Fall 2016 Builder's Call

Fall 2016 Builder's Call

October 24, 2016

Project Vision— Growing with Grace: Growing Our Faith, Growing Our Vision, Growing Our Community.

Since 1871, the people of Grace United Methodist Church have been concerned with the promotion of God’s Kingdom. Not just in the local church and community but also in regards to the larger programs of the church and its institutions within the conference and abroad...This has been a glorious 145 years for Christ and His church in Marcus, “and it is our prayer that the coming years may be fruitful for His Kingdom!”

In 1996, after months of deliberation and prayer, we asked this question: What would a vision for a future of responsible ministry and evangelism in our church include?

We answered with:

  • Spirit-filled motivational sermons and leadership
  • Small groups and Bible Study
  • Relational evangelism through community outreach
  • Alternative style worship
  • Youth ministry through a youth center

The Congregation of Grace UMC embraced the following visions as the church’s mission:

  • Design and encourage Prayer Teams
  • Attract new families...furthering the love of Christ through our members and community
  • Provide small Bible Study groups including a strong Men’s group
  • Hold Movie nights for families
  • Include more variety in our worship style including a praise band
  • Build an after school children’s program encouraging a growing faith
  • Plan to grow the community of Christ with a Multi-purpose room
From 2010 to 2012, Grace UMC implemented the first six items on this list. In 2012, the vision for a multi-purpose room became the main priority.  At present we are completing this God-sized Assignment.

The final phase of the Sawyer Center project is the renovations needed to expand the kitchen to adequately support the missions of Grace UMC. This new layout will give us direct access to the Sawyer Center with a large serving counter allowing us the ability to serve meals to large groups of people for receptions, funeral dinners, and many other functions.  We will also be able to serve smaller groups using an existing serving counter that connects to our fellowship hall area. 

Since opening The Sawyer Center on March 20, 2016, we have hosted:

  • The Art of Marriage 2-day event with over 25 in attendance
  • Godspell performance involving over 30 community members in the cast. Over 500 attended the two performances
  • Wedding reception with 230 guests
  • Children’s Theater Workshop for 16 children with adult guidance. 70 attended their 3-act performance.
  • Funeral dinner with 130 served
  • Baby shower with 30 guests
  • Church Movie Night showing Woodlawn on our Big Screen to approximately 40 families
  • Ecumenical Youth Group of over 25 students meets weekly.  Youth from the communities of Marcus, Meriden, Cleghorn, Remsen, Cherokee, and LeMars 
  • During open hours seniors have used The Sawyer Center for walking, families for volleyball, youth for basketball practice
  • AWANA games and family night in May with 60 children and their parents attending
  • Blend A-Capella Community Concert with 120 in attendance

A few newly scheduled events:

  • Youth Rally for area church groups hoping for Pulse involvement
  • Higher Power Gospel Quartet in November
  • MMCRU School and Community Madrigal Dinner Theatre in December
  • IF: Gathering February 3 and 4, 2017
Our Family Life Center is named in memory of Sawyer Leavitt, a teenager who died too soon. One of Sawyer’s greatest gifts was the ability to make friends with people, regardless of age. He could sit down and have a conversation with an older adult or a young child just as easily as he could with one of his classmates. He could make anyone feel welcome and that is what we want to happen in this building. We want all who enter it to feel like they belong and to feel like they have a friend, not only in the other people here, but ultimately, and most importantly, in Jesus.

Builder's Call purpose:

United Methodist Builders have been an important part of developing churches all across the Iowa Annual Conference. They have helped new congregations buy land or build their first church facility. United Methodist Builders have provided funds to help established congregations update their facilities or build new additions.

The Spring and Fall Builder’s Calls are made for specific churches which are either building new facilities or making major renovations. Recipient churches make application through their district office. Applicants are prayerfully reviewed by the District Parish Development Committee (Chair), the District Committee on Church Building and Location, the District Superintendent, by the Annual Conference Parish Development Committee, the Conference Board of Global Ministries and finally approved by the Bishop and Appointive Cabinet. Where possible, one call each year is made on behalf of a recent new church start, and one for an established church building project with special consideration given to emergency situations. We are grateful for your continued support of the Builder’s Call.

Send your tax deductible checks to: United Methodist Builder’s, 2301 Rittenhouse Street, Des Moines, IA 50321

OR you may give through your local church offering, specifying Fall “Builder’s Call”.

For more information, go to

Having a building does not mean that ministry will occur.  It is through empowering people with the life saving message of Jesus Christ and seeing Him work through those who are changed from the inside out.