Collins UMC serves community in a big way
By Kara Witherow, Editor
Collins United Methodist Church may be small, but it is mighty.
In tiny Collins, the congregation, which has about 12 members, is a big force for good. The members feed nearly 200 people at each of two large community meals every year, one at Thanksgiving and typically one at Easter; pack and donate dozens of Operation Christmas Child shoeboxes every Christmas; and give generously to ministries that serve those who are homeless.
Even in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic, the congregation, which calls itself The 12 Disciples, continues to serve the community through its new blessing box, a small pantry filled with donated food, baby wipes and diapers, and other necessities.
Linda Bacon is one of The 12 Disciples who checks the church’s blessing box a few times a week and stocks it with food and necessities.
“We just figure, especially now, people who aren’t working need some extra food,” she said.
The box looks like a little white church, Bacon said, with a roof and two doors. It sits next to Collins UMC and is emptied and refilled regularly.
The church members’ generosity and love for their community is how they want to make an impact, Bacon said.
“We’ve got to show people love,” she said. “You’ve got to show the gospel in action. That’s our thing. We want people to say, ‘That must be God.’ I pray they will see a difference in us.”
Rev. Thomas Kennison says that what the church lacks in size they make up for in enthusiasm and willingness to serve. He estimates that nearly 90 percent of the congregation participates in mission, outreach, and giving opportunities and that all give to the blessing box.
He also said they have a clear understanding that they are called to follow in Jesus’ footsteps and serve others.
“That’s the best way we can carry the gospel forward, by being servants,” Rev. Kennison said. “That’s what Jesus was; he was a humble servant. We try to mimic him and be like Jesus so that we can live the lives we’re called to live. We’re really living out the gospel when we do that.”