Methodist church celebrates 50th annual missions conference, installs time capsule

Contributed photo, Vernon Gutz, left, and Dan Millspaw, parishioners at the First United Methodist Church of Corry, lower a time capsule into the ground that will be opened in 2036. The event was part of the church’s 50th annual missions conference. Gutz and Millspaw were also present at the first conference.

The First United Methodist Church of Corry recently celebrated its 50th annual missions conference under the leadership of the Rev. John Zimmerman and Missions Chairperson Pat Rath.

Missions programs and people from various areas of the world were present during the weeklong event. They shared films, displays, and participated in home meetings and special meals to educate the community about their work.

One of the highlights of the conference was the preparation and installation of a time capsule that was buried in an area located under a bell in front of the church.

The capsule contains various articles and pictures concerning the church and the Corry community. It will be opened during a missions conference in the year 2036.

The capsule was dedicated by the congregation prior to the 11 a.m. worship service on Sunday, Oct. 9.

After a brief ceremony led by Zimmerman at the site of the time capsule, more than 100 balloons were released into the sky.

In attendance for the ceremony were former pastors Russ Hines and Terry Snyder, along with their wives.

Also, David Gilliland of Pittsburgh and Dr. Debora Gilliland Radder of Erie were present. They are the children of the Rev. Walter Gilliland, the founder of the church’s missions conference.

Although the Methodist church had always supported missions, Walter Gilliland felt that an annual emphasis was needed to focus the congregation on the work of missions and missionaries worldwide.

Using the theme “Find us Faithful” it was decided to ask the congregation to make faith promises of $50,000 for the work of missions this coming year.

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