Youth Serve Meal to US Coast Guard
In 1739, the founder of the United Methodist Church, Rev. John Wesley set forth three “General Rules” for the then-movement. One of those rules required the “people called Methodists” to “[do] good of every possible sort, and, as far as possible, to all [people].”
The members of the newly formed cooperative Youth Group of Sweeny UMC and Brazoria First UMC, sought to abide by Wesley’s rule this Thanksgiving by ministering to neighbors who, sadly, can remain below the ‘awareness radar.’ They arranged to supply a Thanksgiving feast “with all the trimmings” to the men and women of the United States Coast Guard Station Freeport, and their families. Members of both congregations happily worked to prepare and provide a sumptuous turkey and ham feast plus a virtual “cornucopia” of desserts ranging from cookies, to pies, to cheesecakes, and spice breads.
Nine youth from the two churches plus their adult leaders, including Sweeny FUMC Pastor, Rev. Nancy Cobbs, and Brazoria FUMC Pastor Rev. Don Brown, took a caravan of vehicles and delivered the feast to the service men and women. “They showed up at the station with so much food and dessert,” notes Commander Trevor Jones, “that it took 30 minutes and all hands to get it up to the galley. In addition to the food and 20 handmade place mats, they brought 30 goody bags, each decorated with the most charming and endearing messages one could imagine.”
To express their gratitude, the Executive Chief Petty Officer of the Station, Chief Boatswains Mate Andrew Babione arranged an exciting surprise for the youth and their escorts. The Chief arranged to have the group taken on a tour of the Freeport harbor aboard a high-performance 45’ Response Boat-Medium (RB-M). It was a beautiful afternoon and the tour (complete with multiple dolphin sightings) crowned a very busy day … in style. The Commander thanked the group for feeding 25 ‘Coasties’ and their families who were so far from home on this traditional family day. In fact, he adds, “There were so many desserts, that I feared Station Freeport would have some difficulty in meeting the annual personnel weigh-in.”
Pastor Brown, a member of the USCG Auxiliary, and Pastor Cobbs saw providing a meal for these deserving Brazoria County neighbors (neighbors who regularly risk their lives to keep our waterways and shores safe) as a perfect holiday service project for the youth group. “It also helped focus our congregations on the role and service of our USCG neighbors,” Pat adds.
All found it very rewarding to see a diverse group of church members working together to provide something special for others. Such teamwork and service, exemplified by the USCG, is truly something to be thankful for. After seeing the photo of the duty crew and their families enjoying the feast, one of the group’s adult leaders, Mrs. Wendy Schaefer, summed it all up, “This made my Thanksgiving perfect.” Hopefully, John Wesley would concur.