Missions

Lenten Offering Impact and Celebration

You may know that here at Argyle UMC, our mission is to grow together as disciples, working with God, to transform the world one life at a time.  Over the last seven weeks of the Lenten season, we raised money each week to go to specific missions of our church, all with the intent to transform the world one life at a time.  As the Wired 4 Service team collected statistics on your generous contributions to these missions each week during Lent, we thought that it would be fun to share some other statistics.  Typically, we track donations and lives transformed...but what if we told you exactly how many grains of rice your donations contributed to?

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Week 1 of Lenten Offerings provided a meal catered by Babe's for the first responders in our community.  In total, we fed 47 very hungry and very appreciative fire fighters, EMS, and police officers.  Did you know that 47 hungry first responders can tackle twenty three and a half pounds of mashed potatoes?!

Week 2 of Lenten Offerings provided college care packs for 70 of our church youth.  With our college students attending college from coast to coast, our college care packs traveled over 12,375 miles!

Week 3 of Lenten Offerings benefited the Shiloh and Argyle Food Banks in our community.  Over four thousand pounds of food were donated, which means we were able to feed over seven thousand meals to the hungry.

Week 4 of Lenten Offerings allowed Argyle UMC to host our annual dinner for the widows and widowers of our church.  Our youth helped to love on 39 of these sweet men and women.

Week 5 of Lenten Offerings will help thirty of our church youth attend mission trips this year.  We are estimating that this also equals approximately 150 "Are we there yet?' from the youth as they travel this summer.  Craig & Carla - does that sounds about right?

Week 6 of Lenten Offerings will provide transportation for 55 economically disadvantaged kids to attend UP Summer Camps at Argyle UMC.  The wheels on the bus will go round and round for 138 miles that week!  Through your generosity, we were also able to donate two bicycles to Borman Elementary to be presented to two students that achieve perfect attendance, which we know will bring endless hours of childhood joy.

Week 7 of Lenten Offerings will help Argyle UMC host Rise Against Hunger for our annual Worship Without Walls event.  Our goal is to provide 20,000 nutrient-rich meals that will feed approximately 700 families.  As we alluded to earlier, if your wondering how many grains of rice that is...don't worry, we did the math.  There are 48 grains of rice in one gram.  There are 200 grams of rice in one meal.  There are 9,600 grains of rice in one meal.  There are 192,000,000 grains of rice in 20,000 meals.  Come to Worship Without Walls on April 29 and help us package those 2 million grains of rice!

College Ministry as an Intergenerational Community

By Haley Feuerbacher,
Campus Minister at The Denton Wesley Foundation

At the beginning of the 2017-2018 school year, student intern Katrina Krauss and I sat down to discuss the Denton Wesley Foundation's budget for the Shiloh food pantry ministry. We knew the statistics: nearly 60% of all college students face food insecurity, and Shiloh provides free groceries to several hundred students each month. But we also realized that we could not spend what we were used to putting into the food pantry. If we did not have the money in our budget to stock the food pantry, how would we help the hundreds of students who frequent Shiloh?

"This is God's ministry, not ours," we decided, "and God sees the need and will provide."

The very next day, a woman named Sue Herring walked into the Wesley.

"I was wondering how my husband and I and our church can help support your food pantry," said Sue, who had felt led to serve at Shiloh for months.

God does indeed provide.

Since then, Paul and Sue Herring of Argyle United Methodist Church have gathered 30 volunteers to cook and serve lunch to over 100 students on Thursdays and to staff the Shiloh Food Pantry. Each week, they collect donations, purchase additional food for the pantry, and help keep our property clean and organized. They greet students and give them tips on how to prepare certain foods or just general advice about adulting. This month, Argyle United Methodist Church has raised money and nearly 700 pounds of food for Shiloh Food Pantry, organized a work day to clean the Wesley, and put together a huge care package for our students!

Argyle's involvement in our college ministry represents an intentional move at the Denton Wesley Foundation to form intergenerational relationships and partnerships. We are striving to put our students into contact with those outside the campus community so that they can reciprocally use their gifts and experiences to enhance one another's lives and relationships with God.

In addition to Argyle's work with our students, we have also been blessed by people like Kent Carpenter of First United Methodist Church who is leading a Bible Study at the Wesley and like Clay Thurmond, Jonathan Perry, Chuck and Cynthia Rives, Russell Van Hoose, Beth Barnhouse, and Krystal Stroud who, with our students, have formed a group called Intersect. They gather twice a month to study the Bible and work for social justice with one another. Together, this intergenerational cohort has worked on initiatives such as DACA education, Denton Women's March, Title IX, and Take Back the Night. It is currently planning a #ChurchToo conference to help churches recognize, prevent, and address sexual misconduct.

Finally, the Denton Wesley Foundation is looking to connect with younger generations. We will be planning and hosting a Youth Worship Night at the Wesley for UMC youth groups in the area in April. Our students have much to give to and much to learn from these youth, and we are eager to form relationships with them.

Far from being just a ministry to college students, the Denton Wesley Foundation is a community in which many generations join together, passionate about each other's lives in Christ and compassionate towards one another. We call this a Com/Passionate Community, and we are thankful for those who make this possible.

Partners in Boldness by Pastor Sarah

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Argyle UMC has been actively praying and seeking how we can engage young adults in life-changing relationships with Jesus and the Church. The Denton Wesley Foundation is home to hundreds of local college students who come for study, fellowship, worship, meals, community and more. Last fall, Argyle UMC members Paul and Sue Herring boldly walked in to the Denton Wesley Foundation to ask how our church can partner with their mission and ministry. They were embraced by the students and staff and began to build relationships with service, engagement and of course, food! 

A team of cooks and hosts arrive every Thursday at the Denton Wesley to prepare, cook and serve a free lunch to the students. Many students will come in to sit and eat, share about their lives, receive hugs from the volunteers and friends, and find rest and community during lunch. 

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The Shiloh Food Bank is open every other Friday for the students to come and receive fresh groceries and home items at no charge. Argyle UMC has helped to stock the food bank that will reach up to 200 students. Our Volunteers are present to welcome, share hugs and support, as well as offer tips on how to prepare meals with the food they have received. 

As we talk about having a “Daring Faith” and living our faith “out loud,” Argyle UMC continues to respond to God’s call to engage with young adults in life-changing relationships through Denton Wesley Foundation. The students and staff have been greatly impacted by the relationships they have with our church members who volunteer to love and serve them. 

Argyle UMC has an opportunity in Jan. & Feb. to donate non-perishable food and other needed items for Argyle Food Bank and Shiloh Food Bank at the Denton Wesley Foundation. You are also invited to serve at the Shiloh Food Bank, reaching 200 students every other Friday from 1-3 pm. Contact Sue Herring 214-277-9548 or sue1944@verizon.net to volunteer.

Be the Gift by Carla Hilburn

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A couple of years ago, God put a dream in my heart for a day of service called Be the Gift. I wanted a way to put into action the messages we give our students every Christmas “It’s better to give than to receive,” and “Christmas is about being generous and sharing with others.” It was important to me that our students know how to LIVE OUT their faith and to see that they can make a big difference in their communities as middle school and high school students. 

Last year, we kicked off Be the Gift with about twelve kids and three service projects; it was amazing. We knew this year would be bigger than last year, but y’all, we were blown away when 40 kids signed up to serve! 

God’s hand has been at work all throughout the planning process. One of our youth’s family who owns a bus (AND decorates it for Christmas!) volunteered to help cart around all these kids. A divine meeting with UP Ministry volunteers resulted in finding a perfect project for our students to shop for UP Angel kids. We thought we ordered too many t-shirts but ended up having JUST the right number. In other words... we have been saying “God is Good!” the whole way through. We knew the day was going to be special, and it was! 

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We kicked of the day at our church, where our students hosted a walk-through play of the nativity story, so that young kids and their families were able to see the story of Jesus’ birth come to life. It was amazing to watch the little ones look up to our “big kids” and to see them understand the story of our Savior’s birth in a new way. 

Then, each student received $5.00 to spend at 5 Below and was able to pick out gifts for kids in need. It was neat to watch our students picking out things that they thought other kids might like to receive for Christmas. They were so thoughtful in their selections! 

Later, we visited an elderly couple who have lived in Argyle for over 40 years. They’re limited in mobility, so we helped them clean up their yard to make it safer for them to be outside. Our students worked so hard and got a ton done. In the end, the couple came out to thank the kids and pray for our group. Then, one of our 6th-grade students, Jenna, jumped up and prayed over them. Such a blessing! 

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Last, but certainly not least, we blessed our friends at Mayberry Gardens by spreading some Christmas cheer, caroling with them. We brought small treats for each resident and each one of them expressed how much it meant just to have the students there. Many students recognized their “friends” from our visit in the fall. It was sweet to see not only our students recognize the residents, but also the residents light up to recognize our students. 

At the end of the day, almost every student asked when we could go back to serve the couple and Mayberry Gardens. Our students are hard workers with HUGE hearts for God and others. They spread all sorts of joy, hope, love, and peace throughout the day and were a huge blessing to our community, which is what this season of Advent is all about. Their hearts to serve and love others is incredible and God is using them to be the gift in this community!

My Time at Mayberry Gardens by Kimberly Giese

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I loved spending time at Mayberry Gardens nursing home and having fun with Ms. Betty Elizabeth. As soon as we chose our new friends, she was welcoming. From there, we talked about our love of bingo. We laughed and shared our thoughts about our unlucky (bingo) card. By the third round I had learned about her life, siblings, and thoughts on the world. 

Once we shouted “WE WON!” for bingo, she gave me her headband, which was her prize for winning, and we even got some more (another head band). We took some photos of us as twinsies. At the very end of the day when we were leaving she asked me if I was coming back next year and said she that she is going to teach me how to crochet. I told her I will for sure be back, and prepared for a crochet lesson. Mayberry Gardens and Ms. Betty Elizabeth strengthen my faith in Christ and my eyes on the world. 

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All students are invited to participate in the incredible work that God is stirring in the hearts of our youth. You can find opportunities to engage with our Argyle Youth at argyleyouth.org or on Facebook at facebook.com/argyleyouth1.

Run for Your Sons

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Run for Your Sons is a community event to help raise awareness for Duchenne and funds to help find a cure. We have two boys in the Argyle community who have Duchenne’s disease, which is crazy because the disease is pretty rare! Corbin Fanning, who is in 8th grade and part of our AY family, is one of those boys; the other is Michael Hope. 

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This year, we put together a team of 18 students and parents who ran either 1 mile or a 5k for this awesome cause. I asked several of our students why the signed up to participate in Run for Your Sons, and many of them said “to support Corbin Fanning.” 

One of our students, Ann Shannon, said that she “likes running and wanted to help find a cure for Duchenne.” Ann also agreed with me that it was really cool to be out in the community together, as a youth group, supporting one of our own. 

I asked another one of our students, Parker, what that day meant for us as a youth group. He said, “It meant that we stuck together and that we can do anything. It was awesome to be out here together and cheering each other on.”

Our goal in participating in Run for Your Sons was to support Corbin and let him know how much his AY family loves him, and I think we did just that. It was amazing to see so many students and their parents join together to support Corbin and our community.

All students are invited to participate in the incredible work that God is stirring in the hearts of our youth. You can find opportunities to engage with our Argyle Youth at  argyleyouth.org or on Facebook at facebook.com/argyleyouth1.

Putting Christ First

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This August, our Middle Schoolers made their annual trip to Goodland Academy in Hugo, OK where they served by getting the grounds ready for the new school year. Goodland Academy has been helping students achieve success since 1848, and their goal is to educate students to read, write, and to think critically and biblically in a community environment. 

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Our youth worked on the playground and facilities, as well as on other projects—and had a blast while doing it! One of our 7th grade students, Kamden Roberts, had a great time “playing basketball with [his] friends and laughing at Carla’s jokes” and an even greater time meeting our guest worship leader, Wes Pickering, and bringing that music home to his family. He also “learned something new each day” during small group time connecting with all of his peers. When we asked Kamden to tell us why this mission trip was important to him, he said “the main reason why this experience was so special to me was because I rededicated my life to Christ. I want to put Christ first in my life and it makes me happy to say that and to try my best to live like Christ.” 

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It is so encouraging to see our young people excited about God’s work in their lives and in our world! Our Argyle Youth are looking forward to more opportunities to live into our mission to transform the world one life at a time, and as Kamden said, “Goodland Academy was awesome and I can’t wait to go back next year.” 

All students are invited to participate in the incredible work that God is stirring in the hearts of our youth. You can find opportunities to engage with our Argyle Youth atargyleyouth.org or on Facebook at facebook.com/argyleyouth1.

Work that Makes a Difference

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Our High Schoolers sought out God’s call to serve by journeying to Lumberton, NC this summer and serving on a Hurricane Matthew relief team. 

The flooding from Hurricane Matthew left thousands homeless and our Argyle Youth worked hard to repair three homes to the point where families could move back in. 

One of our students, Michael Rigsby, felt really impacted by the work they were able to do there—work that really “made a difference for people.” Michael said that this mission trip really “got [him] out of his comfort zone” and gave him “an opportunity to serve in a place where [they] were really needed.” 

Our Argyle Youth were able to grow, serve, and bond together as they made a tangible impact for families in need. When we asked Michael what he would share with anyone seeking God’s call, he said “for me personally, through service, you can really show the message of God,” and our Youth are looking forward to continuing to share God’s love through service as they enter a new school year. 

All students are invited to participate in the incredible work that God is stirring in the hearts of our youth. You can find opportunities to engage with our Argyle Youth at
argyleyouth.org or on Facebook at
facebook.com/argyleyouth1.

Worship Without Walls 2017

A big thank you to everyone who joined us for Worship Without Walls 2017! Here are some of the ways God moved in you to transform our community, one ife at a time:

  • 383 Servants Participated
  • 1,996 total Volunteer Hours for the WOW Weekend
  • 14 Opportunities to Serve
  • 21,384 Meals Packed for Rise Against Hunger
  • 20 Kits and 150 Bags for Pads for Purpose
  • 48 Memory Books for Children at Team UP Camp
  • 63 lives saved with Blood Donations 
  • 43 First-time Servants
  • 5 new families jumped in to serve and worship

It was an amazing weekend and we loved seeing God at work in you and in our community!

Our Senior Mission Trip to Guatemala

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This spring break I had the opportunity to go on my senior mission trip to Guatemala. Before I go any farther, I want to say that this was, by far, my favorite mission trip yet. This group consisted of six seniors—Ethan Williams, Brayden Ratcliff, Molly Sheridan, Allison McNeill, Jordan Allen, and myself (Brett Byer)—alongside five adults—Chris Schoolcraft, Carla Hilburn, Drew Tucker, Julie Sheridan, and Kelly Allen. We worked with Mission Guatemala, a Methodist-based nonprofit, to help serve the community of San Andrés.

Our first full day there, we went to the market in Chichicastenango. We were able to shop and buy souvenirs, but more importantly, we were able to see first-hand the culture that we were about to be serving. While at the market, we got to tour the city. We went to the Church of Santo Tomas, where we saw both a catholic priest and a Mayan priest worshiping next to each other at the same time. It was a beautiful moment. They both showed respect for the other and they both loved each other.

On our first workday, before any work was done, we attended the ground-breaking ceremony for the new teachers’ office facility we were going to be working on all week. They had us as their guests of honor, and to be honest, it was a little strange. All we were going to do was come and sweat a little and then leave for another team to take over. But they didn’t see it that way. We were the first group that was going to work on this new facility. This was something that they had been wanting for a long time, and for it to finally be happening, they were so happy. After the ceremony, we began working. It was at that point when we realized just how hard the week was going to be. This was far from our normal “light construction and painting” that we are used to. This was busting up rocks and digging trenches. But over the course of the week, we began to bond with the workers that we worked with. They invited us to join them in their mid-day tradition of drinking Coke and eating bread. I’m not a big coke drinker, but that bread was so good. With the little Spanish that we knew, we tried to communicate with them. And it worked pretty well. I had a 10-minute conversation one day with one of the workers, in Spanish, about…sports. I don’t think my Spanish was great, but I was able to get my point across and have a meaningful conversation. Another day, just after lunch and just before we went back to work, we were playing a card game. I asked one of the workers if he wanted to play. He said yes. So I sat out that round and taught him the game and helped him, but I’m going to be honest, he didn’t need the help. He ended up winning the game. It was the moments like these that I’m going to remember for the rest of my life. Even though I don’t speak a lot of Spanish, I was able to communicate, and for those times when I couldn’t, we had fun and played games.

Back at the Mission Guatemala hotel, another team was staying there. They were from Columbus, Ohio. We ate breakfast and dinner at the hotel with them, but we segregated to our own tables. After about 2 days of doing that, I had the idea of mixing with them to get to know them and bond with them. So one morning at breakfast, we just sat all over the place, and when they walked in, they did not hesitate to go and fill in the gaps. They were excited to get to know us. This continued throughout the rest of the week. We were able to bond and form great relationships with them just by changing how we ate. Julie and Molly went on morning runs throughout the week, and they even got Molly—from the Columbus group—to go run with them. It was really amazing to see how God was growing our relationship with them.

Every night, we would have worship and devo. This was definitely my favorite part of the day. We sat in the living room of the girls apartment and just worshiped. Everyone, singing at the top of their lungs and just truly worshiping God. Every night. We felt the Holy Spirit at work in that space, filing us with so many emotions. We had great devotions. There wasn’t a night that we didn’t have to break out the toilet paper to be used as tissues. That space was full of so much love, not just for God, but for each other. That’s what I’m going to miss the most.

One night, we got to witness a Mayan ritual and see how they worship. We got to join in and worship our own God while also performing the Mayan ritual of burning candles. This was followed by dance. I’m not big on dancing, but it was really fun to just skip around in a circle.

This was an amazing mission trip. We got to be apart, a small part, but an important part of something so great. We formed bonds that we never could have imagined would have been formed. We saw God move in great and mighty ways. We got to see a different culture and see how they worship. We got to drink some amazing coffee. And we got to be the hands and feet of God in San Andrés, Guatemala.