Little Utica United Methodist Church
Friday, September 17, 2021

Men in Focus

Posted February 7, 2021

The following article was submitted by RC Day, brother of Don Day.  RC and his wife Sachiko live in South Carolina, but have been faithful congregants of Little Utica via Zoom since the pandemic started in March, 2020.


VFW Post 12136 Service Activities in Indian Land, SC

After graduating from the Citadel (Military College of South Carolina) in 1974; we moved our family from Charleston, SC to Charlotte, NC. Over the next 40 years we were involved in a number of civic activities. However, there were no activities that supported our Military Veterans in the community. 

In 2014 we decided that the taxes in Charlotte, NC were too high and we moved to Indian Land, SC. Indian Land, a smaller city some 20 miles south of Charlotte, that has become a Bed and Breakfast area for Charlotte area. 

In 2015 a Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW) Post 12136 was formed and as a Navy Veteran (1957-1968) I joined this post. There are over 500 retired military personnel and their families living in Indian Land. Most live in an area called Sun City (a retirement community of more than 3600 homes). As you can imagine this area treats our veterans very well. 

As a result of the community's support, our post in return initiated a series of outreach projects to give back to the community. One of these programs provides scholarship funds to our High Schools students for Seniors going on to college. We currently provide $1000 a year to 2 students as long as they maintain a 3.2 scholastic average. 

In 2016 our post formed an Honor Guard to provide Military Funeral services to recognize the fallen comrades in our community and other local communities. The Honor Guard is made up of 21 veterans ranging in age from 63 to 89 years. The honor guard members represent each branch of the military (Army, Navy, Marines, Airforce and Coast Guard). At each burial site or memorial service, we present a folded American flag to the family, execute a 21-gun salute, and play taps. The first month of 2021; 18 Honor Guard members conducted 13 funeral services, drove over 2000 miles, gave 130 service hours to honor deceased veterans. 

Another of our program is "Veterans in the Classroom" at our middle schools. Fifty-Five veterans are invited to Indian Land Middle School on Veterans Day. Each post member is then assigned a specific class room where students hear stories about some of our career activities while in the military. The students are very attentive, asking many questions. It is also interesting to note that in Indian Land middle and high schools, over 90% of these students have active or past military service members in their families. 

Note: The VFW only allows members to join if they have served overseas in a combat or combat-related zone. However, if you did not serve overseas you can join the American Legion as a non-combat veteran. In order to assure that all of our veterans receive help, one of our retired Marine veterans started a Coffee Group in 2017. This group allows any veteran (stateside or overseas) to join us for free coffee at a local coffee shop every Tuesday, from 7:30 am to 9:30 am. We currently have 125 members, with around 45 members attending each Tuesday. Most of the coffee group members have PTSDF (Post Traumatic Syndrome) and other combat issues. This outlet has been a God Send for these veterans. It has provided an environment for them to talk about issues associated with their military service that they cannot express to their immediate family. 

Our post members also meet with veterans living in a Senior Assisted Center once a month to talk with them about their military service, families, etc. The center usually provides coffee and doughnuts for everyone. Once a quarter we share a lunch with these retired veterans and everyone enjoys these get togethers. Unfortunately, we have not been able to meet since June 2020 due to the Covid-19 issue.

RC Day

Man of the Year - 2017
Little Utica
This is the 9th year that the men of the E.J Thomas Cluster UMM have honored outstanding men in their churches. We are pleased to praise, honor and recognize Bob Phillips as Little Utica's 2017 Man of the Year.

Robert Phillips

2017  Man of the Year

Little Utica United Methodist Church

The men of the Little Utica and the E.J. Thomas Cluster UMM are pleased to honor and recognize Robert Phillips as our 2017 Man of the Year. As Bob’s good friend, District UMM Prayer Advocate and member of the UMM, it is my great privilege to present this award to Bob’s family in honor of a man who is so deserving of our recognition.

Bob had served in so many different positions at Little Utica. He was elected as a Trustee; he helped teach the Basic Lay Servant Class and enjoyed working on church dinners and fundraisers. He stepped in when we were in need of music for Sunday Service. He down-loaded the music and took over the computer operations for those services. He volunteered to help work on UMM projects that helped our local veterans. He gave of his time every Thursday helping with the school-house sale and cleaning the church. Bob always loved when new people came for our Thursday Sale. He so enjoyed joining in on the church “Tour”, sharing the church’s deep and rich history with those that walked in. Bob had a fun-loving side on those Thursday’s as well… oh how he enjoyed when we had little children there. Those little children loved him as well. Bob worked extra hard to ensure we had success in all that we tried to do. His biggest passion was helping our veterans. That’s what the UMM calls service to others!

Bob was a devoted loving husband, father and grandfather. He was a good friend to me and a mentor to others. Over the years, Bob and his loving wife Elaine have been a big part and major supporters of many of the churches in the E.J.Thomas Cluster. Bob lived a life of giving and doing for others. This is true Christian giving, reaching out to help those in need. These are attributes every man tries to achieve. We were truly blessed to have had Bob as a part of our church family. He enriched our lives by his kind and gentle manner. We are forever grateful for all he did in God’s name and ours.

With God’s Blessings,

Donald R. Day, Sr.

Lay Leader, Little Utica UMC ~ Crossroads District UMM Prayer Advocate

"As Iron Sharpens Iron, so one man sharpens another." Proverbs 27:17

Posted October 27, 2016
Great news to share!  We reached our goal of raising $16,000 for a new full-size Ford van which will be donated to the DAV!  
Our big DAV Van fundraising event sponsored by the EJ Thomas United Methodist Men and The Corporal Kyle R. Schneider Foundation was held on Saturday, October 15 at Clay Fire Station #1 and was a huge success!   
We are so grateful to Clay Fire Station #1 for providing this perfect venue.  Of course this event would not have been possible without Lori and RIck Schneider and all of their volunteers.  A big thank you to Kate and Mikhail from Time Warner Cable as well, who volunteered their time to help wherever needed.
The fire station was hopping all afternoon with music from Skip Murphy & The Merry Pranksters and Big D and Friends.  A big thank you to these talented musicians who added so much to the event (not to mention their very generous donation!)  
A large percentage of the money was raised through our Guest Table Sponsors and through the love offering held at the door.  We are very grateful for the support of so many who help to extend the mission and ministry of our organization. See below for the full list of generous individuals and organizations.  
The Silent Auction was also a huge success with a lot of great items to bid on.  The items were all generously donated by individuals, local businesses and organizations eager to help in any way they could and we are so very grateful.  
There was plenty of good food available for sale along with bake sale items, all of which helped generate a great deal of money toward our goal.  Many thanks to those who baked, cooked and served throughout the afternoon.
We will be so proud to dedicate the van to the memory of Kyle Schneider.  Once the van is delivered, it will be wrapped with the following:
“The E.J. Thomas Cluster United Methodist Men Transport our Veterans Dedicated in memory of Cpl. Kyle Schneider.”
There are several kind benefactors who provide us with the ability to reach out to those in need including our youth, the elderly and our beloved veterans who served our country along with others who we have supported over the years.

Below is a list of names who have given so generously in support of our Disabled American Veterans (DAV) Van Fund and Auction Table Sponsors.

Eleanor Thomas

E.J. Thomas Cluster of Churches

Bowens Corners UMC

Dr. Bruce and Mary Widger

Rebecca Melick

Warners UMC

Ed and Lea Windhausen

Ms. Faye Besaw

Tom & Kathy House

Paul Thompson

Minnie L Jordan and Lisa M Doolittle

Marcellus United Methodist Church

Steve & Sue Ranous

Cpl. Kyle Schneider Foundation

Rick & Lori Schneider

Donald & Sylvia Day

Clay Fire House #1

Paladino’s Pizza of Cicero

Skip Murphy & The Merry Pranksters


Saint Paul’s UMC

DK Manufacturing

Swimm Landscaping

Doug and Caroline MacEwen

Carole Ozark

Alice Fairbank

Gerry Snow

Nancy Hagadorn

Linda and Ray Honicker



None of the things we take for granted would be possible without our veterans who keep us free and safe.  They and their families deserve all of our thanks and appreciation for their sacrifices.  

The DAV Transportation Network delivers tens of thousands of veterans each year to and from appointments at the Syracuse Veterans Administration Medical Center and community clinics. The network requires at least 300 volunteer drivers and over 700,000 miles per year to ferry veterans who live in 13 Central New York counties to the hospital and clinics.
Paul Thompson, Don Day and all the Men from EJ Thomas UMM
Man of the Year - 2016 
Howard Johnson


It is a great honor and privilege to be able to be the one who presents Howard Johnson with this award as Little Utica UMC 2016, Man of the Year.  In the life of every church there are those men who just “stand out” year in and year out in service to others. Giving support, guidance, and a helping hand to those needing it; Howard is that man.

Howard’s whole life has been a life of helping others.  He is a loving husband to his beautiful wife Susan. A devoted father to Kathleen & Kristin and a loving and protective grandfather to his baby granddaughter Mila… just ask any member of his family.  By his actions, we can all see how much Howard loves our Lord and his family. He is always quick to offer a helping hand with kindness and a father’s love, never harsh or critical.  He has stepped up these past two years to help out our church where needed. This year more than ever have his special talents been needed.

Howard is a man we all look up to. We are truly blessed to have him as a part of our church family. May our Lord and Savior continue to bless him in all he does.

With God’s Blessings,

Donald R. Day, Sr.

Lay Leader Little Utica UMC ~ Crossroads District UMM Prayer Advocate

“As Iron sharpens Iron, so one man sharpens another.” Proverbs 27:17
Men of the Year - 2015
Little Utica
This is the 7th year that the men of the E.J Thomas Cluster UMM have honored outstanding men in their churches. For the second year in a row, we are pleased to praise, honor and recognize two men for this honor - Charles Burtch and Harold Johnson as our 2015 Men of the Year.
Please click on the links below to read their accomplishments
2013 Men of the Year
Summer 2013 was the setting for handing out Man of the Year awards to a man from each of our churches.  The results are still coming in, click on the names below to view the write up that was presented at their churches.

Bowens Corners:



 Tom House

St. Pauls:


Little Utica:

Doug MacEwen

Granby Center:


2012 Men of the Year
 John Resseguie, Sr, Presented October 7, 2012
Little Utica:
Donald Day, Presented September 30, 2012
Bowens Corners:
Granby Center:
St. Pauls:
Click on the names above to view the write up that was presented at their churches
Posted September 30, 2012
I was honored to present Don Day with our 2012 Man of the Year award at Little Utica.  Many from his family and several friends were there to share in this big day.  Please read the write up by clicking on Don's name above.
Posted October 10, 2012
Tom House, of Warners UMC, presented the 2012 UMM Man of the Year award to the family of John Resseguie, Sr., who passed away earlier this year.  John proudly served his church and community for years and the award was well-deserved.  It was an honor to know him.  Below are pictures of Tom reading and presenting the award.
Doug MacEwen
Haiti Mission
Tom House and his team returned from Haiti on Wednesday, May 16, 2012 very tired but feeling very fulfilled after a week of work helping to rebuild the stricken country.  The conditions there are much-improved since his last visit.  Water wells have sprung up all over (much credit to folks like Doug Wolford who went there recently too).  The rubble that was piled in the streets is gone, heavy equipment is now there and the tent villages are now gone.  Tom described a new kind of block being used for building that is made of foam and rebar and is filled with concrete.  There were 8-10 skilled locals who were hired each day.  There is a 40 person choir from Haiti that is traveling to Ohio soon.  Tom is hoping they can come our way.  There were 180 in attendance at the church, with people spilling outside.  All of them walk to church, sometimes great distances and are very well dressed.

2011 Men of The Year

Little Utica: 
Bowens Corners:
Kenneth Ware
Granby Center:
Jeffery Fellows
St. Paul’s:
(To Be Announced)
 “Glory, honor and peace for everyone who does good.”  Romans 2:10
Click on Gerald's or Russell's name above to view the write up that was presented at their churches during Father's Day 2011
Veteran's Sunday Honors
The UM Men in Warners and Little Utica churches each honored a veteran on Veteran's Sunday, November 13, 2011.  Jim Barber from Little Utica was recognized for his service in Korea, driving his tank (aptly) named "Blockhead."  Ralph Sims from Warners was recognized for his service in World War II, as a member of the 507 Parachute Regiment as a Navigator (see picture below).  Click on their names below to read the letters telling of their accomplishments.  A big thank you to both men for your service!
Strength of Service to God and Country
On September 11, 2011, the UMM in Warners and Little Utica churches presented Strength of Service to God and Country Awards to two of their members.  Warners presented their award to David Walker (see picture below).  Little Utica presented their award to Steven Weller, Lt Colonel, Retired, who served in Operation Desert Storm and in Afghanistan, Operation Enduring Freedom.  We are so proud and grateful for the sacrifice of our veterans.
Tropical Storm Lee - A Mission to Owego NY
Click on the link below to read a letter from Tom House, EJ Thomas UMM member and member of Warners UMC.  Tom joined Neil Daley, also from Warners, Bob Mueller from Marcellus UMC, along with Sylvia and Marvin Reimer of Watertown UMC on a mission trip to help clean out Owego UMC.  The area was devastated by flooding caused by Tropical Storm Lee in early September 2011.