ENCOURAGING GETTING AHEAD REUNION
Transformers has been serving our community, transforming lives, for 10 years now. One of our programs serving adults, Getting Ahead in Putnam County, recently had a reunion. Fifty people attended, including 20 children and 13 former participants. One participant from our very first class in 2013 was present with her five children. Stories were shared and victories celebrated. Participants, who had never met each other, still offered encouragement that getting out of poverty is not about a straight line. It is about ups and downs and perseverance. It is about seeds that are planted and take root at different times, yielding different varieties of fruit.
Over 10 years, eleven participants have purchased their first homes. Two have started new businesses. Six have earned educational degrees/ certifications. Two single moms were able to bring their children back to their homes. Four have purchased used cars. Nine are involved in “giving back,” serving to transform other lives in some way.
One said, “Everything good that has happened to me branched from GA. It changed my self-perception. For the first time, I saw what I wanted for my life and that I was worthy.” Everyone agreed that building new, positive connections is the most important part of GA and that it inspired hope when they felt hopeless.
Barbara Jackson was at the reunion and shared afterwards: I am still basking in the glow of Christ’s love that was so evident at the reunion. What a terrific affirmation of our prayers and efforts!
Thank you, Church, for your continuing support—for giving financially, supporting prayerfully and volunteering cheerfully.
THANKSGIVING MEAL OUTREACH
Last Thanksgiving, Gobin Church partnered with Greencastle Christian Church along with financial support from Greencastle Presbyterian Church to serve hundreds of meals to families in need. Tosh Everson shared the following on her Facebook page after the event:
Served 400 meals today to those who might have went without. …. in a country where there’s MORE than enough for everyone. Thankful for the privilege to do so. And thankful for partnering churches, volunteers, donations, and everyone who made this incredible day possible.
GC YOUTH GROUP WINTER FUN
LaToshia Everson is the new Conference Assistant – Diversity, Missions, and Justice.
Graduating from DePauw University with a degree in Communications, LaToshia aims to use her gifts toward her personal mission of justice. She currently serves as the President of the Greenfield NAACP chapter. According to Annettra Jones Stephens, Associate Director of Diversity, Missions, and Justice, “LaToshia is gifted to handle the complex administrative duties in our department, and she shares a deep passion for our values of inclusion, diversity, equity and anti-racism.” You may welcome LaToshia to the Conference at firstname.lastname@example.org.
TRANSFORMERS HOSTED ON-LINE WEEK OF GIVING
Due to the ongoing concern of rising COVID numbers in Putnam County and for the health and safety of everyone, the annual Transforming the Community Breakfast, originally scheduled for Sept. 16, was replaced with a week of online giving. Kicking off Sunday, Sept. 19 and continuing through Sunday, Sept. 26, daily emails as well as postings on Facebook shared the stories of the Transformers programs, the lives transformed and opportunities to help. While the week is officially over, it’s not too late to give and serve! Consider providing a meal, volunteering as a mentor or Ally or making a donation. Transformers, an umbrella ministry of Gobin, features four current programs including Getting Ahead in Putnam County, Kids Hope USA, TALKS and Pay It Forward. For more information or to find out how you can help, email email@example.com or call the Gobin Office at 765-658-6010
PRAYER BREAKFAST HONORS DR. WHITE
On Friday, October 1, Pastor Bryan and Pastor Maureen were honored to host a Prayer Breakfast in celebration of DePauw University’s inauguration of its 21st President, Dr. Lori S. White. Over 90 people attended this special event on DePauw’s campus, including INUMC Bishop Julius C. Trimble. What a blessing it was to be a part of this commemorative day.
MY PERSPECTIVE: SPIRITUAL FORMATION RETREAT
BY: Marianne Savage
You may be familiar with The Upper Room through its published works such as The Daily Devotional Guides that are available in churches. What you may not know is that the Upper Room also offers online and in-person courses and retreats designed to enhance and deepen our spiritual experience. These are created and offered through the Upper Room’s Academy for Spiritual Formation.
Last week, I was blessed to be able to participate in one of the Academy’s offerings. The FiveDay Academy for Spiritual Formation was held at The St. Joseph Retreat and Conference Center in Tipton, IN. I signed up back in April having no real idea of what to expect or exactly why I was signing up. I just felt a sort of nudge that I should. As the retreat grew closer, I wondered what I had been thinking! The thought of spending five days in some sort of “spiritual encounter” with a bunch of people I didn’t know was, frankly, pretty frightening for me. But I should have known God wouldn’t steer me wrong!
The theme for this session was, Imagine: Embodying Change in an Emerging World. There were around 50 participants, both clergy and lay, mostly United Methodist, but other denominations were also represented. The majority of people were from Indiana, but there were also attendees from Illinois, Colorado, Alabama, and Texas. The schedule of our days was designed to meet the objectives set by the Academy leadership. Each day was a balance of prayer (three prayer services, including daily Eucharist), instruction, social time, sharing, silence, and contemplation. Rabbi David Horowitz and Reverend Grace Imathiu served as faculty for the week.
Rabbi David and Rev. Grace provided inspirational and thought-provoking sessions. We were encouraged to pray about and contemplate deep questions at the end of each session and then reconvened for discussion. Participating in three beautiful prayer services each day and celebrating with daily Eucharist was powerful and helped us focus on God’s presence. I had the opportunity to learn from the experiences of lay people and clergy from other churches and faith traditions and share with them our experiences here at Gobin and in our community. Each evening we met in small covenant groups to share the ways the day’s experiences had impacted us. And at the end of each day, we participated in The Great Silence – no talking or noise from the end of evening prayer until the opening of morning prayer.
I would highly recommend this experience to anyone seeking to deepen their relationship with God and further develop their spiritual life. It’s a rather big time commitment, but it’s well worth it if you can make it work. It’s also a bit expensive, but the Upper Room does offer scholarships to assist with the cost. These academy sessions are offered in different locations throughout the United States, but the team who organized this session is working hard to try to hold them in Indiana on a regular basis going forward.
You can find out more at https://academy.upperroom.org/. I’d also be happy to discuss my experience in more detail if you are interested. You can reach me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
INAUGURAL INUMC DIVERSITY, MISSIONS AND JUSTICE MINISTRIES RETREAT
On Saturday, August 14th, Gobin and DePauw had the privilege of hosting the Inaugural INUMC (Indiana United Methodist Church) Diversity, Missions, & Justice Ministries Committee Retreat. We are so thankful for this opportunity, and very excited about the work of this committee in the life of Indiana Methodism.
Rev. Annettra Jones Stephens, the INUMC (Indiana United Methodist Church) Associate Director for Diversity, Missions, & Justice then joined us at Gobin Mosaic to preach some fire!
THIS YEAR’S SUMMER ENRICHMENT PROGRAM SOARED!
With this year’s theme of “Taking Flight,” the Summer Enrichment Program (SEP) soared through another successful summer. Over 45 at-risk elementary age children, led by mentors, counselors and camp directors, attended this five-week day camp housed at Gobin Church from June 2-July 2. Breakfast and lunch were provided and weekend food packages were sent home with each camper on Fridays. Campers participated in a variety of activities including acting workshops, cooking lessons, making and playing with salt dough, hiking at the DePauw Nature Park, creating butterfly crafts and swimming at the Greencastle Aquatic Center. They also enjoyed performances such as puppet shows and musical concerts, and a visiting veterinarian shared her knowledge along with a few of her animal friends. As a culminating event and in keeping with this year’s theme of flight, campers had the unique opportunity to experience a thrilling tethered hot air balloon ride!
“This program is an awesome opportunity for these kids to escape in fun-filled activities that grow their minds and encourage healthy relationships. By the end of the day each one of the kids had learned something new whether it be a skill, fact or way to resolve conflict,” shared one mentor.
The Summer Enrichment Program would like to thank all of those who helped make this summer’s experience possible whether through generous donations of time, talents or monetary gifts. We look forward to continuing this program and watching it grow to new heights in the years to come!
PUTNAM COUNTY HOSPITAL CHAPLAINS
An exciting new chapter in serving God’s Children in the Greencastle community has arrived at Gobin Church. Marilyn Culler, Bobbie Lancaster, Lisa Trigg, Alisa Isaacs-Bailey and Joel Everson are now Chaplains serving on-call for Putnam County Hospital. In a rotating schedule, the volunteer chaplains will serve with other local faith leaders to provide spiritual care to patients, families and staff at the hospital. Marilyn and Lisa are both Certified Lay Ministers in the Indiana Conference of the United Methodist Church. Marilyn is assigned to ministry at Beech Grove UMC in rural Putnam County. Lisa is co-lay leader for the 11-county West District of INUMC and also volunteers in the Asbury Towers community. Alisa, Bobbie and Joel are pursuing certification as candidates for ministry in the Indiana Conference. Bobbie is a well-known worship leader, musician and advocate in the community. Alisa and Joel are both active in many areas of ministry at Gobin and bless the community often with their sermons expressing love for all of God’s people.
The chaplaincy program is overseen by PCH’s Tammy Hunter, patient advocate and community health worker. The volunteers are held to the same standards as PCH employees, and follow confidentiality requirements. Gobin Senior Pastor Bryan Langdoc said the Gobin involvement in the PCH Chaplaincy Program began with a voicemail from Hunter. “She said she was calling area pastors to try to staff a chaplaincy program,” Langdoc recalled. “I said I’d be happy to help. But I also said I had even better news — I had a church that could do it.” Gobin is a faith community that encourages its lay people to be part of the world’s transformation through lay servant ministry, which offers training in ministry areas such as caregiving and visitation.
“God is always working in our lives, showering us with blessings and surprises,” Culler said. “I woke up one morning wondering what other ministry opportunities were out there in the community for me. A few short hours later I got an email from Bryan regarding the Putnam County Hospital chaplaincy needs.” The chaplaincy program gives support to in-patients and their families, Cancer Center patients and their families, and PCH employees.
PRAYER SHAWL MINISTRY
The Prayer Shawl ministry had their first in-person meeting on June 25th. They had MANY items to bless: prayer shawls, baby blankets, scarves, and dish cloths. The knitters represent St. Andrew’s, Gobin Church, and First Presbyterian churches.
PUTNAM PRIDE BLOCK PARTY
On the last Saturday in June, the Center for Diversity and Inclusion and Conspire teamed up to celebrate pride month on Indiana Street right here in our own Greencastle. Gobin Church was blessed to join the party by handing out rainbow cookies and sharing the message that God creates and makes Their children just as they are!
Last Sunday (May 23, 2021) morning Gobin Church joined Churches around the World as we celebrated Pentecost Sunday. However, this was not just any Pentecost Sunday…it was PENTESTOCK!
We could not have imagined a more joyous occasion full of singing, dancing, and sunshine, culminating in a shared meal prepared by some of Gobin’s gifted chefs! Thank you to all who joined us as we gathered outdoors in the beautiful sunshine to bask in the beauty of God’s Creation.
Within the Christian Tradition Pentecost represents the birthday of the Church and culmination of the season of Eastertide. In the Upper Room 2000 years ago people had been gathered uncertain of what the future held. The moment of difficulty, uncertainty, confusion, and fear was the perfect container for the Holy Spirit to fill; and fill the room it did! As we read the account in the Book of Acts we see Pentecost as the Divine revelation of God’s intent for the Church as a leavening agent in the world, reminding everyone of the divinely implanted Spirit given in the beginning. The message of Pentecost is clear: The Spirit of God is clearly and completely democratic, unmerited, and inclusive.
It was a gift to gather together in this spirit to lift our hearts and our voices in praise. We can’t wait to do it again next year!
We would like to express our gratitude to Gayle Everson for allowing us to gather at the Everson Farm, as well as the many volunteers that made this event possible!
GOBIN CHURCH CONFIRMATION 2021
On Saturday, April 3, Gobin recognized four outstanding young people for their commitment to live in the vows of the baptismal and membership covenant of the United Methodist Church. Led by Youth Pastor Alisa Isaacs-Bailey, students Clare Langdoc, Lillian Welch, Fischer Barcus and Maisy Isaacs-Bailey participated in an approximate 10-week class where they engaged in fun and safe discussions of their own beliefs as well as the beliefs of Christianity and the United Methodist Church.This journey culminated with a small celebration in the sanctuary, where Pastor Bryan Langdoc officially confirmed the students while offering a reminder of their baptismal vows. Congratulations to this exceptional group!
SUNNY SIDE CONCERT SERIES RECEIVES $10,000 UNITED WAY GRANT
As part of their COVID relief grant cycle, the United Way of Putnam County awarded the Sunny Side Concert Series$10,000, a fitting example of a way to address mental health during this pandemic.
The Concert Series was created by Greencastle resident Bobbie Lancaster in an effort to reach and connect with loved ones at Mill Pond, a local long-term care facility. These filmed performances, featuring talented community musicians and storytellers, were created and streamed into the rooms of Mill Pond residents.
“It was a big push to record and produce four concerts featuring talented friends in our community. I was in total amazement at how quickly doors opened, the team materialized and support grew,” Lancaster said.
This virtual endeavor is not only a way to bring joy to those in long-term care facilities, but also serve as a resource for home health and hospice workers. The Series hopes to expand and grow to other long-term care facilities in the future. Current episodes may be viewed on the Sunny Side Concert Series YouTube channel.
WELCOME CHAPEL INTERNS
Gobin is excited to welcome three Chapel interns this spring. These outstanding individuals are DePauw students who use their gifts for ministry to serve in Gobin’s student ministries, from liturgy to social media and more. Please welcome them!
Parker Black, a DePauw sophomore, is a Greencastle native, talented musician, and assists in much of Gobin’s technology needs. He is a guitarist in a Grateful Dead cover band, owns and operates a recording studio, and started a nonprofit to help school children pay for their lunches. The Putnam County Community Foundation named him Philanthropist of the Year for his involvement in the community
Imani Luellen, also a sophomore, grew up in SouthernIllinois and is majoring in philosophy. Not only is Imani a member of Gobin’s Leadership Team, but she also has led the Children’s Sermon and served as a liturgist. As a chapel intern, Imani has been able to connect her passion for social justice with her love for God. She is grateful for feeling so welcomed by Gobin.
Andrea Avrand, a freshman from Los Angeles, CA , is studying biochemistry and polyscience. She uses her gift of writing to express her faith through devotions three to four times a week, which are posted on DePauw’s Center for Spiritual Life webpage. Andrea is excited to become more acquainted with the Gobin community, become involved in worship and spread Jesus’ love through children’s ministry.
CALLING ALL FARMERS, GARDENERS AND CROP HARVESTERS!
In order to help feed those in need locally, Gobin Church is organizing a grow more, share more program. The idea is simple, really. We ask you to plant an additional row in your garden this season and then deliver that harvest, or whatever you can spare, to the Gobin Church main office. Be sure to label your donation with your name. Our volunteers will then turn your crops into healthy meals for those who need them. If you have a plot in a community garden, a home garden or even some potted vegetable plants, we hope you’ll join us in these efforts to serve those in need. Happy Planting!
GOBIN WELCOMES THE HARVEST HOUSE COMMUNITY!
The faces of Joel and Tosh Everson are definitely not new to the Gobin community. We have been blessed with their beautiful music as well as Joel’s divine words of faith leading us in prayer and worship these past several months via online services. Pastor Joel and Pastor Bryan have been collaborating for several years as the two share similar visions regarding mission, community and projects in ministry. Opportunities turned into conversations and dreaming, and now Joel and Tosh, along with their church family of Harvest House, have decided to join our Gobin family.
“We have chosen to merge our community of Harvest House into Gobin, and I couldn’t be more excited to bring these gifts and communities together and grow together,” Joel said.
Joel began pastoring at the age of 18 and for the past 12 years, he and his wife, Tosh, have been leading a small community here in Greencastle called Harvest House Church. This ministry actually began in the Everson’s living room, later expanding to a storefront space on the courthouse square and eventually to a small building for worship and gathering outside of town.
“At the unction of the Holy Spirit, we have felt led to become part of the Gobin community fully and to merge into this space in a both a communal way, but to also discern how that works in a ministry format,” Joel said. Just recently Pastor Everson began the United Methodist Church ordination process and is excited on what the future will bring. “It has become so clear to me that this is where God has been leading us all along,” he added. We at Gobin welcome the Harvest House community and are excited as to where the future leads us together!
Twelve New Members Joined in November!
Our Sunday November 8, 2020 morning service was especially meaningful, as we experienced the joy of welcoming 12 new professing members into our church community. What a blessing to witness all these individuals and their families affirming their faithfulness to Christ and Gobin Church. Congratulations!
- Jamie Douglas
- Scott Douglas
- Joel Everson
- Tosh Everson
- Charity Harvey
- Russell Harvey
- Bobbie Lancaster
- Jeff Lancaster
- Imani Luellen
- Garret Nichols
- Kelly Nichols
- Chris Weeks
Virtual Benefit for Beyond Homeless Exceeds Expectations
Throughout the month of December a virtual benefit, known as Carols4aCause, raised money and lifted the spirits of many during the holiday season. The idea emerged from Gobin’s very own Bobbie Lancaster after she had a conversation with two good friends. They decided to set a goal of raising $5,000 for Beyond Homeless, Greencastle’s Shelter for Women and Children. When Lancaster reached out to Lea Durbin, Executive Director of Beyond Homeless, Durbin shared that she needed exactly that amount for a new computer lab. Individuals, families and even co-workers posted videos of themselves on Facebook singing Christmas carols. The videos were shared and viewers were encouraged to make a small donation in a virtual “tip jar” a.k.a. a PayPal link. While the benefit hoped to raise $5,000 by Christmas Day, on the morning of December 25th, only $1890 had been raised. Later that evening, at almost the exact same time, two anonymous donors contributed $3200 each, bringing the total to over $8,000! “How’s that for a God that can give us more than we can ask or imagine?!” shared Lancaster.
Durbin posted on the Beyond Homeless Facebook page, “Thank you for providing beautiful music throughout the month, and thank you to everyone who tuned in, listened, and gave generously to help us. I am forever grateful.”
Sunny Side Concert Series Brings Joy to Mill Pond
Bobbie Lancaster and friends are bringing hope, encouragement and love to those in isolated care through the power of song. In an effort to reach and connect with loved ones at Mill Pond, a local long-term care facility, Lancaster organized the Sunny Side Concert Series. These filmed performances, featuring talented community musicians, were created and streamed into the rooms of Mill Pond residents. “It was a big push to record and produce four concerts featuring talented friends in our community. I was in total amazement at how quickly doors opened, the team materialized and support grew,” Lancaster said. And did support grow! In December, Lancaster received a generous grant from the Putnam County Community Foundation to continue this meaningful work.
Now the Sunny Side Concert Series presses on and your help is needed! Performers, storytellers, jokesters and children are all welcome. The on-line series hopes to expand this spring into other care facilities in Putnam County. Want to help or just want more information? Contact Bobbie Lancaster at email@example.com
COVID Can’t Stop CIRCLES
Lives are still being transformed at Circles in spite of Covid. We had four Circle Leaders complete their training at the end of December and they are still coming, enjoying the positive support of the Circles Community. Covid has certainly changed things but it can’t stop us! One of the new Circle Leaders applied for a Pay it Forward loan to buy a used car and has turned her life around drastically. She went from being homeless to having stable housing and a full-time job that she enjoys. She knows she has been shaped by her past but not defined by it and she is moving into a brighter future.
We are looking for 5-10 new participants for the next Circle Leader training that begins with an Open House on Thursday, February 18 at 6:00 pm. If you know someone who is tired of surviving and ready to thrive, tell them about Circles or email Lori Miller at firstname.lastname@example.org.
With a new training group, we will also need several new Allies in the next two months. If you are a good encourager and have an hour a week to volunteer, reach out to Lori at email@example.com and she can explain what’s involved.