CLARKSVILLE, Mo. | A passage from Psalms is serving as an inspiration to Clarksville United Methodist Church as it embarks on another pilgrimage of faith.
The eighth verse of chapter 32 says God will “instruct you and teach you in the way you should go.”
After completing an $80,000 campaign to restore and preserve the church's stained glass windows, the tiny congregation is moving forward on another effort. This one will focus upon structural needs of the 112-year-old building at the corner of Highway 79 and Howard Street.
The church is hosting a soup luncheon from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 25, as part of Clarksville Eagle Days. The menu features homemade chili or chicken noodle soup, hot dogs, chili dogs, chips, dessert and beverage. The soup is $4 a bowl, hot dogs and homemade desserts each cost $4, and chili dogs are $5. Chips and a drink are $1 each. Diners may pay at the door. Proceeds will benefit the building fund drive.
Janie Busch, one of the luncheon organizers, says members are appreciative for past support and look forward to the challenges ahead.
“We have listened to the Word and know our path is one of service to the community,” she said. “Every bowl of soup served, every cup of coffee poured, is done with a grateful heart for the opportunities we have before us.”
One planned project is resurfacing of the basement floor, where the luncheon take place. Over the last two decades, the church has served as a community kitchen for thousands of volunteers who have helped Clarksville battle ever-more-frequent floods. Last year's inundation was the second-highest on record – eclipsed only by that of 1993 – and seven of the top 10 have happened since 2001. Other projects include patching steps, repairing plaster and painting.
For a congregation that rarely has more than 15 people at Sunday services, big projects would seem implausible. But that's not Clarksville United Methodist.
The roof was replaced in 2007, steeple work was done during the building centennial in 2008, and kitchen renovations were completed in 2013. The “Save Our Stained Glass Windows” campaign, which began in October 2014, was completed in just under five years – half the time many thought it would take.
“Our community has embraced our efforts to continue on this path and we look forward to seeing each of you step into the warmth of our church and enjoy a meal and a visit,” Busch said.
For many, the luncheon is an Eagle Days can't miss. And while the soup recipes may be secret, Busch and other church members are happy to gab about the sweetest part of the menu.
“Oh, don't forget those homemade pies!” she said.