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On our MEDIA page you will find a variety
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1st Annual Block Party

We had our first annual ‘Block Party’ Sunday July 30th in our parking lot just north of the church building. As
8 a.m. rolled around on the 30th, several of the church members gathered to set up tables, chairs, equipment for the Praise Team and of course the lunch that was being served afterward. In no time at all the parking lot was transformed into what looked like a sanctuary in any church building. As the 9:45 hour approached parishioners began to gather and the seats began to fill. The weather was perfect that day, in the low to mid 70’s, even being on the blacktop didn’t seem to matter.
The Praise Band kicked off the morning with 3 of their favorite songs and Pastor Rick who was freshly back from Uganda, followed with his sermon on the book of James. Shawn and Lea Cullison spoke regarding their experiences in Uganda as they accompanied Rick on the mission.

The Praise Band then finished the worship time with 3 more of their favorite songs. It was a beautiful Day with wonderful worship and excited people. As soon as the entertainment was finished the sanctuary was transformed into a dining hall. We then helped ourselves to a lunch filled with hot dogs, sloppy joes, and lots of desserts. The kiddies were able to play at the Colton Jones Memorial Playground and in addition to the playground there were games and prizes of many different varieties.
Once everyone had their bellies full and solved all the world’s problems through fellowship they tore down the tables and chairs and replaced them in the basement. With all the help, everything was back in its place in no time at all and it was parking lot as usual again.
What a perfect way to spend a gorgeous Sunday morning with friends, food and most important GOD!

Something’s Cooking

Friday, January 27, 2017

A warm bowl of homemade cream of broccoli soup is a tasty treat on a cold winter’s night, which is what Robbie Mitchell (at top) helped make for the free dinner at Brazil First United Methodist Church Wednesday. The other soup on the menu was homemade potato.

Church’s weekly meal serves the area’s hungry

By midweek many people don’t have much cash left over in their budget after paying the bills, which is why one local church has been serving meals each Wednesday for years.

“There are homeless people here in our community, but a person doesn’t have to be homeless to be hungry,” said Lisa McMahon, the administrative assistant at the Brazil First United Methodist Church. “After paying all their bills a lot of people, and families, are strapped for cash to buy groceries. There are people in our community who are dealing with those types of issues, which is what the program is for. There is a great lacking in our community for places where people can go for this type of help.”

People of all ages attend the weekly free meals served in the basement of the facility located at 201 North Meridian Street, Brazil. Sometimes people start lining up before the doors open at 4 p.m. On average, 30-35 meals are served during the 60 minutes the church serves food until 5:30 p.m., with an equal amount of take-out meals provided to people who return home to eat the food.

However most enjoy the atmosphere of the church dining room, with flower arrangements and tablecloths it an easy place to stay and visit with others — and the church volunteers — after dinner.

Some people, according to the organizers of the event, come eat dinner every week and donate to the free community program to keep it going for those in need.

Recently named “Something’s Cooking,” the meal program, which is funded only through private donations, is much more than what people think of as a soup kitchen. Marilyn Bowers is the woman who makes sure the community enjoys a whole dining experience.

Marilyn Bowers and (back) Evelyn Wesner prepare two different types of potatoes for the Wednesday night’s free dinner at Brazil First United Methodist Church. The doors at the church open at 4 p.m., with dinner served from 4:30-5:30 p.m. each Wednesday.

“It’s really about the social interaction, the fellowship while dining,” Bowers said. “That is so very important.”

Capitalizing on her previous catering experience, Bowers plans the hot, nutritionally balanced meal menus which includes dessert, prepares the shopping list, then does the shopping and then gets her five-member volunteer crew early each Wednesday to prepare the food. She also makes sure there are servers and dishwashers.

“She’s the boss woman,” her crew members — Evelyn Wesner, Glennis Grant and Robbie Mitchell — lovingly teased Bowers during the interview this past Wednesday while preparing homemade barbecue pork roast, two soups, fruit salad, dessert and other items for that night’s dinner service.

Glennis Grant prepares a fruit salad for the Wednesday night’s “Something’s Cooking” free dinner. It’s a healthy choice for those eating dinner at the church, but desserts are still available to those who want them.

The jovial work environment provides for a friendly event for everyone involved.

“Getting to know the people, making friendships along the way, is one of my favorite memories of doing this,” said Bowers about being a part of the dinners since 2004. “I like cooking for people. It’s what I’m most comfortable doing. This is an ongoing happy moment for me. Each week has its own special memory.”

The Brazil First United Methodist Church provides free meals to anyone in the community each Wednesday, including holidays. The doors open at 4 with free dinners served from 4:30-5:30 p.m. Free-will donations are accepted from those who wish to do so, and checks (with Something’s Cooking noted on the info line) in support of the program can be mailed to the church at 201 N. Meridian St., Brazil, 47834.
Visit From Our Paraguayan Missionaries
April 23rd marked the Sunday that we were able to celebrate with our missionary hosts from Paraguay. Last summer 3 of our church members, Rick Koch, Emily Sands, and Darci Chambers were fortunate enough to be able to go to Paraguay on a mission journey. They were there for 2 weeks and were hosted by Robert and Joy Varga. Now, Robert and Joy have come to the United States as a guest of ours.
They have been going across the states visiting and staying with many of the citizens here and were fortunate enough to have Pastor Rick and his wife Donna play host and hostess during their brief stay in Brazil, Indiana. During their stay, they visited Brazil First United Methodist Church for a Sunday morning full of information and adventure. They brought a display showing the different items from Paraguay and spoke at both the Traditional and Contemporary services about how it is to live in Paraguay.
April 17th we were brought a request. One of our members was in need of a handicap ramp. So we began some research. We contacted a local construction worker that has had experience in building handicap ramps. Once he was able to draw a sketch and give us a list materials it all fell into place. It proved to be one of those ‘if it is meant to be it will happen’ projects because it all fell right into place. In a little less than 2 weeks, with the help of Lowe’s we were ready to set a date for installation. So, on May 20th the volunteers from church who were Greg Runyon, Rex Bedwell, Randy Koehler, and Chuck Weliever, all under the supervision of Dan Dragan installed the handicap ramp for Jeff & Lisa Warren. They had to work between storms and downpours but they got the job done. What a great way to give back to the community.
The team and the homeowner.
This spring we held a confirmation class for our youth who were interested in learning more about the United Methodist denomination and a desire to become closer to God. They had a 6 week class where they learned about the United Methodist Church. The teens were very enthusiastic and used their time wisely as they were taught by Lisa Marse the importance of what all this means. Upon completion of the confirmation class each participant became a member of the church in addition, 2 of the students that had not been baptized were then baptized.

First United Methodist gets Facelift

Tuesday, January 31, 2017


It’s a little dusty inside the Brazil First United Methodist Church.

The church, which was built in the late 1800s, is undergoing a major renovation project to help repair cracks in the plaster and repaint the walls and ceiling inside the sanctuary of the facility.


The project began on Jan. 3 and is expected to be completed within a few weeks, before the upcoming Night of Praise in March.

These protective drapes cover the pews, podiums and sound equipment in the sanctuary during the week while the work is being done, then before services the church’s pastor, janitorial staff and board members remove them for parishioners. Once services are complete, the covers are replaced.

Service Sunday ‘Day of Service’
Many of the churches in our community gathered together Sunday April 30th in the intermitten rain to serve in the community. The ‘Day of Service’ began with a 30 minute worship service and continued with groups breaking off to go to various locations to work on projects such as picking up trash, visiting and praying in neighborhoods, replacing a homeowners floor, replacing a homeowners window, planting flowers at Head Start, and many other projects.
Approximately 300 able bodied, warm hearted people showed up to work on the different projects. As the day progressed and the rain continued many projects were completed and workers returned home shortly after noon, but there were others who worked well into the afternoon to complete their projects.
The day was a success with plans to try the idea again next year.
Pastor Rick is standing at the Brazil Concert Band Shell located in Forest Park. He is standing behind a plaque commemorating John Phillip Sousa’s stop in Brazil, Indiana. The audience enjoyed an evening of marches performed by the Brazil Concert Band and written by this famous composer.