Kerrville, TX––Elm Creek Park, which runs adjacent to Methodist Encampment Road in Kerrville, attracts many neighborhood residents who walk the trails either with their dogs or for exercise alone. Residents use the passive workout equipment and many enjoy a respite on one of the park benches.
When St. Paul’s UMC Pastor Rev. Randall Hilburn noticed a “regular” park participant having some difficulty bending to reach the water fountain, he mused, “There must be a better way.”
Shortly thereafter, a church committee, with City approval, placed two Styrofoam containers with ice and water bottles at opposite ends of the park. Church members have continued to restock about 20 bottles each day. To ensure cleanliness in the park, the members check for “throw-away” bottles and have found no discards.
The response has been overwhelming, reported Hilburn.
“People have put thank you notes in the containers, we’ve received office calls thanking us and one day, a woman brought a case of water to the church office to express her appreciation for the project,” he said. Workers reported receiving water bottles donated by a neighbor near the park while another said she had received “quite a few sweaty hugs,” as she refilled the ice chest.
Pastor Hilburn, citing John 7:37 (“Let anyone who is thirsty come to me.”) said it has been easy enough to apply that scripture literally, and “we are gratified to know we’ve met a need in our neighborhood.” The ministry, which has run from May until Labor Day, will resume Memorial Day 2019.
St. Paul’s UMC is at 135 Methodist Encampment Rd., Kerrville.
Written by Dolores Schroeder