Utah pastor responds to swimming tragedy with adult instruction, classes

August 24, 2018
Pastor Rob Bruendl of Trinity United Methodist Church (UMC) in Kearns, Utah has brought adult swim classes to his church after facing a swimming-related tragedy in 2016.

After the passing of a church member,  Penoni 'Noni' Mounga, from drowning, Bruendl began his journey of education and instruction for adult swimmers. Bruendl recieved a grant in 2017 from U.S. Masters Swimming Saves Lives Foundation, which allowed him to begin his class.

"Through the 'Swim for Noni' program," Bruendl says, "over 20 young Tongan American men and women are now trained to be more comfortable and sage in the water."

The group is currently working on moving to a new renovated building in West Valley City, Utah. In the meantime, they are setting up the fall schedule for Adult Learn-to-Swim classes. 

The group is still growing as Bruendl said, "we will be honoring Noni further by reaching out into our Samoan American and European American communities' adults that need this training."

"This ministry has had a lasting effect on our congregation and has allowed me as pastor to develop a trust and a deeper relationship with our young people," Bruendl adds. "We are truly living into our church motto of 'Expect the Incredible.'"