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Bishop Julius Calvin Trimble met with Confirmation classes from several United Methodist congregations during a February 17 visit to the Southeast District of the Annual Conference. “It was a good afternoon,” according to the Rev. Doug Harding, Pastor of the Keosauqua, Jolley, Center Chapel and Milton Grace United Methodist Churches.
“The members of the Confirmation classes were a little quiet at first,” Rev Harding observed. “They didn’t quite know what to expect.” The group of eight, their parents, and the four clergy who support the group, “had an hour with the Bishop,” he added. “They were all around a table, with the Bishop at the head. The Bishop field some questions from then and they told him what they had been doing in their local churches.”
In addition to Rev. Harding, other clergy present were Rev. Ann Don’t – Selma, Douds Christ and Lebanon United Methodist Churches, Rev. Peggy Ellingson – Libertyville Faith, Stockport and Birmingham United Methodist Churches, and Pastor Goldie Laymon – Farmington and Bonaparte Yoke United Methodist Churches.
The Bishop heard about the Confirmands’ involvement with “Snacks in the Sack,” a variation of the backpack feeding program, noted Rev. Harding. “Some of these youngsters have been collecting funds for that program and others have been helping pack the sacks of food. They do that at the Douds Church because the elementary church is located nearby. Others have participated in the local CROP walk and they talked about that a little bit. In addition, they’ve all been assisting in worship services in their own local churches.”
Rev. Peggy Ellingson is the main Confirmation leader. “She put together the program,” Rev. Harding noted. “She organizes it and it’s held at the Keosauqua church because it’s centrally located.”
Bishop Trimble offered a blessing for each of the Confirmands as his visit drew to a close. “Each went up to him, in turn. He spoke to them individually for a couple of moments as he laid his hands on. It touched them all and it touched the adults who were witnessing that, too. It was a truly memorable experience! It gave our youngsters a wonderful, personal moment with the Bishop.”