Parish Faith Missions Conference opening in Parkersburg

PARKERSBURG — People who have come to Christ in the last 50 years are encouraged to attend the Parish Faith Missions Conference in Parkersburg this weekend, event organizers said.

This year’s event, which starts tonight, marks the 50th year of “Giving to the Lord.”

“We want people to come celebrate,” said organizer Priscilla Leavitt. “People’s lives are changed through work and prayer.”

The conference has the participation of United Methodist churches that are joining together for a weekend of missions-focused events.

Participating churches this year are Christ United Methodist Church, St. Andrews United Methodist, Seventh Street United Methodist, Bethany United Methodist, Red Hill United Methodist, St. Paul’s United Methodist, Murphytown United Methodist and Logan United Methodist.

Since 1969, the congregations of Christ United Methodist Church and its partner churches have given more than $1.5 million to the Faith Missions Program.

This year, organizers hope to raise $50,000 for the 50th Missions Conference, which will go to missionary work.

Speakers and activities are planned throughout the weekend at Christ United Methodist Church, 715 16th St. in Parkersburg, as well as the other participating churches.

People involved in the conference over the years will be on hand, including Ron McCauley and Jon Tobelmann. Stories will be shared about the conferences and the work that came from them.

The missionary speakers throughout the weekend include Jim and Pat McInnes, Don and Chiqui Donaldson and Harry and Lydia Boekell.

Jim and Pat McInnes began missionary work in Costa Rica in 1972, Jim working in electronics and Pat in nursing. Over the years the Lord has led them toward a variety of work: youth mentorship; university age and couples’ discipleship and Bible study; short term mission projects and eventually in 1984 He led them to pastor the bilingual congregation of Union Church, they said.

In 2010 God directed them to hand the church over to a Costa Rican couple who have continued the work of preparing and sending God’s people to “Go and make Disciples,” they said. Jim and Pat are continuing to be active in encouraging and edifying the body of Christ wherever the Lord sends them to teach, preach, and do prayer counseling, they said.

Don and Chiqui Donaldson began with an aviation program, evangelistic outreach and are serving on the board of international ministry in Guatemala. He and his wife continue in evangelistic ministry, traveling in South Central America and Mexico. Don also teaches at the Bible Institute. They are both involved in the local church as leaders. They travel to the United States to promote missions.

He will be doing chalk drawings and will tell stories from his 50 years as a missionary in Guatemala.

Harry and Lydia Boekell are state directors for Child Evangelism Fellowship, a Bible-centered organization whose purpose is to evangelize boys and girls with the gospel of Jesus Christ. CEF has many ministries for children, but the primary ones are the Good News Club and the 5-Day Club.

A couple from Costa Rica, Amarilys and Erick Garrido, will speak Saturday during Missionary Stories from 6:45 p.m. to 8 p.m. at Christ United Methodist Church, Leavitt said.

“They will talk about how their lives were changed through the prayer of the missionaries,” she said. “People are wanting to hear these stories.”

Reinnie Leavitt will sing the theme “Thank You for Giving to the Lord” on Friday evening. Robert Fulton Jr., a former pastor’s son, now a professional singer and programing director and midday DJ for New Life 94.5 Christian radio station in Charleston, will be singing the theme song Saturday evening.

A youth event will be held 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. Sunday at St. Andrews United Methodist Church, 1210 20th St. in Parkersburg.

Priscilla Leavitt said it was a sharing event for youth, who are middle- and high school students, about doing work some have done.

“Youth get ideas,” she said. “They share what has been done and what could be done.”

Those involved in the conference will be able to see what faith and service can accomplish.

As people work to serve others locally, they have a greater impact, Leavitt said.

“People begin to impact the world,” she said. “Lives are changed by the free gift of salvation.”

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Schedule:

Today, Christ United Methodist Church

* 5:30 p.m.: International Dinner

* 6:30 p.m.: Piggy Bank Smash

* 6:40 p.m.: Flag Ceremony participants gather in Builders Classroom

* 6:50 p.m.: Evening Program – Sanctionary

* Video pictures of past conference

* Prelude: Rachel Johnson

* Flag Ceremony: Mike Conrad

* Welcome/Invocation: the Rev. Joe Hill

* Beginning — 50 years ago: Jon Tobelmann

* Music: Pastors

* Missionary Presentation: Jim and Pat McInnes

* Offering Announcement and Prayer: the Rev. Nettles

* Special Music: Reinnie Leavitt

* Chalk Drawing: Don Donaldson

* Benediction: the Rev. Ken Krimmel

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Saturday, Christ United Methodist Church

* 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.: Kids Camp – K through 5th grade

* Lydia Boekell will help the kids make prayer beads

* Pizza lunch will be served

* (All missionaries participating.)

* Saturday Evening: Food, Fun & Fellowship

* Entrance Fee: One item for the food pantry

* 4:30 p.m.-5:15 p.m.: 5 stations with food from around the world

* 5:15 p.m.-6:30 p.m.: Activities (teams will be assigned)

* 6:45-8 p.m.: Missionary Stories

* Music: New Creation

* Special Music: Robert Fulton Jr.

* Don Donaldson chalk drawing

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Sunday

* Sunday School Classes: (combined in each church)

* 9:45 a.m.: Christ – Pat McInnes

* 10:45 a.m.: St. Andrews — Pat McInnes

Worship Services:

* 9:30 a.m.: Seventh Street – Boekells

* 9:30 a.m.: St. Andrews — Jim McInnes

* 9:30 a.m.: Red Hill — Don Donaldson

* 10:45 a.m.: Murphytown — Don Donaldson

* 11 a.m.: Christ — Jim McInnes

* Youth Event — 5 p.m.-7 p.m. — St. Andrews Church

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