Go, Sow, Grow: Churches of the Living Waters circuit

August 04, 2022 | by JB Brayfindley

Go, Sow, Grow: Churches of the Living Waters circuit

 Editor's note: Go, Sow, Grow is a prayer initiative that launched early in 2022 in which local churches were invited to pray for one another in order to align our prayers for God's vision of growth and abundance to manifest among us.  As a companion to that prayer ministry, we will be reaching out to circuits across our 5 districts to develop short profiles on the ministry of our local churches and include links for more information and how to get involved. Together, we are the church. #BeUMC

The Living Waters Circuit in the Sacramento area consists of six churches. The congregations vary in size and are comprised of various racial, ethnic, socio-economic, and cultural backgrounds, lifestyles, experiences, and interests that include European Americans, African Americans, Korean and Hmong pastors. Rev. Carieta Cain-Grizzell, pastor at Fair Oaks UMC serves as circuit leader. “…we learn from each other, respecting different experiences, languages and personalities with understanding and joy,” explains Cain-Grizzell.

Despite the COVID lockdown, the circuit continued to meet on the 4th Tuesday of the month but primarily on Zoom. “However, on few occasions during this period, we have met in one of our homes to enjoy fellowship and breaking of bread together,” states Cain-Grizzell. “We meet for collegial support and trust.”

Living Waters circuit meetings open with prayer and devotion, then a pre-designated volunteer shares a Scripture or topic to be discussed, followed by general sharing “with respect to joys, disappointments, struggles in the church or personally,” points out Cain-Grizzell. “We give support, encouragement, insights, possible recommendations and witness to the faithfulness of God.”

COVID has precluded involvement in activities the circuit has previously done or supported together. However, this past Lenten season in 2022, the circuit came together at St. Mark’s UMC for a celebration of The Seven Last Sayings of Jesus on the Cross. Seven laypersons from each church provided a word from Jesus. “It was a very spiritual and moving service,” adds Cain-Grizzell.

The areas of emphasis and strengths of each church include:

Rev. Doosik David Kim pastors Cho-un Korean Church in Orangevale and is focusing on strengthening and revitalizing the church with young people with a shared vision for multi-racial church establishment for the next five years.

Rancho Cordova UMC, pastored by Rev. Elizabeth Brick, is a multi-generational/multi-cultural church working together to rebuild a community after COVID and serves as a COVID testing site.

Pastor Changjer Yang serves Trinity UMC in Sacramento, a multi-generational church with young families who are very industrious and goal oriented.

St. Mark’s UMC in Sacramento is where Rev. Quentisha Davis-Wiles is newly appointed. Davis-Wiles is presently taking time to listen to the hearts of the people and ascertaining what works and what is not working, what should stay and what would not stay. They are excited about doing Messy Church.

St. Andrew’s UMC in Sacramento is served by Rev. David Park. The church provides a Clothes Closet and food for their community every Thursday. Also, they support local middle school and high school students who are academic high achievers.

At Fair Oaks UMC, Rev. Carieta Cain-Grizzell is focusing on rebuilding after COVID with a five-year evangelism and capital campaign. They are participating in the new evangelism program called, “He Gets Us” and looking at the Alpha Evangelism Program. The church recently received a non-profit Security Grant of $198,548 from the Governor’s Office of Emergency Services.

The circuit is pleased to have retired pastor Rev. Carolee Caterall as part of the team serving alongside Cain-Grizzell at Fair Oaks.

JB Brayfindley is a freelance journalist.