How We Serve
Our congregation is engaged in and supports mission work all over the Historic Triangle Area (Williamsburg, Jamestown, and Yorktown) and beyond. Below is a list of some of those ministries.
ALTERNATIVE GIVING FAIR
Annual church-sponsored fair where non-profit organizations encourage donations to charities as an alternative to traditional holiday consumerism. We supply funding and shared leadership to host local, regional and international organizations which provide items for sale in exchange for donations. The Fair also provides each participating group a forum to educate about their purpose.
COMMUNITY OF FAITH MISSION: WINTER SHELTER & HARBOR DAY SHELTER
The winter homeless shelter moves among host churches in Greater Williamsburg. We are a host church and provide funding as well as volunteers who register clients, cook and serve dinner and breakfast, and spend the night as chaperones. The Harbor Day Shelter, new for the 2015-2016 shelter season, runs concurrent with the winter shelter. We provide funding and volunteers for the shelter four days a week at St Bedes Catholic Social Ministry.
ERASE THE NEED CENTER
Outreach center for students of economically disadvantaged families that provides school supplies, food, personal hygiene items, children’s books, clothing, and assistance to homeless students. We provide funding, school supplies and food for children who live in homes with a low income and unstable food supply.
GREATER WILLIAMSBURG OUTREACH MISSION
An inter-faith coalition working with the United Way to address poverty and homelessness in Greater Williamsburg. We are a charter member of the coalition and provide funding and personnel for the online Information & Referral System used by churches and service agencies to match clients with available social services. GWOM also distributes fresh food monthly to families with insecure food supplies.
Collection of new coats for the Williamsburg-James City County Head Start Preschool program. Approximately 160 two-to-five year old students from low-income families enroll in this preschool and appreciate the gift of a warm winter coat. In October a collection bin is utilized for collecting coats. Other specialty items are purchased like large pencils for little hands and play sand.
KAIROS PRISON MINISTRY
Bi-annual spiritual retreats at Greensville Correctional Facility for Men are supported with funding and 3 major hands-on activities of the congregation. Hundreds of homemade cookies are donated as a special gift to the inmates participating in the retreat. Groups and individuals make spiritual placemats for use at retreat meals. Congregants sign up online to pray at a specific time during the 3 day retreat so that prayer for the inmates and the retreat is continuous.
3E RESTORATION PROCESS
Through members of the Local Outreach team the congregation is helping a homeless Williamsburg resident find their way to self-sufficiency. All–in-Friends provide compassion, friendship and help with seeking food, employment, housing, sobriety and other necessities of independent living. The Friend-in-Need participates in the 3e Restoration Process which is spiritually-based on the Christian principle of loving and caring for others.
WUMC supports the Salvation Army mainly through funding since the international organization has much greater purchasing power for each dollar donated. Each year congregants dress a number of teddy bears which are sold and/or auctioned at the annual Teddy Bear Tea sponsored by the Salvation Army Auxiliary to raise money for Camp Happy Land.
SCHOOL SUPPLIES FOR LOCAL STUDENTS
School supplies are collected to share with Head Start, Highland Park, James City County Social Services, Erase the Need, and several local public schools. Bins are utilized for collection from the congregation in August. We provide funding to purchase supplies that are needed but are scarce, such as back-up drives for computers and ear-buds.
SPECIAL OFFERINGS: LENT AND ADVENT
Local Outreach disburses half of each special congregational offering to support regional charities and agencies not included in the annual Local Outreach operating budget. Through special one-time gifts of funds organizations such as the Peninsula Pastoral Counseling Service, the Salvation Army Re-entry Housing Program, Warriors in Transition and many other organizations are assisted.
THANKSGIVING MORNING MINISTRY
Thanksgiving meals are cooked and distributed to shut-ins, the elderly, and homeless persons in the Greater Williamsburg Area who are unable to cook for themselves. In 2015 450 meals were delivered to private homes or to shelters. 150+ volunteers complete hands-on tasks that serve both local and global causes. Projects range from assembling toiletry kits for homeless shelters and birthing kits to send around the world, to crafts made by our children to give to others. The ministry is funded by a special congregational offering and donations of canned food. Extra food and money are distributed to local food programs.
LOCAL OUTREACH ALSO SUPPORTS THE FOLLOWING ORGANIZATIONS WITH FUNDING:
New Ideas or Unanswered Needs?
The Local Outreach Committee is always in need of your assistance, time and energy. If you feel there are unmet needs in the community we welcome your participation, ideas, questions and concerns.
For more information, contact the church office (757) 229-1771.