There are many ways to give back at First UMC. As Methodists, we know it is a vital part of our faith to be giving as much as we are receiving. Here are some ways you can do that through this community:
The 3rd Saturday of each month a free meal is served to all from 11:30am until 12:45pm at our location on Pine Cone Road South. It is truly meant to be a COMMUNITY meal-- so come for the food or to meet people or just because you don't want to cook! We know we are a stronger community when we all sit down and eat together.
The Central Minnesota Sustainability Project
connects people with land and provides the supplies and knowledge necessary to grow healthful, chemical-free foods. Through our work with immigrant and refugee women and children, we help put fresh vegetables and fruits into the hands of families who otherwise would not have access to healthy foods. We have a vision of every central Minnesota household utilizing local, sustainably grown or ethically-produced food, goods and services. Our mission is to facilitate local, sustainable food production and markets for a diverse Central Minnesota.
CMSP embraces an intergenerational and cross-cultural model at all times to gain strength and insight from the diversity of communities we serve. We achieve our mission by helping people find their way back to gardens, nature and a sense of community. We are also committed to expanding economic opportunities through sustainable food production in the greater St. Cloud area.
Summer is really the season to help out as we get involved in Community Gardens around the St. Cloud region. We also need people who want to get their hands dirty to plant, weed, and harvest!
Food Drive: Children are at home & are in need of easy fix meals this summer. Let this congregation focus on such items as boxed mac 'n cheese, peanut butter, jelly, boxed pasta meals, canned tuna and chicken, canned fruits and vegetables, and picnic condiments. Garden produce is also accepted. Monetary contributions are appreciated in form of cash or checks with memos “Food Shelf.“
GRIP began in St. Cloud over 20 years ago as clergy in the area came together to make a difference in the community. Our focus is specifically on making change in transportation, education, and housing so that all people can live into their full God-given potential and live lives of dignity in St. Cloud. Several years after GRIP began, we chose to combine with ISAIAH which had just gotten started in the Twin Cities. Together, we are stronger, as we seek to speak out as faith leaders and work towards creating God’s Kingdom.
What are we currently working on? After many hours of talking with people in the community and leaders in the community, transportation became a main focus. We have been working with Ryan Daniels at Metrobus to make sure the transportation within St. Cloud is strong, and now we’re working on regional transportation in the form of the Northstar rail. While we understand that there are many other needs in our community, the train has become a focal point because it is uniting people from all different areas of our community. Everyone can benefit from Northstar as we open up opportunities for people here to travel to the cities and as we create a way for us to share the gifts of Central Minnesota with those who will travel here. If you want to be part of this movement, Here’s the Petition for Northstar! We will be delivering it to the State Capitol in March on the first day of the Session. We’d like to have 10,000 signatures. Join with us!
Each summer First UMC takes a day or two and works on the Habitat Home for that summer in the St. Cloud area. Sometimes there’s a Women’s Build and sometimes it’s for the whole church.
Missions takes up a Communion Offering each month that goes to a local, national, or international ministry that we support. Our June Communion offering had $675 donated to Child Response Initiative.
In July, our Communion Offering will go to Habitat for Humanity.
Gordon and Ardell Graner, our missional partners who work in the Dominican Republic with General Board of Global Ministries. Visit their blog.
There are many "Promise Neighborhoods" around the United States-- communities that have been formed to strengthen the neighborhood and make a difference for the families and children that live there. We support the St. Cloud Promise Neighborhood and all of the wonderful things they are doing to strengthen the southeast side of St. Cloud. Whether its mentoring, Friday night youth programs, or computer classes, Promise Neighborhood is making a difference.
As a church, we are working to be a strong partner with the Talahi Elementary School in St. Cloud. We currently collect supplies that they are in need of, while some of our church members tutor students and others of our members are teachers and social workers at the school.
The United Methodist Committee on Relief (UMCOR) is the aid organization of the United Methodist Church that responds to tragedies and ongoing crisis. They are the first ones handing out flood buckets and health kits when a flood or hurricane or tsunami hits, and they are there helping people rebuild their lives long after other aid organizations have gone home. As a church we give financially to UMCOR and we also volunteer so that we can literally reach out our hands to help others.