Outreach and Mission at Faith
Faith Outreach Goals
At Faith, we believe that outreach, or outward service to others, is an essential part of following Jesus. We understand that to follow Christ, we must know and love our neighbors. Further, we believe that in loving our neighbors, we are loving and worshipping God. Therefore, our outreach is an act of worship, and it is no less important than our gatherings on Sunday mornings. As such, it is our hope that everyone at Faith will be somehow involved in outreach in their community, their neighborhood, and/or their workplace.
In addition to desiring people to be living out their faith in the contexts they live, Faith Church also has an Outreach Committee. This team’s role is to provide information about local, regional, and international opportunities to the congregation and to take the lead on dreaming about future possibilities for service. In this, we encourage financial and hands-on volunteer work at various organizations and agencies.
How to Get Involved
It is our hope that all people who follow Christ will have outreach as a part of their lives in some way. Obviously, this can take a lot of forms—including through your vocation, as part of your lifestyle, through your giving, and through volunteering at local organizations.
Faith has a spoken value of being engaged in our local community. As one part of that, you will find ways to be involved throughout this brochure. However, there is always more going on, and there is more to do.
In addition to being involved in hands-on work, individuals may make contributions at any time to the projects in this booklet. They will be sent in total to the project. Make checks out to Faith UMC, and indicate in the memo line the mission that you wish to support.
Further, the Easter, Thanksgiving, and Christmas offerings are used in full toward the Outreach budget.
Local Mission Projects
Austin’s Place—This is the only emergency shelter for single women in Champaign County and is run during the winter months in and by First UMC. Austin’s Place operates solely on volunteer effort—from volunteers who stay overnight, transport guests, do laundry, make phone calls, advertise, collect donations, and more. These servants meet significant needs and provide valuable ministry to all the guests that come through the doors. For more info, contact Ruth Moore at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Canteen Run—Four times each week, Canteen Run volunteers go out to feed our neighbors who are struggling with homelessness and poverty. They also provide clothing, basic necessities, prayer, and info on where to get help. Once every month, Faith has a group that goes on the Canteen Run together. Check the Servant Center for details on those dates.
Courage Connection—Provides housing for women and children affected by homelessness and/or domestic violence. A continuum of services is provided so that women can achieve safety, stability, and self-sufficiency. Services provided are emergency shelter for women unsafe due to domestic violence, court advocacy, career and budget counseling, support groups, job skill training, and job search assistance. For more information and volunteer opportunities go to www.courageconnection.org.
Cradle 2 Career—A movement to help our children become successful at all stages of school. Classes are offered to children and parents for children entering kindergarten, information to assist in academic success, high school graduation and workforce readiness. CUC2C is a community movement working to effectively align community resources so each child can graduate and succeed. For more information, contact Bev Baker at Beverley@uwayhelps.org.
C-U at Home—The Phoenix is a ministry of C-U at Home and is daytime drop-in center that provides the opportunity for friends without an address to come together with people from the community. It is a casual, welcoming space with computers, board games, musical instruments, and—most importantly—companionship. They are open from 12-5pm Tues-Fri and welcome volunteers. Every Wednesday afternoon, a group of people from Faith help out at the Phoenix.
CU Men’s Shelter—Faith took the lead on this project in the Fall of 2016 when we saw a need in the community—that there was no emergency shelter for men struggling with homelessness in our city. In collaboration with many other faith groups and community organizations, we organized and oversaw the CU Men’s Shelter. The shelter aims to provide a warm and welcoming space to our neighbors and operates during the winter months only.
As of April 2019, this organization and its programming have been transferred over to C-U at Home. We are grateful for their work and continue to partner with them on many levels, as we persist in working on issues of homelessness in our city.
Cunningham Children’s Home—This is a treatment center for children and youth that provides residential living, counseling, school and spiritual support. Each year, a quilt show raises money for the program. For information or volunteer opportunities contact Cheryl Van Ness at email@example.com; or www.cunninghamhome.org.
Daily Soup Kitchen—A nonprofit, volunteer run program to provide hot meals and sack meals to the neighbors struggling with poverty and homelessness. Providing food to around 200 guests each day, volunteers are needed to help serve lunch, pickup food from the Food Bank, and help out at the referral desk. To connect, email firstname.lastname@example.org or visit dailybreadsoupkitchen.com
Empty Tomb—A Christian organization that specializes in coordinating Christian volunteers in reaching out to neighbors in Jesus’ name through free assistance with food, clothing, furniture, help with rent. For more info and to get connected, contact them at email@example.com, or visit www.emptytomb.org.
Faith’s Food Pantry—Our food pantry began in 1981. Each year, we provide food to over 200 families/700 individuals. Food referrals usually come from Empty Tomb, and enough food for a week is delivered to the family. Faith members contribute canned and dry foods, which is stored at the church in the food pantry (Room 3). Perishables are purchased the day of the delivery with money from donations to the food pantry fund. We also serve families who come to come to the church during office hours. They are asked to come only once a month and are given a pre-packed bag of groceries. Contact the church office at firstname.lastname@example.org or 359-3631 for more details.
Faith’s Senior Grocery Program—This program began in 2014 when a need was identified that there were many seniors living in our local community with food insecurity. We have partnered with the senior living community at Round Barn Manor. Food distribution takes place on the first Thursday of each month from 1-3pm at Round Barn Manor. Volunteers assist with ordering food, shopping for food, setting up the shopping area, unpacking the food, and transporting the food to the senior’s apartment. For more information contact Carol Mauck, email@example.com.
Habitat for Humanity—This is a nonprofit housing ministry to help working families move toward homeownership. This is an international organization started in Champaign County in 1991. In the recent past, Faith has assisted with monetary donations and volunteer hours in building a house. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org or visit www.cuhabitat.org.
Meals on Wheels—Faith UMC volunteers deliver Meals on Wheels five weeks during the year. This is a mid-day activity. Each route takes two individuals, one person to drive and one to take the food into the home. For more information, contact Jeanne Gerard at 217-493-2197.
Faith’s Neighbors Helping Neighbors Program—A new ministry in 2019, we are laying the groundwork to do minor home repairs in our community. As an extension of our worship, to build relationships, and meet a need, a team of volunteers partner with a homeowner in need to do things like lawn maintenance, siding, and interior construction. For more info, contact Pastor Cory at 217-359-3631 or email@example.com.
Salt and Light—Salt and Light shares the love of God by fighting poverty with dignity. They do this through opportunities that engage, empower, and equip for lasting change. They connect families in need with resources such as clothing, food, and household items. To connect or get more info, visit saltandlightministry.org.
National Mission Projects
Appalachia Service Project—ASP is a Christian ministry open to all people. It addresses the housing needs of our economically distressed neighbors in Central Appalachia. This home-repair and relationship-building ministry focuses on making homes warmer, safer, and drier for those who are unable to complete these repairs themselves. Faith senior high students have participated in one-week mission trips with ASP for the past 33 years. Home repairs include repairing foundations, roofing, underpinning, dry walling, painting, and any other necessary tasks. Most volunteers are unskilled or semi-skilled in repair work, but the results are miraculous. Volunteer opportunities are available for high school youth and adults. Contact Dave Wolf at firstname.lastname@example.org or visit www.asphome.org.
Midwest Mission Distribution Center—Chatham, IL. A UMC hands-on mission project that assembles health, sewing, layette kits, school bags, flood buckets, and much more. These items are sent in around the world in response to natural disasters and other emergencies. For more information, contact Nancy Arnold at email@example.com. See also midwestmissiondc.org.
Young Adult Mission Trip—Over the college winter break, young adults and college-aged students go on a mission trip centered around disaster relief. In January of 2018 and 2019, a group went to the Florida Everglades to help rebuild from recent hurricane destruction. For more info, contact Pastor Sheryl at 359-3631 or Sheryl@champaignfaith.org.
International Mission Projects
CROP Walk—CROP Walks are community-wide evens sponsored by Church World Service in order to raise funds to end hunger at home and around the world. Faith supports this cause with walkers who get sponsors and raise money. For more information or to become involved, call the church office or visit www.cropwalk.org.
Operacion Hogar—Operacion Hogar is an adult mission opportunity in Juarez, Mexico. Teams from Faith have been going to Juarez since 2004 to work in impoverished neighborhoods. We have built about 20 concrete block homes in an area on the outskirts of the city called Anapra where many poor families live. Our teams have also worked on a medical/dental clinic in Juarez. Additionally, we have built a new wing on a church that shelters people who have no place to stay after being sent back across the border from the United States. For more information, contact Pastor Cory Blackwell at firstname.lastname@example.org or John Beck at email@example.com.
United Methodist missionaries are funded through the World Service Fund, undesignated Pledges to Mission by local UMW units, and covenant relationships. A covenant relationship is an ongoing relationship between a church and a missionary to give financial support and prayer.
Connie Wieck—A United Methodist missionary from Marshall, IL, serving in Luzhou, China, under the direction of the Amity Foundation. She teaches English at the Luzhou Vocational and Technological College in the province of Sischuan in a three-year program to prepare secondary school teachers. She teaches a Sunday School class at a local church.
Luzhou Institute of Education
35 Wa Jao Ba, Luzou, 646005
Sichuan Province, P. R. China
Jose Luis Ramos—Coordinator of Operacion Hogar in Juarez, Mexico. He coordinates volunteers who come to build homes for the poor of Anapra, an impoverished area on the outskirts of Juarez. With teams coming from all over the United States, Operacíon Hogar has built hundreds of homes for families in need of shelter. Other projects include a medical/dental clinic and renovation of a shelter for those sent back across the border from the United States. See “Operacion Hogar” for more details.