Photography by Jamison Mosley
Fellow Arkansans – neighbors, colleagues and friends – are sharing a light of peace, kindness and generosity that makes The Natural State a little brighter. Inviting Arkansas and Methodist Family Health celebrate individuals who illuminate our community with goodness. Nominate someone today for a future feature that SHINES.
Abbey Maynard, Michael McMurray, Kathleen McMurray and Daniel Curry share a love of community. Ozark Mission Project introduced them to the transformative power of fellowship and mission-based service. Today, this group of Christian leaders continue to enrich the lives of neighbors and friends through the ministries of Pulaski Heights United Methodist Church.
Abbey Maynard, PHUMC Pastor of Community Ministries, is from Stuttgart. She and Michael McMurray met as undergraduate students at Hendrix College. Inspired by Michael’s dedication to Ozark Mission Project, she became involved in the summer camps. “It was a challenging and incredible experience that also helped me to realize that I was called to ministry.” From her time at OMP, she considers every individual a “neighbor” and recounts, “It’s a great reminder that every person you’re serving is worthy.”
Michael McMurray, PHUMC Director of Communications, discovered Ozark Mission Project attending summer camps with his sisters. These formative years were instrumental in Michael’s perspective of the world and he realized the impact of community service. “It also taught me the importance of empathy and perseverance in the face of challenges – key traits for anyone committed to community service.”
Kathleen McMurray, Michael’s sister who is also a PHUMC pastor, remembers summer camp as a time that helped her realize her faith and calling. “It was such a transformative experience of my life – being a part of Jesus’ call to love our neighbors through mission – that I attended for five years as a camper before applying for college staff.” She credits Ozark Mission Project for introducing her to many of her most powerful relationships and the ability to bring people together with a shared and common purpose.
Daniel Curry, a devoted servant, spent much of his childhood exploring the beauty of the Natural State with his family. After completing his studies at the University of Central Arkansas and obtaining a Master of Divinity, Daniel joined the PHUMC ministries. However, his tenure at OMP spans nearly two decades. “I always look forward to the opportunity to serve different communities and meet the most genuine people along the way.” He utilizes these skills with congregants and neighbors.
The friendships forged through Ozark Mission Project have been strengthened through a deep faith and an unwavering optimism for humanity. As an unstoppable force for positive change in our world – Abbey, Michael, Kathleen and Daniel share the OMP values throughout community service and fellowship. “Ozark Mission Project is so much more than the minor construction projects we complete.” Executive Director Bailey Faulkner shares. “It’s about building relationships, and I am thankful for the continued commitment this group has to us and other nonprofit organizations across the state.” It’s these Ozark Mission Project lessons that help fill a ministry with empathy, compassion, and a spirit of service.
Sponsored by Methodist Family Health | Nominations accepted at Foundation@MethodistFamily.org
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