In 1789, a church was founded in Flanders. That church is the Flanders United Methodist Church on Park Street. Celebrating its 225th anniversary this year, the church is marking the event by celebrating its connections to the community. A recent event that highlighted one such connection was its Scout Sunday held last month.
“Flanders United Methodist Church, charters our scout organization. They have given our scout groups support for over 40 years, such as meeting facilities, leadership and coordination. We are very happy to have this important relationship with our chartered organization and especially this year [as they] celebrate their 225th anniversary,’ said Mike Welsch, Cubmaster of Cub Scout Pack 47 in Flanders.
Members of Cub Scout Pack 47, Boy Scout Troop 156, and Venture Crew 156, all of Flanders, shared in the February service with the congregation. That service included a message by the District Superintendent of the Skylands District (of the United Methodist Church), the Rev. Steven Bechtold, a skit , “A Purpose in Life” , done by church members Peter Herbst and Antoine Gayles and the song, “I Won’t Take Less Than Your Love;” sung by Ray Winch, who heads the church’s Sacred Bean Coffeehouse music ministry, There was a flag presentation. The scouts presented their charters and did scripture readings.
In talking about the scouts, the church’s pastor, Meekyung Kim, noted that the scouts have helped the church through various Eagle Scout projects and have been recognized for that.
“The John Wesley service award is awarded to those who did an Eagle Scout project [at] the Flanders United Methodist Church; several projects have been done by Boy Scout Troop 156.
A recent project was done by Nick Maldarelli , Troop 249, who made an entrance ramp to the church. The project included breaking up a cement stoop and replacing it with a 20 foot state of the art entrance, fully compliant with the American Disabilities Act (ADA)”, said Kim.
Past Eagle Scout projects have included remounting the iron cemetery gate, reconstructing the thrift shop fence, building the thrift shop shed, and building a walkway to the west wing. There are many other projects that have been done including trimming thrift shop shrubs, and moving 1,500 items from a storage tent to the basement for the church’s annual Christmas boutique
In reflecting on what it means to have the church be able to open its doors to the scout troops it supports, Kim shared, “I am grateful to serve the Boy Scouts and their leaders. I have noticed the tremendous work and efforts of the troop leaders. I hope and pray their efforts will be fruitful.” She added, “I would like to encourage young people to come to church so that they can feel at home in the church and to nurture them to serve the community. The church needs to open the door to young people and support them as much as we can. We need to give opportunities for them to feel their dignity as God’s children and help them to transform the world,”