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

United Women IN Faith
Doris Freeman, President

The first organized group of women was known as the Women’s Auxiliary when the Union Church was organized in 1921. The name was changed in 1939 to the Women’s Society for Christian Service. In 1973, our name was changed to “The United Methodist Women.” In 2022, our name changed again to the “United Women IN Faith”

In 1921, the Women’s Auxiliary was busy raising money for the building of the church. The Auxiliary purchased the first organ, a communion tray with 386 glasses, and a bread plate. It was the Women’s Auxiliary that was responsible for the transportation of children by bus to the schools in the area. The women worked for the benefit of the church, as well as mission work.
Our Purpose

To experience freedom as whole persons through Jesus Christ, to develop a creative, supportive fellowship, and to expand concepts of mission through participation in the global ministries of the church.

Today, our membership is 26. There are two circles, Mrs. Mac and New Hope. Mrs. Mac meets on the first Monday of the month at 11:30 a.m. or as needed, to meet the needs of the group. The New Hope Circle meets on the second Tuesday of each month at 6:30 p.m. or as needed.

The Mrs. Mac Circle was named in honor of the wife of one of our favorite sons, the Reverend Roy Orville McCleeny and his wife, Marguerite McCleeny. The New Hope Circle was named and organized by one of our own United Methodist Women, Sharon Rabon. Sharon went home to be with the Lord on May 9th, 2012.

For several years we have received honors for a Five-Star Unit, Mission Today Unit, and a Diamond Unit. In 2022, we are still accomplishing these goals.