Cape church to combine local art with mission project in Africa

Sunday, September 16, 2012
Jim Finley shows some of the art work to be auctioned Saturday at "An Evening of Fine Arts for Mozambique" at Grace United Methodist Church. (Fred Lynch)

Grace United Methodist Church in Cape Girardeau will host an art sale, silent auction and dinner later this week to raise funds for a well in Mozambique, Africa.

The event, billed as "An Evening of Fine Arts for Mozambique," is scheduled for 5 p.m. Saturday at Grace's fellowship center at Broadway and Caruthers Avenue. Admission is $30.

Jim Finley, event chairman, said more than 100 pieces of artwork from local artists have been collected for the fundraiser. The Academy of DanceArts will perform. Finley said those attending can expect a fun time, good dinner, good entertainment and live music, and an opportunity to help provide water for people in need.

The United Methodist Church in Missouri, according to Finley, has adopted Mozambique's United Methodist Church as a sister church by sponsoring a church and supporting a seminary student. Funding the well is an opportunity to extend support.

Sarah Bollinger, coordinator for the United Methodist Church Mozambique Initiative, will be speaking at the fundraiser. Bollinger will show what an average day looks like in Mozambique and explain the importance of water.

"Water saves lives," Bollinger said. "Many suffer from waterborne illnesses, and access to clean water saves lives."

Bollinger said she has been impressed by the Cape Girardeau church's energy and excitement for this cause.

"I like the fact that Grace is mixing art with an amazing cause," Bollinger said.

The Rev. Tom Sullinger, pastor at Grace, said his congregation has a "world perspective on how life is outside our country."

"We can help them and they can help us," Sullinger said. "The people of our sister church are very spiritual, generous, helpful and encouraging to us.

"This church has always been big in local and global missions. We benefit more than the people we help. We know how blessed we are. We can make an impact for generations to improve life expectancy and quality of life and help establish a church," Sullinger said.

According to Sullinger, communities and churches form around wells. He said Grace has enjoyed a strong connection with its sister churches since the 1990s.

Three years ago, Grace did a similar fundraiser. The funds went to support a shelter for HIV/AIDS widows. Finley said the women would have to walk 15 miles to get water. According to Finley, the fundraiser raised over $9,000. This year they are hoping to top that.

Finley said the money raised can help dig a well for a community, support a church and assist a seminary student.

"This is a fantastic image of what we do," Bollinger said. "There are great opportunities for involvement and we welcome participation."

"We hope people come support this worthwhile cause," Finley said.

For more information, purchase tickets or donate items, go online to www.capegrace.org or www.moumethodist.org/mi or call the church at 334-1321.

apicar@semissourian.com

388-3648

Pertinent address: 521 Caruthers Ave, Cape Girardeau, Mo.

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