Mission Trip attendees

On a Mission to Serve Others

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By Jeff Pellin*

The youth group from Western Reserve United Methodist Church (Mahoning Valley District) spent the last week of July serving in mission with the people of Madison, West Virginia.

“It’s amazing to see young people give up a week of their summer to help me,” one resident said.

The youth were placed in work teams to complete projects that involved everything from painting and cleaning to building wheelchair ramps.  They also built porches and put new roofs on the homes of people in need in the former coal town in the southwest part of the state.

“I can’t put into words how thankful I am for all the work they are doing,” another resident said after having watched the dedication of the youth during the week.

But it wasn’t just the residents who were impacted by this week of service to, and with, others.

Youth group member Ricky Sammartino said, “I can’t believe I’m seeing the conditions of poverty I’m seeing here.”

“These people really need the help,” Jordan Pellin, another of the youth on the trip, said.  “It is just so different and makes you thankful and feel good about what you are doing for them.”

It was really an awesome week of service for all who attended.

*Jeff Pellin is director of Education/Youth Ministry at Western Reserve UMC in Canfield.


The Little Prince may be the best animated feature in 2016

I am well aware that most of my readers do not subscribe to streaming services for movies, but perhaps you ought to consider making the move in the near future; I estimate that only about 10% of the films currently being produced will make their way to the multiplex screens.  If you are at all interested in anything beyond big budget spectacles, comic book franchises, and frat boy comedies, you need to upgrade your home Wi-Fi and begin streaming movies at home.

Case in point: The Little Prince.

This lovely film may be the best animated feature in 2016. It won the César Award (France’s Academy Award) for Best Animated Film and earned over $100 million internationally. It features an all-star voice cast including Jeff Bridges, Rachel McAdams and Paul Rudd. Paramount Pictures purchased distribution rights after the movie was screened at the Cannes Film Festival but then decided to do nothing. Netflix came to the rescue, so there you have it. If you want to see The Little Prince you need to have Netflix.

Find out why East Ohio’s movie reviewer, Rev. Bruce Batchelor-Glader, awarded five halos to this animated film.