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    United Methodists of Upper New YorkLiving the Gospel. Being God's Love.

    news article

    Celebrating Creation with Wild Worship at Webb Mills UMC

    May 21, 2024 / By Ann Wood / .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)

    On a pleasant April 22 evening, Earth Day, the Webb Mills United Methodist Church hosted a memorable outdoor worship service beneath the shelter of a large pine tree on their church grounds. The event, dubbed “Wild Worship,” attracted members from surrounding area churches and the local community, and even captured the interest of a passerby who decided to join in. 
    The service was led by Pastor Corey Turnpenny and Lay Leader Marcia Focht from Church in the Wild. Together, they shared the intriguing backstory into the origins of wild worship and the establishment of Church in the Wild. Their guidance turned the worship into an interactive experience that connected attendees with God through nature. The congregation engaged in reading scriptures and poems, singing, and fellowship, all set in the tranquil outdoors. Jean Coons of Webb Mills UMC provided the musical backdrop, playing a keyboard, enhancing the ambiance. 
    This innovative worship service was organized by the Elmira Area Operational Team, a laity group dedicated to exploring ways to enhance ministry collaboration across the community. Throughout the year, this team of spiritual disciples from various churches developed under the guidance of Lindsay Martin, a coach with Spiritual Leadership Inc. (SLI), who introduced them to the L3 model of loving, learning, and leading. The Wild Worship was one of their first collaborative efforts aimed at creating meaningful spiritual connections and building relationships within the Elmira area. 
    The Wild Worship at Webb Mills UMC exemplifies how creative and inclusive worship practices can bring communities together and deepen their connection with God’s creation, making it a memorable and spiritually enriching for all who participated.

    TAGGED / Communications / Youth / Districts

    With more than 100,000 members, United Methodists of Upper New York comprises of more than 675 local churches and New Faith Communities in 12 districts, covering 48,000 square miles in 49 of the 62 counties in New York state. Our vision is to “live the Gospel of Jesus Christ and to be God’s love with our neighbors in all places."