Aldersgate UMC holds fall retreat


Faith, family and friends were celebrated when Jackson Aldersgate United Methodist Church held its first retreat in October, said the Rev. Dwight Prowell.

The retreat was held at Henry S. Jacobs Camp near Port Gibson.

The Rev. Steve Casteel, Mississippi Conference director of Connectional Ministries and pastor of Forest Hill UMC, was among the presenters. “What if every Sunday was Aldersgate Sunday and people came to find their hearts strangely warmed?” he asked.

Casteel described life’s experiences of life as a petri dish to grow love saying, “Don’t piddle around. Spend your time doing stuff that changes things.” 

The Rev. L. Fitzgerald Lovett, conference staff member and pastor of Middlebrook United Methodist Church, used the acronym I.M.P.A.C.T. to illustrate what the church should keep in mind for a successful future:

I – Investment of time, talent and treasure
M – Membership increase
P  –  Prayer
A –  Activities
C  – Collaboration
T –  Touch

Lovett said church members need to identify a target area to be evangelized and each member should invite at least two persons to visit Aldersgate during the next year. “Aldersgate has many valuable resources in the gifts of its people,” he said.

The Rev. Martha A. Alexander stressed the importance of church members evaluating what they want from Aldersgate and deciding what they are willing to do to get it.  Her audience was made up of women attending the retreat. The church must perform certain tasks to become a better church, she said. These tasks include having the faith spiritually, a more active prayer ministry and family partnerships. Other tasks are planning strategies, getting in position to act on those strategies and operating under the power of the Holy Spirit.

Donald Beard addressed men attending the retreat, sharing ways men could be challenged to make a difference. He is president of the United Methodist Men of Anderson United Methodist Church.  Examples of what the men’s group could do first includes challenging then to do something without direction but with accountability and empowering men with responsibilities that are crucial to the church.