At University United Methodist Church, we believe that church is more than just a building; it’s a way of living. It’s connecting with others — in compassion, love, justice, service and fellowship. Volunteers assist with outreach in a number of ways.
Friday mornings, from 10 a.m. to noon, our neighbors join us for coffee, fellowship, knitting, nutrition classes, cooking demonstrations, and access to our Clothes Closet and Food Pantry. We have a working community of caring volunteers, some of whom were originally guests seeking our services, who strive to make each person who walks in feel welcome, comfortable and valued as a person.
The second and fourth Sunday of every month, volunteer prepare and serve a free breakfast to from 90 to 110 community members. At 8 a.m., volunteers begin setting up and cooking. At 9 a.m., they begin serving. Others handle cleanup duties. These breakfasts provide our neighbors with a good meal and great conversations with members.
In conjunction with our denomination’s focus on “ministry with the poor,” Circles/Bridges Out of Poverty assembles teams of community allies to befriend and partner with families striving to move out of poverty.
We partner with our neighbors at Welch Terrace to maintain a community garden at nearby Spencer Park. Vegetables are shared with Welch Terrace, which provides supportive housing for people with HIV-related disabilities, and our Food Pantry.
During the past 30 years we have sponsored refugees who have come to this country looking for a better life. They have come from Vietnam, China, South Africa, Poland, Ethiopia, Bosnie, Somalia, Sudan, Cambodia, Bhutan and Karen, Burma. We are preparing to welcome another refugee family in the coming months.
Nepal Mission Work
We’ve had a longstanding relationship with Dr. Mark Zimmerman and his wife, Deirdre, who provide vital medical and nutritional care to Nepalese in remote, mountainous areas.
Thanksgiving Bag Project
Supplies for a full Thanksgiving meal are provided for pantry families, complete with a chicken or turkey. Food for 141 families was distributed in 2011.
In the week before Christmas, church members prepare and serve a complete turkey dinner to 70 to 100 neighborhood residents.
Sponsored in conjunction with the East Genesee Regent Association, the party for children of the community provides games, crafts, entertainment and food.