New Philadelphia First United Methodist Church (Tuscarawas District) celebrated Pentecost on May 20 by holding its annual Change the World Sunday. The day began with the normal three celebrations of worship combined into one 9:00 a.m. service. Rev. Jim Humphrey preached from James 2, putting faith into deeds and actions, and commissioned the congregation to go out into the world and put its faith into action.
Parishioners selected from more than 16 service projects. Some built a wheelchair ramp while others demolished the interior of a house for Habitat for Humanity. People also chose between tilling soil and planting a garden for an area group home; working with the County Board of Developmentally Disabled making gift mugs; and visiting elderly in area care centers.
One group went to the county juvenile attention center, interacted with the youth, and cooked a homemade pizza lunch. Another group filled out thank you notes and appreciation cards for area police officers, fire fighters, and military personnel, and wrote words of encouragement to inmates in the county jail.
Volunteers worked at the Dover-New Philly Area food bank. Youth potted flowers and delivered them throughout the community. Children pulled weeds and raked yards for the elderly. The area group home for girls assisted in grooming animals at the county humane society. All workers received a homemade lunch.
This is the sixth consecutive May that New Philadelphia First UMC has organized a Change the World Sunday.
“In 2017, well over 150 church and community volunteers completed over 20 projects,” Humphrey said. “We believe that the church is the body of Christ alive and at work in our world. On this day, we simply encourage intentional acts of serving others as an expression of our faith and God’s love.”