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Blooming Grove United Methodist Church
Tuesday, September 22, 2020
Open Hearts, Open Minds, Open Doors

BG Makes a Difference


Invitation to Make a Difference

We celebrate the unique gifts and talents that each person in our midst brings to our world to be the hands and feet of Christ.  We are thankful for all the ways that lives are touched each day.  Please see the descriptors below for just a few of the many opportunities through which you can make a difference.   

Mask-Making Mission Opportunity
We invite you to partner with the sewers of Blooming Grove UMC in their ongoing mission work of making COVID-19 masks to share with our local communities.  To-date, our creative group has distributed masks to local hospitals, county health services, friends, family, and co-workers.  Their current focus is making masks to distribute to our local public schools for any student/teacher/staff member in need, or to be used as "extras" in case a mask is lost, stepped on, or damaged in the course of a school day.  (See full details in the September 2020 newsletter.)   
2020 Annual Conference Love Offering:  July 1st - August 16th
We invite you to partner with United Methodists from across Minnesota to "Be the Light - Live Hope" through your financial gifts for this year's Annual Conference Love Offering, the focus of which is to help some of the most vulnerable among us in Minnesota in these turbulent times.  All funds will be distributed among four service organizations as listed below.  (See full details in the July 2020 newsletter).  
1) Emma Norton Services - St. Paul/Maplewood.  
2) Simpson Housing Services - Minneapolis.  
3) Joyce Uptown Foodshelf - Minneapolis.  
4) MN Conference Committee on Native American Ministry's Diaper Drop.
By August 16th, please mail your gifts to our BGUMC address, PO Box 171, Medford, MN   55049 - 0171.  Please note "Love Offering" in the memo line of your check or on a note enclosed with your gift.  We will then pool all BGUMC donations and mail them to the MN UMC Conference office in time for them to be added to gifts from around the state, with totals announced at the August 29th Annual Conference.


2020 Lent and Easter Mission Offering
We invite you to join in supporting this year's Lent and Easter Mission Offering - going toward Emma Norton Services (ENS), a nonprofit organization that actively combats poverty in our communities by partnering with women, children, and families who are homeless and experiencing the challenges of mental and/or chemical disabilities.  
To make a donation during this time of no "in-person" gatherings (due to the coronavirus pandemic) please mail your checks to Blooming Grove UMC, P.O. Box 171, Medford, MN   55049-0171.   Please note "Emma Norton" in the memo line on your check. 
ENS, affiliated with the United Methodist Church in Minnesota, positively impacts more than 250 people annually.  ENS provides affordable housing, basic needs, and support services in an environment that fosters stability and encourages personal growth.  Housing is permanent, the women and families served may reside there as long as they desire.  ENS has two locations:  one in the heart of downtown St. Paul (home to 50 individual women) and one in Maplewood (home to 13 single parent families with three or more kids.)  ENS has housed families from 28 countries and every state in the U.S.
Without having to worry about the basic need of a safe, secure place to live, women and children can utilize and focus on supportive programs, life skills, services and opportunities available to accomplish their goals.  Cindy Saufferer serves on the ENS Board of Directors as the UMW National Board Representative.  Feel free to contact her to learn more about the important work of ENS!  
2019 Advent and Christmas Mission Offering:  Join Hands
This year's Advent/Christmas Mission Offering celebrates the wonderful gift of God, who came down to earth to walk hand-in-hand with us in community, and who lives in us and through us.  In response, we now reach out and join hands with the communities listed below in order to partner with people and places in great need and/or bursting with enthusiastic new life.  Look for more information about each giving opportunity in our December newsletter.
Local:  Adopt-a-Family
Global:  Kamisamba Farm and Training Center in the Democratic Republic of Congo
2019 Annual Conference Love Offering:  Dare to Reach - Love Boldly!
May 1st - June 9th
Each year, churches in the Minnesota Annual Conference take a Love Offering for Missions.  The offering is brought to annual conference session - a gathering of United Methodist clergy and laity from across the state - taking place June 18-20 in St. Cloud.  This year's Love Offering theme is "Dare to Reach - Love Boldly!" and will go to three projects (see our June Newsletter for complete details):  
1) 60% to Lao Samphan Methodist Church in Laos
2) 20% to Volunteer Lawyers Network - Immigrant Level Services program
3) 20% to Volunteers in Mission Scholarships

If you wish to contribute to this offering, please mark "Love Offering" on your check memo and/or giving envelope.  Thank you.
2019 Lent/Easter Mission Offering:  Sharing Hearts of Love
April 1st - April 28th
This year's Lent/Easter Mission Offering calls us to join hearts with communities and people in great need.  For each $20 given, we will add a heart to one of the paper doll cut-outs on the multi-hued doll chain that reaches out to encircle our sanctuary with hands and hearts that care!
  • Nebraska Flood Relief:  Please make your check payable to BGUMC and note "Nebraska Floods" in the memo line.  We will send all donations to the Great Plains UMC Conference Disaster Response Fund #975.  Follow the recovery work of this UMC conference at
  • Alabama Tornado Relief:  Please make your check payable to BGUMC and note "Lee County Tornados" in the memo line.  We will send all donations to the Alabama-West Florida Conference of the UMC.  Follow their recovery work at
2018 Advent and Christmas Mission Offering:  Join Hands
This year's Advent/Christmas Mission Offering celebrates the wonderful gift of God, who came to earth to walk hand-in-hand with us in community, and who lives in us and through us.  In response, we now reach out and join hands with the communities listed below in order to partner with people and places in great need and/or bursting with enthusiastic new life.  Look for more information about each giving opportunity in our December newsletter.
Local:  Adopt-a-Family
National:  California Wildfire Help through the United Methodist Committee on Relief
Global:  Kamisamba Farm and Training Center in the Democratic Republic of Congo
Friday, October 26th - 4:30 - 6:30 P.M. - Feed My Starving Children Food Pack
BGUMC is joining with other churches at Trinity Lutheran Church, Owatonna to pack meals for Feed My Starving Children.  See October Newsletter for full details. 
Saturday, September 15th - 8:30 A.M. - Run 4 the Loaves 4 Mile Run/Walk at BGUMC
Proceeds will go to support our area food shelves.  See September Newsletter for full details.
Saturday, September 8th - 10:30 A.M. - Farm Stock Tractor Pull at BGUMC
Proceeds will be divided between the BGUMC Restoration Fund and the Kamisamba Farm/Training Center in the Democratic Republic of Congo, Africa.  See September Newsletter for full details.
Sunday, August 5th:  "Gather & Give" via UMC Committee on Relief School Kits
On Sunday, August 5th, we invite you to gather with us at church at 9:00 A.M. - prior to morning worship - for fellowship and treats as we all join hands to assemble school kits that will be distributed to children in need through the UMC Committee on Relief.  Throughout the month of July, we are seeking donations of items needed for each school kit, and hope to assemble a total of 3 dozen kits!  You may indicate your donation preference on the sign-up sheet at church.  See the July newsletter for full details.     
Sunday, July 22nd:  Support the Waseca County Food Shelf  and Help Rebuild Puerto Rico
On Sunday, July 22nd, Blooming Grove UMC will partner with our rural neighbor, Pleasant Grove Pizza Farm (41142 160th Street, Waseca, MN   56093) to Celebrate God's Wonderful World - and Join Hands to Care for It!  BG UMC will lead 10:30 A.M. morning worship on location at the pizza farm - along with World Beat Connection - a group of MN United Methodist professional musicians, featuring a mix of old-time gospel, contemporary Christian music, and Christian Rock.  This is a community-wide event, and all persons are welcome!  After the worship service, attendees are invited to order delicious pizza from the Pizza Farm and continue enjoying the sounds of World Beat Connection.  Throughout the morning, there will be opportunities to contribute to free-will offering collections in support of the Waseca County Food Shelf as well as United Methodist Volunteer in Mission Teams that will travel to Puerto Rico this fall to help rebuild homes/churches after last year's hurricanes.  See our navigation tab "Pizza Farm Worship - July 2018" for full details. 
Pentecost Mission Project 2018 - Pin Wheels for Puerto Rico - Plus!
Our Sunday School children have been excitedly talking about the 2018 MN Annual Conference Love Offering because of its ties to Hurricane Relief in Puerto Rico - a center point of their Sunday School Christmas Program - and because of the way the it helps serve women and children in need. The three projects involved are Puerto Rico Hurricane Volunteer in Mission Recovery Trips sponsored by the MN Annual Conference in the fall, the Park Avenue UMC Children's Defense Fund Freedom Schools Program (a six week summer day camp experience for children in Minneapolis) and NUMAS Haus (provides emergency shelter and support services to homeless single women and their children in New Ulm and surrounding Brown County - connected to First UMC).
Out of this excitement, our children are inviting us to join in a Pentecost Mission Project of "Pinwheels for Puerto Rico - Plus", from May 1st through May 27th.  Their goal is that we try to raise $1,000 in that time.  For every $20 raised, we will attach a pinwheel to the end of a pew (center aisle) or communion rail spindle, or candelabra post.  If we fill all of those 50 spots (the kids counted several times!), we will reach $1,000.  On Pentecost Sunday, we will blow on all of the pinwheels to celebrate the spirit of God blowing through our lives, our hands, and our feet to help others!
Lent and Easter 2018 Giving:  BGUMC Food Shelf Fund

In partnership with the March Minnesota Food Share Initiative, BGUMC has established a Lent and Easter Food Shelf Mission Fund to which we may contribute from Ash Wednesday (February 14th) through Easter Sunday (April 1st).  All proceeds will be divided between the Waseca and Steele County Food Shelves and will be eligible for matching funds, as established by the March Minnesota Food Share initiative. If you wish to donate to this mission project, please write a check to BGUMC and note "Food Shelf" in the memo line and/or place your donation in an offering envelope with an note of "Food Shelf".

  • Fall & Christmas 2017 Giving:  BGUMC Disaster Relief Mission Fund

    In response to the past months' disastrous hurricanes, wildfires, mudslides, and earthquakes that have destroyed the lives of so many in the USA and abroad, BGUMC has established a Disaster Relief Mission Fund to which we may contribute from now through December 31st.  All proceeds will go to the United Methodist Committee on Relief (UMCOR).  UMCOR spends 100% of designated donations on the projects that donors specify.  (A separate grant fund covers all administrative costs.)  UMCOR funds are distributed to local agencies and local UMC conferences to use in ways that they best see fit, given their hands-on knowledge of the circumstances and needs.

    If you wish to donate to help those affected by these recent disasters, please write a check to BGUMC and note "UMCOR" in the memo line.  We will equally divide up all donations and send them to UMCOR's various designations, including assistance for victims of Hurricanes Harvey, Irma, and Maria, victims of the wildfires out west, and victims of the torrential rains and deadly mudslides and flooding near Freetown, Sierra Leone, Africa.  As we learn more of UMCOR's response to the needs of the earthquake victims in Mexico, we may also include that disaster response in the distribution.

    If you wish to give to a specific geographical area, please include the fund # in your check memo:

    • Domestic Disaster Response Advance #901670:  Assists victims of recent disasters taking place in the United States and Puerto Rico.
    • International Disaster Response Advance #982450:  Assists International Victims of disasters, i.e. Sierra Leone and Mexico.
    When UMCOR donors give their time, money, and supplies, they join UMCOR as the hands and feet of Christ.  See for more information.  Thank you for sharing Christ's love with the world.


    2017 BGUMC Easter Offering

    We invite you to share God's Good Easter News with our local and global neighbors by donating to this year's Easter Mission Offering - "The Love Offering for Missions".  This special offering is gathered each year within United Methodist Churches throughout Minnesota and hand-delivered to the annual June meeting of Minnesota United Methodists.  Its intent is to benefit international, national, and Minnesota Missions.  Funds from this year's offering will go to the three projects listed below.  Donations toward this special offering will be accepted during all Sundays in April.  Please note "Love Offering" on your check or offering envelope.  
    1) United Methodist University of Sierra Leone - School of Applied Health Sciences  
    2) Emma Norton Services   
    3)  Volunteers in Mission Scholarships

    Sunday, March 5, 2017 - 9:30 A.M. - Pancake Breakfast Hosted by the Men of the Church
    We invite you to join us for breakfast in the church fellowship hall as the men of the church cook up pancakes, French toast and sausage, along with juice and coffee.  A free-will offering will go towards the food shelf and the church handicap accessibility project.
    Sunday, March 19, 2017 - 2:00 P.M. - UMW Fundraiser - Be Your Own Artist!
    Come and create a beautiful painting!  Thru "Gallery on the Go" you will be provided with all the supplies and coaching to do so with your own two hands, in an informal group setting!  In addition to painting, there will be time to share refreshments, laughter, and conversation with everyone else involved.  The UMW will be offering this opportunity in Brad's shop at Tracie Spinler's residence.  The cost is $30.00 per person with half of the money going to the UMW scholarship fund for two to three Medford seniors.  Please let Tracie know at 507-461-2194 if you are planning to come so she has an idea of numbers.  Thanks! 
    2016 Advent and Christmas Mission Offering
    "Hurricane Help for Haiti & the Caribbean"
    Amanda Riecke, BGUMC Sunday School student, has the children of Haiti U the Caribbean on her heart and mind.  She is concerned about them in the wake of Hurricane Matthew and asked that we consider them for our 2016 Advwnt and Christmas Mission Offering!  Out of that great suggestion, a project was born:  Hurricane Help for Haiti & the Caribbean!  
    Donations toward this special Christmas Mission Offering will be accepted during all of the Sundays of Advent, on Christmas Eve, and also on Christmas Morning!  Please note "Help for Haiti/Caribbean" on your check or offering envelope.  This offering will be sent to UMCOR's International Relief Fund.  UMCOR, the United Methodist Committee on Relief, is the United Methodist humanitarian relief and assistance agency.  100% of every dollar donated to UMCOR goes to actual relief efforts, as overhead costs area picked up by the United Methodist church.
    UMCOR has already been on the ground in Haiti providing emergency supplies, a water purification program done in partnership with GlobalMedic, and an additional food distribution program.  UMCOR is also sending teams of volunteers to Haiti as they learn from local Haitian leaders of the areas of greatest need -- to distribute food, cooking kits, tarpaulins, and other necessary supplies.
    Project Ag Grad:  12 Month Project Beginning September 2016!

    Due to the extra rain in September, our annual tractor pull had to be cancelled. The pull supported res- toration of the church and missions. Our new Tractor Pull mission this year was going to be Project AgGrad.

    Project AgGrad addresses world hunger in developing countries by developing motivated and trained leaders in production agriculture. Students are supported by the mission for an advanced degree at the University of Minne- sota. They will then return home to their countries to work on food production. They will also be leaders and mentors to many people in their home country.

    In the year ahead, BGUMC would like to invite Minnesota's current Ag Grad student down from the University of Minnesota to speak at our church or better yet participate in the 2017 tractor pull!  Since the 2016 tractor pull was cancelled we would like to keep the mo mentum going into 2017 for the mission.  Please mark any donations that you would like to make to to BGUMC in support of this important mission project as “ProjectAgGrad”.

    For a full description of Project Ag Grad, and an introduction to Minnesota's current AgGrad student, please open the link below.  If you want more info, ask Brad Spinler or Cindy Saufferer or visit the AgGrad website at .  

    Project AgGrad Link.


    October 2016:  Emma Norton Services of the Twin Cities
    Emma Norton Services of St. Paul works with women, children, and families who are homeless and have the added challenges of mental illness, chemical dependency, or both.  Emma Norton Services provides safe and sober housing combined with programs and support services to create an environment where victory over homelessness, mental illness, and chemical dependency becomes a possibility.  You can make a difference.  In-kind donations help offset the cost of provident the everyday items that are needed to keep the doors open.  Currently Emma Norton Residence is in need of paper towels, table napkins, toilet paper, and cleaning supplies.  Just drop off any such donations in the grocery cart at the back of the BGUMC sanctuary during the month of October!
    Saturday, September 10th, 2016  
    Run For The Loaves 4-Mile Run-Walk 
    At BGUMC
    To Benefit the Food Shelves of Steele and Waseca Counties
    • See the 2016 "Run/Walk Registration" Navigation Tab for details 
    Sunday, September 11th, 2016
    Farm Stock Tractor Pull
    At BGUMC 
    All funds raised will be used for restoration at BGUMC and Church Mission Work
    12:30 P.M. Start with the "Blessing of the Tractors"
    • See the 2016 "Tractor Pull" Navigation Tab for details

    Sunday, June 5th, 2016 - 9:30 A.M.
    Assemble Disaster Relief Health Kits

    The UMW has extended an invitation to help donate and assemble materials for Health Kits to take to the Minnesota United Methodist Annual Conference in June.  They are hoping to have enough materials to assemble 30 kits after church on Sunday, June 5th at 9:30 A.M.  Donations for all or any parts of a kit are welcomed.  Each kit contains the following:

    • 1 1-gallon size sealable bag

    • 1 toothbrush (adult size in original packaging)

    • 1 comb (6" of teeth)

    • 6 adhesive bandages (3/4" to 1" size)

    • 1 bath-size soap (3 oz. or larger) No Ivory or Jergens.  Do not remove from original packaging.

    • 1 washcloth

    • 1 hand towel (15" x 25" to 17" x 27" kitchen)

    • 1 metal nail file or clipper (no emery boards)