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Congregation plunges into community service

Caroline Harris wipes down tables at the Rosemount Family Resource Center. Harris was part of a group of ten that deep cleaned the heavily used center.

Each year the Rosemount United Methodist Church congregation rolls up its collective sleeves and gives service to community as part of their Urban Plunge program. Over the course of the fall months, congregants in the church will clean toilets, read to kids, pick up garbage, feed the hungry and so much more.

“It our way of reaching out and helping others,” said Rich Wirt, a member of the church.

The Rosemount United Methodist Church mission statement says “Seek Christ. Serve Others. Celebrate!” Pastor Karen Bruins said their annual Urban Plunge focuses on the “Serve Others” part of the mission statement.

Overall the church will complete 19 Urban Plunge projects from September through November. Last year the congregation logged more than 340 hours of service. Bruins anticipates they will have a similar number this year.

Urban Plunge engages all members, young and old, in serving the community. Bruins said the church has been doing Urban Plunge for more than 10 years and that it has become an integral program the church puts on.

“It’s a part of who we are,” said Bruins.

The community service opportunities vary greatly. On Saturday, one group found itself deep cleaning the 360 Communities Rosemount Family Resource Center while another group did activities with homeless children in St. Paul.

While cleaning toilets isn’t the most glamorous way to spend a Saturday morning, Caroline Harris said she was glad to do it

“I respect the work they do here,” Harris said.

Jeff and Juli Geske-Peer also volunteered to help clean up at the Rosemount Family Resource Center. The couple chose the project because it’s in town and they believe the center does a lot of good in the community.

Besides the pragmatic purposes of the program, Jeff said Urban Plunge also offers ways to get to know other people in the congregation. He met several new people on Saturday and said it was fun getting to know others in their church community.

Urban Plunge projects extend outside the Rosemount borders. Also on Saturday a group volunteered at the Family Place in St. Paul. The Family Place is homeless day shelter for families with children. Volunteers with that group provided activities for children in the shelter.

Bruins said Rosemount UMC started working with the Family Place several years ago as one of its Urban Plunge projects. Several members of the congregation felt compelled to continue service with the organization and it has become a long-term ministry for the church.

Another long-term project that came out of Urban Plunge is the work the church does with the Simpson Shelter in Minneapolis. Wirt, who leads the mission, said the Urban Plunge effort encourages people to experience new things that they may become passionate about going forward.

Wirt said he very much enjoys working with the Simpson Shelter.

While their mission is to serve others, Wirt said the people who volunteer get a lot out of their efforts.

“It’s amazing how much fun goes into these events,” said Wirt.

The Rosemount United Methodist congregation will continue Urban Plunge activities through mid-November. To learn more about the program visit the church’s website at

Emily Zimmer
Emily Zimmer has worked as a staff writer for the Rosemount Town Pages since 2007. She has a degree in journalism from Minnesota State University, Mankato. Outside of work, Emily enjoys running, reading and gardening. You can follow Emily's gardening adventures at the Areavoices blog East of Weedin'
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