October 2020

A Message from our Pastor!

For though I am free from all, I have made myself a servant to all, that I might win more of them. To the Jews I became as a Jew, in order to win Jews. To those under the law I became as one under the law (though not being myself under the law) that I might win those under the law. To those outside the law I became as one outside the law (not being outside the law of God but under the law of Christ) that I might win those outside the law. To the weak I became weak, that I might win the weak. I have become all things to all people, that by all means I might save some. (1 Corinthians 9:19-22 ESV)
This passage is one that often comes to my mind when the subject of evangelism gets raised. I suppose that should not be surprising given that it highlights the different ways Paul used to share his (and our) faith. Sure, the Good News of Jesus Christ is always the same. Jesus Christ Himself is the same yesterday, today and tomorrow. But how we present that truth to people, how we package it, needs to vary from situation to situation. From audience to audience. From person to person. Like Paul, we need to be able (and willing) to meet people where they are.
This does not mean that we water-down the Gospel or compromise our faith. God keep us from ever doing that! But at the same time, different people are going to be more interested or receptive to different sides of the Good News.
What does the person sitting across from us need (and maybe even want) to hear about first? God’s love? His forgiveness? Being made right with God through Jesus Christ? The list goes on and the answer will be different for each conversation. All we can do is our best to discern what that answer is (with some help from the Holy Spirit) and trust that God will do the rest.

Yours in Christ,

Pastor Josh

News from the pandemic!

Opening up to Worship. We opened up for in-person worship services in July, inside the church. We agreed to follow all safety precautions in order to enjoy music, sound, power point and videos as well as resuming our live-streaming. In September we agreed to start singing again as long as we are all wearing masks. We will plan to continue worshipping in the church during the month of October 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:

We are asking that everyone wear a mask.
There will be no food or beverages provided.
Please observe social distancing at all times

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 daylight time if you want to join in for the live stream. 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

Music in the Park

Music in the Park for the summer of 2020 is now finished. We want to thank all those who helped make the last program of the year, the September Box Social to help our Public Library, such a big success! Special thanks to George Duff for music and sound and to Lee Wescott for his amazing auctioneering skills and his amazing generosity!

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: 1879: The Volga City M.E. congregation finally had what they thought was enough money for improving the vestibule and bell tower. A church bell was purchased!
The following account of the bell was found by Alice Miller in the County Line section of the Brush Creek News dated October 10, 1879: “The new bell for the M.E. Church of Volga City was the greatest curiosity that ever arrived in this town. Its fine, clear tone was so fascinating that all the boys and girls, men and women, old and young had to ring it, and about the biggest toad in the puddle was Harry Piersoll! Now Harry’s store and dwelling is just across the street from the church, and after everyone in town had rung the bell several times it began to get monotonous to him, for the wife and baby could not sleep, so he was glad when it was hoisted in place, expecting the darned noise to cease. But this is a world of disappointment, and after it was hoisted everyone had to try again.”
“Harry grew desperate, rushed over to the church in time to catch a lad who had just had his fill of ringing, took him by the throat and gave him a shaking, and looked mad enough to eat him. The boy resented, Harry shook him again and would have kept on till now, but he found out that two old gents had made part of the noise.”
“When night came on, the boys gathered up all the clothes lines around town, attached the long line to the bell and carried it on to the bluff west of the church where they had a fine time. Harry put up with it for a few hours, for he could sleep under any circumstances, not so his wife and baby, and just as the baby got to sleep during an intermission, ring, ding, went the bell again. The baby and mother woke up, and so did Harry, swearing vengeance on the disturbers of his sleep.”
“Jumping into a pair of boots, clapping on his stove-pipe hat, he broke for the church. Jim Richmond was also headed for the church. ‘Hello, Piersoll, is that you? Can’t this infernal din be stopped? My wife is very nervous and can’t sleep.’ Together they went to the church, raised a ladder and Harry tried to climb the roof, but as the night was quite frosty he could not do it, so he sat on the frosty roof and took off his boots, and got so cold he could hardly keep on the roof, for he had nothing on in the shape of clothing but his night shirt, hat and socks, and then he found he could not reach the rope.”
“By this time someone else came along. Jim Richmond got around the corner to watch, but the new comer, seeing some object on the roof made for it with brick-bats, and was going for the disturber of his slumber. ‘Hello, what are you doing up there? Come down directly! I’ll learn you to keep people awake with your infernal noise!’ And up went another brick-bat! ‘Come down! What business have you up there?’
“Poor Harry, whose teeth were chattering, and who was nearly dead with cold, when he could make himself heard, said: ‘Squire Libby, don’t you know me, Harry Piersoll? I and Jim Richmond have been trying to get the rope to stop the noise.’ So after the Squire found out who it was, he let Harry come down.”
“Harry was more dead than alive, and wished the bell was in the millpond. The reason of the Squire being out was that there was a telegraph wire over the church into his bedroom, attached to his son’s instrument, and the drawing of the rope across the wire made it sound like thunder. He thought it would not last long, but he got out of patience at last, and dressed himself and put out, intending to stop the ringing of that bell, or kill someone, and it came mighty near being the man with the stove-pipe hat, Harry Piersoll.”
The next night Harry sat up until 12 o’clock for the boys, but they did not come. About half past 12, Harry was up in the belfry in the same rig sounding the alarm of fire. White and Lowe’s warehouse was burning.”
They have elected Harry foreman of the fire company. I think he will make a good one.”
.” (To be continued)


On Monday, October 5th, the Staff, Pastor Parish Relations Committee and Pastor Hansen will meet to prepare recommendations for our annual Charge Conference. These recommendations will be presented to the Administrative Council on Sunday, October 11th, following worship service. All are welcome to attend.


Our annual Charge Conference Meeting with the District Superintendent will be held on October 17th at 1:00 PM at the Arlington UMC. Please plan to attend, if possible.


October is Pastor Appreciation Month and October 11th is the Sunday to celebrate and show our appreciation for Pastor Josh! Let’s all do our best to thank and support Pastor Josh in October and all through the year!

The Volga UMC Administrative Council did not meet in September. The next meeting will be held at 11:30 am following church services on October 11th.

UMW Update The United Methodist Women did not meet in September due to the pandemic. Our annual October meal at the Amish farm has been cancelled, as well.

For Loretta Briggs who is recovering from surgery.
For our safety as we come back to worshipping together.
For our schools, teachers and students as classes resume,
For Pastor Josh, his family and the ministries of our churches.

To Mark and Pam for taking such good care of the church lawn.
To Schelvie and Nancy for their work to keep the church clean, safe and beautiful with fall 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 Alice, Ruth and Dave for being such gracious and generous hosts for our time at Pickar’s Pond.
To Milly for sharing the beautiful and delicious tomatoes from her garden.
To George and Lee for their participation and help with the Music in the Park and Box Social.

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