Home Church community Methodist Church Creates New Way to Bless Halstead Community ”Harvey County Now

Methodist Church Creates New Way to Bless Halstead Community ”Harvey County Now


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By Jared Janzen

HALSTEAD — Take what you need. Leave what you can.

This is the simple motto behind the new blessing box lying on the sidewalk outside the First United Methodist Church in Halstead.

“We invite all members of the community to literally take what they need out of the box and help us fulfill a mission in the community by helping to keep the box full,” said Karen Koehn, church member. .

The blessing box was sponsored by a newly formed committee of healthy congregations at the church.

“It really focuses on the spiritual, physical, social and emotional health of not just our congregation but the community,” said Koehn, who sits on this committee along with Kent and Myrla Haury, Dr Connie Marsh and Pastor Jeff Graber. .

Pastor Jeff Graber, left, leads members of the congregation in a dedication ceremony on the new blessing box outside First United Methodist Church.

The committee came up with the idea for a blessing box in August when they were looking for a way to benefit the community as a whole and share the love of Jesus with others.

Myrla Haury developed a conceptual design for the blessing box, taking inspiration from the church steeple and steeple. The box was built by Jason Kraus of Kraus and Sons Carpentry and installed outside the church in early November.

Now open for business, the Blessings Box includes non-perishable foods, as well as other essentials like soap, shampoo, deodorant, and toilet paper.

“Personal care items, household items, cleaning supplies, gloves, hats, mittens, anything that can be a blessing for someone in need,” Koehn said.

There are only two shelves inside at the moment, but a third will be added so that the box can offer even more to the community.

Koehn pointed out that the box is conveniently located along a path many students take to get to school, which she sees as an added benefit.

“We really invited the students to take advantage of what might be in the box that they might not have at home,” she said.

The plan is starting to work. Koehn said a few of the items originally placed inside were no longer there.

“I find that encouraging. I find it exciting, ”she said. “I think as we move into the colder months, as we get closer to the holidays and the rumor starts to spread that the box is there, it will be used more and more. ”

The Blessing Box is the first of its kind in Halstead. Some surrounding communities like Newton have similar blessing boxes, which the committee used to inspire when creating theirs.

While other organizations in Halstead provide food for those in need, Koehn believed the church’s blessing box would have its own niche.

“The Neighbors store and their pantry as well as the Dragon pantry across the school system are doing a very good job,” Koehn said. “They are doing a fantastic job. But we still felt that despite their programs, we could fill an additional need that was anonymous.

Koehn noted that a future project the Congregation’s Healthy Committee has in mind is to develop the grassy area south of the church into a quiet, meditative space. They hope it will be something that complements the lodge and garden at the learning center across the street.

In the meantime, she can’t wait to see what impact the blessing box will have.

“We are really excited to offer this to the community,” said Koehn. “We really invite the community at large to help us. “