Helping others is a big part of what we do as Christians. Read the Gospels and you'll see that Jesus helped others. You'll also see that he invites us to join him in serving those in need.
At FUMC we have a number of missions that reach out to ease the difficulty, pain, and suffering of others. Feel free to ask for more information about a group, to request to join a group in mission, or to suggest starting a new mission.
We may be in the middle of a pandemic, but we're still following Jesus' command to love others as we would love ourselves.
Below you'll see some of the mission in which we are engaged. Other helping ministries will be added, since this page is a work in progress.
HOUSING. OUTREACH. MULTIFAITH. EMPOWERMENT (HOME)
A few times a year, First UMC hosts homeless families who are part of the HOME program.
HOME "serves homeless families with children in a three-phase approach to combat homelessness. Religious congregations and volunteers are the backbone of the agency, providing shelter, meals, financial support and advocacy. Throughout the process, families receive expert case management and support services from a dedicated staff of social workers and mental health counselors." (https://homescnj.org/)
HOME describes itself as "A private, nonprofit providing a community response to homelessness through the involvement of interdenominational religious congregations." (https://homescnj.org/)
In the past, families would live at First UMC for a week in four rooms over the administration area. There we provided our guests with meals, comfortable surroundings, and friendship during their stay.
During the COVID pandemic, however, families have been housed in motels as a safety measure. Our church has donated enough money to pay for the families' motel bill. We also provide seven dinners.
We are scheduled to house HOME guests again in October, and once again, they will be staying in a hotel and making meals. We'll post a SignUpGenius link when it is time to volunteer.
What The Maker’s Place Is and What It Does: “The Maker's Place is a diaper bank and resource center in Trenton, New Jersey. We distribute free disposable diapers for families with children at our "Diaper Depot," and work with families and institutional partners to promote the strengths found in diverse and inclusive community.
“Together, we envision a community where every baby has adequate diapers; every child reaches their first birthday; every parent is connected to a network of mutual support; and every person is a maker in their own life and community.
We have a Prayer Request page on our website now! We are looking for people who can add the requests that we receive through the page to their daily prayers, or who will start a daily prayer time in order to pray for others.
Interested? Please send an email requesting more information and/or asking questions to firstname.lastname@example.org and put "Prayer Team" as your subject. It will get forwarded to our coordinators.
If you know one thing about First UMC, it's probably that we believe food is love. Feeding people who live with food insecurity is crucial ministry, especially during these difficult economic times. Below are the ways that our church feeds the hungry in our community and beyond.
Food Bank Network of Somerset CountyThe Flemington Area Food Pantry
Food and financial donations from First UMC go to the two area agencies above.
Our general donation to the Food Bank Network of Somerset County is macaroni and cheese. They depend on us to help stock their shelves with this particular item.
Other food donations are divided between the two organizations. For the present time we are asking that you bring non-perishable donations to the First UMC parking lot and place them in the large white cooler to the left of the door.
Wonder what to get? Here is a list of food generally needed by food banks & pantries.
Food Items Non-Food Items Spaghetti Sauce (canned, e.g. Hunts) Toilet Paper Shelf Stable Milk (e.g. Parmalat ) Diapers/Wipes Tuna Paper Towels Canned Fruits and Vegetables Deodorant Canned Meats (Spam, Corned Beef, Stew) Hand Soap Canned Spaghetti Toothpaste Cereal (Hot/Cold) Dish Detergent Jelly Laundry Detergent Juice Shampoo Macaroni & Cheese Peanut Butter Soup
If you wish, you also may take food donations directly to the organizations:
Food Bank Network of Somerset County Warehouse, 9 Easy Street, Bound Brook (off Chimney Rock Road, near the UPS facility),Bridgewater; hours: 9:00 a.m. to 2:30 p.m., Monday through Friday; please call 732-560-1813 before going over.
The Flemington Area Food Pantry, 154 Route 31 North (across the Walmart parking lot), Flemington The pantry is located across the Walmart parking lot at 154 Route 31 North. Donations are gratefully received at the side rear door during normal hours of operation, Monday through Thursday, 9-11:30 a.m.
Both organizations securely accept online monetary donations
Money donations help the organizations purchase items like fresh meat, vegetables and fruit, as well as toilet paper, laundry detergent, feminine hygiene items, and more.
Another feeding ministry in which First UMC participates is SHIP, or Samaritan Homeless Interim Program.
SHIP normally hosts a soup kitchen at a local church. First UMC volunteers to work the kitchen and serving line on the fourth Wednesday morning of every month.
During the pandemic, however, SHIP has gone mobile and serves the hungry of Somerville from their food truck.
Our group now works, masked, gloved and physically distanced, in the FUMC kitchen on the morning of the fourth Wednesday. At the moment, volunteers at home and volunteers in the church kitchen makes a load of sandwiches. Then our kitchen volunteers bags the lunches to take over to SHIP. They produce around 80 bagged lunches plus extra sandwiches every month.
You can get involved with this hands on ministry. Just email: email@example.com and write "SHIP" in the subject line.
First UMC regularly takes donations of boxed mac’n’cheese to the Food Bank Network of Somerset County on a regular basis. All you need to do is go shopping, pick up some boxes of mac’n’cheese, bring them to First UMC, and put them in the big, plastic white container located to the left of the church entrance in the parking lot.
SIDEWALK FOOD PANTRY
When the coronavirus pandemic began and we closed the church building to keep the public and our congregation safe, we closed up a busy facility. We had a small food pantry in our kitchen so that, when people in need of help arrived at our door, we would be able to give them something to take home.
Once the building was closed, the pastor wanted to find a way to get food into the hands of people who needed food right. So he decided to put a plastic box outside the front of our church by the door to the administration wing. It is now stocked by our parishioners and other folks of good will and serves passersby looking for something to eat.
You are welcome to help keep the Sidewalk Food Pantry stocked. If you want to help, you don't need to contact anyone. Just check the pantry, see what it needs, buy the food, and help us keep it stocked.
What to buy for the Sidewalk Pantry: Anything with a pop-top lid that can be eaten on the street. Vegetables are not popular with our clientele (even though they're good for you), instead meat and tuna get taken most, as do individually packaged foods and snacks. A good thing to keep in mind is that the people who come to our little pantry may be homeless and probably do not have access to things like a can opener or boiling water. So keep it simple, please!
Thank you! Food really is love!
UNITED METHODIST COMMITTEE ON RELIEF
The United Methodist Committee on Relief is the UMC’s humanitarian relief and development arm. Through this agency, you will have an impact on people worldwide.
UMCOR usually is among the first relief agencies on the scene when a disaster occurs. It also is active in helping communities with sanitation and clean water, among other things. Want to know more or donate? Go here: https://umcmission.org/umcor/