Thrasher Memorial invites people to share their hopes on the Dogwood Festival ‘Hope Wall’


The contribution of Thrasher Memorial UMC to this year’s Vinton Dogwood Festival is a wall of “hope.”
The Prayer Ministry Team at Thrasher Memorial UMC invites Dogwood Festival-goers to stop by the Hope Wall at the Farmers’ Market on April 29 to add their messages of hope to the display. Shown left to right are Prayer Ministry Team members Barbara Howell, Carol BeVille, and Rebecca McKeever.

The Apostle Paul in Romans 12:12 said, “Rejoice in hope.” South African Archbishop Desmond Tutu believed, “Hope is being able to see that there is light despite all of the darkness.” Hebrews 11 states, “Faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen.”

The Prayer Ministry Team at Thrasher Memorial United Methodist Church is bringing that theme of hope to the 2017 Vinton Dogwood Festival.

Team members have created a “Hope Wall” which will be located at the Vinton Farmers’ Market. On Saturday, April 29, festival-goers are invited to stop by and “put on paper their hopes for the future of their own lives, the community, church, school, environment, our nation, and the world,” said team chair Carol BeVille. “What a wonderful way to bring people together with positive thoughts and actions.”

BeVille said that Vinton artist and Prayer Ministry Team member Rebecca McKeever created the wall, which consists of four panels spelling out the word “HOPE.” Each panel forms a large letter made up of many small colored squares which, at the end of the day, will have “Hope Notes” written on them— similar to constructing a mosaic. There is room for over 400 messages to be written and displayed.

The Prayer Ministry Team has also created a Project Hope poster displaying the many needs of families, communities, the nation, and the world which exist in today’s tumultuous times.

The wall will be located in the Mineral Springs Baptist Church children’s activity area at the Farmers’ Market. Debbie Marsh, who works with the Children’s Ministry at Mineral Springs, graciously invited the Thrasher team to share their spot.

“We thank them for having us join in their children’s ministry space,” said BeVille. “In addition to the Hope Wall for adults to complete, there is a children’s Mural of Hope which will be made from images that children draw. After the Dogwood Festival is over, we would like to see the wall and mural ‘travel’ around to different area locations like the Municipal Building, churches and businesses, for folks to view and add more messages of hope.”

Children will also be creating a mural by drawing their hopes on sheets of paper that will be attached to a roll of paper mounted at the market.

As the project continues to develop, BeVille and other prayer team ministry members “will be in prayer for all those who may hear, see, or participate in the sharing of our cumulative hopes for the future. We are asking for and planting seeds of hope for growth and unity of all the people in our localities and maybe into the world.”

“The  Prayer Ministry Team is grateful to God for the Hope Wall project idea, community vision and gentle leadership skills of Thrasher UMC Pastor JaeYong Song,” added BeVille.

The Prayer Ministry Team at Thrasher is very active. For the past four years, members have been praying for the congregation during the three worship services at the church each Sunday. They have a Prayer Box across from the church on Pine Street where anyone may drop off a prayer request at any time. There are prayer vigils at various times during the year, especially during Easter week.

Members of the Thrasher Prayer Ministry team, in addition to BeVille, McKeever, and Pastor Song, include Barbara Howell, Linda Catron, Carol Bown, Clyde Donahue, Nancy Adams, Margaretha Moore, and Jim Johnson.

Howell also serves as liaison to the Vinton Area Community Prayer Network, which has united local churches in sponsoring several prayer-based programs in the past year. Those include the Community Prayer Walk through downtown Vinton last October and the Election Night Prayer Service held at Kroger in November. They invite all area churches to participate.

For more information on the Hope Wall project or the Vinton Area Community Prayer Network, call Thrasher Memorial at 344-4708.

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