Areas of Ministry that Midland Park UMC Supports

About Aldersgate Special Needs Ministry: Aldersgate Special Needs Ministry (ASNM) is a ministry of the SC Conference of the United Methodist Church that provides homes for adults with developmental disabilities. ASNM does not receive funds from apportionments and depends on contributions. The residents enjoy living in a Christian environment and are encouraged to be as independent as possible with the support of trained staff. For more information about this ministry, please visit: www.aldersgatespecialneedsministry.org

The Ronald McDonald House-Charleston Chapter: The Ronald McDonald House Charities of Charleston opened its doors 35 years ago as a “Home-away-from-home” where families stay while their children undergo extensive medical treatment. Today, the House is able to serve 32 families every single night. Here, parents and children lead a life as normal as possible during their traumatic times without the financial burden of costly hotel and travel expenses. The Ronald McDonald home offers these families’ comfortable beds, hot meals, a caring staff, all just steps from the hospital. For more information about The Ronald McDonald House, Please visit: www.rmhcharleston.org

Epworth Children’s Home: Since 1896, Epworth Children’s Home has been a place for children to grow, learn and be loved. Children ages 12 and up come to Epworth from severely stressed family situations and the goal of Epworth is to nurture and love them by providing education, counseling, medical care and spiritual enrichment. Their aim is to break the  cycle of abuse, neglect and shame and replace it with an opportunity for each child to live a life of self-respect, responsibility and productivity. The mission of Epworth Children’s Home is to serve children, youth and families through caring, safe, Christian communities, where hurts are healed; hope is nurtured; and faith in God self and others is developed. For more information on Epworth Children’s Home, please visit: www.epworthchildrenshome.org

Little Dresses for Africa: Because girl orphans are among the most devalued and abused in their culture, and face such oppression, it is the mission of Little Dresses for Africa to plant in the hearts of these little girls that they are worthy.  It is reported that girls wearing a new little dress are much less likely to be abducted, abused or molested because the new little dress shows that someone cares about them.  AND WE DO! And we know you care, too! For more information about this project, please visit: www.littledressesforafrica.org “We ‘re not just sending little dresses – we ‘re sending HOPE!”  

Midland Park UMC has installed a Blessing Box! The United Methodist Men have installed a “Blessing Box” in front of the family center. Blessing boxes are stocked with non-perishable food items, basic toiletries, baby supplies, and anything else that might be considered a blessing to someone who finds themselves in need. Items are anonymously donated and anonymously received. A simple rule applies – “Leave what you can. Take what you need.” This is a way that our church, as well as other churches, can give back to the community and help those in need. Donations can be placed in the blessing box or left in the church office. There are more than 100 blessing box locations in the Lowcountry. You can visit the website https://chsblessingbox.wixsite.com/home for more information on the Low Country Blessing Box Project. We hope that everyone will support this worthy cause. Our Blessing Box is located at the church address: 2301 Midland Park Road.  For more information on how you can help, please call the church office at 843-553-3537 or send us an email at: midlandparkumc@knology.net

Susan Kovas: Chairwoman of the Board of Trustees of Aldersgate Special Needs Ministry

I am honored and humbled to serve as chairwoman of the Board of Trustees of Aldersgate Special Needs Ministry. As the mother of an adult son with autism and a lifelong United Methodist, I know the necessity of providing quality housing to our most vulnerable citizens. This is one of the most important ministries we have. In South Carolina, more than 12,000 caregivers over the age of 55 are providing a home for someone with a disability. The greatest fear of a parent of a disabled child is not knowing who will take care of their child when they are no longer able Aldersgate Ministry has built three beautiful homes, which currently provide housing for 16 individuals. But there is more work to be done. One of my goals as chair is to develop a blueprint for providing more homes, using unique and innovative models that have developed around the country. I am also excited about our grassroots initiative, which plans to identify a person in each United Methodist congregation who will become our partner and help us connect with churches in this ministry. I would like to thank Sam Waldrep, our past chair, for the tremendous work he has done over the past two years – steering Aldersgate from a totally board-run organization to the implementation of an administrative staff consisting of an executive director, Elaine Mathis, and an administrative assistant, Linda Gifford, who now take care of the day-to-day operations. Sam also brought a wealth of knowledge from his career in the very agencies with which we deal every day. His work has brought us a higher professionalism and has poised Aldersgate for the future. In our current COVID-19 situation, Aldersgate now has both a strong administrative team and a dedicated board who is working hard to protect our residents and staff workers. Safety is the top priority right now. But, there are still many opportunities for churches to help. Sunday school classes or small groups can volunteer in various ways. They can hold a paper drive for one of the houses or adopt a room and provide paint and repair work. One of our homes currently needs a new dishwasher and doors. And, of course, we covet your prayers for each and every one of our residents, staff and board members as we work through our current situation. Aldersgate is named after John Wesley’s famous Aldersgate experience, in which his heart was “strangely warmed.” So I say to all of you: Come, be in ministry with Aldersgate, and your heart will be strangely warmed. Susan Hasty Kovas lives in Chester, S.C. She is the mother of 24-year-old twins, Grant and Joseph Kovas, and the surviving spouse of the late Rev. Kenneth Joel Kovas. She is a high school counselor at Chester Senior High School but plans to retire in July. She loves her boys, the beach and playing the organ at her church, Bethel United Methodist Church.

The United Methodist Women's History: 1921 - Present

The United Methodist Women of Midland Park United Methodist Church was organized at the Women’s Auxiliary of Union Church on June 16, 1921. Charter members were: Mrs. Julia Sahlmann, Mrs. W. T. Reynolds, Mrs. L. W. Davis, Mrs. F. J. Aichele, Mrs. W. L. Hyer, Miss Edna Hyer, Mrs. J. E. Moore, Miss Serena Hyer, Mrs. W. B. Horne and Mrs. N. D. Styles.

During the years of 1921 through 1926, a church was built on Midland Park Road, in the North area of Charleston County. This particular group of women worked diligently to provide furnishings for the building, which included a communion table (at a cost of $8.50) and the first organ to be used in the church.

By 1926, the Methodist influence of the community became more prominent. The congregation voted to become a member of the South Carolina Methodist Conference. The Women’s Auxiliary became known as the Women’s Society of Christian Science in 1939. During the following year, four circles were formed. The Clyde Varn, named for a missionary; The Ethyl Myers, named for the Zone Leader; The Leila Epps, named for a missionary, and The Estelle Hutson, name for the first president of the WSCS.

In 1968 the church became known as Midland Park United Methodist Church and the women became the United Methodist Women. In 1994, there were four functioning circles. Presently, there are only three functioning circles. There is only one circle that carries the original name, The Estelle Hutson Circle. The other two functioning circles are the Mrs. Mac, named after a former member and the New Hope Circle. All circles have a combined membership of approximately 32 women currently.

During the last 99 years, the women of this church have taken on many projects for the Midland Park Community as well as taking on global efforts. These ladies are ready for a challenge and always welcome new membership. If you think you would like to become a part of one of these Circle groups, please contact the church office for more details at: (843-553-3537 or midlandparkumc@knology.net).