Local MissionsLocal Missions

      Our Local Mission team fosters local mission activities of First United Methodist Church and encourages all of our members and regular attendees to become or remain involved in mission activity, through one of the local mission efforts or through the various avenues offered by National and International Missions.

     In odd-numbered months, the church's Monthly Mission Focus is dedicated to agencies identified by the Local Missions team; the team informs the congregation about the work of the agency selected for the particular month, and contributions directed 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 Franklin Street parlor and you are invited to join us any time. For more information on how you can participate in Local Missions, please call the church office at 219.465.1661.

Ongoing local mission activities sponsored by First United Methodist Church include:

  • Rays of Hope - Offers a monthly meal, fellowship, and various forms of assistance with achieving or maintaining an independent lifestyle.
  • Hilltop Neighborhood House / Walt's Place - After-school recreation, tutoring, homework help, and snacks for elementary-aged children in the Hilltop area; partners with Valparaiso Community Schools to provide approved daily hot meals for children during the summer months.
  • Breakfast Club - Monday morning breakfast and faith lessons for grade-school children in the Hilltop area, with transportation to Central Elementary School.
  • UMW Resale Shop - Sells gently used clothing and household items at affordable prices; accepts vouchers from various service agencies.
  • Good Samaritan Sewing Circle - Sews blankets, stuffed toys, "Tummy Tuckers", and other items for distribution to various service agencies.
  • FaithWorks - One-day mission and community service projects for families.

 

We provide continuing support for:

  • Christian Food Pantry - Sponsored by First Christian Church, First United Methodist Church, and First United Presbyterian Church in Valparaiso to collect and distribute 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.
  • First Contact - Provides immediate cash assistance for a variety of needs including utilities, rent, motor fuel; and connects 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, which assists them in working toward an independent lifestyle.
  • Housing Opportunities (Spring Valley Family Shelter and Women's Overnight Shelter / Dayspring Women's Center) - Shelters homeless families and women, respectively, in agency-owned facilities; the Spring Valley program assists families, and the Dayspring program assists women, in working toward an independent lifestyle.
  • Family Promise - A shelter program supported by a coalition of churches in the Portage, IN area that shelters homeless families and assists them in attaining or regaining an independent lifestyle. Each church hosts client families overnight for a week at a time; maintains a resource center for daytime assistance.

 

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 fall collection of school supplies for elementary and secondary school children, a mitten tree at Christmastime, and similar activities.

     We also 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.

 

This page updated July 5, 2017