RVers Repair Churches
It can be very costly to keep churches in good shape. A group of retirees is giving up some free time to offer free repairs for congregations. Lilla Marigza introduces us to RVers in Mission.
(Locator: Independence, California)
In the shadow of the Sierra Nevada mountains, Independence, California is a popular tourist stop &ellipsis; but these overnighters aren't here for sightseeing.
Neale Davis: "We were here two years ago and we painted the inside of the sanctuary, and I guess they liked the work we did so they invited us to come back and do the outside. So we are putting about a hundred gallons of paint on the outside of this church right now."
A ministry of The United Methodist Church in California, RVers in Mission is a group of 20 retired couples who travel all over the state. Pioneer Memorial is project #214.
(Neale Davis fixing hose tap) "It needs a new washer. We need to pull the top off and put a new washer in it."
Sharon Parker: "When we came to this church the first time, we painted the entire inside of the sanctuary that had not been painted in over 40 years."
The group does eight one-week projects a year, setting up camp 'til the job is done.
Neale Davis, RVers in Mission: "This is my RV. It's our home away from home. My wife really likes it because it's smaller than the house to keep clean."
Sharon Parker, RVers in Mission: "I told my husband, when we retire, this is something I want to do. And we do it because it's something that A. glorifies God, but it's also something my husband and I can do together."
Some members have been active since RVers in Mission was founded 22 years ago.
Eighty-one-year-old Ken Martin says it's rewarding to see the group's enthusiasm and hard work inspire churches.
Ken Martin, RVers in Mission: "What happens is that we do the project and then the members turn around and continue it. They say if the old people can do it, we can too." (Laughs)
The RVers estimate their work here saved this small congregation 20,000 dollars, but you can't really put a price on stewardship.
Sharon Parker: "You can look at the big picture of something that needs to be done. And your little, small part is helpful no matter what it is if it's painting a window frame. And it's just knowing that God can take your little tiny talent and do something with it."
RVers in Mission members review applications and select eight projects a year in the California-Pacific Annual Conference of The United Methodist Church.
For more information, call the conference office at 1-800- 244-UMCC or 626-568-7300.
Posted: July 21, 2011