UMW of First UMC in Newcastle, WY raises $52K for county senior center

May 03, 2019
Submitted by Pastor Brenda Torrie
First United Methodist Church, Newcastle, Wyoming

Under the leadership guidance of Chris French, president of the United Methodist Women at First UMC in Newcastle, Wyoming, the church capably raised funds for the Weston County Senior Center: $52,500! Each year, First UMC holds a Spring Benefit Luncheon and the United Methodist Women vote on a recipient of the funds. This year, the Spring Benefit Luncheon was held on May 3. Donations of 20 casseroles, 20 salads and numerous desserts pour in from community churches, including the practical assistance of our sisters from Corpus Christi Catholic Church and other local churches.

This year, the church voted to raise funds for the Senior Center’s roofing project. In previous years, funds have been donated to the Weston County Library in Newcastle; the Weston County Humane Society; and Totes of Hope, a food program for elementary and middle school children who are at food risk for the weekends. The Senior Center provides single-level housing and some of First UMC’s congregants live in the housing section.

The Senior Center is a staple of senior life in Weston County. As Pastor Brenda Torrie walks her dog in the wee hours of the morning, she shares a wave with the drivers of County vans taking those in need to doctor’s appointments as far away as Rapid City; all are volunteers and work on a roster. There are amazing cinnamon buns each Friday morning, and a hot meal every day of the work week, with Meals on Wheels providing food from the Center for those who can’t get to the Center, and to provide food for them on the weekend. In a small town it offers free meeting space and even a work out room that citizens can use without cost.

The Senior Center is an essential part of daily life and health in Weston County. That’s why the Spring Benefit is an essential part of continuing the livelihood of the Center. Donations came in at $52,500 for a cause in which everyone can see value. Pastor Brenda is proud of the hard work the church's UMW does each spring and fall, with the Christmas Bazaar bringing in enough money to fund projects such as UMCOR cleaning kits (buckets), and a Zimbabwean prison ministry for men and women in Mutare District, to name but a few.

She said: “These are amazingly generous and committed women not only to those in their community, but also those in need out in the world. Their outpouring of effort is made with good cheer and a dedication to bettering the lives of others. Newcastle’s UMW is the backbone of the Christian community’s outreach.”