Laton UMC 'Facelift' Is Progressing Well

April 08, 2009

Last month the call went out for volunteers to help give a "facelift" to the historic Laton (California) United Methodist Church. The Fresno District Missionary and Church Extension Society asked for Volunteers in Mission (UMVIM) teams to work alongside community residents to remove the existing exterior paint and paint the exterior walls, working weekends or during the week over the course of the spring and summer.


Today Local Project Manager Jim Gregory reports that the project is well underway, thanks to the Care-a-Vaners.


The Care-a-Vaners are RV owners who, as a group, are responsible for much of the maintenance at California-Nevada Conference camps and churches. UMVIM Director Sue King refers to them as "sort of UMVIM on wheels."


Photos taken Thursday evening, April 02, show the Care-a-Vaners spackling and caulking.


Gregory said the primer coat had been applied to about 2/3 of the exterior by day's end. Two coats of acrylic finish paint were awaiting application, when winds should die down.


"The Care-a-Vaners are making a lot of progress," he wrote.


The Laton church does not currently house a congregation, but Fresno District leaders and members of Hanford UMC see the building as an essential mission outpost in the predominantly Hispanic Laton community, nonetheless. A focal point for community events, the building provides space for community "Movie Night," a clothing exchange bank, and spill-over space for youth and children's activities organized by the Neighborhood Activity Center across the street. It is hoped that the current mission and outreach efforts may lead to development of a congregation: The presence of UMVIM teams at Laton UMC pay witness to United Methodists' desire to share God's Love through acts of service.


Visit the Laton UMC page for more information - and check out the listing of UMVIM projects sponsored by the California-Nevada Annual Conference, at


Additional information is available through the UMVIM office, 916.374.1584 or; from Hanford UMC, 559.584.4075 (during church office hours of 9 a.m.-noon, weekdays); or from Jim Gregory, 559.584.0327 (evenings) or