December 2020

A Message from our Pastor!
For our God is a consuming fire. (Hebrews 12.29)
For to us a child is born, to us a son is given; and the government shall be upon his shoulder, and his name shall be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. Of the increase of his government and of peace there will be no end, on the throne of David and over his kingdom, to establish it and to uphold it with justice and with righteousness from this time forth and forevermore. The zeal of the Lord of hosts will do this. (Isaiah 9.6-7)
“The zeal of the Lord of hosts will do this.” I like that word: ‘zeal’. More than that, I like how Scripture applies words like that to the Lord. All throughout the Bible God is described as passionate. In fact, He is so passionate that He is often described as a burning fire, a consuming fire, a fire in our bones, and so on. In fact, the Lord is so passionately in love with us that He sent His only Son to save us. And He would have done so even if you were the only person to be saved. That is the depth of His love for each and every one of us. That is the depth of His passion for us.
The more I think about that, the harder it is for me to wrap my mind around. I know it, but I do not understand it. Not really. It is a good thing, then, that understanding God is not the point. Experiencing- being in relationship with- Him is the point. And you can experience something without understanding it. Happens all the time. We can experience the love of God without understanding how He could love us so deeply and so passionately. We can experience the power of the Easter message without fully understanding God’s love in the Christmas message.
And that is just what we will do. This Advent and Christmas seasons we will remind ourselves once again of the love of God. Especially in how that love led to a birth in a manger all those years ago.

Yours in Christ,
Pastor Josh
News from the pandemic!

Opening up to Worship. We continue having in-person worship services inside the church, agreeing to follow all safety precautions in order to enjoy music, sound, power point and videos as well as resuming our live-streaming. We will plan to continue worshipping in the church as long as it is safe to do so.
Please remember that we can only meet inside as long as we all follow these safety precautions:

Everyone wear a mask and observe social distancing at all times.
There will be no food or beverages provided.

We’re Live Streaming Our Worship Services!
Every Sunday, barring unforeseen circumstances, we’re once again live-streaming our worship services! We have been live streaming for the past two years and, in addition to Iowa we have viewers in 15 different states and 3 countries. This new outreach program gives us the ability to get the word out to those who cannot attend services in person for one reason or another. Tell your family, friends and neighbors!
Please try it out! Go to or go on Facebook and search for Volga UMC. Additionally, we have a Roku Channel under Volga United Methodist Church where all of the above may be viewed.
Our Sunday services begin at 10:30 a.m. central standard time if you want to join in for the live stream. This month we will live stream our Christmas Eve service at 5:30 PM. This website will also allow you to view the service at a later date. We’re always open to suggestions that will make these services better for you. Send an email to

The Volga United Methodist Church is 171 years old this year! Part of our continuing celebration will be to include a bit of the history of the church in the newsletter each month. These are taken from the United Methodist Memoirs and Morsels, our UMW cookbook.
Continued: 1880: “In June of 1880 a large congregation gathered at the Volga City M.E. Church to hear Presiding Elder J.W. Clinton deliver a very flowery address. Miss Clinton presided at the organ. Both made a favorable impression. Other Volga City Notes were ….Rev. M. Pollock, a Presbyterian minister, has organized a church at this place …..Wm. A. Penfield is building an addition to his house, which will greatly increase its convenience.
Temperance was the main issue during the pastorate of the Rev. Thomas E. Fleming, Ph. D.D.D. ’79. As a result of a series of temperance lectures in the M. E. Church in Volga City, about 300 signatures were obtained to a pledge ‘never to use as a beverage or to sell intoxicating drinks….among the signers were several of our hardest drinkers, and we hope that much good has been accomplished’.
(To be continued)

November 15, 2020

Glenna called the meeting to order at 11:30 AM. Attending: Glenna Whitford, Nancy & Neal Van Horn, Ann Duff, Pastor Hansen, Mark Follon, Elaine Follon and Milly Stewart
Pastor Josh opened the meeting with prayer.
Secretary Report: Elaine read previous Admin Council meeting minutes. Minutes were approved as read.
Treasurer Report: Elaine reviewed budget information for 2021. All accounts are up to date and we have no outstanding bills. Checking account balance is $ 7,540.81
Committee Reports: Arlington and Volga both approved all Charge Conference forms as recommended by the Pastor Parish Relations Committee with no changes. It was confirmed with the District Superintendent that our charge is part of the Circuit “Delco” which includes Manchester, Strawberry Point, Arlington, Volga City, Lamont, Aurora and Fayette along with several other churches. 2021 Nominations Report was distributed with the addition of Carol Armoto as UMW President.
Pastor’s Report: Pastor Josh reported he and Audrey attended the Pastor’s Conference in MI as well as celebrating their 20th anniversary. It was an encouraging conference and a bit of a drive.
No Correspondence reported.

Old Business: The pandemic has been increasing dramatically in Iowa and most of the country. There was a lengthy discussion about whether we should continue with in person worship services. All felt that we were following all the safety rules of social distancing and wearing a mask at all times. We are also small enough in numbers that keeping distance from one another is not a problem. It was agreed that we would continue to hold in person services.
New Business: Due to Covid there will be no ecumenical Thanksgiving Service. Hanging of the Greens will be Nov. 29th with no shared lunch. Nancy Berger requested a church cleanup day before Hanging of the Greens. Sign-up sheet was passed around for cleaning tasks. Christmas Eve Services: Thursday, December 24th at 5:30 PM. Other: Boy Scouts of America is declaring bankruptcy and any church having hosted BSA meetings in their facilities need to file paperwork for legal protection. There were no BSA meetings at UMC Volga City.
Next Meeting December 20, 2020
Nancy moved and Ann seconded that meeting adjourn. Meeting adjourned at 11: 50 AM
Prepared by Milly Stewart (in absence of Secretary Nancy Berger)

UMW Update All UMW activities for the month of December have been cancelled due to the pandemic.

For our safety as we worship together.
For safety and comfort for all from the pandemic.
For Pastor Josh, his family and the ministries of our churches.

To Schelvie and Nancy for their work to keep the church clean and beautiful with decorations.
To George and Ann for running our live stream program.
To Pam for the power point and presenting videos of our hymns each Sunday.
To all our congregation for following the safety rules to keep us all safe.

As always, if you have questions, concerns or suggestions, please talk with or contact a member of the Staff/Pastor Parish Relations Committee.
The 2020 members of the SPPRC are:
Janis Breitsprecher, George Duff, Elaine Follon, Pamela Follon, Cheryl Handel, Summer Handel, Sharon Taylor, Lee Wescott and Forrest Whitford

Mailing address: Volga United Methodist Church, 306 Washington St., P.O. Box 133, Volga, IA 52077-0133
Website: E-mail: Facebook: Volga UMC
Church phone: 563-767-3114 Pastor cellphone: 319-264-0347 Pastor e-mail:

2 10:30am Worship Service

Paraments: White 3
1:30 PM Fayette UMW Guest Day at Fayette UMC 6
7 UMC Annual Conference begins in Des Moines

9 10:30am Worship Service
5:00 to 6:00 PM Music in the Park Sing along with George
Paraments: Red
11 UMC Annual Conference ends

Craig & Tracy Anniversary 13
9:30 am UMW to Pinters followed by lunch in Decorah 14

10:30am Worship Service
5:00pm Prayer with the Pastor
5:45pm Admin Council
Paraments: White
Father’s Day 17
Summer begins 22

10:30am Worship Service

Paraments: Green 24

10:30am Worship Service

Paraments: Green