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A dozen volunteers from Flowing Forth United Methodist Church conducted two one-day “Serve Local” mission trips in Aurora...

COVID Coping—Aurora Methodists refocus mission trips on hometown

AURORA, Ill., June 29, 2020 — When COVID-19 canceled out-of-state mission trips, Aurora Methodists refocused on their hometown.

A dozen volunteers from Flowing Forth United Methodist Church conducted two one-day “Serve Local” mission trips in Aurora last week by donating time at Mutual Ground domestic violence shelter and Marie Wilkinson Food Pantry’s community garden, both in Aurora. The Serve Local effort replaced week-long June mission trips to Texas and Puerto Rico by Flowing Forth youth and adults.

Anna Bross of Aurora, left and Sharon Seitzinger, Batavia, do yard work at Aurora’s Mutual Ground domestic violence shelter during “Serve Local” community mission projects last week by volunteers from Aurora’s Flowing Forth United Methodist Church. (Derek Rogers photo)

Rev. Derek Rogers, Flowing Forth pastor, led volunteers. He said, “It was a perfect day to do some beautifying of their grounds at Mutual Ground. We are grateful to give back and impact lives in our own community.”

He added, “It was a hot day but we accomplished a lot in the Marie Wilkinson Community Garden. We planted peonies to peppers, trimmed bushes and spread mulch.”

Rev. Rogers said church college students contributed $400 raised for their cancelled mission trip to purchase 45 grocery bags of food for Marie Wilkinson.

Flowing Forth is among United Methodist churches nationwide supplementing online worship services with drive-in services. The church will hold carpool worship services at 10 a.m. Sunday, July 5 and July 28, at Aurora Christian School’s main parking lot, 2255 Sullivan Rd. in Aurora.  The public is invited. COVID-19 protocols will be observed.

The church’s first drive-in services were held June 14 and June 28.

Normally, Flowing Forth holds worship services at 10 a.m. Sundays at Aurora Christian. The public is invited. Admission and parking are free. Flowing Forth was born in a 2018 merger of Flowing Grace and Fourth Street United Methodist churches in Aurora.

Call (630) 239-2321 or visit for more information.

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Al Benson
Freelance Photo-Journalist

Al Benson is an Aurora-based freelance photo-journalist. He is currently an archives research specialist at Aurora University. His work has appeared in The Voice, The Daily Herald, The Beacon-News, and the Chicago Tribune.

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