May 13, 2020
The Weekly Wind
News and Updates from Polk City United Methodist Church
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This week, the church staff and I will be on spiritual renewal leave - taking three days to rest from our work in order to take care of our selves and recharge. You'll read below about a special worship service offered by the Iowa Conference of the UMC this week, led by Iowa native and retired Bishop Deborah Kiesey.

I hope all of you are taking your self-care and soul-care seriously during this difficult time - there are resources to help you with this further in this newsletter.

Last week, I shared two of the guidelines for faith communities that our church's task force and I are using to help guide us in making decisions about our shared life of faith during the time of this pandemic. (See below)

As we consider these guidelines, we'd also like to hear from you! We've created a short survey to find out what you think. So please take a minute or two to fill it out this week!

We anticipate needing more opportunities for connection and relationship building in this time that we are still not meeting in-person. To that end, we are launching Life Groups as a way for small groups of people to connect and get know each other. Be sure to check out the description of those below.

Meanwhile, as we continue to wait for a safe time to gather in-person, please remember that we are followers of Christ who have been taught the importance of servant-hood and loving our neighbors; we have the opportunity in these days to lead by example - to show our community how Love puts the safety of others above prosperity and personal preference . If wearing a mask and staying home are what we are told will do the most good for others at this time, then this is our call right now as Christians .

We all miss seeing each other, and we continue to pray for the day when we can safely gather in-person again. But for now, we stay home so that when we do gather again, no one is missing!


Pastor Melody

We have created a short survey to get your feedback about worship and other ministry opportunities during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Your feedback to the questions in this survey are important in helping us discern what ministries are essential to your faith during the COVID-19 pandemic, as well as our church's next steps for when and how we resume in-person gatherings of any size. All answers are anonymous.
We are continuing to provide online worship each Sunday morning at 10:30 AM.

DID YOU KNOW: you can worship LIVE with us on Facebook even if you don't have a Facebook account! All you need is a mobile phone or computer with internet access!

Simply go to this website in your browser at 10:30 AM on Sundays:

(We know that there was a technical issue this past Sunday; for some reason our video didn't go "live" - we'll do everything we can to avoid this problem in the future)

If you ever have a problem accessing worship on Facebook, or if you want to worship at another time, you can find a recording of our worship service by 5:00 PM on Sundays:

In case you missed it, here's the link to worship on May 10, 2020,
which includes a special video to honor those who mother us!
May 17th: Special Worship with Bishop Deborah Kiesey
Iowa Bishop Laurie Haller sent a message to all Iowa United Methodist Churches last week announcing a mandatory 3-day renewal leave for all clergy and staff, to be taken sometime between now and May 31st.

The purpose of this is to provide rest, renewal, and sabbath for all who have had to shift quickly to learn new skills and new ways of being the church amid a time of crisis and physical distancing; caring for our spirits is essential for all of us in these difficult times.

To make this possible for each congregation, the Iowa Conference of the UMC is providing a special worship service led by retired UMC Bishop Deborah Kiesey. Bishop Kiesey is an Iowa native who has lived and served in various places in our state, including Sioux City, Mason City, Washington, Mount Pleasant and Iowa City.

We will hold this special service on Sunday, May 17 so that Pastor Melody and the staff can take their renewal leave on May 13-15.

May 24th: Celebrating Our Graduating Seniors
On Sunday, May 24, we'll have a special moment in worship to celebrate all those who are graduating from high school and college this year! Please send us some photos of your graduating student for a worship video we'll be putting together.

To have your photos included in the video, email them to no later than Thursday, May21!
Launching Life Groups at Polk City UMC
We believe that God created us for relationship - relationship with God, and with each other! Simply stated, life is better together.

So at Polk City UMC, we're encouraging ALL ADULTS to join a Life Group - a smaller group of people with whom you can share the ups and downs of life.

Right now, these groups will function to help us all connect to a small group of spiritual friends, making sure that even as we are practicing social distancing, we are staying connected to community in a way that feeds our souls! Pastor Melody will supply groups with a "quickstart guide" to help us with a weekly check-in (either through phone, texting, zoom or whatever communication platform your group chooses) .

When it becomes safe to begin gathering in-person again, these groups will continue to serve as connection groups, with the addition of some occasional fun activities (chosen and planned by the group) .

To get connected, fill out the form below and choose your preference for a group type. (Group types include singles, couples, parents, women's groups, men's groups, young adults, middle-aged adults, second half of life adults, etc.)

If you're willing to be a leader for a group, let us know that in the form, as well.
Youth Group at Polk City UMC
WEEKLY YOUTH ZOOM: The youth group is meeting online every week through Zoom: Wednesdays, 6:30 - 7:10 PM!

Please encourage your youth to join in as we play games, catch up, and pray together. We send out and email each week with the link to join, and post it in our Facebook group as well.

Also, please feel free to email prayer concerns that the youth can pray about together on Wednesdays ( ).
Children's Ministry at Polk City UMC
DID YOU KNOW: We have a Children's Corner on our website each Sunday with videos, bible lessons and activity pages just for kids!

Go to each week to see the new resources!

One of our Sunday School teaching teams, Emily & Justin Young, with help from their assistant Parker, make a Sunday School video each week , just for our church! We add links to a Bible Lesson and a worship coloring and activity sheet, as well as a way to put what they've learned in action with a suggested family activity.

In case you missed them, here are the Children's Corner resources for John 21:1-14 , Jesus Appears to Disciples on the Beach
Cards, Letters and Other Acts of Connection and Kindness
Several weeks ago, we encouraged everyone to send a card, letter, drawing or photo through the mail, through a text or email, or through social media to connect with those who are lonely, and to show encouragment and appreciation for those working to keep us safe and at home.

We think it's time for Round Two!

The Polk City Nursing and Rehab Center is requesting cards, letters and artwork for their residents.

Their address is:
Polk City Nursing & Rehab
1002 W. Washington Avenue
Polk City, IA 50226

Help brighten someone's day!
The month of May includes International Firefighter's Day, Teacher Appreciation Day and EMS Appreciation Week ! You might also want to thank your healthcare workers, grocery clerks, pharmacists,
mail carriers and other essential workers during this time!

Use the links below to download addresses and templates for writing a letter of thanks & encouragement.
NP Comet Cupboard Tiny Food Pantry
On Saturday, June 8th, the North Polk Comet Cupboard will offer another Bag of Food Distribution.
The following non-perishable food items are needed and can be dropped off at the church; look for the plastic bin outdoors.

  • Pancake mix
  • Pancake syrup
  • Pasta
  • Pasta sauce
  • Loaf of sliced bread
  • Peanut butter
  • Canned chicken
  • Canned tuna
  • Mac-n-cheese
  • Canned fruit/fruit cups
  • Canned vegetables
  • Brownie/cookie mix

We'll also be including eggs and baby carrots in each bag.

If you can help, we're filling each bag with $25 worth of groceries and a $10 milk card. Your donation of $35 can fill one bag, which will provide a week's worth of meals for a family of four! Our goal is to provide 100 bags of groceries for individuals/families in need!

For more information, or to volunteer, contact Dixie Bequeaith:
In the memo line of your check, or from the online giving menu, use "NP Comet Cupboard"
If you or someone you know would like to request a bag of food,
please fill out the request form below.
Pancakes for a Purpose - Polk City Firefighters Association
The Polk City Firefighters are hosting a Drive-Thru Pancake Breakfast fundraiser at the Fire Station on Saturday, May 16 from 7AM - 11AM (or until food runs out).

All proceeds will be donated to the NP Comet Cupboard to fund the food pantry and monthly bag of food distribution!
Updates from the DMARC Food Pantry

At the Des Moines Area Religious Council (DMARC) Food Pantry Warehouse, it its impacting clients who were already struggling with issues that were extremely difficult before. For clients who are newly impacted, this stresses an already overtaxed system. DMARC is fully committed to maintaining food distribution but taking extra care for the safety of themselves and clients. DMARC is limiting mass gatherings, such as distributing pre-packaged bags of food, call-in orders, curbside pick-up or pick-up by proxy and delivery.

Through all of this, DMARC assisted 18,729 people in March 2020, which is an 11.8% increase over March 2019. They served special programs such as JOPPA, Des Moines Catholic Worker, Senior Backpack Program, WesleyLife Senior Backpacks, SCAVO/Jesse Franklin Taylor/McCombs schools, EveryStep Meal Box and Adopt-a-Cause. Between March 16-27, DMARC with the Food Bank of Iowa, partnered with Des Moines Public Schools to provide food for students and families. The ages most impacted were 25-54 and, secondly, 0-17. 

We are helping by continuing to donate the number one donation they prefer-MONEY. Please consider writing a check out to Polk City United Methodist Church and in the memo put "DMARC food pantry" and mail it to Polk City United Methodist Church, 1421 West Broadway, Polk City, Iowa 50226. If you wish, you may use the Church's electronic site THANK YOU!!

I am in need of drivers whenever our church resumes in-person gatherings. If you are interested and would like to deliver food to DMARC (1435 Mulberry Street, Des Moines, Iowa) or Personal Pantry items to Bidwell Riverside (1203 Hartford Avenue, Des Moines, Iowa) please email me at the email address below.


Any questions? please contact, Linda Pennington  (DMARC Delegate)
In the midst of pandemic and economic slowdown, we are not alone.
God is with us.

Here are some resources to help you create and maintain spiritual wellness during these anxious times.
The Upper Room May/June Issue Available Free as Downloadable PDF

Since churches are unable to meet and gather safely in their buildings during the pandemic, The Upper Room is offering the May/June 2020 issue, both in English and Spanish, as a free downloadable PDF.
Pray with the Upper Room each morning on Facebook Live

The Upper Room is committed to praying with you during this season of uncertainty and isolation. They will be hosting Morning Prayer on Facebook Live daily at 11:00 AM Central Time.
Pandemic Prayer Practices for Children, Youth, and Families

If you are a parent with children or youth, try this list of simple prayer practices you can do as a family during these times of social distancing.

Seven Suggestions for Healing and Renewal in the Midst of Stress and Anxiety

God longs to heal us and renew us in these difficult times. Here are some suggested ways by which we can be fed by God at a deep level.
First quarter giving statements were sent out last week, which reflect your giving through March 31, 2020. If you have questions about these, please contact Rhonda George, Finance Secretary, at .

Year to date we have done a very good job managing expenses and our on-line giving has been a blessing to us all. Overall our giving is above our expenses by $722 through the first quarter. 

With that said, our budgeted giving is $6,765 below budget. We did anticipate this to be a possibility given that we are currently not meeting in person for worship. In anticipating this decrease in our general offering, the leadership team decided to temporarily stop paying apportionments to the denomination, which has contributed to our giving being above expenses right now. YTD we owe $7,621 in apportionments which is almost perfectly in line with our decrease in budgeted giving. 

So, please continue giving as your are able and the finance team will continue to manage expenses as we continue virtual worship from home.

Thank you!

Doug McKinstry, Chair of Finance
Contact Us
Christine Perry
Administrative Assistant
Lauren Wilken
Director of Children/Youth Ministry
Melody Webb
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