Grace in Action

Claudia Loucks
Barney Gehl, left; Tom Hitzhusen, Max Biddle, Bryce Johnson and Dylan Gehl are shown finishing work on one of the desk shelves. The desk-building project was part of Grace in Action from Grace United Church in Geneseo.
Grace in Action included serving free lemonade to passersby from a stand at the corner of College Ave. and 2nd St. The group includes, from left, Bennett Mickley, Mark Shoemaker, Claire Rushing, Wyatt Mickley, Ryan Coleman, Eliza Shoemaker; in back Jenna Rushing, James Mickley and Bodey Mickley.
Another group working on construction of the student desks included, from left, Joci Hasson, Steve Doy, Jamie Johnson, Art French and Paul VanDerSchaaf.
Glenn Sigwalt, left; Justin Johnson and Andrew Berke were part of the Grace in Action crew building desks for local students

The congregation at Grace United Methodist Church in Geneseo was out in the community on Sunday, June 27, with Grace in Action.

After a short worship service, groups from Grace Church were involved with various projects, or in the church working avenues of serving others.

The outreach happened in June this year because it could not happen last fall due to the guidelines in place due to the pandemic.

One of the major projects of this year’s outreach was building desks for students in Geneseo schools. The woodworking took place at the home of Tom and Margaret Hitzhusen where nearly 20 volunteers worked to build the desks.

Tom Hitzhusen commented about the project and said, “The purpose of the project is to provide a desk for less fortunate middle school or late elementary students so they have a desk at home to encourage them with their homework. For the students building desks, they have the benefit of knowing they are making a difference in the lives of younger students, plus they are learning some woodworking skills.”

Jackie Mickley, Grace in Action chairman, explained that the idea for a June Grace in Action surfaced at a United Methodist Church Zoom meeting earlier this spring when the group discussed how to begin the comeback of Grace as the Covid restrictions were lifted.

“We were unable to do our annual Grace in Action event last fall because of the pandemic,” she said. “It seemed like a good way to get together again as a church family and do small mission projects for our community at the same time.”

Mickley recalled how the Rev. Mark Graham, co-pastor of Grace Church with his wife, the Rev. Melva England, in a recent sermon, compared Grace in Action to Jesus’ mustard seed parable….”An event that will fly under the radar, but will plant small seeds which may be harvested for years to come,” she said.

All ages of the congregation took part in Grace in Action that stems directly from the church mission statement: “To passionately follow Jesus Christ and bring others to know God’s love.”

Younger helpers put together flood buckets, goodie bags and ran a Free Lemonade Stand. Goodie bags were delivered to shut-ins and to others to whom the congregation would like to show appreciation.

“There were several opportunities to serve,” Mickley said, including preparing the interior planter for residents at Allure, volunteering at the Geneseo-Atkinson Food Pantry, constructing desk kits and serving on the prayer team to pray and welcome teams back to the church when groups completed their work…”Having the opportunity to share Christ’s love with others has always been an important mission for Grace Church, whether it be locally, nationally with work teams, going to disaster zones, or internationally by building a school and church in Haiti.”