March 12, 2020
The Weekly

News & Updates

I want you to know that your pastor, staff and church leaders have been paying close attention to what is now a pandemic outbreak of the COVID-19 virus. While we know how important it is to share our life of faith within community, we have a responsibility to do everything in our power to protect those most vulnerable to serious health risks – persons over age 60 and persons of any age with underlying health conditions such as diabetes, heart disease, asthma or other lung conditions.

Therefore, following the guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control and the Iowa Department of Public Health, we are implementing the following measures, effective immediately:

Worship services will continue to be held as long as there are no reported cases in our community.

However, we cannot emphasize enough how important it is for you to stay home if you feel the least bit ill, especially if you or someone in your household has a fever. The CDC is also recommending that those who are over 60 or have underlying health complications avoid all social gatherings at this time.

If you are sick, in the high risk group, or otherwise do not feel comfortable attending worship in person, you can now worship & give online:
  • The 10:30 Modern Worship service will be livestreamed, beginning this Sunday, March 15, on our Facebook page: Simply go to the page at 10:30am on Sundays to worship with us online.
  • Make your offering by using the GivePlus+ app (go to your app store to download the app on your mobile device, then search “Polk City UMC”). Please remember that our church’s ability to meet its budget depends on all of us remaining faithful in our stewardship, even if we are not meeting in person.

If you choose to attend worship in person, you will notice the following:
  • Hand sanitizer will be provided at all entrances to the sanctuary.
  • Bulletins will be available for you to pick-up on your way into worship. Please either take your bulletin home or place in the recycle bin after worship – do not return them for others to use.
  • We will eliminate the Passing of the Peace during worship for the time-being. You are free to greet one another before and after worship, but please follow the CDC’s guidelines for practicing social distancing by refraining from handshakes and other person-to-person contact, and by keeping a 6-foot radius between yourself and others.
  • We will not pass the offering plate in worship: The offering plates will be located on pedestals at the front of the sanctuary so that you can place your offerings and connect cards there at the time of offering.
  • During this time, we will also refrain from offering coffee and cookies. You are always free to bring your own coffee and snacks into worship.
  • We will eliminate the children’s worship bags, books and toys in worship. Parents are encouraged to bring their own playthings to occupy children during worship. The children’s Pray-ground table will continue to be present in the children’s corner, and we will disinfect the area before each worship service.
  • Communion (scheduled for Sunday, March 29 and offered during Holy Week on Good Friday) will be changed to individual cups and wafers, distributed by the pastor only.
  • There will be no Children’s Sunday School this Sunday, March 15 and no youth group meetings on Wednesday, March 18 due to Spring Break. During this time we will evaluate the situation and make plans to either hold or cancel children & youth ministries as the situation warrants.

We understand that these unprecedented times may cause a lot of fear and anxiety. Remember that Jesus said, “’Peace I leave with you. My peace I give you. I give to you not as the world gives. Don’t be troubled or afraid.’” John 14:27

Let us all be in prayer for one another, for those who are sick, for those who care them, and for the vast number of doctors, nurses, researchers, and others working to treat, end and prevent this disease.

Pastor Melody

PRAYER FOR A PANDEMIC (author unknown):
May we who are merely inconvenienced remember those whose lives are at stake.
May we who have no risk factors remember those most vulnerable.
May we who have the luxury of working from home remember those who must choose between preserving their health or making their rent.
May we who have the flexibility to care for our children when their schools close remember those who have no options.
May we who have to cancel our trips remember those who have no safe place to go.
May we who are losing our margin money in the tumult of the economic market
remember those who have no margin at all.
May we who settle in for a quarantine at home remember those who have no home.
As fear grips our country, let us choose love.
During this time when we cannot physically wrap our arms around each other, let us yet find ways to be the loving embrace of God to our neighbors.

Lent Worship Series | March 1 - April 8
The events of Christ’s Passion, which take place during the last week of Jesus’ life, often don’t receive enough time in our worship and study. These stories are important to our faith journey and our identity as followers of Jesus. And yet we often move too quickly from Palm Sunday to Easter Sunday with little time to take in the dramatic story of that last week.

Join us for worship during the six weeks of Lent, as we intentionally put a “frame” around the scenes of Jesus’ last week, and also frame our own lives in a way that will help us see what really matters. How might taking a closer look at the ancient story open us to deeper conviction for who it calls us to be?
Each week during lent, we invite you to take photos, capturing artful “life moments” through the lens of your camera, and post them to our church Facebook page ( ) with the hashtags “ #lifeframe ” and “ #polkcityumc .” The Divine Artist offers us such poignant beauty each day in our own stories, in the stories around us, in the heartbreak and pain and joy and awe of a simple moment turned significant. We can’t wait to see how you frame the sacred moments in your life that you dare not miss!
Jesus’ final days were full of risk. Every move he made was filled with anticipation, danger, and the potential for great loss or great reward. Jesus risked his reputation when he entered Jerusalem in a victory parade. He risked his life when he dared to teach in the Temple. His followers risked everything when they left behind their homes, or anointed him with costly perfume. We take risks as we read and re-read these stories, finding new meanings and new challenges.

In the book  Entering the Passion of Jesus , author, professor, and biblical scholar Amy-Jill Levine explores the ethical and spiritual questions in the biblical texts surrounding the Passion story of Jesus. This Lenten study will challenge us to examine our consciences and find out how deepening our relationship with Jesus and the Bible can bring us into closer relationship with others and the world.

(NOTE: the book can be purchased from all major booksellers. Remember that if you are purchasing from Amazon, be sure to go to  and search for “Polk City United Methodist Church” as your charitable organization, or use this link: )

There are two different opportunities to participate in this Bible Study with others:
  • In-person Bible Study (Adult Sunday School): Sundays at 9:30am (Rooms 1 & 3), facilitated by Thomas Webb
  • Online Bible Study (Private Facebook Group): weekly online discussions on your own time, facilitated by Pastor Melody Webb (click HERE to join)
Christian author Sarah Bessey has compiled an excellent list of 40 Simple Practices for Lent – one practice for each day of lent. See the full list HERE .
  • Day Thirteen :: Donate 40 things to a charity or thrift shop.
  • Day Fourteen :: Educate yourself about whose land you are living on by visiting and learn something about the people. If there is a learning centre nearby, plan a visit.
  • Day Fifteen :: Bring your own bags to the grocery store and your own mug to the coffee shop or work.
  • Day Sixteen :: Read a poem. Mary Oliver’s Wild Geese is one of my favourites but there are many.
  • Day Seventeen :: Skip the Internet for a day and turn off notifications on your phone.
  • Day Eighteen :: Invite someone over to your home and cook them a simple weeknight meal. If they are also a believer or comfortable with the practice, pray for one another together at the table.
With Spring Break approaching, we know that children who live in households that are food insecure may experience hunger when school is not in session. So the UMW is encouraging donations of kid-friendly food to the church’s Comet Cupboard free tiny pantry. Consider items such as peanut butter, cereal, pasta and past sauce, and microwaveable ready-to-eat canned pastas and mac-n-cheese. These can be placed in the red barrel at the church entryway. Any questions? Contact Charlotte Loter: 515-240-8436 or
Sunday, March 15 th | 11:30am-12:15pm, Classroom 1
Adults and youth who wish to volunteer for children’s or youth activities must attend a church Child/Youth Safety policy training. A dozen volunteers have already been trained, and we are impressed with your commitment to safety and child protection. Go to this link to register and access all the volunteer training information under “resources.”
Easter Sunday is Easter Fun Day at Polk City UMC! The Easter Egg Hunt for children up to 5 th grade will take place from 9:45-10:15 on Sunday, April 12 th . There will also be refreshments and coffee in the Wing for the whole congregation to enjoy while they watch the festivities.  The following donations are needed :
  • individually wrapped candy that is small enough to fit in eggs, nut-free preferred (Skittles, Smarties, Andes mints, Twizzlers, bubble gum, Tootsie Rolls, Tootie Frooties, and Starbursts are some nut-free options)
  • stickers/temporary tattoos, perforated sheets or individual stickers
  • mini keychains, erasers, Slinkys, or other child-appropriate trinkets
Please drop items off in the designated bin in front of the sanctuary by Sunday, April 5 th . Thank you!
The Worship Planning Team invites you bring flowers for Easter Sunday services in honor or in memory of someone special! Help make our sanctuary beautiful with color to reflect the joy and beauty of resurrection. We ask that you bring any colorful flowers or plants of your choosing (with the exception of live Easter lilies or hyacinths, due to allergies) and deliver them to the conference the week before Easter.
If you plan to honor or remember someone with a plant or flowers, please let us know by Monday, April 6 th by signing the Connect Card in worship, or emailing the office at with the following information: 1-Donator’s name(s); 2-Given in honor / in memory (please specify) of “name(s)”.
Tuesdays, 5:30-6:30pm | April 7th - May 26 th , Wing in the Woods

Description: A Christ-centered community yoga class. This is a grace-filled, vinyasa flow inspired class that will help you to unite your body, breath and spirit through movement and contemplation. This class is adaptable for beginners (giving modifications where necessary) as well as those desiring a more intermediate/advanced practice. The flow will move participants on and off the floor throughout the class. All are welcome. (Instructor: Brandy Young )

What to bring: Yoga mat and water bottle – most people prefer to practice yoga in bare feet, but please wear whatever makes you most comfortable. Props are optional: yoga blocks and straps.

Cost: $64 for the session (8 classes for $8/each) or $10 drop-in (bring cash or check payable to Brandy Young LLC) – due at first class.

Sunday, April 5 th | 9:30 & 11:30am, Wing in the Woods
The last mission trip fundraising event of the school year is a breakfast extravaganza! Please bring the family before or after church (after the 8:30/before 10:30 and after 10:30) to enjoy coffee and delicious brunch inspired dishes. Plus, the youth will be there dressed as their favorite super heroes, so you don’t want to miss it! All proceeds benefit the youth mission trip.
Sunday, April 19 | 11:30am
New to Polk City UMC? Interested in learning more about our church, about membership, or how to get connected? Bring your questions and your appetite for a casual lunch with Pastor Melody in the Wing in the Woods (Fellowship Hall). Children welcome! RSVP here :
All forms that have been received by paper or digital copy since the beginning of the school year have now been entered into our database to enhance emergency preparedness and child safety. However, we have found that some information is incomplete, so if you know you didn’t have insurance information or emergency contact phone numbers on hand when you completed the form, please fill out the digital form to ensure the most accurate information is on file for your child.
Sunday, March 15 – Child/Youth Safety Training (11:30am, Classroom1)
Monday, March 16 – SPRC (6:00pm, Conference Room)
Monday, March 23 – Leader’s Council (7:00pm, Wing in the Woods)
  • Sunday School for all ages – Sundays (9:30am, Education Wing)
  • W.O.W (Youth Fellowship for 3rd-5th Grades) – Wednesdays (7:00pm, Education Wing)
  • Youth Group for (6th-12th Grades) – Wednesdays (6:45pm, Sanctuary or Wing)
  • Praise Band – Thursdays (7:00pm, Sanctuary) 
  • A.A. (Alcoholics Anonymous) – Thursdays (7:30pm, Wing in the Woods)
  • St. Luke's Free Clinic – 1st & 3rd Wednesdays (6:00 to 8:00pm, Education Wing)
  • Men's Breakfast – 1st Saturdays (8:00am – Wing in the Woods)
  • UMW (United Methodist Women) – 2nd Tuesdays (7pm – Conference Room)
  • Boy Scouts – Sundays (5:30pm –Wing in the Woods)
  • Girl Scouts – 1st and 3rd Tuesdays (6:15pm – Wing in the Woods)
  • Tiger Cubs – Tues/Thur evenings (Wing in the Woods)
  • Webelo’s I – 1st & 3rd Sundays (5:30pm – Education Wing)
  • Wolves – various Tuesdays (Education Wing)
Church Office: 515-984-6274
Christine Perry , Administrative Assistant
Lauren Wilken, Director of Children's and Youth Ministry
Melody Webb, Pastor

In case of an emergency – Pastor Melody is always on call in situations of unexpected hospitalizations, immediate family deaths or spiritual crises. Please call 314-630-0768 in such an event.
What can a quarter do? 
Think about the Family Fund
Each quarter placed in the offering plate is added to the Family Fund account at the church. Pastor uses this fund for individuals who have an immediate financial need.Every quarter makes a difference to someone. 
Finance & eGiving
If you have any inquires about contributions please direct them to the finance committee email at:

Want to give electronically? We have an app for that! You can download the GivePlus App on your mobile devices – just go to your App Store to download the app, then search “Polk City UMC.” You can designate one-time or recurring gifts!
Sign Up for Ministry Newsletters
Want to receive the Prayerful Breeze , Youth Ministry updates, or updates from the United Methodist Women or Men's Group ? CLICK HERE
   Prayer Requests for the Prayerful Breeze:
Please email Dixie Bequeaith at
Get something on the church calendar, bulletin or the Wind:  Send all information, including the name, date, time, and place and details of the event to .

Please have submissions for the Wind sent in by noon on Monday and for the bulletin by noon on Wednesday.  Thank you!
Follow us on North Polk Comet Cupboard facebook page to see info about our tiny free food pantry!

Sunday Worship

8:30 am Classic Worship
9:30 am Sunday School (Sept - May)
10:30 am Contemporary Worship