Missions

Public Action to Deliver Shelter bedsWe are committed to making a positive difference in the world!  We begin in our own community.   Local missions include the Oak Park/River Forest Area Walk-In Ministry, Oak Park River Forest Food Pantry, and West Suburban Public Action to Deliver Shelter (PADS) program. Our building has served as an overnight shelter site for the homeless since the inception of the PADS program in 1992.

Housing Forward, formerly PADS, will resume on Thursday, September 21 and will continue weekly on Thursdays through the cold season.  We need more volunteers this year, as the program continues to grow.  Please contact Kim kscott58@gmail.com or 312-929-6771 or Virginia at Queensunshin3@gmail.com or 618.530.8450 to discuss where you might like to get involved:  serving meals, staying overnight, bringing breakfast in, clean-up and check-out are all urgent help needs!

Safe Water is an urgent need in many places around the world.  This is one of our areas of focus for learning and action this year.  We will have several opportunities in October to learn and experience how our actions on behalf of others can make a huge difference in their quality of life.  Our goal is to provide the funds for a well in an area of need. In worship on October 15, our focus will be on water with music, stories and visuals to help explain this opportunity to make a difference! ALSO, we will have a special fundraising dinner on Saturday, October 21 at 5:00 pm where we will enjoy a variety of cuisines and discuss the book “A Long Walk to Water.” Book copies are available at the Oak Park Public Library or from Pastor Katherine. Everyone is welcome!

Immigration is another focus for missions this year.  On Sunday, October 1, Judy Siaba will be with us on behalf of Justice for our Neighbors (JFON) to talk about the ways that they are assisting our immigrant neighbors.  As a part of worship, we will be identifying the places from which our congregation has come as immigrants for the past three generations. Please let Pastor Katherine know your story!  Email her at pastor@firstumcoakpark.org.

Youth and Children in Mission:  We know that mission work changes lives, but never more so than when our youth and children are involved.  An early mission experience gives them a different worldview.  This summer we held a Peace Camp for children in our congregation and community and the stories were powerful.  We also took a group to Ohio with the Nehemiah project and they shared pictures from their week with us in worship on September 10.  Our children and youth will be leading worship on Children’s Sabbath, Sunday, October 22.

We have a missionary support covenant with Rev. Pena-Nazario in Honduras. We collect special offerings for his support on fifth Sundays.

 

Fundraisers for Missions help us support our commitments. Our annual Sing-Along Messiah concert, which benefits the West Suburban PADS program, and our monthly Market Day sale are among the fundraisers held throughout the year in support of these programs.