By Melanie Lekocevic
Capital Region Independent Media
COEYMANS HOLLOW — Bargain shoppers and church members gathered at Trinity United Methodist Church on Saturday for the annual Lord’s Acre Auction and Fair.
A tradition in Coeymans Hollow for the past 67 years, the event offered flea market items, vendors selling wares, games for the kids, food and a bake sale.
At 1 p.m., everyone gathered under the tent for a live auction of items ranging from flowers to household goods and more.
Church member Melanie Collins is a member on the committee that organized the annual auction and fair, and said it is a way for the church to raise money.
“With the flea market items, people can pay whatever they want,” Collins said. “They are all items that were donated to the church to sell. There are also vendors that come and sell their products. The money we raise goes into the general budget and goes towards missions, either local or global.”
The church aids various organizations and individuals in need in the community all year-round.
“Locally, we give to just about everybody that we can, and to families that are in need,” she said.
Trinity UMC also works with a national organization, UMCOR — United Methodist Committee on Relief — that sends aid to those in need nationally and around the world.
“We do a lot of hurricane relief, Maui relief — we donate to UMCOR and they disburse the money to where it needs to go for disasters,” Collins said.
UMCOR is currently working to aid people impacted by hurricanes in the U.S., war in Ukraine, and other national and international disaster relief efforts.
“UMCOR comes alongside those who suffer from natural or human-caused disasters — famine, hurricane, war, flood, fire or other events — to alleviate suffering and serve as a source of help and hope for the vulnerable,” according to UMCOR’s website.
Collins is a longtime volunteer at the church and said Trinity UMC is more like family — and that is why she has been volunteering for so long.
“The church is not a building — the church is our family,” Collins said. “This is my family. We gather a lot of spiritual fellowship from it, and it’s just a good feeling.”
Church member Ismay Payne helped staff tables and made pies and other foods for the bake sale at this year’s fair. She has been volunteering at the church for decades.
“I went here when I was a little girl and I brought my family up here,” Payne said. “We all went to church and Sunday School here. I was the treasurer for 15 or 16 years after I retired. I had worked in banking, so I helped out.”
Payne said she volunteers at the annual auction and fair to help the church with its financial obligations.
“It’s for the church — they need the money,” Payne said. “It takes a lot to pay the church’s bills.”