Faith United Methodist Church in Buchanan completes new playgroundPublished 9:20am Monday, August 31, 2009
By KATHIE HEMPEL
Niles Daily Star
BUCHANAN – In times of economic downturn, many look to their faith to keep their spirits up.
For others with small children, the concern is how to instill good moral values in a world that can seem to offer anything but.
Faith United Methodist Church celebrated one small step toward guiding many small children toward happy and healthy adulthood. This is one church determined to meet children where they live.
Aug. 23, the church held ribbon cutting ceremonies for their new playground.
“If you want families with small children to come, you have to show them they are welcome,” Pastor Chris Kruchkow said.
The project began with the digging of a hole in the area of the seven acre church property set aside for the children on July 11. Two weeks later the hole was filled with 60 tons of rubberized sand donated by Technisand of Bridgman, where one of FUMC’s congregants works.
Then the playground equipment was installed. Pre-school swings and the climber were recycled from the former Trinity United Methodist Church in Niles where FUMC now operates a Food Bank.
With Lowes in Niles offering great discount on the needed timber to finish the project, 40 different volunteers, over three Saturdays completed the children’s dream play space with several slides, a climbing wall, rope-bridge and swings.
It is said if you build it they will come, and come they did. With perfect weather the playground opened to the church’s 139 members including 30 children under the age of 10.
It doesn’t stop there. This is a church with a dream of building a complete recreational area where families can play and worship together.
There is a horseshoe pit several yards away from the children’s playground. Plans are in the works for a nine-hole Frisbee golf course. One day Kruchkow says there may even be a mini putt-putt.
“The dream is that the children know we care about them and the love of Christ demonstrated in a practical way, that serves them,” Kruchkow said.
“If you are dedicated to caring you can’t be afraid of asking people to contribute and if you believe in what your doing they will support you.”
The congregation contributed and one anonymous member matched all donations dollar for dollar.
FUMC is a church that shows their love for one another and their community through action. In addition to the Food Bank in Niles, they operate a consignment clothing store on Front Street in downtown Buchanan.
There are activities and groups for all ages as the church’s congregation has members from 2 years old to one 84-year-old member who has been part of the church family since 1938.
Sister’s Circle, the church’s women’s group, holds an Annual Ladies Night Out to mark the opening of deer season. Senior ladies will be interested in Sisters in Service where they visit to make chemo caps and blankets for area hospitals and cancer patients.
A men’s breakfast is held the third Saturday of each month during the school year. Christian Sport Fishing Club meets here and this winter will mark the first annual Walk on Water ice fishing tournament.
Young couples and singles from 25-55 years of age gather one Saturday evening a month for the GOOSE Middlers group. The acronym stands for God & Others On Saturday Evenings. They gather together to share food, games and fellowship.
JOY (Just Older Youth) is a group of the church’s senior citizens who gather to do work around the church property.
For senior high students there is CHAOS (CHRIST HAS ALL OUR SOLUTIONS). FUEL (Faith Unleashed In Every Day Life) serves Middle School students and CSI (Christ Seekers Inc) is a program for those in grades two to five.
Youth groups meet weekly while most of the other groups meet once a month.
FUMC with its 45 families has proven you don’t have to be big to make a big difference in a community. By catering to their youngest members they hope to play a part in molding a better future one small step at a time. All interested families are invited to join them for the 11 a.m. for Sunday morning services. Sunday School meets at 9:30 a.m. at the church’s 728 N. Detroit St., location.
Visit the church’s website at: www.buchananfaith.com, for directions and further information.