At Epworth, service on the roof

The members of Epworth United Methodist Church were issued a challenge earlier this year – to increase individual giving and giving as a whole church.

The congregation’s pastor, the Rev. Erling Schultz, challenged the congregation to increase individual giving by 20 percent and congregational giving to the denomination in 2013.

“Back in June I issued a challenge,” said Schultz, “and they seem to have met that challenge.”

Schultz promised the congregation – somewhat uncomfortably due to his slight fear of heights – that if the challenge was met by Christmas, he would start the traditional Christmas Eve worship service outdoors, on the church’s rooftop.

“If we met the challenge I said I would go up on the roof to give the incarnation proclamation,” said Schultz. “From there we would go into the church for the candlelight service.”

Schultz said the challenge was more than just financial.

“It was about getting ourselves connected,” he said. “Connected to this church we call Epworth United Methodist, this community of Fort Dodge, and to the Methodist denomination which connects us to the world. It was about getting us all to leave our everyday comfort and be a part of the world’s community to connect with Christ and others.”

Keeping his promise, Schultz climbed a ladder to the rooftop to begin the church service Tuesday evening.

“What better a way to make the proclamation as Christ enters our live at Christmas,” said Schultz. “Just as the angels proclaimed on high the birth of Christ it is important that, as a church, we also proclaim it on high.”