Recognizing local church achievements, extraordinary service by members at #pnwac16

By Teri Tobey with Jesse N. Love

Puyallup, Wash. – The PNWAC 2016 Awards Banquet honored local churches and members for their excellence in ministry on Saturday June 25 at the Showplex Center, Washington State Fairgrounds. Here is a list of honorees.


  • Ruth Award: Phyllis Reynolds
  • Marion Kline Award: Miki Craighead
  • Ruth Award with the Gloria Spriggs Scholarship: Alexa Eisenbarth
  • Ruth Award honorable mentions: Laura Baumgartner & Bailey Brawner

CAMPING AWARD (Presented by Peter Fraser & Alan Rogstad)

  • The Highest Percentage of People Involved with Camping by District: Vancouver District

SPECIAL HONORS (Presented by Lynn Magnuson & David Valera)

  • Ronda Cordill – In appreciation of her untiring service as the PNW UMVIM coordinator, helping us to serve those most in need.
  • Keith Hackett – In appreciation of his service to “the least of these’ as Conference Secretary of Global Ministries.)
  • Joan Hackett – In appreciation of her service as the Conference Secretary of Global Ministries, teaching, inspiring and encouraging us to be in service to all.
For photos from this year's Awards Banquet at #pnwac16, click the image above.
For photos from this year’s Awards Banquet at #pnwac16, click the image above.

GOLDEN EZZY AWARDS (Presented by Rik Jamison)

  • For churches that have, on average up to 39 folks, in weekly attendance:
    Bellevue Korean UMC of Seattle, Seattle District, 1-04-2016
  • For churches that have, on average 40 to 75, in weekly attendance:
    Everett Spirit of Grace, Puget Sound District, 1-13-2016
  • For churches that have, on average 76 or more, in weekly attendance:
    Tacoma First Korean, Tacoma District, 1-8-2016

DISCIPLESHIP: ONE MATTERS AWARD (Presented by Jodi Cataldo & David Nieda)

  • Rochester UMC – Pastor Heather Sparkman and the congregation of Rochester UMC put discipleship as its focus through its Community Clothing Closet, Church shuttle service, Sunday breakfasts, and worship services at Candlewood Senior Apartments in Chehalis, Wash. (View their video.)

RISK-TAKING AWARDS (Presented by the PNWUMC Cabinet)

  • Inland: Lewiston First UMC

    From the Rev. Dale Cockrum:
    “The Inland District honors First UMC of Lewiston, Idaho, for its Creative Revitalization Award.Although the Lewiston church relocated in the 1960s from downtown to the suburbs and added a new sanctuary in the 1970s, the church has come to accept that even their facilities appear worn and dated, and that their congregation is aging and shrinking.In a sea of conservative Idaho churches, they recognized that they did not have a clear identity, but they knew it wasn’t the same as that of others, sharing Christ certainly but with a more progressive understanding of the gospel. They see that in Lewiston those who are spiritual but not religious, unchurched and dechurched, LGTBQ, or progressive Christians have nowhere to call home, and that they can be the safe place for them.

    With the arrival of their new pastor, Chuck Cram, the church has begun to reinvent and revitalize its facilities and its ministry. A year ago they began an ad campaign in the Lewiston Tribune carrying openly progressive messages, causing quite a stir in the valley, and because of them they are gaining both visitors and members. They have redesigned their web presence both with an invitational website and active Facebook page. Facebook followers have grown from 30 to 200, in part due to their posting sermons.

    The church has redesigned and relocated its sound system, added another monitor for slides and visuals, expanded their music capabilities, and included a great mix of styles in worship. They are ready for visitors with Welcome packets, nametags, a welcome committee, post cards and follow-up visits to visitors. There is a new mood of optimism in the congregation as they see new faces. There are a few kids in worship now and worship attendance is creeping up. They understand that this is not a quick fix but a lifestyle change that will take years and advance investments to create a place and a people who are truly welcoming and inclusive.

    Future plans include exterior siding and paint, fellowship hall updates, better signage, and HVAC system upgrades, as well as improvements in Christian education offerings, new member classes, and improved pastoral care. And already, they are seeing a positive change! Hallelujah!”

  • Puget Sound: Edmonds UMC

    From the Rev. Daniel Foster:
    I am choosing Edmonds UMC for their work w/ those in need in their community. Their food bank serves an average of almost 400 families weekly. Their tutoring program weekly tutors over 80 students in the Edmonds school district followed by a dinner for the entire family. Their partnership with Washington Kids in Transition has EUMC providing space for over 350 homeless students in the same school district. Additionally, the church weekly houses 12 to 14 support groups. At Christmas their “Toy Shop” serves over 400 families providing a “dignified shopping experience” to families in need.

  • Seattle: Lake Washington UMC

    From the Rev. Rich Lang:
    For extraordinary courage in their ministry of radical hospitality, we present Lake Washington UMC. Their first step was opening their parking lot as a safe place for folks who were living out of their cars. But the extraordinary practice of Christ led them to opening their church building as a safe space for warmth, dining, studying and being together as a community. Whereas some churches have locked doors, Lake Washington burst them wide open in a fearless dependence upon grace.

  • Seven Rivers: Pateros Community UMC

    From the Rev. Juli Reinholz:
    The Seven Rivers Church Award “Rising from the Ashes” will go to Pateros Community UMC…the reasoning is: After being the victim of the 2014 Carlton-Complex Fire…Pateros Community UMC rose to become a advocate for the community during the 2015 Okanagan County Fire. Pateros, under the guidance of Pastor Earl Lane, stepped forward to become an evacuation center and place of refuge for its neighbors…Congratulations Pateros Community UMC!

  • Tacoma: Federal Way UMC

    From the Rev. Cara Scriven:
    After attending the Church of All People, Federal Way UMC begin to think outside of the box. Knowing that many community members would not drop off items at a church, the members of Federal Way reached out to the local Fire Department. In the late summer, the two organizations joined together to collect school supplies for area students. In November, they collected 450 coats for children and adults and the Fire Department gave the church $250 for publicity. In February, the children of Federal Way made a giant Valentine’s card for the Fire Department and in return, they each received the opportunity to sit in the driver’s seat of a fire truck! Well done Federal Way UMC for transforming the world by developing meaningful relationships with people in their community.

  • Vancouver: First UMC

    From the Rev. David Nieda:
    Vancouver First is a community leader in sharing the love of Christ through word and action. Over the past several years this church sponsored neighborhood events such as Trunk or Treat festival and Fit & Fun 5K and Health Fair that have served 400-500 per activity. They have reached across lines of faith by partnering with the local Islamic Mosque to improve the homes of three residents desperately in need. They provide Washington Elementary students a “walking school bus” creating a sense of safety and community for these children and provide dinners for Math Night and Lit Night to get more families to come.Nearly 18 months ago they stood by 151 low-income families who learned they were being evicted in waves of 20 per month from a large apartment complex that had just been purchased by out-of-town developers. The members of the church transformed their chapel into an emergency outreach center and supplied renters with boxes, cleaning supplies, food, and resources to help move. They set up a computer center and interpreters to help non-English speaking families find new housing. Then they set up a major grant program through the Council on Homeless and helped fund all renters with down payment deposits, or funds to eliminate old debts, or funds to move to other cities. They also supplied dinners for each of the 20 different families every Monday night for six months and got to interact with them. The church then hosted all city meeting and began questioning the city and county’s approach to the lack of affordable housing.Their current risk-taking initiatives include creating a new associate pastor position for the purpose of starting a new church within a church to reach the unchurched young adults in their mission field. They will also be an anchor church for Project Transformation, a United Methodist nine-week summer literacy program that brings college interns from across the nation to serve and provide support to Vancouver’s neediest children. This will be a new model of mission outreach involving most of the UM churches in the southern part of the district. We celebrate Van First’s commitment to community engagement and witness.

Teri Tobey serves as the program assistant for Young People’s Ministries for the PNWUMC.  Jesse N. Love serves as the graphic designer & print manager for the PNWUMC.

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