The heavens opened up for the two days I was in Nome (Aug. 15-16). Blue skies and warm temperatures are rare in that part of the world, especially in mid-August. I was there at the invitation of David and Julie Elmore, co-pastors of Nome Community United Methodist Church. They were great hosts, showing me fish camps, overlooks, historic buildings, and churches. I saw boys swimming in the Bering Sea! I got to sing with the Inupiaq choir in their language. Well, mostly I lip synced.
The Elmore's live in an attached residence to the church which is not always the best arrangement. A perfect example of boundaries blurring happened before Sunday worship when Mukluk, the mission intern's dog, got loose in the building. Suddenly scooping up doggy surprises in the sanctuary became part of David's morning routine! Julie asked if this was going to get into my dibble and I replied, "You betcha!"
Worship was full with about 35 people, 12 being children. The Elmore's have started Tuesday School which is a children's CE experience. They have also started a Monday worship service twice a month. David and Julie also work half time each at the Community Center.
Sunday morning as I walked through the quiet streets I met a little boy, Martin, playing on the church's playground. Martin must be about 6 or 7. I helped untie a knot in his shoe and we talked and played on the monkey bars. I asked him if he ever had been inside the church building and he said no. He wanted to know what we did in there. Martin didn't join us for worship but maybe one day he will.
It is so important that we have a strong presence in Nome to be the hands and feet of Christ to be there for children like Martin. This small church does incredible ministry in a place where the needs are great. This presence could not happen without the generous support from others. If you would like to support the Elmore's in their ministry you can make a donation by going to http://new.gbgm-umc.org/advance Julie's salary support number is 3019685. David's is 3019686.
You can see pictures of the trip at http://www.facebook.com/home.php?#/album.php?aid=146863&id=511802393&ref=mf
Grace and peace,