Missions supported by our congregation
Our Local Mission team fosters local mission activities of First United Methodist Church. We encourage all of our members and regular attendees to become or remain involved in mission activity through one of the local mission efforts, the various avenues offered by National and International Missions, or directly with service agencies within the community.
In odd-numbered months, the Church’s Monthly Mission Focus is dedicated to agencies identified by the Local Mission team. The team informs the congregation about the work of the agency selected for the particular month and contributions to the Church missions program that month are sent directly to the chosen agency.
The Local Mission team meets on the first Monday of each month at 6:30 p.m. in the church parlor. You are invited to join us any time. For more information on how you can participate in Local Mission, please call the church office at 219-465-1661 (The church office is open Monday through Thursday 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. and Friday 9 a.m. to Noon).
Ongoing local mission activities sponsored by First United Methodist Church include:
- The Shop: (United Methodist Women) Run and staffed by volunteers, The Shop sells gently-used clothing and household items at affordable prices and accepts vouchers from various service agencies. Proceeds are contributed to various charitable organizations. The Shop is currently open Tuesday's and Thursday's from 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.
Good Samaritan Sewing Circle: Volunteers sew blankets, stuffed toys, “tummy tuckers,” and other items for distribution to local emergency rooms and various service agencies.
Our church provides continuing support for:
- Christian Food Pantry: Sponsored by First Christian Church, First United Methodist Church, First United Presbyterian Church, Living Hope Community Church, St. Andrews Episcopal Church, St. Paul’s Catholic Church, and Trinity Lutheran Church in Valparaiso. The Food Pantry collects and distributes food to those whose resources are inadequate to meet their needs. The Christian Food Pantry is located in First United Methodist Church’s Asbury Center. The food pantry can be reached at (219) 462-5615 or on their Facebook page here.
- First Contact: Provides immediate cash assistance for a variety of needs including utilities, rent, and motor fuel. They connect those needing longer-term assistance with the appropriate agencies.
- Men’s Overnight Shelter/New Creation Men’s Center: The Overnight Shelter hosts homeless men in Valparaiso at rotating sites in seven local churches; First United Methodist Church is one of the sites during the winter months. To be eligible for overnight accommodations men must participate in the program of New Creation Men’s Center. New Creations assists them in working toward an independent lifestyle.
- Hilltop Neighborhood House: Provides child care, particularly for families experiencing financial need. They also operate a food pantry, a KIDREACH after school program, and will have a community garden Spring of 2022.
- Housing Opportunities: Resolves and prevents homelessness in Porter and LaPorte counties. They provide emergency housing, rapid rehousing, permanent supportive housing, a resource center, rental and tenancy counseling, and a street outreach program.
- The Caring Place: The Caring Place is a safe haven for those who seek to escape abusive relationships of all kinds. They offer a 24 hour Crisis Line; a Safe Shelter with modern security systems and 24 hour staff; Advocacy referral support services; Legal Advocacy; and Sexual Assault Recovery Support
Other Local Mission activities:
- In addition to the agencies listed above, the Local Mission team sponsors various short-term activities such as an annual blood drive, a warm-a-home tree at Christmas time, and similar activities.
- We offer occasional support in the form of monetary contributions, human effort, or tangible resources to other service agencies as needs arise and our resources permit.
- We are always open to your suggestions for other local mission activities of either a short-term or continuing nature, and would welcome your leadership in bringing them to fruition.