God Calls us to Teach

 

A story about our Transformative Mission Ministries

Published in The First Edition, August 2015 Issue

 

God calls us to teach, care, and have compassion.  Does that sound like your calling?  At First United Methodist Church Georgetown (FUMCGT), we are focused on making disciples of Jesus Christ by transforming lives through building trust-based relationships with the neighbors in our immediate community.  Several ministries focus together into comprehensive and encompassing local transformative mission ministries. Building on a foundation of trust begun several years ago, FUMCGT is strengthening its partnership with students, families and staff at Williams Elementary School.  As we “go back to school” in August, let’s lift these ministries and relationships to your attention and care. 

 

Helping Hands Tutoring

First UMC Georgetown has two tutoring/mentoring programs with Williams Elementary School. The first is the Helping Hands Tutoring program that meets on Tuesdays from 2:30 - 4:00 p.m. in the Atkin Learning Center.  This is offered to 3rd, 4th and 5th graders. It is a three-year tutoring and mentoring ministry started by one of our retired pastors in partnership with Williams Elementary School and it has become an important aspect of helping those students to gain self-confidence, to become comfortable with learning and provides them with another listening ear and a comforting presence in their lives.  Reading, math, science and social studies are all subjects that are touched upon during the course of the year. However, building rapport and self esteem is the major focus of our involvement with these students.  The teachers recommend their students to the tutoring ministry.

camille-harmon.jpg

One tutor gave her student a book of poetry and a pink highlighter.  The student would highlight the words she didn’t know and they called them “Pink words” rather than “Words I don’t know”.  By the end of the year, there were fewer and fewer pink words and she did not return to the tutoring program the next year because she had made the honor roll. See the full story in video here.

               We currently have 35 tutor/mentors and would love to have more, as it seems there is always a waiting list of students who need our love and help. Please ontact Camille Harmon at r 512 868-3803 for more information.

 

In-Class Tutoring

 This newer program has evolved from reading to students in the classroom once a week, to the option of more involvement several days each week doing whatever the teacher needs help with. The time commitment can be a little longer, sometimes up to half a day, sometimes shorter, depending on the individual teacher. Like Helping Hands Tutoring, building rapport and self-esteem is a major focus.

          The main difference between this ministry and our Helping Hands tutoring is the children who are involved. The students who are a part of the Helping Hands Tutoring program must be recommended by their teachers, and an agreement of participation signed by their parents. The In-Class tutoring program works with all the students in the classroom, not only those who are needing a little extra help.

To share your gifts in tutoring or teaching, please email Hartley Sappington  or Walt Henderson.

 

Prayer Request Box

Teachers and staff at Williams Elementary School are preparing to come back to school and guide the children each day.  Last year, at the request of some staff members at Williams School, a special prayer requests box was constructed and donated by a member of the congregation for the teachers’ lounge.  Staff and teachers make prayer requests by placing cards in the box. Our FUMCGT intercessory prayer team and discipleship team take the concerns and joys to the Lord in our prayers. One of the staff members has shared how our prayers have encouraged her with hope, as her husband continues his battle with cancer.

dsc04131.jpgTo join the Intercessory Prayer team, please call Kay Merritt at 512.240.4539

 

Lunch Buddies

Members of our FUMC family are invited to volunteer their time to have lunch once a week with a Williams student during the lunch hour at the school cafeteria, offering friendship and a listening ear, getting to know the student and the student’s family, and building a relationship based on trust, care and concern for the student. The need for lunch buddies was identified by a school staff member, who saw many students eating alone. A volunteer met classmates of her lunch buddy who shared they know about our church because they come to ESL with their parents.

To be a lunch buddy, please call Susan Turley at  512.864.7270

 

ESL

While we have a strong focus on the children, we do also offer ESL classes for adults at FUMCGT.  This ministry began about three years ago following a visioning process during which we sought to address the needs of the neighbors in our mission field.  One of the ESL instructors   shared this of two of her students: Our students have so much on their plates because they all have jobs they need to work and some have more than one. 

121714-022.jpgMany of them have young children and they are very involved parents as well as having to work.  I know of one busy young woman who had children, a full time job, and was involved in not only our ESL but also one at another church in town. 

121714-005.jpg

My most motivated student is father of two youngsters, one kindergarten and the other in first grade.  He takes his work and his parenting very seriously and never misses an ESL class.  His children have had almost no English exposure prior to school, so he likes to help his son who is in first grade with his English homework.  They are learning English together.  If asked why he is studying English, he says that it is so that he can be a better worker and so that he can help other people.  I have seen him move through barely being able to read the ESL newspaper we use in class to choosing stories and enjoying them.  He had already achieved citizenship and I know that he is on his way to being fluent someday and he will indeed help others.  He is so pleased when he can influence someone else to come to English class.

To help others practice their English skills, please call Susan Lane at 615-476-0211 or Ann Zimmerman at 512-876-5934

 

Quail ValleyNeighborhood

If you are not familiar with our Quail Valley Ministry, it takes place in a neighborhood multi-unit apartment complex for low-income residents. Except for a large vacant lot, there are no recreational facilities located on the site. The significance of this neighborhood is that this is where many of the children in our tutoring and lunch buddy ministries at Williams Elementary School reside with their families. 

032015b-007.jpg

A monthly soccer game, started by one of our Sunday School classes in partnership with the Salvation Army has grown into a time of friendship and fellowship over the past school year and through the summer.  Pizza, books and soccer have drawn our neighbors into relationships with our members as we seek to share God’s grace with them in a personal way.  The monthly get-together has become a safe environment for the children and now their parents anticipate the opportunities for socialization and recreation that also come with these gatherings. We held our annual Easter Egg Hunt at Quail Valley earlier this year, and we shared sandwiches and fruit lunches with them over Spring Break, along with stories and songs about Jesus. 

031615-079.jpg

To join this exciting ministry and meet the neighbors, please call Bob Kalka at 512-413-5268

 

We urge you to prayerfully consider sharing your gifts and talents in one of these important areas of ministry and discipleship.  Many have discovered that through their ministries with others, they have felt His blessings showering on them in return.  Generosity of time and talent is a tremendous way of sharing God’s grace.

 

For more information about Transformative Mission Ministries at FUMCGT, please email Ron Swain or call him at 512.863-2370.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

God calls us to teach, care, and have compassion.  Does that sound like your calling?  At First United Methodist Church Georgetown (FUMCGT), we are focused on making disciples of Jesus Christ by transforming lives through building trust-based relationships with the neighbors in our immediate community.  Several ministries focus together into comprehensive and encompassing local transformative mission ministries. Building on a foundation of trust begun several years ago, FUMCGT is strengthening its partnership with students, families and staff at Williams Elementary School.  As we “go back to school” in August, let’s lift these ministries and relationships to your attention and care. 

 

Helping Hands Tutoring

First UMC Georgetown has two tutoring/mentoring programs with Williams Elementary School. The first is the Helping Hands Tutoring program that meets on Tuesdays from 2:30 - 4:00 p.m. in the Atkin Learning Center.  This is offered to 3rd, 4th and 5th graders. It is a three-year tutoring and mentoring ministry started by one of our retired pastors in partnership with Williams Elementary School and it has become an important aspect of helping those students to gain self-confidence, to become comfortable with learning and provides them with another listening ear and a comforting presence in their lives.  Reading, math, science and social studies are all subjects that are touched upon during the course of the year. However, building rapport and self esteem is the major focus of our involvement with these students.  The teachers recommend their students to the tutoring ministry.

One tutor gave her student a book of poetry and a pink highlighter.  The student would highlight the words she didn’t know and they called them “Pink words” rather than “Words I don’t know”.  By the end of the year, there were fewer and fewer pink words and she did not return to the tutoring program the next year because she had made the honor roll.

               We currently have 35 tutor/mentors and would love to have more, as it seems there is always a waiting list of students who need our love and help. Contact Camille Harmon at camilleharmon@gmail.com or 512 868-3803 for more information.

 

 

Video Available on Vimeo “Pink Words & Birthdays”

https://vimeo.com/111464796

 

In-Class Tutoring

 

This newer program has evolved from reading to students in the classroom once a week, to the option of more involvement several days each week doing whatever the teacher needs help with. The time commitment can be a little longer, sometimes up to half a day, sometimes shorter, depending on the individual teacher. Like Helping Hands Tutoring, building rapport and self-esteem is a major focus.

          The main difference between this ministry and our Helping Hands tutoring is the children who are involved. The students who are a part of the Helping Hands Tutoring program must be recommended by their teachers, and an agreement of participation signed by their parents. The In-Class tutoring program works with all the students in the classroom, not only those who are needing a little extra help.

 

Contact Hartley Sappington at hartleysapp@verizon.net or Walt Henderson at wahendx1@verizon.net for more information.

.

 

Prayer Request Box

Teachers and staff at Williams Elementary School are preparing to come back to school and guide the children each day.  Last year, at the request of some staff members at Williams School, a special prayer requests box was constructed and donated by a member of the congregation for the teachers’ lounge.  Staff and teachers make prayer requests by placing cards in the box. Our FUMCGT intercessory prayer team and discipleship team take the concerns and joys to the Lord in our prayers. One of the staff members has shared how our prayers have encouraged her with hope, as her husband continues his battle with cancer.

 

 

 

 

Lunch Buddies

Members of our FUMC family are invited to volunteer their time to have lunch once a week with a Williams student during the lunch hour at the school cafeteria, offering friendship and a listening ear, getting to know the student and the student’s family, and building a relationship based on trust, care and concern for the student. The need for lunch buddies was identified by a school staff member, who saw many students eating alone. A volunteer met classmates of her lunch buddy who shared they know about our church because they come to ESL with their parents.

 

To be a lunch buddy, contact Susan Turley at  512.864.7270

 

 

ESL

While we have a strong focus on the children, we do also offer ESL classes for adults at FUMCGT.  This ministry began about three years ago following a visioning process during which we sought to address the needs of the neighbors in our mission field.  One of the ESL instructors   shared this of two of her students: Our students have so much on their plates because they all have jobs they need to work and some have more than one.  Many of them have young children and they are very involved parents as well as having to work.  I know of one busy young woman who had children, a full time job, and was involved in not only our ESL but also one at another church in town.  My most motivated student is father of two youngsters, one kindergarten and the other in first grade.  He takes his work and his parenting very seriously and never misses an ESL class.  His children have had almost no English exposure prior to school, so he likes to help his son who is in first grade with his English homework.  They are learning English together.  If asked why he is studying English, he says that it is so that he can be a better worker and so that he can help other people.  I have seen him move through barely being able to read the ESL newspaper we use in class to choosing stories and enjoying them.  He had already achieved citizenship and I know that he is on his way to being fluent someday and he will indeed help others.  He is so pleased when he can influence someone else to come to English class.

 

To help others practice their English skills, contact Susan Lane at 615-476-0211 or Ann Zimmerman at 512-876-5934

 

Quail ValleyNeighborhood

If you are not familiar with our Quail Valley Ministry, it takes place in a neighborhood multi-unit apartment complex for low-income residents. Except for a large vacant lot, there are no recreational facilities located on the site. The significance of this neighborhood is that this is where many of the children in our tutoring and lunch buddy ministries at Williams Elementary School reside with their families. 

 

A monthly soccer game, started by one of our Sunday School classes in partnership with the Salvation Army has grown into a time of friendship and fellowship over the past school year and through the summer.  Pizza, books and soccer have drawn our neighbors into relationships with our members as we seek to share God’s grace with them in a personal way.  The monthly get-together has become a safe environment for the children and now their parents anticipate the opportunities for socialization and recreation that also come with these gatherings. We held our annual Easter Egg Hunt at Quail Valley earlier this year, and we shared sandwiches and fruit lunches with them over Spring Break, along with stories and songs about Jesus.  To join this exciting ministry and meet the neighbors, contact Bob Kalka at 512-413-5268

 

 

We urge you to prayerfully consider sharing your gifts and talents in one of these important areas of ministry and discipleship.  Many have discovered that through their ministries with others, they have felt His blessings showering on them in return.  Generosity of time and talent is a tremendous way of sharing God’s grace.

 

For more information about Transformative Mission Ministries at FUMCGT, contact Ron Swain, Director at ron@fumcgt.org or (512) 863-2370.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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