My name is Julie Hilton and I have been a member of Coker for the past 25 years. I am an Administrative Assistant in the Microbiology Department at UT Health- San Antonio. I have helped out in the Children's Ministry and Youth departments. I am part of the Coker Emmaus community.
Rev. Al H. Bankert served Coker Community Church faithfully and sometimes without payment. He was reared a Quaker but joined the Baptist Church. Later his Methodist mother took him to a revival meeting in a Methodist church which began a life journey for him, leading eventually to the pulpit of Coker Community Church.
Submitted By: Wendy Pearson, Assistant Director of Children's Ministry
When you lead Sunday School for a group made up of pre-school through 5th grade kids, you really don’t know where a lesson might lead. Over the years, we’ve had some great “out of the mouths of babes” moments, and we’ve had some “oops” moments. We approach Sunday morning with a great deal of enthusiasm and faith, but with a tight grip on that old Scouting saw, “Be Prepared.”
“I’m sitting in my car in the Coker parking lot and my hands are shaking. I just got back from a doctor’s appointment for my son. He had a CT Scan last week and we got the results today. He has a mass in his abdomen. The report mentions Desmoid Tumor or Lymphoma. We are seeing a general surgeon at 5 PM to set up a biopsy. It could be nothing or it could be cancerous. I am praying that it is nothing. Will you pray with me?”
Brothers and sisters in the Lord, what a blessed spring we have experienced here at Coker UMC. Our Lenten season was a powerful time of worship and exploring holiness of heart and life in new and deeper ways. Our Good Friday service packed the sanctuary with nearly 600 people and took us on an amazing journey through the entire holy week story beginning in the upper room with the last supper and culminating in the death of Jesus. I heard from many people that it was one of the most powerful worship services they had ever attended. And then Easter morning we celebrated the resurrected Jesus Christ and his power in reconciling the world to God with 1600 people in attendance that day.
Coker has also been reaching out this past spring. We have sent several hurricane recovery teams down to the Texas gulf coast to aid in the recovery effort following Hurricane Harvey. We hosted our annual Joshua Build through Habitat for Humanity and had a wonderful time as a church family building the walls to a home that will be inhabited by a deserving family someday soon. We made over 200 hygiene kits for UMCOR to distribute as a part of hurricane recovery and our Coker Health and Wellness Ministry was awarded the “Food Pantry of the Year” award from the San Antonio Food Bank, honoring the hard work and dedication of over 70 volunteers leading that ministry.
All of this, and I’m really only scratching the surface of what God is doing here at Coker. Within the pages of the Courier, on our blog, on our social media pages, and through talking with others you can hear about many of the ways God is at work within the community of Coker UMC; stories of healing, stories of the power of a spiritual friend, stories of music ministering to those in our community. And again, it just scratches the surface of what is happening at Coker. As I write this I am thinking about a story I heard in the last few weeks about a lady in one of our Wesley Groups who says because of that group, for the first time in her life she feels like she knows how to be a witness for Jesus. I have also had the pleasure of speaking with a Coker member whose life has been radically changed by the Holy Spirit and is now answering a call to ministry. God is at work among us, come Holy Spirit, come!
This summer we are journeying through an 8 - week sermon series called “The Good Book” and we will be looking at the entirety of the Bible from a “30,000 foot view.” We’ll be studying the overarching narrative of scripture, from Genesis to Revelation and the bigger themes that are found throughout the story. In addition to the sermon series several of our Sunday school classes will be studying the same thing along with us and we’ll be launching some other small groups at the same time to go through the study. If you are not currently in a group or Sunday school class I hope you will join one for this study this Summer.
Vacation Bible School (VBS) is happening June 25-28th and our youth will be going to the Texas gulf coast for their mission trips this Summer with high school going June 17th-23rd and middle school going July 22nd -27th. Our adult mission trip to Mexico is partnering, once again, with the Methodist clinic in Cuernavaca. These groups need our prayer as they go out and serve in the name of Jesus Christ.
All in all, there is a lot happening here at Coker. God is blessing us with more and more as we deepen our dependence on him and our desire to be the church he wants us to be. I am so thankful for you all and your continued partnership in ministry. Continue to pray for the work of the Spirit to lead us, as we all fulfill the ministry God has called us to here at Coker United Methodist Church.
At last week's Golden Apple Awards Dinner at the San Antonio Food Bank (SAFB), the Coker Food Pantry won the top award, Food Pantry of the Year! We are honored to be recognized amongst our peers. There are 530 food pantries across 16 counties that are all supported by the SAFB and are all worthy to be recognized, we humbly thank the San Antonio Food Bank (SAFB) for naming Coker as the Food Pantry of the Year.
In 2017- your donations, prayers, and volunteer hours allowed Coker’s Food Pantry to serve 3,794 families, 16,766 people (about 1400 per month), and 2,120 Seniors. Volunteers dedicated 4,635 hours of time.
Sharon Ford, Director, Coker Health and Wellness Center, shares: “This award is a reflection of the work of everyone who volunteered or supported the ministries of the entire Health and Wellness Ministry. All of our programs were included. We would like to thank you all for your volunteer hours and heart for the ministry so many of you: Distribute food, pick up the food from the SAFB, pick up food at Wild Fish, Chester’s and Longhorn Steakhouse, sort the food, pack the food, personally carry out the food, organize supplies, distribute the backpacks annually, conduct the Angel Tree Christmas toy project, participate in the Jubilee Free Sale. We also thank those who work in the Clothing Closet, work on our Children’s Library, schedule all of the volunteers and those who are now working on our two new food programs for Seniors: Commodities Supplemental Food Program and Project Hope.
The nomination included all of the thoughtfulness the people of Coker have demonstrated towards our clients: giving them rides to the bus stop, taking them home, renting them motel rooms on freezing nights, taking them to the hospital or doctor’s appointments, buying them gasoline, delivering food to their homes when they were too sick to come get it, giving them financial aid from the pastors through the Pastor’s Benevolence Fund and the entire congregation and Building Committee for supporting the Health and Wellness Ministry. The SAFB was especially impressed that our congregation went the extra mile to build such a wonderful new facility where we, through our Wesley Nurse, schedule health education programs, nutrition programs, cooking demonstrations, and health screenings. Including our clients in programs of the church such as Mid-Week Manna, Easter Egg Scramble, Harvest Celebration, Bible Study, Spanish Worship, Sunday School, etc. which brought us to the top.
Those of us who work in the Health and Wellness Center would sincerely like to thank everyone who made this award possible for Coker UMC.”
We stand in amazement and Praise God for instilling a vision and putting hearts and people into action to be the hands and feet of Christ. Thank you to the San Antonio Food Bank (SAFB) for the support and recognition.
I have been to Mexico numerous times throughout my lifetime…on vacation. I must admit that rarely had I ever gone to Mexico on a mission trip, other than along the border (which is a world of difference from the interior of Mexico).