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
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.
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. Visit cuathome.us.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org; or www.cunninghamhome.org.
Daily Bread 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 email@example.com or visit dailybreadsoupkitchen.com
Faith’s Food Pantry—Starting small in 1981, our food pantry now has grown to distributing food to around 100 families/400 individuals a month. We deliver a week’s supply of food to about 8 families/30 people a month through referrals from Empty Tomb. Our pantry also distributes prepacked bags of groceries to people who come to the church on Mondays from 12 - 2, Tuesdays from 12 - 2, and Wednesdays from 10 - 2. We ask that people come no more often than once a month so that we have food to help as many families in need as possible. Income guidelines are posted at the door in English and Spanish.
We are a partner agency with the Eastern Illinois Foodbank and our volunteers also shop at local grocery stores. Our pantry welcomes donations of canned goods, financial contributions, and helpers. If you have questions or wish to volunteer, please call the church office at 217-359-3631 or contact Johnette Sparks, the Food Pantry Coordinator, at firstname.lastname@example.org or call or text 217-621-4436.
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 Mieke Blackwell 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. For the last four years, our group has gone to the Gulf Coast to help rebuild from recent hurricane destruction. For more info, contact Pastor Sheryl at 359-3631 or Sheryl@champaignfaith.org.
International Mission Projects
Operacion Hogar—Operacion Hogar is an adult mission opportunity in Ciudad Juarez, Mexico. Teams from Faith have been going to Juarez since 2004 to work with people living in very substandard housing. Since 2004, we have built 35 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, has been 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.
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.