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Yukon First United Methodist Church Teaches Its Congregation To "Care, Share, Prepare"

By Pamela Sosnowski

The First United Methodist Church began to take shape to 1891, when missionaries were sent to Yukon via the Oklahoma Indian Missionary Conference. The following January a Board of Trustees was formed and the first church structure was erected at Fourth and Elm streets. As the years passed, the building was replaced and expanded to accommodate the church's growing congregation and ministries.

Methodism as a religious movement can trace its roots to 18th century England. There are three general rules written by the church's founder, John Wesley, which are still upheld by modern-day Methodists: do no harm, do good, and practice the "ordinances of God." In particular, the First United Methodist Church is committed to helping people grow in faith as disciples of Jesus Christ, through its worship celebrations, ministry activities, and special events.

"Care, share, prepare" is the church's motto and they certainly practice this by giving back to Yukon area families in need. The youth program in particular teaches older children the importance of compassion for others.

"They collected food for the Manna Pantry, delivered flowers to the homebound, gathered appreciation packets for teachers, and put together care packages for recently released prisoners," says Greg Tolle, Senior Minister. "Over the summer they did mission work through Youth Force (a mission camp) and Youth Week, where they served at the regional food bank."

The church also supports Yukon's Manna Pantry and Compassionate Hands, which provide food assistance for local families and individuals in need.

Ministries are an important part of the church's congregation. "Spiritually speaking, the church offers ministries for children and youth as well as their parents," explains Tolle. "These ministries are designed to create a faith foundation to help families deal with life's uncertainties. For children this includes children's sermons and children's church during worship, Sunday School, the Wednesday evening program, summer camps, and Vacation Bible School."

The church also offers a "top-notch" Yukon Kids First Preschool program for children age two to five. The class sizes are kept small to ensure individual attention within a Christian environment with a curriculum designed to stimulate a child's social, physical, emotional, and spiritual needs.

Wednesday evenings are set aside as "Wednesday Night Live!" at the church, featuring a rotating schedule of special activities. On any given Wednesday members gather for bible study, choir practice, or to listen to invited speakers. The BLAST (Believe, Learn, and Seek Truth) program on Wednesdays was developed specifically for kids ages pre-K through 5th grade to learn a bible lesson, learn a craft, and then have fun letting off some energy in an inflatable bounce house.

The First United Methodist Church is always welcoming new worshipers, so if you're seeking a new congregation with a friendly and inviting environment that enjoys being involved with the Yukon community, you can learn more via its website.

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