A tornado caused major damage to the sanctuary of the Wesley United Methodist Church in Muscatine late Monday evening on March 6th. Known for their music ministries, their organ was completely destroyed. Yet, as they responded to the destruction and began cleaning up, they remained focused on their purpose as a church.
In November of 2014 the congregation participated in a Healthy Church Initiative consultation, a ministry supported by more than $60,000 in apportionment gifts this year from the United Methodist churches of Iowa. The resulting report from that weekend urged them to “flesh out a more specific vision for the future God intends” for them. Leaders grappled with the question for a few months before discerning God’s call to “transform lives through hands-on ministry with children and families in need.”
They noted the impact of the storm on others in the community as they attended to their own recovery. Katie Roquet, the director of media ministries for the church, helped to create “a communication hub between all the volunteers contacting us wanting to help and the individual homeowners who need the help.” She created a new tab on the church website to direct volunteers to relief efforts throughout the city and keep people updated on progress.
Children from Franklin Elementary School, where the congregation has focused much of its outreach since adopting their vision statement, made church members a banner that the kids all signed. One 2nd grader wrote, “I feel so very sorry about the tornado, but want you guys to know that I love you. I drew you a rainbow so you wouldn’t feel sad.”