May 6, 2020
The Weekly Wind
News and Updates from Polk City United Methodist Church
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Even though Iowa's governor made an announcement last week that houses of worship can begin to reopen in some parts of the state, Polk City United Methodist Church will refrain from any in-person gatherings, including worship, until at least June 1st when we can reassess the situation in Iowa.

The number of positive cases in our state, and in Polk County, continue to rise, and we have still not reached the anticipated peak in the number of positive cases in our area. Therefore, out of an abundance of caution, and in compliance with a request from the Bishop of the Iowa Annual Conference of the United Methodist Church, our doors will remain closed at this time.

Our church's Leaders Council met this week and appointed a task force to review recommendations from the CDC and from the Iowa Conference of the UMC about best practices for reopening. You can view each of these below.

Meanwhile, we are enacting a plan for a thorough cleaning of the building, as well as a new plan for weekly cleanings based on recommendations from the CDC and OSHA.

Please hear these words of caution from your pastor: I know that we are growing weary of staying isolated. We look around and see where restrictions are being lifted in some parts of our state, and some parts of our country. We will even see some congregations resuming in-person worship soon. HOWEVER, if we were to compare this global pandemic to other natural disasters we have experienced here in Iowa, such as flooding - we are still in the "active flooding" stage. The number of confirmed cases, the number of hospitalizations, and unfortunately, the number of deaths in Iowa, and in Polk County, are still increasing.

We are still in the pandemic stage of widespread transmission.

Until we see a consistent 2 to 4 week downward trajectory in all three of these categories, the CDC advises staying at home except for essential trips to buy groceries, pick up prescriptions, and obtain medical care. If you are experiencing any symptoms of illness, please call your doctor. If you do go out for an essential shopping trip, or even for recreation, please wear a mask and practice social distancing. As the weather warms up, do get outside, but please, please , don't be lulled into thinking that we are out of danger. Stay vigilant and stay safe.

As 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, 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 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:

Share your good news with us!
  • Where have you seen God at work during this time of pandemic?

  • Where have you experienced faith that has gotten you through times of doubt or fear?

  • Where have you witnessed acts of love and kindness in your family, through your work, or in the community?
We want to share #SomeGoodNews each week as part of our online worship!

So send your stories, your photos & your videos to Pastor Melody:

Those submitted by Thursday each week will be shared the following Sunday.
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
May 10th: Celebrating Moms and Those Who Mother Us
We're putting together a special video to honor our mothers this year (those who are our birth mothers, our spiritual mothers, or who mothered us in any way).

We'd love for you to send us your photos so that we can celebrate these special people in worship that day!

Everyone : send us a photo of you with the one who mothered you

Moms : send us a photo of you with your kids

To have your photos included in the video, email them to no later than Thursday, May 7!
Make a donation to our church in honor/memory of someone who's made a difference to you. Then, post on social media!
United Methodists everywhere are being asked to celebrate a mother, grandmother or mother figure by donating to a local church, posting about it on social media and encouraging others to do the same!

Let’s participate as a congregation. Offer a gift in honor or memory of a special mother figure in your life. Donations of any amount are extremely helpful to our ongoing ministries.

Then, post on social media! Share about your mom, why she is special and how others can join you in this celebration by making their own donation. Be sure to include #IGiveUMC in your post, as well as details about how to give to our church.

Together, we can support our church’s mission and bring positivity to social media by celebrating how we’ve experienced God’s love through our mothers.
Give online: (choose "general operating" fund)
Give on your mobile device: get the GivePlus app on Google Play or the Apple Store
Mail a check: Polk City UMC, 1421 W. Broadway St, Polk City, IA 50226
(Attn: Finance Secretary)
Get inspired by viewing a sample video below, or by searching #IGiveUMC on Facebook or Instagram! If you want to create a video like the one shown here, you can even download a “paper messages” template .
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 ( ).
YOUTH MISSION TRIP: As the COVID-19 situation has unfolded, we have unfortunately come to face the fact that t he mission trip to Wisconsin this summer will not take place .

All funds will be put toward next year's trip. Additionally, class of 2020 seniors will be invited to attend next year's trip as participants.

We're exploring some small group mission opportunities in our own community this summer, so watch for future announcements about those!
Announcing the birth of Bridget Eleanor Wilken
We are happy to introduce you to Bridget Eleanor Wilken, daughter of our Director of Youth & Children's Ministry, Lauren Wilken, and her husband Phil!

Bridget was born by emergency c-section at 6:21am on Monday, May 4th (5 weeks early!) , weighing in at 4lbs 11oz. So far, mom & baby are doing well.

While Lauren is on maternity leave, Anne Marie Webb, our Intern for Youth & Children's Ministry, will be filling in. You can contact her at .
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!
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 last week's Children's Corner resources for Luke 24:13-35, Jesus Appears to Disciples on the Road to Emmaus .
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"
Pancakes for a Purpose - sponsored by the Polk City Fire Department
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
With the Pandemic still hanging over our nation, Des Moines Area Religious Council (DMARC) Food Pantry Warehouse continues to see an ever increasing need in all of its areas. They are having to order a much higher percentage of food direct from wholesalers now that they are receiving less from other sources and cannot receive in-kind donations from the public. The Stamp Out Hunger Letter Carriers Food Drive (in May) was canceled, due to public health concerns, which will wipe out a month long food supply for the pantry network. The cost of food is going up. For example, they recently purchased rice at a 25 cent increase per package, which added up to $560. more per pallet!

DMARC is now offering a pantry food delivery for those who do not have access to getting food. It is 9am to 12am Monday through Friday. Please call 1-833-362-720.

HOW TO CONTINUE TO HELP- Matt Unger (DMARC CEO) said before, #1 stay at home, share posts about assisting DMARC and please keep the monetary donations (the number one donation they prefer) coming in.

If you wish to help, please write a check out to Polk City United Methodist Church and in the memo put "DMARC food pantry" and mail to Polk City United Methodist Church, 1421 West Broadway, Polk City, Iowa 50266. If you would rather use the church's electronic giving site, it is
Our money totals are looking wonderful! April's total was $1,370. The year to date money number is $3,025. Food items year to date are 21.

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.
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 the week of May 11-15.

Some Good News - Stories of Resurrection and Hope
View Previous Worship:
Easter Series April 19 - May 31
With the COVID-19 pandemic shutting down schools, restaurants and "non-essential" businesses, forcing us all to stay home, no less causing tremendous illness, suffering, fear and even death, we could all use some good news!

Join us for an online worship series about the stories of Jesus' resurrection appearances, as well as stories from around our community where we are seeing Jesus show up amid this time of crises!

Sundays at 10:30 a.m. on Facebook Live:

Be sure to visit our online worship page to download a bulletin, request prayers, make your offering, and find links for children's Sunday School videos & printable activities:
Contact Us
Christine Perry
Administrative Assistant
Lauren Wilken
Director of Children/Youth Ministry
Melody Webb
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