Plainville United Methodist Church, located about 30 miles east of Vincennes, may be small in size but not in faith and deeds. In April 2022, a youth fundraiser raised $1,095 that was donated to to support the humanitarian efforts in Ukraine.
The town of Plainville has approximately 500 residents, and the church averages 25 people in worship. About a year ago, the church began a Wednesday night service that has been successful in connecting with youth and younger families. The youth group has 8 area teens involved.
Pastor Rex Thomas explained that the youth were feeling a pull to do something and latched onto the idea of a fundraiser. As the group was deciding what organization or cause for which to fundraise, an email came to Pastor Rex from UMCOR about assisting Ukrainian people in the face of Russia’s invasion. The cause resonated with the youth. They wanted to make a difference.
The fundraiser took place on a Saturday for about 4 hours. The youth set up a stand at Plainville’s gas station. They had tables of baked goods for purchase and “walking tacos,” ground beef and taco fixings over Fritos.
The fundraiser became a church-wide effort. The adults in the congregation that are along in years were energized by seeing the youth be an active part of Plainville UMC’s ministries. The older members baked cookies and sweets to be sold, and Pastor Rex’s wife, Julia, made the taco meat.
“Ukraine has been on everyone’s minds and hearts wanting to support Ukraine. We have a lot of veterans—I, myself, am a veteran—who have fought for freedom and understand it. It hits them hard about how the Ukrainian people are standing up and defending democracy,” said Pastor Rex.
The church is thrilled by this ministry impact. There are no borders on being the body of Christ and no distance that is too far for God’s care. UMCOR is still and working with strategic partners in Ukraine and Europe to support the Ukrainian peoples. The money goes towards providing transportation assistance, humanitarian supplies (food, water, clothing, shelter and medication), as well as legal services and safe spaces for women, children, and those with disabilities. These youth and Plainville UMC remind us all that God can use us to make and bake hope in the world.