Missions

We are committed to making a positive difference in the world!  We begin in our own community. Local missions include Housing Forward, Oak Park River Forest Food Pantry, and local short-term shelter PADS program. Our building has served as an overnight shelter site for the homeless since the inception of the PADS program in 1992.

Public Action to Deliver Shelter beds

Housing Forward, formerly PADS, 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 to discuss how to get involved: serving meals, staying overnight, bringing breakfast in, clean-up and check-out are all urgent 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. Our goal is to provide the funds for a well in an area of need. Learn more about the UMC Water program here. 

Immigration is another focus for missions this year.  Learn about Northern Illinois Justice for our Neighbors (NIJFON) 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 lead worship on Children’s Sabbath, 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 Housing Forward PADS program, is among the fundraisers held throughout the year in support of these programs.

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