Who We Are

Our Mission & Vision

Our vision…

is to connect people to faith and each other.

Our mission…

is to make disciples of Jesus Christ for the transformation of the world.

Our Church History

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For Our Visitors

Frequently Asked Questions

What do United Methodists believe?

As a part of the worldwide United Methodist Church family, we follow a set of Bible-based, God inspired beliefs set forth by our denomination. To learn more about our beliefs, CLICK HERE.

Where should I park? Is there handicapped parking available?

There is parking available along the street at the Ethan UMC.  Handicapped parking is available.  For individuals attending Worship – you will park in the designated Handicap spot that is accessed through the alley.  You can enter from either side of the church.   For individuals attending an event that is taking place in the lower level you will  park on the street and come in the lower level door.  There you will find a motorized seat that will take you down to the lower level.  There is a Wheelchair available to use at the church.  

What should I expect?

Ethan United Methodist Church has a blended service with components of Traditional and Contemporary.  We do not have a regular pianist or instrumentalist to lead our hymns or praise songs.  During worship we utilize music videos that have lyrics on the screen.  We do enjoy a few times throughout the year where we  guests that come to visit and share their musical gifts.    

Do you serve Communion?

At Ethan United Methodist Church we celebrate Communion on the first Sunday of each month.  We use juice so that even those that are abstaining from alcohol may share in Communion.

What should I wear?

Individuals are welcome to wear what makes them comfortable. 

Is there Sunday School?

Currently we offer a Sonshine Club that meets once a month on Wednesday after school.  This is open to all denominations.  Students at the Ethan School (Preschool through 4th Grade) receive a sign up slip each month.  Parents may register their child to participate.   The Club session begins at 330pm and ends at 500pm.  During the session we enjoy a light meal (pizza, juice or water), and then students rotate through craft, story, and games.  We close our session with singing and a prayer in the sanctuary.   If you have children or youth that are in activities or sports that prevent them from participating  Wednesday after school.  Please reach out to the Pastor so that we could discuss starting another faith based club for children or youth. 

Is there Children's Church or a Nursery?

We currently do not offer Children’s Church or Nursery but welcome all ages to participate in the Worship.  We have a time where Young Disciples are invited forward in worship for a short message and snack.  There is a Pray Play area located at the back of the sanctuary with books, puzzles, and fine motor toys for children or youth.  They may also take these items to where their family is sitting or enjoy the Pray Play area. 

Is the church available for events (i.e., weddings, funerals, etc.)?

The church is available to be used for special milestones (Weddings, Baby Showers, Birthday Parties, Funerals, Anniversary Parties.  The Ethan United Methodist Church has a policy and request form to fill out if you would like to use the church sanctuary or lower level fellowship hall. 

How do I join the church?

If you are interested in being baptized, have a teen confirmed, or becoming a member please visit with the Pastor to set up a time to talk about steps in your faith journey.  

Who We Are

Meet Our Staff/Pastor

Rev. Tara Bush


Blessings to the Ethan UMC Church Family,

This past Sunday, my family and I had the honor of meeting your Pastor Parish Relations committee.  We enjoyed getting to hear and see the Ethan church.  I am excited to see where God is at work in our lives and the rural United Methodist communities.  I look forward to beginning my call to ministry in the Ethan United Methodist Church serving as your Pastor. I am sharing this letter of introduction so you can learn about myself and my family.

I am a South Dakotan.  I was born in Huron and moved throughout my Dad’s Farm Bureau insurance career.  We lived in Huron, Wessington Springs, Brookings, Aberdeen, and Yankton.  I have grown up in the United Methodist churches.  Since a very young age I enjoyed helping and teaching with Sunday School, Vacation Bible School, working in the nursery.  It was in my junior high and high school years that I recognized God was inviting me to serve in a church.  In High School, I felt God calling me into Children’s Ministry.  I graduated from Aberdeen Central High School.  My husband, Terry and I met in high school and were married while attending college.  We both attended South Dakota State University.  Go Jackrabbits!  I was very active in Air Force Reserved Officer Training Corps (ROTC).  I enjoyed being a counselor for a week each summer at Storm Mountain Church Camp outside of Rapid City, SD.  In the spring of 1999, I graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Human Development Child and Family Studies, a minor in Aerospace Studies and was commissioned as a Second Lieutenant in the Air Force.  While serving our country we were stationed at Mountain Home AFB, Idaho; Langley AFB, Virginia; Offutt AFB, Nebraska; I deployed to Baghdad Iraq from September 2005 to February 2006, and our final assignment was Bolling AFB Washington D.C.

We had two of our sons during this time.  Logan was born at Mountain Home AFB (2001) and Rylan was born at Offutt AFB (2005).
In the spring of 2007, I separated from the Air Force under a downsizing program as I felt God calling me to focus on my role as Mom.   We returned to South Dakota to be centrally located between both sets of grandparents.  We choose Plankinton as their development board had an offer we could not pass up – free lots to build a home on within a year.  Our home was finished in December 2007.  Our 3rd son, Teagan, completed our family in the spring of 2010. Since returning home to SD, I have worked at a daycare, Aurora County Court House, the Plankinton School and currently at the Plankinton/White Lake UMCs.  I am currently the Youth Director and Office Administrator for both churches and the facility manager at the Plankinton church.

My husband, Terry works in Kimball at Midstate Communications as an information technology administrator. Logan and his wife, Lydia, live in Dubuque, IA with their 18 month old son, Maverick.  They both graduated from SDSU with associate degrees earlier this month.  Rylan will be a Senior at Plankinton High School.  He keeps busy as summer lifeguard, weightlifting, playing football, basketball, and running track.  Teagan will be a Seventh grader this coming fall.  He enjoys baseball, swimming, basketball, football, track and playing percussion in band. We have a cat named Smokey and black labradoodle dog named Baer.

While attending my first annual conference in June 2018 I felt God’s presence and a nudge, however my inner voice told me that God could not use my state of brokenness.  I continued to pray, be in Bible Study group, and discern.  This past fall I heard God saying I needed to take a step of faith and do ministry full time.  I kept hearing the phrase “God doesn’t call the qualified, He qualifies the called.  I visited with our District Superintendent earlier this year and started the process to become a local licensed pastor.  I will begin my Master of Divinity at Kairos University very soon. I am looking forward to meeting all of you and see how God is working in your lives.
God’s blessings
Pastor Tara Bush
Cell: (605)-550-0022