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Omaha Grows Community Care



United Methodists came together in Omaha, Nebraska for a unique effort to reach out to their neighbors and help change the world.

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"I'm Stephanie Ahlschwede. I'm the executive director of United Methodist Ministries in the Missouri River District here in Nebraska. When you gather a bunch of people together to volunteer, it's not always the easiest thing to organize, and it's not always that easy for the host sites. But it does generate a lot of energy around volunteering, and it helps people realize how connected they are as people to the larger community, both in terms of others who are serving and the places that they're going. So, once in a while having a giant volunteer event, I think, spurs people to further action and helps people connect. That it's not just them doing the serving, but it's a community of people doing that."

"My name is Miriam Peralta, I am the coordinator of Hispanic ministry, which I work in a community center here. We're at Grace United Methodist Church in south Omaha. And we are cleaning up the classrooms because this summer we are going to have a summer program-which is in connection with the Hispanic ministry-and we're trying to develop a new ministry here. It reaches out to the Hispanic community and also to the children. We're going to have a two-month-long program, which is the summer program with Vacation Bible School. And also helping them out with the reading and math and whatever they need help with during the summer."

"My name is Sheri Shuler, and I am a member of First United Methodist Church of Omaha. Today we are working with a big garden project that's at a senior center in north Omaha. We've just been cleaning up the beds, weeding, turning them over and doing some planting. Getting outside and meeting folks-you know people from all over. Some people go to church, some don't; some people go to different churches. Part of what we're supposed to be doing as church is working and making relationships with people in the community."

"My name is Bill Purnell. This is a good thing because this brings us closer together. Our neighbors working together and this gives us a place to go and do something that will benefit the whole neighborhood."


For more information, contact United Methodist Ministries in the Missouri River District in Nebraska at 402-898-9862.

Posted: May 17, 2011