Each year the West Ohio United Methodist Rural Advocates awards the William B. Murray Vital Church Award to a rural church worshiping less than 100, that displays passionate worship, radical hospitality, risk-taking service and mission, extravagant generosity, and faith-forming relationships. The 2020 recipient of the West Ohio UMRA Vital Church Award is Lewistown-Trinity UMC, from Capital Area North, with Rev. Debra Ketcham as pastor.
Trinity is located in the Lewistown/Indian Lake communities. Through their own ministry initiatives, as well as in partnership with other local churches and organizations, Lewistown-Trinity is a vital part of the community’s spiritual life. In helping to feed struggling families, Trinity has played an integral role in expanding the Indian Lake area food pantry. In addition, they supply and cook the food for the Indian Lake site for the Daily Bread – a free meal for those who need to stretch their money.
One of their newest ministries is the “Happy Hookers,” a group of ladies who use knitting and crocheting to lessen the effects of arthritis. They have knitted and crocheted 74 lap-robes for shut-ins, plus hats, gloves, baby blankets, and bibs for New Pathways Pregnancy Center, “Fidget Blankets” for Alzheimer’s patients at the Logan County nursing homes, and several other projects.
With a mini-grant from Capitol Area North, Trinity UMC has also begun an outreach ministry named HALO (Helping, Assisting, and Laboring for Others). They have replaced doors, built small decks, fixed frozen pipes, winterized homes, and installed smoke and carbon monoxide detectors. The group also built ramps for a disabled gentleman and for a family that could no longer carry their child with Downs Syndrome up the steps into their home.
With an average attendance of 70 people on a Sunday morning, Lewistown-Trinity is doing vital ministry in their community. Congratulations on receiving this year’s UMRA Vital Church Award!