In the spirit of the Saviour’s charge to love one another, Warwick-based senior missionaries Elder James O Coleman and Sister Joann Coleman applied the theme ‘Friends to All Nations’ as they visited Rotary Clubs in the UK. The Colemans served in the Europe Area Church Communication Department from July 2018 to December 2019. ‘Friends to All Nations’ was a phrase used by the Church during the 2002 Winter Olympic Games in Salt Lake City and the motto is equally relevant today. The focus of Elder and Sister Coleman’s outreach programme to Rotary was linked to Elder Coleman’s long-time membership and service in Rotary International.
The Colemans were positively received by the several hundred men and women of the Rotary Clubs they visited; they returned home with a much richer inventory of friendships than when they arrived in the UK. Near the completion of their mission, Elder and Sister Coleman were invited to address members of the Rotary Club of Warwick, during which they announced a Rotary twinning partnership between the Warwick Club and the Colemans’ home Rotary Club of St George, Utah. Following the address on 13 November 2019, reports appeared in The Leamington Courier and The Kenilworth Weekly News. Jackie Crampton, Secretary of the Warwick Rotary Club, reported to the press as follows:
“Warwick Rotary hosted a farewell evening to visiting Rotarian Jim Coleman this week with many of his friends and colleagues from other clubs joining them. Jim and his wife Joann from St George in Utah have spent just over a year in Warwick as ambassadors for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in Saltisford (Warwick). Jim has been a Rotarian since 1981, serving as District Governor in Utah 2000/01, and joined Warwick Rotary as an Associate for the duration of his stay. They have greatly enjoyed their time in Warwick, visiting another 18 clubs across the UK, and sharing Rotary fellowship.
“Jim told the club about his lifelong commitment to service, and how his faith and being a Rotarian came naturally as they shared so much in common, in particular, their passion to improve the lives of others and a love for all mankind. A highlight of his life was to lead a trip to India in 2006, with two follow-up trips, to help inoculate children there against polio, and to watch the slow eradication of the disease around the world in part due to Rotary involvement. (Latter-day Saint Charities has contributed to this effort.) Jim embraced the Rotary motto ‘Service above Self’ as guidance for his life…the Church supports a variety of community initiatives. He introduced his colleagues and asked us to work with them if we needed assistance. We were also invited to form a twinning partnership with Utah to work together on global projects. Jim finished the evening singing his own song, The Loving Rotary Way, and was presented with a picture of Warwick Castle by President David Brain to remember their stay here.”
Members from other Rotary Clubs in the area were in attendance. Also present were: Malcolm Adcock, based in Warwick, who is Europe Area Church Communication Department Assistant Director; Pat Wilkinson, Birmingham Coordinating Council Communication Director, from Solihull; Melvyn Kitsell, Coventry Stake Communication Director, from Birmingham; and fellow Warwick-based senior missionaries in the Church Communication Department, Elder William and Sister Delynn Bodine from Mesa, Arizona.