Churches host community events, summer camps

Summer slowdown

Teacher Mary Ninker, center, assists students Maryury Tabres, left, and Martha Gomez at Marco Lutheran Churchís English as a Second Language classes on June 4.  The classes are held 6 p.m. Monday evenings and 10 a.m. Tuesday mornings through August. 
 /Kathleen Tuttle Special to the Eagle

Photo by Kathleen G. Tuttle

Teacher Mary Ninker, center, assists students Maryury Tabres, left, and Martha Gomez at Marco Lutheran Churchís English as a Second Language classes on June 4. The classes are held 6 p.m. Monday evenings and 10 a.m. Tuesday mornings through August. /Kathleen Tuttle Special to the Eagle

Rachel Lyle, left, Mary Beth Nantz, Jo-Anne and Jim Garvin gather goodies in the kitchen for the Sunday morning coffee chat for parents on June 3 at Marco Presbyterian Church.  The informal chats continue through August. 
 /Kathleen Tuttle Special to the Eagle

Photo by Kathleen G. Tuttle

Rachel Lyle, left, Mary Beth Nantz, Jo-Anne and Jim Garvin gather goodies in the kitchen for the Sunday morning coffee chat for parents on June 3 at Marco Presbyterian Church. The informal chats continue through August. /Kathleen Tuttle Special to the Eagle

San Marco Catholic Church Youth Group members Marissa Mengelkoch, left, Ashley Johnson, Lauren Jeter and Yali Luna attended the Catholic Heart Workcamp in Tampa, June 10 to 16.  They spent their days at various worksites helping the disadvantaged and their evenings learning about and praising God. 
 /Kathleen Tuttle Special to the Eagle

Photo by Kathleen G. Tuttle

San Marco Catholic Church Youth Group members Marissa Mengelkoch, left, Ashley Johnson, Lauren Jeter and Yali Luna attended the Catholic Heart Workcamp in Tampa, June 10 to 16. They spent their days at various worksites helping the disadvantaged and their evenings learning about and praising God. /Kathleen Tuttle Special to the Eagle

ìEach One Bring Oneî is the summer theme at New Life Community Church.  Pictured on June 10 are Raja Simatupane, left, Victor Garza, and Kingsly Furtado.  Garza brought Furtado on June 3 who brought Simatupane on June 10. 
 /Kathleen Tuttle Special to the Eagle

Photo by Kathleen G. Tuttle

ìEach One Bring Oneî is the summer theme at New Life Community Church. Pictured on June 10 are Raja Simatupane, left, Victor Garza, and Kingsly Furtado. Garza brought Furtado on June 3 who brought Simatupane on June 10. /Kathleen Tuttle Special to the Eagle

There's no summer doldrums at Marco's houses of worship. Summer is a time to slow down, reflect on the joy of creation and to savor a more intimate worship experience.

The Church Lady set off to discover what's happening in the off-season. Here are a few highlights in alphabetic order by denomination.

Josh Hogue, children's pastor, Family Church—Marco wants to remind everyone that its children's ministry, Wambaland for nursery to preschool and Upstreet for kindergarten to fifth grade continues at 10:30 a.m. on Sunday through the summer. Each month the children learn a new virtue.

On Wednesday's youths in sixth to 12th grades meet from 6 to 8 p.m. for fellowship, featuring games and activities as well as to hear a relevant message.

Members of that group will also attend a Student Life Ministries Camp at West Palm Beach Atlantic University, July 30 to Aug. 3. Spaces are still available; contact Pastor Casey Nowlin at the church.

Kim Adamson, San Marco Catholic Church's religious education director, and four youth group members joined 200 other teens at the Catholic Heart Workcamp in Tampa, June 10 to 16. Their days were filled with hard work and prayer. Jobs ranged from spreading mulch around 255 tents at a homeless shelter, to playing with and supervising children at the Boys & Girls Club; and painting and cleaning up yards for the elderly, poor and sick.

"The week was a wonderful experience for the teens," said Adamson. "They made some new, true friends that they can share their faith with and got to know each other better as well."

"Each One Bring One" is the theme for New Life Community Church.

"In the summer attendance normally drops by 40 percent," said New Life's Pastor Thomas McCulley. Each member and attendee were asked to invite someone to church each Sunday.

Personal spiritual growth will be emphasized this summer too. McCulley usually teaches by phrase or word-by-word through the Bible, but this summer he plans a topical approach including "Bringing Glory to the Father" and "Sacrificial Living for a Higher Purpose."

The United Church of Marco Island continues its Sunday morning service and asks that people check the website for fellowship events.

The Bargain Basket, a church ministry, remains open and needs volunteers.

St. Mark's Episcopal Church's the Rev. Dr. Kyle Bennett is on a three-month sacred sabbatical.

"It's a wonderful time for the parish to raise up our lay leadership by encouraging each other to renew, recommit and reinvigorate our church until he returns in September," said Kevin Fitzgerald, St. Mark's senior warden.

This summer as in previous summers, the parish will concentrate on several camps: a diocesan camp for elementary students followed by a youth camp. This will also be the sixth year that they will spearhead Camp Able, a camp for people with special needs.

Each year the church hosts and provides practical experience for a seminary student. Janet Tunnell from Austin, Texas will assist with the camps and preach at several services. As in the past the parishioners will provide feedback to help her hone her skills.

The church will also host several visiting clergy. Fr. Hipolito Fernandez and his family, from the school and church that St. Mark's helps support in the Dominican Republic, will be at the church in July.

The summer months are also a time for spiritual growth for the folks at the Jewish Congregation of Marco Island (JCMI). Different congregants will discuss portions of scriptures at the Friday evening worship services while Rabbi Edward Maline is away on vacation. They will also have guest speakers. Dalia Zuckerman, an Israeli, will discuss the current state of affairs in Israel on July 13 and Hannah Rose Kandel, 20, will share how her painting "Crazy Love," was chosen by the United Nations for its 2012 Autism Awareness Stamp.

Kandel has autism and attends Temple Shalom, Naples. When she was 11, a group at the Temple formulated a plan to help her with her Bat Mizvah. The result was a complete metamorphosis. "Her spiritual journey was so empowering not only for her but for all of us involved," said JCMI's Cantorial Soloist, Hari Jacobsen who has been Kandel's tutor for nine years.

Marco Presbyterian Church views the time when the snowbirds leave and the "year-rounders" travel as an opportunity to reach out to the Island by thinking outside the box. Its 6 p.m. Wednesday night program begins with a simple supper followed by a short video compiled from the TV show, "Gilligan's Island." Each clip highlights a topical or object lesson. The goal is to have different generations come together for an evening of learning, round-table discussions and laughter.

Also new this year is the coffee chat for parents during the 9 a.m. Sunday school hour. Parents will have an opportunity to learn what their children are learning and discuss family issues from a Biblical perspective.

"Our focus this summer is to include the whole family and not divide them up into age appropriate groups," Jo-Anne Garvin, children, youth and famil teen leader.

New at Marco Lutheran Church are English as a Second Language (ESL) classes. During a prayer walk in March, church members surveyed the community and asked for prayer requests.

"The ESL classes are a spin-off of that walk," said James Zickfield, associate director of Christian Outreach — Education. "Our goal is to reach out to the international community."

Additionally the Marco Lutheran Foundation sponsored a grant to host a "Missional Social Media Workshop" lead by Gretchen Jameson of purePR, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., June 30 at Zion Lutheran Church in Fort Myers. PurePR assists nonprofits, NGOs, and mission-centered for-profit organizations to change its communities.

The men's ministry small group is also new this summer. They meet 8:45 a.m. on Tuesdays and are currently studying the topic: "Fatherhood — with Joel Biermann."

July marks the one-year anniversary for Wesley United Methodist Church's Pastor the Rev. Kirk Dreiser. The church will have a special Independence Day luncheon after the worship service on July 1.

Church elders are also planning a musical drama camp in early August for children elementary age through high school. Students will learn songs and skits that will be performed for family and friends.

Be sure to watch the Faith Briefs for updates.

© 2012 marconews.com. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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