Camp Opportunities

Here are two opportunities for youth to attend a fall retreat this fall at Pictured Rocks. Contact Ruth Farmer (643-7377) with questions or to sign up your child!

For 3rd-5th Grade students (Deadline to register is Monday, Oct. 2nd):

For 6th-8th Grade students (Deadline to register is Monday, October 23):



I am not the judge of you!

By Deborah Schoenfelder

“The rich and the poor have a common bond, The LORD is the maker of them all.” (Proverbs 22:2)

“For there is no partiality with God.” (Romans 2:11)

“There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free man,there is neither male nor female; for you are all one in Christ Jesus.” (Galatians 3:28)

“But the one who hates his brother is in the darkness and walks in the darkness, and does not know where he is going because the darkness has blinded his eyes.” (1 John 2:11)

My daughter Sarah, who lives on the west coast, had her cell phone stolen, and she called me distraught about the theft. She had dozens and dozens of photos of her twin daughters on her phone. Her personal information stored on the phone made her feel vulnerable, and the worst part was that it was taken from a place where she meets regularly with others for an exercise class. Hearing my voice, she burst into tears needing solace (what is there about a parent’s voice that can trigger tears, no matter what our age?).

By means of technology, Sarah and I were able to track where her phone was, and the police helped her eventually recover her phone. It wasn’t only the police that helped Sarah. Once the phone was tossed onto the ground a few miles from where the theft took place, a young man who was out on his skateboard found it and called the number on the screen that pleaded the “finder” to do so; it was my home number here in Iowa City.

Having shared the above, I want to set up the following scenario: “A young woman loses her cell phone. Two people are involved in this situation: One, a fellow exerciser at a local health club; and the other a young skateboarder. Who would you predict stole the phone, and who went to great effort to see that the phone was returned to its rightful owner?”

I am embarrassed to say that if given this scenario, I would most likely think the young man on the skateboard was the offender, and the person at the health club was the rescuer. WRONG! It was of course just the opposite, and a great reminder for me to take pause. First to say a prayer of thanks for the kind young man who helped Sarah, and second to confess my prejudicial thinking and utter a promise to once again work on my judgmental thoughts and ways.

Does any of this way of thinking sound familiar to you? It seems that it is prudent to do our best to be safe when we are out and about, and sometimes that means making judgements about who might or might not be trustworthy. But it does not give me license to judge or even condemn others who think or act differently than I do. Most of the time, I truly believe, looking or acting differently than me means just that: We are different, period, end of sentence. And no judgement about whether someone is good, bad, better, or worse need take place. Maybe even a prayer that includes gratitude that we are not all alike might be the next step. Praise God for our differences!

As with many hymns “In Christ there is no East or West”, is timeless, attesting to our similarities that outweigh our differences:

In Christ there is no East or West,
In Him no South or North;
But one great fellowship of love
Throughout the whole wide earth.

In Him shall true hearts everywhere
Their high communion find;
His service is the golden cord,
Close binding humankind.

Join hands, then, members of the faith,
Whatever your race may be!
Who serves my Father as His child
Is surely kin to me.

In Christ now meet both East and West,
In Him meet North and South;
All Christly souls are one in Him
Throughout the whole wide earth.

(Music: Alexander R. Reinagle, 1836; Words: William A. Dunkerley, 1908)

Incidents like the one I described about the stolen phone remind me I am never too old to learn and to change my ways. In particular, I’m going to continue working on my thoughts that are based in nothing more than outward appearances. As I’ve often said, I’m a work in progress and with God by my side, I can do this!

Prayer: Gracious God of love and acceptance, thank you for being my steadfast friend and guide. I find myself slipping into ways of thinking that can put hurtful labels on others. I need to stop that and ask what you want of me in my daily doing and thinking, that will put me back on course in a life that reflects your unconditional grace and mercy. Praise God from whom all blessings flow! AMEN.




COME Minutes



MINUTES: Outreach/Mission/Evangelism (COME) Team of Springdale UMC

July 9, 2017

In attendance: Rhoda Barnhart (Chair), Deborah Schoenfelder, Jim Schoenfelder, Julie Mather, Austin Richards, Rachel Richards, Jim Farmer, Pastor Momodu Kamara.

Minutes of April 2, 2017 were distributed for review. Joys and concerns were briefly shared. Rhoda shared a piece titled “Here I am, Send Aaron” with related scripture, followed by prayer.


There are currently no upcoming Family Nights scheduled, but interest by the group was expressed to have a Family Night this fall. Pastor Momodu encouraged having Family Nights as a way to be more intentional and deliberate in reaching out to the community, offering ways to socialize and have fellowship.


Contact persons for upcoming months (Jo Leighty, Coordinator): Ongoing.

Jim Schoenfelder regularly checks the Joys and Concerns card basket at the front of the church, making sure there is an ample supply for use by our faith community to follow up with joys and concerns voiced during worship services.

There will most likely not be an SUMC food booth at 2017 Hoover’s Hometown Days.

Rhoda raised the question about the possibility of an SUMC float at 2017 Hoover’s Hometown Days. There has been no discussion at this time about a float, but the subject will probably be raised at the Administrative Board meeting scheduled for July 26, 2017.

Church brochures and pew bookmarks: Jim S. reported that no brochures have been used in the past year. Pastor Momodu would like to have some brochures in hand as he plans to do visitation in the Springdale community. Members were in agreement that the pew bookmarks are helpful and should be continued. Jim S. asked Pastor Momodu and COME members to look over the brochure and bookmark, getting suggestions and edits to Jim so that he can update the documents.


Special offerings

  • Report for Rural Life Sunday on May 7: Not available
  • Planning for World Communion Sunday (October 1)
  1. Rhoda will place a flyer on the bulletin board in the back of the church
  2. We have World Communion Sunday offering envelopes available in the COME file drawer in the Upper Room
  3. Jim F. will look for videos to promote World Communion Sunday
  4. Rhoda will prepare a promotional piece to submit to the church blog

Jim and Ruth Farmer recently traveled to the Midwest Missions Distribution Center (MMDC) in Chatham, Illinois to participate in the work being done there. Others in the congregation have expressed interest in volunteering at MMDC. Jim F. will write and submit a piece to the church blog describing MMDC and the opportunities for volunteering at the Center. 

2017 Thanksgiving Ingathering planning (Rachel Richards, Coordinator)

  • Selection of projects

The group was in agreement with Rachel’s recommendation to feature two UMCOR kits and one cash donation opportunity:

  1. Health Kits
  2. School Kits
  3. Self-Help International
  • Receptacles for donated kits and kit items: Julie has two containers, Jim F. will also bring some
  • Promotion
  1. Rachel will create two documents: An instruction sheet to submit to the church blog, and a shopping list to have available at church
  2. Children’s messages: Jim F., Steven Grace, and Pastor Momodu will plan and do messages for the Health Kits and School Kits. Rhoda will do a children’s message for Self-Help International
  • Dedication of donations and kits will take place at worship service on Sunday, October 29, 2017
  • Finish out and pack kits: COME members who are available will do this after worship on Sunday, October 29
  • School kit bags: Rachel will contact Jo Leighty to see if there will be a team making bags this year
  • Delivery of kits, money, postage, completed form(s) to Mt. Pleasant on Saturday, November 4, 2017: Who will do this will be determined closer to the date

Next meeting: October 8, 2017 following worship.




What a Mess!
By Deborah Schoenfelder

“I trust in your unfailing love; My heart rejoices in your salvation.” Psalm 13:5

“I will praise the LORD, who counsels me; Even at night my heart instructs me.” Psalm 16:7

“And we know that God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to his purpose for them.” Romans 8:28

“Give your burdens to the Lord, and he will take care of you. He will not permit the godly to slip and fall.” Psalm 55:22

“Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done. Then you will experience God’s peace, which exceeds anything we can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus.” Philippians 4:6-7

There’s no way around it: Life is messy. We spill, we stain, we track mud into the house, and when the light is just right, we see windows and other glass surfaces covered with finger and nose prints (where did those come from?). I freely admit I am a “neatnik”, but the advent of having children and then a couple of feline companions helped me to ease up on my supposed need for neatness. I quickly figured out a little peanut butter on the sofa was not a problem. And a kitten swinging from the drapes? Oh well, she gave us all a good laugh and a warm memory that has lasted beyond her lifetime.

At times I feel like I am a mess. I’m anxious about having to confront someone about a sensitive situation, or I wish I could undo something I said or did, or I wonder why someone felt it necessary to say something that was hurtful to me. The list of times that I feel like a mess are endless! These can often be times that I want to retreat from others and spend time in the safety of my home. There’s no doubt life is “cleaner” if we don’t get too close to people. Indeed, relationships are complicated and can be messy. But I try not to remain in my safe shell for too long and venture back out to be among others.

On one of my recent visits to the memory care facility where my dear mother resides, a woman at the next table was concerned that she had spilled something onto her clothing (I’ll call her Joyce, not her real name). A staff person eating with her said without hesitation “The spill is hardly noticeable, and I think life is too short to worry about spills.” Immediately Joyce started laughing and replied “You know, you’re right.” Lunch continued with no further worried remarks about the spill that might turn into a stain. My thought was how profound to say that life is too short to worry about spills. They happen, and they happen a lot: The spills that come about because of errant food or drinks ending up where they shouldn’t; and the spills that happen in our mental, emotional, social, and spiritual lives.

So when spills happen and my life feels messy, I think the real question for me is what am I going to do about the spills, especially the messy ones. Am I going to worry about them, am I going blame someone, and maybe even get angry? I may go as far as question God’s presence as I struggle with my mess, much like these Bible verses lament:

“Why, O LORD, do you stand far off? Why do you hide yourself in times of trouble?” Psalm 10:1

“Will you forget me forever? How long will you hide your face from me? How long must I wrestle with my thoughts and every day have sorrow in my heart? How long will my enemy triumph over me?” Psalm 13:1-2

Rather than worry, blame, get angry, or question God’s presence, maybe I can work at cleaning up the mess as best I can and move on. I don’t find it easy to fix messes I’ve made, or to move on when I have felt slighted by someone. But God did not promise me an easy life. What he does promise is to take my hand along this life journey, and if necessary carry me at times when I feel particularly downtrodden and weak.

In addition to God’s promises that are there if I open my heart, I can find strength and solace in folks I have come to trust. And worshipping with others, as well as turning to scripture and Christian music is empowering and soothing for me. For example, Francesca Battistelli sings the song “This Is The Stuff” (2011), proclaiming “In the middle of my little mess, I forget how big I’m blessed.” The refrain of another song “Beautiful Mess” (2015) performed by Meredith Kinleigh, goes like this:

Once again I’m reminded, I’m not perfect-I’m a beautiful mess that’s at my best-I am broken just like the rest-I’m a beautiful mess-Yes I confess I’ve done things that make no sense-But if I failed to see the imperfection in me I wouldn’t get to know the Savior who sets me free-So I accept that I’m a beautiful mess.”

Life is messy, I am messy, but I’m a work in progress guided by His unconditional and all-encompassing love. Join me?

Prayer: God of love and life, I need to remember life is messy and that you are with me as I navigate the waters of my life journey. I want to trust your promise to be with me as I work on my messes. I know I won’t get it right all the time, but by leaning on your everlasting arms, I can lead a cleaner life. Thank you for your constant presence! AMEN.

Rural Life Sunday–May 7

May 7 Rural Life Sunday

“Giver of Life, We thank you for those who are a part of putting food on our tables. We lift up those in rural areas who are struggling with the loss of family farms, low wages and lack of employment. We pray for your mercy and justice. Amen.” (Prayer from the Iowa Annual Conference website)

We will be observing Rural Life Sunday on May 7, which celebrates the church’s rural heritage, recognizes the ongoing crisis in rural areas, and affirms the interdependence between rural and urban communities. On this date, the money collected will be sent to the Iowa Annual Conference where 100% will be retained to fund grants to enrich ministries in rural areas. Please give thanks for our blessings and consider giving generously on Rural Life Sunday.

April Devotion

What’s So Funny?

By Deborah Schoenfelder

“He will once again fill your mouth with laughter and your lips with shouts of joy.”

Job 8:21

“There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under the heavens;

A time to cry and a time to laugh . . .”

Ecclesiastes 3:1, 4

“Then our mouth was filled with laughter, and our tongue with shouts of joy; then they said among the nations, “The LORD has done great things for them.”

Psalm 126:2

This summer, I flew to Washington state to care for my twin toddler granddaughters. But it was no easy feat getting out to the great Northwest. I dutifully arrived at the Eastern Iowa Airport well ahead of the scheduled departure time, and went through the security drill: Shoes and jacket off, gels and liquids crammed into a quart bag, other items into a bin, my carry-on bag and purse onto the conveyor belt, and I proceeded through the scanning area with my hands over my head. All was good and I was soon at my gate with up-to-date information indicating my flight was on time. So I was expecting a long but uneventful day to get to Washington. Then the delays started, first to Denver because of severe thunderstorms. When I did get there, I had missed my connection with no more flights to my final destination that night. So for the first time in my life I slept in an airport, something I hope to never repeat. Add to that the experience of waking up in the middle of the first night at my daughter’s home on an air mattress, realizing I was again sleeping on the floor because the mattress had a slow leak. My luck didn’t change on the flight home due to inclement weather and a major mistake on the part of the airline, so instead of returning home late Thursday evening I arrived mid-morning on Friday.

I shared all of my airport mishaps as they unfolded via text messages with my daughter, and I clearly remember her response when I was finally home safely: “Wow, Mom, you’ve really taken all of this so well, much better than I would have. How did you manage to stay so positive, and even make it funny?”

As I thought about her question and all that had transpired, I wondered the same thing: Why wasn’t I mad at the world? Then it hit me that first of all, I wasn’t alone: Not on the airport floor that was my bed for one night, and not when I looked at the airport monitors countless times only to see that yet another flight had been delayed or cancelled (many others were also stranded). In addition, I had my husband and daughter to share my traveling woes with by phone and text messages. And most importantly, I had my faith that kept my nerves fairly steady and I had my sense of humor that I chose to engage.

Can calling on our sense of humor be part of our faith? Yes, I believe so. In fact, I think it is a requirement of our faith. There are many instances in the Bible where laughter is referenced, such as those I selected and shared above from the books of Job, Ecclesiastes, and the Psalms.

Humor and laughter is a way to cope in circumstances far less annoying than my recent travel experiences, and also in situations far more traumatic than what I endured. Laughter, when not at the expense of others, can release tension and put what’s happening into its proper perspective. We often hear pastors use humor in worship services. It helps us relate to the intended message, and it reminds us we all have more in common than we think. Put simply, I think humor that is used in a gentle and kind way, is healthy for us and just plain feels good. Here’s the words to a contemporary Christian song that celebrates laughter:

“I shake my head at my good fortune As I shake the dust off of my boots Yesterday I was an orphan Somehow today I belong to You Somehow today I belong to You

(Refrain): Ha ha, don’t it make you wanna laugh out loud? Ooh ooh, and shout, “Hallelujah!” Oh yeah, if you got joy go and let it on out Ha ha ha ha, laugh out loud

I was alive but I wasn’t living A prisoner of my fear and shame But when you find you’ve been forgiven Laughter will rise like a holy kind of praise So I throw my head back and offer up my thanks!


He said bring to me your heavy heart Take my hand and we’ll go whistling in the dark Here we go now!

Ha ha, don’t it make you wanna laugh out loud? Ooh ooh, and shout, “Hallelujah!” Oh yeah, if you got joy go and let it on out Ha ha ha ha, laugh out loud

Ha ha ha ha, laugh out loud”

(Laugh Out Loud, Jason Gray, 2014)

So when troubles seem overwhelming-maybe, in addition to using other healthy coping strategies, we should draw upon and even cultivate our sense of humor-to help us weather storms that are sure to come our way. It’s a gift from God that can help us through the most trying of times. Good news indeed!

Prayer: God of life and laughter, I think I need to lighten up and have a good laugh more often. You gave me this gift of humor, and using it wisely and on a regular basis can help me find joy in the everyday rhythms and mishaps of life. I will try harder to make use of humor in a way that lifts me and others up, and is pleasing to you. Thank you and AMEN!

Ad Board minutes–3/29/17

Springdale UMC Administrative Board

March 29, 2017


  1. Opening Devotion & Prayer

Jim Farmer opened the meeting with a devotion.  Those present were: Steven           Grace, Pastor Kimberly Bowles, Lynda Ambrose, Rick Mayhew, Diane Heick,           Bruce Barnhart, Rhoda Barnhart, Theresa Mayhew, Dan McElderry, and Jim           Farmer.


  1. Trustees
    1. One ceiling fan in sanctuary has quit working. Options are to replace one or  both fans or wait and see if we miss the fans running. It would cost $100 to rent a lift for one day, the fans would be a minimum of $100 each.  It was decided to wait and see if we miss the fan.
    2. A spring clean-up of the church including closets and the crow’s nest was discussed.  Theresa will find a time to go through bible school stuff with others, Bruce will dispose of some old tanks.
    3. Bruce will bring in soil to fill ruts left from roofing project.
    4. We will wait another year on roofing upper room.
    5. Lynda volunteered her family to keep lawn mowed this summer, Tana will be unable with knee injury.

3.   Stewardship

  1. Current Ministry Spending Plan for 2017 was handed out.


  1. District Superintendent Kiboko wants to wait a year before discussing being

yoked with Rochester.

2. Jim Farmer, Ruth Farmer, Steven Grace, and Rhoda Barnhart have been attending the Healthy Church Initiative at St. Mark’s in Iowa City.

Next meeting:

Wednesday May 31, 2017-6:30 (SPRC); 7:00(full board)

Closing prayer by Steven Grace


C.O.M.E Minutes-4/2/2017

MINUTES: Outreach/Mission/Evangelism (COME) Team of Springdale UMC

April 2, 2017

In attendance: Deborah Schoenfelder, Jim Schoenfelder, Julie Mather, Austin Richards, Rachel Richards, Jo Leighty, Pastor Kimberly Bowles.

Minutes of January 8, 2017 were distributed for review. Joys and concerns were briefly shared.


1. Contact persons for upcoming months (Jo Leighty, Coordinator): Ongoing.

2. Campground flyer: Jim Schoenfelder updated and printed fliers for distribution. Jo Leighty took one of the fliers to post at Little Bear campground. The remaining fliers will go to Jim Farmer to post in various locations.

3. Writing notes as follow up to Joys and Concerns time during Sunday worship: Jim S. presented the idea of changing how written notes are sent to people who are lifted up in Joys and Concerns during weekly worship services. The recommendation is that the person who brings up a joy or concern in worship can then follow up by writing a note to the person(s) for which the congregation prays, if appropriate, rather than having the contact person do this. The COME committee will supply cards that have a photo of the church on the front, and a preprinted message on the inside of the card. There is also room to add a personal note, when signing the card. In addition, there was discussion that tallying the number of contacts annually may be inaccurate, and the number is not used other than to record it in the COME Contact notebook. Thus, the committee decided we will no longer keep track of and count the number of contacts made yearly. We will begin this practice on Sunday, April 23.


1. Total giving for UMCOR Sunday on March 26, 2017=$430.00.

2. Rhoda and Deborah met and selected two offering in addition to UMCOR Sunday (formerly known as One Great Hour of Sharing) as the focus for our faith giving in 2017. Those two offerings are World Communion Sunday, and Rural Life Sunday. The committee agreed upon May 7, 2017 for Rural Life Sunday, and October 1, 2017 for World Communion Sunday.

3. Pastor Kimberly reported that she and three others from our church attended the Leadership Development Training Event on January 29 in Cedar Rapids. Kimberly said that the four of them attended different sessions, and she noted many of the attendees at the event were from small churches.

4. Rachel Richards and Deborah summarized the changes for Thanksgiving Ingathering in 2017. The Iowa-Nigeria Partnership has been disbanded. Regarding UMCOR kits, birthing kits are not currently needed. All other kits and opportunities for giving remain the same as they were for 2016.


1. Dates for the 2017 Family Nights are listed in the 2017 Activities and Events calendar distributed to our faith community.

Next meeting: July 9, 2017 following worship.


Bowling Party-This Saturday!

Join us this Saturday, April 8th at Cedar Lanes ( 605 E. 7th St., Tipton, IA) at 6 p.m. for our church bowling party. Come hungry and eat at the lanes; eat with the family and then come over; plan to bowl a few games; or just come and enjoy some fun, fellowship time. This event will be a great time for all ages. And if you’re coming, invite a friend to enjoy the evening with us!


UMCOR Sunday (Formerly One Great Hour of Sharing)–March 26

On March 26, we will celebrate UMCOR Sunday, previously known as One Great Hour of Sharing. On this church wide Special Sunday, United Methodists focus on the work of the United Methodist Committee on Relief (UMCOR). UMCOR responds to natural disasters and humanitarian crises around the globe.

Recently UMCOR responded to the situation in Flint, Michigan, where residents – including thousands of children – were exposed to lead in their drinking water since April 2014. UMCOR provided a grant to support local United Methodist churches and other agencies to address the problem. This community, somewhat reluctant to trust government agencies, welcomed The United Methodist Church.

On UMCOR Sunday, we share the goodness of life with people who hurt. Our designated gifts to UMCOR go directly toward relief efforts. Our offering pays administrative expenses for UMCOR and supports ministries of food, shelter, health, and peace. When we assist UMCOR with our offering, we are part of the important work that happens in places like Flint, Michigan. Please give thanks for our blessings and consider giving generously on UMCOR Sunday.