So in Christ Jesus you are all children of God through faith, for all of you who were baptized
into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ. There is neither Jew nor Gentile, neither slave nor
free, nor is there male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus.
– Galatians 3:26-28
Flame of Faith United Methodist Church was born a little over 40 years ago when a small group of United Methodists began meeting in West Fargo, North Dakota. Throughout those years, the church and its congregation have faced many ups and downs, but have always been dedicated to speaking Christ’s name and seeks to live out that calling.
In addition to active ministries for children, youth, and adults, Flame of Faith UMC is also very involved in various community outreach programs. A huge focus of their ministry has been on making church friendly and accessible for all people, including neurodiverse and neurotypical people. Neurodiversity is the concept that people think, learn, process, experience, and interact with the world around them in unique ways that are outside the “norm”. Soe ways that Flame of Faith UMC has adapted to make church more welcoming to neurodiverse and neurotypical people are by introducing busy bags, providing sensory aids, making a see-and-do guide available to use during the service, and creating a calming area for people who need to escape from the busy environment. Pastor Sara McManus has also started incorporating different visuals and learning styles during her sermons.
With so many things happening at the church, the need for accessibility and safety is essential. The gravel parking lot at Flame of Faith UMC has been a struggle for many years. The soft soil and subsoil shifting have left the gravel uneven, with dangerous angles in the winter and mud-soaked low spots in the spring. In order to fix the parking lot, the church leadership has a two-step plan. The plan is to dig out and re-fill the gravel parking lot with proper drainage and then increase the amount of paved parking spaces to make the parking lot more accessible and usable for everyone.
A parking lot is not seen as an exciting part of ministry, but it offers the first impression for everyone entering the building. If the parking lot is uneven and dangerous, it limits accessibility for all to feel welcome at the church. Local families also use to church parking lot to access a nearby park, which provides an opportunity for Flame of Faith UMC to develop relationships with those families and individuals. The congregation has been very supportive of this project and has raised nearly half of the $400,000 needed for both parts of the project.
Flame of Faith UMC is dedicated to sharing God’s love and welcoming all people into God’s family. “With a safe and accessible parking lot, we can truly be a place where loving our neighbor is as much a part of our architecture as it is our words,” says Pastor Sara.
We are grateful for your continued support of the Builders Club and aske that you prayerfully consider a gift of $25 or more to support Flame of Faith UMC. The gifts for this call will be received until June 30, 2023. Send your gift to Builders Club, PO Box 460, Mitchell, SD 57301 or donate online.
Thank you to all the Builders Club partners for sharing in the call for the Grace United Methodist Church in Piedmont, SD. We are very grateful for the generous response that will enable us to better connect with our community and to invite people to come and experience the love of Jesus Christ. We hope that by using the LED sign, we can draw people in so that they can come to know the life-changing power of our Lord and Savior.
Your wonderful gifts will bring us closer to completing our sign project. The church has raised almost $12,000 dollars to date. Along with the $7,600 that we have been granted from the Builders Club, we are now close to the needed $21,000.
Again, thank you so much for your generosity!! It is a great example of the awesome connectional system at work in and among us. God’s blessings to you, your churches, and your ministries.
Grace and peace to you!!
Pastor John Britt
Grace UMC, Piedmont, SD