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Congregations make a difference

September 15, 2011
By the Rev. Alicia Randolph Rapking, Parish House Director , The Inter-Mountain

This past weekend, those of us old enough to remember have been thinking about where we were and what we were doing on Sept. 11, 2001. I remember that I was home that morning preparing for a Bible study. It was quiet; neither the TV nor radio was on. At 11:30 a.m., I went to the church for a meeting. Immediately, as I walked in the door, there was an atmosphere of sadness. It was at that moment that I discovered the attack. As soon as the meeting was over, I hurried home and spent the rest of the afternoon and evening as everyone else did - watching the news for as much information as possible.

Like everyone else, it seems it took weeks to feel like anything was normal after that day. I grieved; I mourned. I continued to watch the news over and over. I fell into a slump. One day I woke up and thought that what I needed to pull myself out that slump was to spend more time helping others. So I made a conscious effort to do so, and after a while I began to realize that my concerted effort of being present and helpful to others was healing my grieving spirit.

As we have approached this 10th anniversary of Sept. 11, 2001, many groups have been suggesting that we remember that day by making a difference in the lives of others. I think that is a wonderful way to remember such a day, one that brought so much pain and death and destruction - to continue to bring something good out of something so horrible. I think God would approve of that as well.

I know that as you are reading this, Sept. 11 has already passed, but our lives stretch out before us, and making a difference is a lifelong occupation. What can we do to make a difference? There are so many things that we can do, but I want to highlight an upcoming event in our community that will make a difference for people all over the world and in our own community. That event is the CROP Hunger Walk, which will take place Oct. 2 beginning at 2 p.m. at Stockert Youth Center.

Church World Service was organized in 1946 in response to the situation in Europe after World War II. Several denominations came together to meet needs that one denomination alone could not. The mission: Feed the hungry, clothe the naked, heal the sick, comfort the aged, shelter the homeless.

That year a Friendship Train went through the Midwest picking up surplus corn, wheat, rice and beans which were later distributed to war refugees in Europe. In the 1950's and 1960's, Asia, Africa and Latin America were added to the list of places that were served by Church World Service. In 1969, the first CROP Walk occurred.

CROP Walk is the oldest charity walk in our country. The money that is raised through these walks is collected into a pool that goes to places throughout the world where the need is greatest. In addition to this pool of money, one fourth of the money raised stays in the local community. In Upshur County, that money is divided between Crosslines Inc. and the Salvation Army. This year will be the seventh CROP Hunger Walk in Upshur County. In the previous six years, we have raised a total of $29,433.53.

Another interesting fact about the CROP Hunger Walk is that 38 denominations, as well as interfaith communities, support these endeavors through Church World Service, the parent organization for CROP. Two thousands communities support 1,600 walks around the U.S. I encourage each of you to go to to discover more about CROP and other programs sponsored by Church World Service.

In the meantime, please plan to participate in the Upshur County Walk, which will be on Oct. 2. Registration will be at the gazebo at Stockert Youth Center beginning at 1 p.m.; the Walk begins at 2 p.m. After the walk, we will gather back at Stockert to celebrate. There will be entertainment, a bounce house, and of course, food to share. It will be fun.

We would like to get church groups, civic groups, school groups and individuals to walk - as many as possible. The walk raises not only money, but also awareness of hunger issues around the world.

Many people might feel that it would not be important to get involved because they might not be able to raise much money. Literally, every penny is important. Do you know that 54 cents can purchase six "plumpynut" packets? Each of these packets contains protein, carbohydrates, needed minerals and 500 calories that can bring a child back from the brink of starvation. That is incredible. So even as little as 54 cents can make a difference.

Recruiter packets are available at Stockert Youth Center and Upshur Parish House. Please plan now to get involved. Other information about our CROP Walk will be published in the coming weeks.

To God be the Glory!

On the parish calendar:

Full Flame study series, will be from 6:308 p.m., every Sunday at Chapel Hill United Methodist Church sanctuary. The event features a continuing series of eight films designed by world-renowned evangelist Reinhard Bonnke to empower participants to become witnesses. Come explore and be set on fire to share the gospel message of Jesus Christ. Find out more at

Habitat Dinner, will be from 47 p.m., Friday at First United Methodist Church. Costs are: Adults $10; younger than 12, free-will donation. Meal furnished by Jaws! BBQ. Proceeds benefit Habitat for Humanity.

Youth Rally will be at 6:30 p.m. Sunday at St. Matthew United Methodist Church, Weston. It will be a time of music, inspiration and fellowship lead by District Supt. Ken Ramsey.

"Celebration of Ministry," covered-dish dinner will be at 6 p.m. at Chapel Hill United Methodist Church.

Spaghetti Dinner, will be from 57 p.m. Sept. 23 at First United Methodist Church. The costs are: Adults, $7; younger than 12, $3; 2 and younger, free. Proceeds benefit Crosslines.

The Hunger of the Heart, will be from 48 p.m., Sept. 25 at First United Methodist Church. The event will include lecture-discussion on ways to make your relationship with God more satisfying. Break for dinner provided by Market Bistro. Cost is $10, and scholarships are available. Contact Linda Wellings at or the church office at 304-472-9494 for further information.

CROP Walk, will be on Oct. 2 at Stockert Youth Center. Registration starts at 1 p.m., walk at 2 p.m.

Undie Sunday, will be on Oct. 9. Acquire new underwear now to turn at church any Sunday in October. It will be distributed through the parish Clothes Closet and other conference mission projects..



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