Enthusiastic best described the atmosphere at Edgemont UMC this Advent, where the church experienced a 25% growth in worship attendance. The underlying enthusiasm is both cause and result of the recent increase. This is attributable to the Spirit moving in many ways.
Edgemont UMC sent 10 members and the pastor to the Leadership Institute at the Church of the Resurrection in Kansas City at the end of September. The group returned with some great ideas and techniques, but more importantly, with an renewed vision for the church.
The Angel Food Ministry that began in May, has grown from providing 40 boxes of food to more than 400 boxes (plus 200 specials) in December. More than 60 volunteers give half of a Saturday each month to distribute food boxes from the church.
The media have also increased the church's visibility with News19 running a story on our Kids For Christ lemonade sale raising funds for Hurricane Katrina victims, and the Florence TimesDaily highlighting several other ministries. The congregation is currently working on a new brochure and website.
Twenty volunteers are delivering a loaf of bread and a thank you for being our guest today to first-time attendees in worship.
The number of adult Sunday school classes has doubled in the last six months. The parking lots are near capacity, the sanctuary is feeling comfortably full, and work is underway to begin a second worship service in 2006. More classroom space is needed for Sunday schools for youth and children.
It is an exciting time at Edgemont, and even we are amazed at the growth, says pastor Eric Bagwell. "To God be the glory."