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New faith community springs up in the new year

Posted: January 23 2021 at 11:20 PM
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Wellspring UMC in Oswego holds its first church conference via Zoom with Aurora District Superintendent Jeffry Bross after launching on Jan. 1, 2021.

A new faith community in Oswego, Ill., is springing up in the new year. Wellspring UMC launched on January 1, 2021, with the Rev. Corey Ashley serving in the former Oswego Campus of Wheatland Salem UMC. On the heels of a difficult year for churches with the pandemic and restrictions on in-person services, some may ask, ‘is this the right time to plant a church?’

“It goes without saying that 2020 was a strange year. In a lot of ways, it feels like the world has been knocked back on its heels. Division, health crisis, political turmoil, injustice, economic calamity and more have become trademarks for 2020,” said Ashley, who served as the Oswego Campus Associate Pastor. “Yet, when we look to church history, we find that it is in times of hardship and strife that the church can shine its brightest.”

Ashley says the mission of Wellspring is focused on the United Methodist’s mission of “making disciples of Jesus Christ for the transformation of the world.” In Kendall County, where the church sits, surveys show that more than 57% of the population is disconnected from a religious institution, which is about 73,500 people in the area. Ashley says one of the church’s vision is closing the divide in the community.

“We believe we are called to be a community that faithfully lives out our mission and therefore closes the divide by reaching non-religious people who are disconnected from the church; by addressing the injustices in our community and building bridges of healing; by connecting new generations to the church and raising leaders; and by breaking the cycles of poverty in our community, ” said Ashley.

The church community is already taking the first steps in fulfilling its vision. Wellspring partnered with the local school district to adopt two families for Christmas.

“Even before we launched, our church community went above and beyond with gifts, food and finances for holiday bills with local a ‘adopt-a-family program’,” said Ashley.

Wellspring UMC’s website also includes resources to support the NIC’s strategic goal that “racism is incompatible with Christian teaching.” Ashley says Wellspring is committed to challenging the unjust power structures that support racism and working for equality in all areas of life.

The church held its first church conference on Jan. 11 via Zoom with Aurora District Superintendent Jeffry Bross celebrating its first nominations and ministry leadership teams and is working toward becoming a chartered church.

Wellspring honors its past, which began more than 170 years ago when German families began arriving in the Oswego Township and settled on the rich farmland of the Oswego Prairie. The faith-filled community of farmers first gathered for church in their homes. As their congregation grew in numbers, they raised the money to construct their first church building in 1848.

The church building is located at 1217 Wolf Road and is a historical landmark in Kendall County, most recognized by the lighted red cross on top of the bell tower, which illuminates the night sky as a beacon of God’s light.

The church’s worship is currently online on Sundays at 9:30 a.m. on its Watch page, YouTube Channel, and Facebook Page. Ashley says they’re focused on being a grace-filled presence in the community and excited to welcome people inside the church sanctuary when it’s safe and appropriate.

To learn more about Wellspring and to find services and activities, visit wellspringumc.church.

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