A New Vision, A New Voice ~ The North Texas Conference
Fellowship UMC’s Heart to Help
Members of Fellowship UMC Ask to Help with Hurricane Harvey
By LISA MCCRIEF
They started even before Hurricane Harvey had subsided: the texts, the phone calls, the emails. Members of Fellowship United Methodist Church in Trophy Club were reaching out to their pastor, Edlen Cowley, with the same messages — “What can we do?” and “We have to do something!” Several days later, when the North Texas Conference announced its relief focus would be putting together clean-up buckets, Edlen knew what that “something” would be.
He contacted Mary Jane Coolidge, the church’s lay person in charge of outreach, and together they came up with a goal of gathering enough supplies to assemble 100 clean-up buckets on Sunday — five days away. Setting the goal was the easy part; now came the harder job of collecting more than 2,200 items.
Edlen began informing the congregation of this hastily-called outreach activity via emails. Days and times were set for the collection of needed items. Mary Jane, along with Katie Simpson, another church member, organized the Fellowship Hall to be ready both for the donations to be dropped off and for the assembly that would take place on Sunday.
As soon as church members read their emails, donations began pouring in. Some things, like laundry detergent, scrub brushes and insect repellent, were easy to locate and purchase. Others, however, proved more difficult. Members drove as far away as Denton and Hurst to find clotheslines and clothespins. Everyone was on a mission to do something to help our South Texas neighbors.
Miraculously, by Sunday every item needed to fill 100 buckets had been donated. Assembly times were set after the 9:00 a.m. and 11:00 a.m. services. At the conclusion of each service around 80 eager volunteers were waiting at the Fellowship Hall doors, wanting to be a part of this relief effort. Because of Mary Jane’s and Katie’s organization skills, the buckets were assembled with ease and loaded onto a van for the first leg of their journey, a collection center at Grace Avenue United Methodist Church in Frisco.
“What began as an aching for the suffering of others turned into concrete action and needed supplies in less than seven days. Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength. The second is this: Love your neighbor as yourself. There is no commandment greater than these.” – Mark 12:30-31