Hancock congregation raising money for mission trip to help Navajo Indians

June 09, 2013|By DAVE McMILLION |
  • Nancy Wheeler of Great Cacapon puts her bid in for the silent auction at a benefit in Hancock's Widmeyer Park. Money being raised is for a mission trip planned for members of the Hancock United Methodist Church.
By Ric Dugan/Staff Photographer

HANCOCK — Organizers of a Sunday event in Widmeyer Park to raise money for a mission trip to a Navajo Indian reserve in New Mexico were hoping to raise about $2,000.

Members of the Hancock United Methodist Church have made trips to the reservation near Gamerco, N.M., before, and this year, they plan to start construction on a transition facility that will help Navajo women coming out of prison, John Pennesi said.

The building will include classroom space, a dining area, a kitchen and housing, said Pennesi, a member of the church.

Members of the local church will be at the reservation from Aug. 6 to 13 and are expected to be among about a dozen groups that will go to the reservation for mission work, according to Pennesi and his wife, Cindy.

During Sunday’s event, Hancock United Methodist Church raised money for the trip through the sale of food like hamburgers, hot dogs, Italian sausage and ice cream.

Money also was raised through a silent auction of items donated by businesses in the area, church members and people from the community.

Other activities included performances from two bands and a roping demonstration.

Members of the church have been to the reservation to help people make improvements to their homes, church members said. Another challenge for Indians living on the reservation is polluted well water, and church members want to raise money to help correct that situation, Cindy Pennesi said.

Rodger Mellott, who lives near Hancock, said helping the Indians on the reserve is an effort that deserves attention.

“Indians need our help, the way we push them back and forth,” Mellott said as he walked around a table of silent auction items.

Anyone interesting in helping with future mission trips or making a donation may contact Pastor Michael Bynum at Hancock United Methodist Church at 301-678-6440.

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