The Weekly Newspaper serving the citizens of Morenci, Mich., Fayette, Ohio, and surrounding areas.

  • Front.cheers
    MACEE BEERS joins other Fayette Elementary School students for the annual Mini-Cheer performance during the half-time break at the basketball game.
  • Family.3.wide
    CHILDREN at Stair District Library’s Family Story Time toss scarves into the air during an activity. The evening program provided a mix of stories, songs, dancing, crafts and snacks Monday evening. The program is offered at 5:30 p.m. every Monday for five more weeks. The program is designed for three to five year olds and their family.
  • Front.newpaper.2
    THE INTERVIEW—Evelyn Joughin (right) records the interaction with an iPad while Jack Varga, next to her, asks questions of Morenci Elementary School principal Gail Frey. Morenci senior Sam Cool (standing) listens. Cool serves as the editor for the newspaper written by members of Mrs. Barrett’s second grade class.
  • Front.code.2
    WRITING CODE—Brock Christle (left), a Morenci fifth grade student, takes a look at the progress being made by fourth grader Anthony Lewis. Libby Rorick, a sixth grade student, is next in a line of girls trying out the coding tutorials. This year marked Morenci’s second year of participation in the Hour of Code project.
  • Front.skelton.vigil
    MORENCI’S three Skelton brothers were remembered with both tears and laughter last week during a candlelight vigil at Wakefield Park. Several people came out of the crowd to give their recollection of the boys who have now been missing for five years.
  • Front.gym.new
    REMIE RYAN (left) tries to dodge the foam wand held by Hayden Bays during physical education class at Morenci Elementary School. In the background, Lauryn Dominique and Brooklyn Williams stay clear of the tag. Second grade students were working on cardiovascular health on the first day back from vacation. For the record, Safety Tag is a very difficult sport to photograph.
  • Front.lift
    MORENCI student Dalton McCowan puts everything into a dead lift attempt Saturday morning during the Wyseguy Push/Pull event. Lifters helped raise more than $1,600 for the family of the late Devin Wyse, a former Morenci power-lifter who graduated last year. Commemorative T-shirts are still available by contacting teacher Dan Hoffman.

Bob Dister serving at two churches

Written by David Green.

bob.disterBy DAVID GREEN

Whenever Bob Dister filled in at the Morenci United Methodist Church pulpit, church member Mona Dwyer said the same thing: “Bob, you ought to be a preacher.”

Eventually, Bob took that suggestion to heart and former Morenci pastor Dorothy Okray helped him along the path.

He started out by attending classes for lay speakers through the Methodist Conference until he earned certification. 

Next came the process to become a “local pastor,” the Methodist phrase for a pastor who came from another career rather than attending seminary.

To continue his role as a local pastor, Bob will eventually attend seminary, taking 20 classes over a period of five or more years and ending as an “associate member.”

“We’re doing it backwards,” Bob said about the approach that he and his wife, Pat, are taking. “We first got a church and then I’ll be going to seminary.”

Bob began his first full-time pastorate July 1 with the dual role of leading the United Methodist congregations in both Clayton and Rollin Center.

Bob replaces Linda Jo Powers who moved to Elkton. Before her, former Morenci resident Craig Pillow served both churches.

Bob gave up his role as executive director of Habitat for Humanity of Lenawee County to take on his new job. Habitat is a Christian ministry, Bob said, but it was an administrative position.

He longed to work directly with members of a congregation. 

“Now I’ll actually be working with parishioners in all aspects of their lives, from baptism to education to marriage to the end stages of life.”

His own education didn’t come entirely in the classroom.

“I’ve had wonderful mentors with the pastors who came through Morenci,” he said. “They’ve been a great inspiration.”

As an example, he learned from Evans Bentley to bring a hymnal along on hospital visits and to ask the patient for a favorite hymn to sing. Bob says that being there for others is part of the gift he has to offer.

It’s a continual learning process, Bob said, both in the classroom and on the job. Even his sermons vary on a Sunday morning.

Although he delivers essentially the same message at 9:30 in Rollin Center  and at 11 a.m. in Clayton, the two are never the same, he said.

Habitat

Although Bob gave up his job with Habitat for Humanity, he’s still closely tied to the organization and is a member of the faith relations committee.

The group’s goal is to involve churches in the outlying communities in Habitat projects. That could be as simple as providing meals to workers who are building or renovating a home or perhaps supplying a work crew at a site.

To get a cluster of churches working together to support one another marks a new direction for Lenawee’s Habitat, he said.

Bob played a key role in planning Morenci’s first Habitat house and he organized the first two Labor Day Bridge Walk events to raise money for the project. More than three dozen Habitat homes have been built in the county by volunteers.

“As difficult as the economy has been,” Bob said, “there’s opportunity for building and renovating homes.”

Habitat Lenawee intends to expand its annual capacity from three homes a year to four in 2013, and then to five in 2014.

Bob said to look for an announcement in a few weeks for a family selection meeting planned in Morenci.

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