Submitted by Nancy Monthei, Office Administrator of Des Moines New Hope United Methodist Church
New Hope UMC in Des Moines didn’t let the pandemic slow down its outreach to the community or connection with its congregation.
The church continued to monetarily support the Urbandale Food Pantry and the Johnston Partnership in its community. New Hope also provides a monthly meal for Central Iowa Shelter and Services. Meal volunteers are more creative with the meal preparations and taken new precautions due to the pandemic.
Pastor Lilian Gallo-Seagren has posted daily inspiring messages and weekly sermons to the church's Facebook page
as well as through email.
“On behalf of the Staff Pastor Parish Relations Committee and all of us who are affiliated with New Hope UMC, we would like to extend our sincere appreciation to Pastor Lilian," said Staff Parish Relations Committee Chair Linda Yaske. "She has used her gifts of kindness, ingenuity, flexibility, and integrity to help all of us stay connected to our Lord, our faith, and each other, as our worship experiences have required some major adjustments."
In addition, Pastor Gallo-Seagren has conducted parking lot worship services on Sundays where attendees can listen to the service on the radio in the safety and comfort of their car.
New Hope's Jr. High and Sr. High Youth Groups have been doing weekly Zoom meetings with their youth leaders to stay connected. The younger children have been doing weekly Zoom meetings with the Children’s Ministry Coordinator and Pastor Lilian. The children are learning to memorize Psalm 23, learning new songs, and having fun showing off their talents.
"All of us have been encouraged, felt connected even though physically distant, and experienced the love of Jesus Christ through the efforts and witness of Pastor Lilian," said Yaske.