Columbia District Missionary Update: Rev. Luke Rhyee and Sara Flores

Missionary Update:  Rev. Luke Rhyee, M.D.

The Rev. Luke MoonTaeg Rhyee, M.D. is the creator, developer and director of Healing Guatemala in Quetzaltenango.  Healing Guatemala is a non-profit that provides medical and feeding services to enhance the healing of bodies, and also proclaimed the Gospel of our Lord by sharing the Kingdom of God together.  The Bethesda Mission Center is a basecamp to bring the healing of the Lord into Guatemala. The Bethesda Mission Center has the Bethesda Medical Clinic, the Bethesda Dental Clinic, a missionary’s house, and a guest house with a mini-chapel set on 1.5 acres of land. Five years ago, this place was a barren field full of weeds. However, today, we can see “an amazing miracle of God.” The Bethesda Medical Clinic has a general outpatient clinic open from Monday to Friday, an ophthalmologic clinic, an endoscopy clinic, an Ultra Sound room, an X-ray room, and a pharmacy. The Bethesda Dental clinic has three dentists and five dental units. Normally, the Bethesda Medical Clinic provides an “urgent care” level of medical service. However, with the cooperation of surgical teams from the US and Korea, Bethesda performs many invasive medical and surgical services. For example, in July of 2019, an ophthalmologist plans to do a “cataract camp” at Bethesda, at which we will offer free cataract surgeries.

According to Luke, “The Bethesda Mission Center is a place of healing, not only to patients, but also to mission teams. Bethesda has a quiet and green environment which is perfect for meditating, praying, praising, and resting! At Bethesda, I am sure that many of our friends will restore their faith and passion for the Lord.” The South Carolina Conference will be sending a team of 8 to 10 persons in July of 2019.  The Columbia District intends to follow suit in the near future.

Pastor Luke says, “Like year 2017, this year we have made a huge progress in our construction. We finished the second floor of the Dental Clinic, which we started last year. Currently, the construction of the guest house (first floor) and mini-chapel have reached about 80 percent of its completion. The Mini-chapel will be used for worship service of our staffs, volunteer doctors, medical and dental students and short-term mission teams. The first floor of the guest house has the mini-chapel, three guest rooms and a kitchen. The guest house will be used mainly by short term mission teams. Our missionary’s house, which we used to host short term mission teams, will be used for mid- or long- term missionaries. To complete the first floor, we still need to finish tile job, resurfacing, installation of windows and doors, to do plumbing and toilet jobs, and illation of electricity, which will cost about 30,000 dollars. God has provided everything abundantly until now, and we are sure that God will fill the need according to His abundance.

The Columbia District has partnered with Rev. Luke Rhyee in support of the mission work in Guatemala. You too may support him directly by mailing funds to: Healing Guatemala, 110 Windsor Point Road, Columbia SC 29223.

(photo left) Local elementary school students shared the joy of the Lord with a traditional Guatemalan folk dance.



Missionary Update:  Sara Flores

Sara Flores works in and through the Methodist Conference in Ecuador.   She partners with the 14 Methodist  churches in the Sierra District, the 8 churches in the Costa District and 8 mission sites in the Amazonica Region.  She also partners with UMVIM teams coming mostly from the U.S. establishing connections between the teams and local congregations.

One of her biggest recent projects has been with a new church start outside of the city of Otavalo, Ecuador.   Some years ago a ranchero formerly owned by drug lords was seized by the government.         (photo left: the view of the Volcano near El Prada) The indigenous Cayambe (Ki um bee) persons that had lived on and worked the ranch were left with uncertain futures.  No one seemed to own the land or control the farm work.   They did not know if they were to be removed or if they would be allowed to remain.  Eventually they settled into a no man’s land of not knowing but being left to their own devices for survival.  One of the women that lived on the ranchero had a sister in the U. S.  The sister contacted Sara suggesting that a mission site be established for the children and families living on the ranchero.  After a little while Sara had establish a one Saturday a month VBS experience for the kids. That was followed by one of the residents offering to house the project in a spare room of her home.  The next step was to identify a spare barn for a worship center.  Currently a neighboring congregation is helping set up and staff the worship services.   The dream is to establish a self-contained church facility and existent congregation:   From “nothing” to “full-fledged worshiping community”, what a powerful dream that is coming to reality.  Several UMVIM teams have visited and fostered the work in El Prado.  Many folk are praying for and working for this dream to come to fruition.

Our support for Sara has helped this to come about, along with all of her other work.   She, as United Methodist Missionary sent on our behalf by the General Board of Global Ministries, is helping to establish the Methodist ethos of abundant grace in Ecuador.    The Columbia District through the District Connectional Ministries has established a covenant relationship with Sara.   If you would like to join in supporting Sara you may do so by making contributions to the SC UM Conference Treasurers Office.   Mark your contribution as “CO MISSIONARY” account # 639.

(Photo left: Sara opening a gift from members of a Columbia District UMVIM team.  Pictured with her is the local translator.)




Commission on Way Forward Final Report

handsJuly 31, 2018  – WASHINGTON, D.C. – The final report of the Commission on a Way Forward has been released in all four official languages of the General Conference: English, French, Portuguese and Swahili. The report will be presented to the 2019 Special Session of General Conference. Subject to final copy editing, the report will be printed in the Advance Daily Christian Advocate (ADCA) in November. Here is a statement from the moderators of the Commission and the President of the Council of Bishops on the release of the report:  “To the People of The United Methodist Church,

“We offer the final report of the Commission on a Way Forward, translated in the four official languages of the General Conference of The United Methodist Church: English, French, Portuguese and Swahili. In the Nicene Creed, we are taught the marks of the church—one, holy, catholic and apostolic. We are catholic in that we care not only for the parts of the church, but more significantly for the whole. We have refrained from commenting about the plans contained in this report until the time when our sisters and brothers could read this in their own first language. With this distribution, we give thanks that this work can now begin, and we can have a conversation that represents our global and catholic nature—more fully who we are as The United Methodist Church.”

Bishops Sandra Steiner Ball and David Yemba
Moderators, Commission on a Way Forward

Bishop Ken Carter
President, Council of Bishops

Go to the link below to read the final report that outlines the 3 plans:

Read Final Report

I scream, you scream, we all scream for Epworth ice cream!

ice creamThere are many ways to support Epworth, including the following:

  • District Clergy Gathering – Sept. 11, Tuesday, 11:30am-1:00pm, Epworth – Trenholm Road Campus, “The Changing Face of Epworth” – Rev. John Holler will give us a tour of the new campus, we’ll hear about Epworth’s future, and eat Ice Cream! Park in back of Trenholm Road UMC, and enter through back road, Maiden Lane.
  • September 9, Epworth Work Day Offering
  • October 2, Food Truck Rodeo – A fun fundraiser!  Bring your church family.

Epworth Food Truck Rodeo

  • Want to buy the new flavors of Epworth Ice Cream?  Here’s the info on Facebook:

Epworth Ice Cream Facebook

Church Administration Seminar, Aug. 14

In an effort to strengthen your pastoral ministry, you are invited to attend a free church administration seminar AUGUST 14, TUESDAY, 9:00-12:00, including a FREE LUNCH for fellowship and question/answer time at the Methodist Center, upstairs Conference room.  While this will be open to all pastors, it will be required for all pastors who are in their first or second appointment. 

Rev. Robert Cox, who recently retired from the Greenville District and has a background in accounting/business, will lead the seminar.  He has done this seminar with great success in many districts.  It will cover the basics in the records that we need to keep for Membership, Giving, Finances, Personnel, and Legal.

Sign up by AUGUST 10 at this link:

Hand y Mano: Columbia District Day Camp for Refugee Children

HanyMano_LogoWHAT:  A Columbia District ministry outreach to refugee children

WHEN:  August 6-10, 8:30am – 1:00pm

WHERE:  Hosted at Grace UMC, 410 Harbison Blvd

WHAT WE NEED:  We need your help! – Volunteers, Financial contributions, School supplies, Your talents— music talent, art talent; are you a dentist, or dental hygienist, or a nurse or doctor who can give your time to share with the kids and their families

To donate or to serve, or for more information, contact Martha Thompson: Thank you!

Watch this video! Hand y Mano


Lay Servant Ministries Fall Session

We are now offering Lay Servant Ministries Fall Training School in addition to our annual  Spring Training School.  Please notice that we have online registration for Fall Training School.  Feel free to share this info with others in your congregations who may be interested in being a part of Lay Servant Ministries.  We encourage the Youth of our churches to become Lay Servants, too.  (Pastor recommendation and approval required for anyone who wants to join lay servant ministries.)  There is much work to be done. Spread the news!

Columbia District Lay Servant Ministries School – Fall Session

Date:     September 28 – 29, 2018

Time:     6:00 p.m. – 9:00 p.m. 9/28/18

9:00 a.m. – 4:30 p.m. 9/29/18


Registration Deadline:  September 15, 2018

Location:  Mt. Hebron United Methodist Church, 3050 Leaphart Road, West Columbia, SC

 Contact:  Debbie Watford, Director,  Email:                             Phone: 803-673-4930

Course Offering:  All classes are $25.  Each participant is to purchase his/her own books ahead of time.

  1. Lay Servant Ministries (The Basic Course) , by Sandy Zeigler Jackson and Brian Jackson;  Participant’s Book – DR626 – 978-0-88177-626-3 ($11.00)

2.  Living Our Beliefs: The United Methodist Way (United Methodist Heritage), by Kenneth L. Carder / George Hovaness Donigian;  Participant’s Book – DR571 – 978-0-88177-571-6 ($13.00)

3.  Each One a Minister (Discovering your spiritual gifts), by William J. Carter; Participant’s Book – DR375 – 978-0-88177-375-0 ($14.00)

4.  Grief Rite: Moving From Mourning to Ministering, by Kathryn McColskey PhD; Participant’s Book – 978-0982395912 (Amazon – $7.95 paperback)