NORTH AUGUSTA—This year has brought many changes. During this pandemic, Grace United Methodist Church has certainly felt the impact of cancellations of ongoing ministry projects and missional outreach.
In missions alone, because of COVID-19, all Salkehatchie Camps were cancelled this year, the church’s annual Bolivia Mission trip was postponed, Family Promise was cancelled, and their Youth 2020 U.S. mission was also cancelled.
The statewide cancellation of Salkehatchie strongly affected the church, as it is a host site. Two other camps in Lee County where Grace serves, not to mention camps in 48 other communities, were cancelled.
Instead, Grace UMC offered what they called WARMahatchie 2020. This mission was a joint ministry between the youth of Grace, their WARM (Winterization and Repair Ministry) project volunteers, the United Methodist Men, local church Salkehatchie volunteers, the church’s Missions Committee, The United Way and Grace’s local leadership.
On Thursday and Friday July 23-24, about 30 volunteers tackled three sites in the North Augusta area with home renovations and repairs. These projects included a few roof projects, a few decks, replacing of windows, porch ceilings and some underpinning.
Two of the referrals for these homes came from the United Way and one site was the completion of a former Salkehatchie/WARM home in the area.
At night, Grace youth met to worship and hold reflections. They also partnered with two other churches in the Charleston District for a Zoom bible study. On Saturday, July 25, another group of volunteers from Grace, led by the church’s UMMen, did yard work on four homes in need, and a fifth site worked on “The Way” satellite property in Sweetwater to create the beginnings of a Spiritual Pilgrimage Trail.
The church offered this Scripture as a way to reflect their efforts: “Carry each other’s burdens, and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ” (Galatians 6:2).