Argonia UMC skips service, performs service


By Bill Mock, special contributor
Major storm damage was sustained in Argonia in July. As an outreach to the community, the Argonia United Methodist Church decided to do a community-wide cleanup on Sunday morning, July 28, instead of having the regular worship service and Sunday school.

Members and friends of the congregation met at the normal 9 a.m. worship time with rakes, brooms, chainsaws and gloves and began cleaning yards full of tree debris.

Members of Argonia UMC clean up storm damage in their community. (photos by Bill Mock)
People worked first in the church’s yard and the Chikaskia Manor yard, the retirement complex west of the church, then spanned out across town working on several other yards. There were about three or four different crews going all over town to clean debris. One crew focused their attention on an area south of Argonia known as the river walk that was full of downed trees.

One crew cleaned up the Baptist Church while they were having their worship service. That might have been the first time on a Sunday you would see one church in the front lawn of another church working while the other had their worship service.

The Argonia community was even blessed by members of Harper UMC coming over after church with a trailer and chainsaws to help with the clean-up efforts.

Other members of Argonia UMC who were physically unable to clean up tree debris helped prepare a free lunch for anyone in the community. Hamburgers and hotdogs filled plate after plate for volunteers and people from the community as they enjoyed fellowship with one another in the church basement.

Argonia UMC pastor Jerred Haydock shared a message with everybody gathered on how being the church means meeting the needs within the community.

After the meal and message, the participants again scattered around town to work at places still on the list to clean up. The group worked until about 6 p.m. There were approximately 50 people involved in the cleanup and meal preparation. All ages were represented, from the very young to senior citizens.

One particular couple, who had not been to the church in a long time, shared how pleased they were that Argonia UMC was giving up their own worship time to help others. They said, “We have not been to church in a while, but we will see you on Sunday with the grandkids.”

It is this kind of “out-of-the-building” thinking that sometimes leads us to be the hands and feet of Christ in our community. We know, as a church, that people saw the love of Christ through our actions as we picked up branch after branch in Argonia. We may not see a flood of people next Sunday, and we don’t expect to, but this community knows we are here and ready to serve.

Bill Mock is a member of Argonia UMC.

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