Did you know there are over 100 unique roles filled by volunteers each month? In this series, Cindy Ziemba will be sharing stories of some of our wide range of volunteers at Ward Church, all serving to connect people to God!
When John Newitt was 19 years old, he began courting Louise. He would attend church on the east side of Detroit, then jump on a trolley car to meet her and attend youth meetings on Sunday afternoon at Ward Church.
When John and Louise were married, Ward became their church. That was about 70 years ago, and John has been a faithful attendee and volunteer through the changes in Ward Pastors, church buildings, and ministries.
John has been a Ward elder and deacon and now spends time investing in senior adults through Ward Senior Luncheons and various class and Bible studies.
“As we get older, we can’t necessarily play golf and do some of the active things we used to. My hope for the luncheon is to have good fellowship and a little fun along the way,” John says. He works with a team to plan the Senior Luncheons which are open to anyone of senior age and meets the 3rd Monday of September, November, March, and May. John enjoys his part, which is planning the program element.
John has learned that no matter the group, it is necessary to personally ask group members to take part in volunteering. “People think they don’t have the up-front experience to lead or are unsure about their abilities. I challenge them to help. I’ll tell them, ‘Just try it once.’”
It is clear John is a “connector.” He loves to connect with people individually, and when he discovers there is a mutual interest or need, he has connected them with others. He extends invitations – inviting a neighbor to Ward Grief Seminar; inviting a widower to a men’s fellowship and study; even connecting two Ward attendees who had lake homes near each other, and has seen encouraging friendships blossom. John believes that God is using Ward Church to touch lives, and is a great place to invite those with spiritual needs.
John is excited about the program planned for November’s Senior Luncheon on Monday, November 18, and if you are ‘of age’ and have never attended – you are invited as well! A guest actor and actress will be portraying the lives of Mark Twain and his wife.
John believes we all can – and should – reach out to others, wherever God has placed us. He’s certainly an example of serving Christ at every phase of life.