Contact: Phil Sloat

Phone: (402) 374-2888

When The Rev. Phil Sloat, pastor of the Tekamah First United Methodist Church, preached on the parable “The Workers in the Vineyard” on a recent Sunday, several members of the Tekamah United Methodist Church congregation could really relate to the story, as just a few weeks before, they had been the workers in the vineyard.

It all started with an idea from one of the members, Linda Bisanz, and her conversation with two other members, Al and Connie Faltys. The Faltys own a vineyard and their grapes are raised under contract with a local business owned by Phil and June Simpson. The Simpsons had been experiencing trouble finding quality, reliable help to harvest their grapes. Picking up on Linda’s idea, they were willing to try something different this year — to have “volunteers” harvest the grapes and give the money they would have paid in wages to their churches instead!

Together Linda, Al and Connie started recruiting volunteers from the Tekamah United Methodist Church who were willing to pick grapes. Connie also arranged volunteers to prepare food and serve the crew a meal when they were done.

On two Saturdays — August 20 and 27 — more than 20 workers harvested nearly 8,000 pounds of grapes. Their efforts resulted in a donation of $1,140 to the Tekamah First UMC. The Decatur United Methodist Church also received a small donation. We are most appreciative to the Simpsons for their gift to our churches and to everyone who made this “fun”draiser a success!