think there’s ever been a Saturday when we didn’t have a group meeting to decide colors, pattern, etc. Please think about spending time with us. Did I mention we quilt, munch and talk (not always in this order).
First United Methodist Church
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