Full-time Building Supervisor

Missouri United Methodist Church seeks a qualified full-time building supervisor who possesses excellent people skills and a professional demeanor. This is a full-time, non-exempt position and is benefit-eligible. Hours 7:30 – 4:00 Monday through Friday; some flex-time may be available. The candidate will become Safe Sanctuaries certified upon employment, as required by Missouri United Methodist Church’s Safe Sanctuaries policies. The facilities coordinator will work closely with the Office Manager to ensure the building and grounds are in optimum appearance, safety and operating condition. Punctuality, dependability and honesty are a must.

Responsibilities include but are not limited to the following:

  • Unlock building each morning and prepare for normal daily operation

  • Perform daily assessment for minor repairs and maintenance

  • Perform facility repairs and routine building maintenance with no supervision

  • Assess larger repairs, hire appropriate service providers, and coordinate repair projects

  • Skilled operation of maintenance and repair tools

  • Manage building and grounds, maintaining appearance and safety of facility

  • Routine maintenance of facility including, but not limited to, light plumbing, electrical repairs, painting and light carpentry

  • Coordinate various building inspections and obtain licenses as required by law; post appropriate inspection and safety certificates

  • Maintain and/or assure proper functioning of emergency equipment such as fire extinguishers, alarm panels and other equipment

  • Serve as liaison between Missouri United Methodist Church and city and state licensing officials as needed

  • Act as point-of-contact between Missouri United Methodist Church and vendors/service providers, including the contracted cleaning company

  • Coordinate with Trustees Chair in determining priority and scope of tasks

  • Other duties as assigned through the Office Manager or Chair of Trustees

Santa has arrived: Christmas in July brings food and gifts to kids

As the sound of a bell rang through the room on Thursday, children at the Missouri United Methodist Church eagerly looked up from their plates and coloring books.

It could only mean one thing: Santa Claus had arrived.

Santa and his array of gifts were just one attraction at the Voluntary Action Center’s 27th annual Christmas in July event. Around 300 parents and children left with good cheer and lots of toys.

It’s the center’s longest-running fundraiser, Executive Director Nick Foster said.

“People need help at all times of the year, not just the holiday season,” Foster said. “We provide an opportunity to give back to those who are struggling.”

While money was raised through donations and a raffle, the event was really an opportunity for low-income families to enjoy a meal and gifts, including books and toys.

The book “Pete the Cat” was a popular choice among all age groups. All of the toys, including the books, were donations, Foster said. Plastic bats were donated by the Solid Waste Utility.

“They were going to go to the landfill, so we said we’d take them,” said Foster. “We bought wiffle balls to go with them.”

In addition to toys, community members donated prizes for the raffle. Members of the public could purchase one ticket for $10 or 10 for $75. Winners will be announced next week, Foster said.

As the event drew to a close, children ran around, clutching toys in one hand and red-and-green decorative balloons in the other.

Ajahalee Robinson, 10, came to Christmas and July with her grandmother and cousins.

“I liked the toys, the food, seeing Santa,” Ajahalee said. “I liked everything!”

Sa’nya Johnson, 11, said she came to make new friends but stayed for the food.

“I like chicken,” Sa’nya said.

The menu included chicken, beans, salad and dessert. Services Coordinator Carissa Rounkles said the food was a hit.

“I asked one guy how his meal was, and he said ‘I loved it. I can go to bed happy tonight,’” Rounkles said.

While most children were there for the presents, giving the presents was the gift itself for one child. Grace Harris, 10, donned a red shirt and Santa Claus necklace for her volunteer shift. She said kids were eager to grab their presents.

“They’re all so cute,” Grace said. “They’re like, I want this one, I want this one!”

She and her mother, Katie Harris, are members of Missouri United Methodist Church. They decided to volunteer after reading about the event.

Grace, an avid reader, enjoyed seeing how happy the kids were after selecting a book.

“It’s such a good feeling,” Harris said.

Urban agriculture center hosts 'Empty Bowls' fundraising event

A local urban farming organization held an "Empty Bowls" fundraising event on Sunday to help support local urban gardens and raise awareness about food insecurity in Columbia.

The Columbia Center for Urban Agriculture, which hosted the event at Missouri United Methodist Church, grows food for local food pantries in Columbia and educates people about growing their own food.

People who donated at the Empty Bowls event received a handmade bowl crafted by student artists from the Missouri University Clay Klub and Access Arts. Those who attended the event were able to join in a community meal to raise awareness for hunger.

The Columbia Center for Urban Agriculture grew 17,000 pounds of produce in the past year, which it donated to local food pantries, said Adam Saunders, a volunteer for the organization.

Baby kale, spinach, lettuce plants were also handed out at Sunday's event.

"We envision a community transformed by good food for all," said Kristin Fraizer, one of the event's organizers.

Half of the donations from Sunday's Empty Bowls event will go to growing food for Columbia's food pantries. The other half will be split between education outreach and an endowment fund to support the group in the long term, said Fraizer.

Over 350 people attended the event according to a count by the organizers.

"I think it went really well. A lot of people got some beautiful bowls and ate some great soup," said Fraizer.

Empty Bowls Project inspires hunger awareness for third-graders

COLUMBIA — Third-graders at Lee Expressive Arts Elementary School stared at "World Hunger" shown on a Smart board in their classroom. Thebronze sculpture by artist Billie Evansshows hands reaching for the little that remains in a tilted bowl.


"Let’s think of some words to go with this image," teacher Carissa Seek said.

Hands shot up. "Hunger," one student said.

"Desperate," said another.

At the end of the brainstorm, the students had formed their words into a single six-word story: "Skinny hand grasping, desperate for food."

"Being able to write a story with just six words can be so powerful," Seek said later. "The kids are trying really hard to pick those strong and powerful words."


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Gamers battle in Super Smash Bros tournament to help young adults with autism

When Patrick Brigman entered the Super Smash Bros. tournament, he knew the competition would be tough. But for him, the match was about more than the prize money — it was about supporting the cause.

EnCircle Technologies held a charity video game tournament on Saturday at the Missouri United Methodist Church to raise money for the nonprofit organization. Players from around the Midwest gatheredto compete in competitive and casual matches, with a prize pool of $3,000 for the winners.

In its third year, the annual tournament has attracted locals and gamers from outside Columbia, said Teri Walden, executive director of EnCircle Technologies. This year’s turnout was the biggest in its history, with more than 130 players.

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The safety of churches on the minds of pastors and churchgoers

The safety of churches on the minds of pastors and churchgoers

ssociate Pastor Scott Westfall believes in being prepared for the worst.

Westfall, associate pastor at First Baptist Church of Centralia, is no stranger to church violence. In 2009, the pastor who officiated at a friend's wedding was murdered by a gunman at the First Baptist Church in Maryville, Illinois, during Sunday services.