Goal of the Mission Committee for Burlington First United Methodist Church: To support existing mission activities, encourage participants in mission activities, and promote new mission opportunities
Opportunities to help in mission activities at Burlington First United Methodist Church are listed below. To find out more about a specific ministry, please contact a member of the Mission Committee whose members are listed at the end or the specific person listed in the information.
Ongoing, Year Round Mission Projects—
Bridges Out of Poverty Meal
On the first Tuesday of the month different groups within our church alternate in providing an evening meal for people who are taking a series of classes on work and communication skills to improve their economic status and goals in life. Their family members and past graduates also may attend these meals whose attendance ranges from 30 to 80 people.
In addition, First United Methodist Church uses funds from the Rosa Lee Soule mission endowment to financially support the operation of the Bridges Out of Poverty program.
At the back of the church in the narthex, a grocery cart is the receptacle where people can place donated grocery and toiletry items each week that will be delivered to the local food pantry.
End of the Month Meal
A meal for the hungry is provided on a rotating schedule on the last Thursday of the month at Grace United Methodist Church in collaboration with other churches through Shared United Ministries.
Our missionary Larry Kies, an agricultural instructor at African University in Zimbabwe, is supported through the sale of HyVee grocery gift cards at the Welcome Center in the narthex. Five per cent of the value of these cards goes to his support. Our covenant goal each year is $1,000.
A recently widowed Sudanese immigrant / new American citizen and her family have been given various types of help to become more stable in their home in Burlington.
Loving Opportunities Fair Trade Market or LOFT Market
Our retail fair trade store on the first floor of the Loft building sells unique merchandise produced by artisans and farmers in developing nations who are paid a fair living wage. Volunteers are responsible for running the store. Profit from this shop is donated to local and international missions and charities.
New greeting cards are made from repurposed old cards. The funds from their sales are used for postage to send these cards to invalids and those who are hospitalized. Cards are available at the Welcome Center in the church.
Prayer Shawl Ministry
Knitters and crocheters make shawls which are gifted to those individuals who are facing difficulties in their lives.
United Methodist Women
Besides the mission work done by the three individual circles— Miriam, Sarah, and Quilters, the UMW serves food for funeral luncheons and wedding receptions.
A gift bag of a loaf of bread and other goodies is given to visitors attending the worship service to welcome them to first United Methodist Church.
Annual, Seasonal Mission Projects—
Donations of mittens, gloves, scarves, and hats for winter are placed on a tree during the month of January. Children’s items are taken to North Hill Elementary School, and adult items are distributed at the Burlington Homeless Shelter.
United Methodist Men
A Shrove Tuesday pancake supper fundraiser provides operating funds for flowers for different projects, such as giving all the ladies on Mother’s Day. UMM is also responsible for distributing church scholarships each spring. Jim Corder is the contact person for UMM.
Women at the Well Support
Our church has a covenant to support the women prisoners who attend Women at the Well, the United Methodist Church behind the bars at the Iowa Correctional Institute for Women in Mitchellville, Iowa through our prayers, our witness, and our gifts. Our special Easter offering provides funds for our financial covenant annually. Visits to attend the weekly worship service may be scheduled when allowed by the prison officials.
From April through July, two coed softball teams participate in a church league softball season organized through the Burlington Rec Plex.
Bidwell-Riverside Mission Trip
A multigenerational day trip to Des Moines to the largest volume food pantry in Iowa is taken to stock grocery shelves and unpack donated articles of clothing for distribution to those in need.
Take Away Hunger
Church members work as a team in an assembly line fashion to fill baggies with nutritious food stuffs that will be sent to feed the hungry in developing nations. In one hour over 2,000 meals can be packed.
Puppets of Praise
Children from third grade age through adults perform Bible based, song filled, humorous skits with puppets during Sunday worship services and for special community events. Practices are Sunday evenings during the school year.
Each September members of First United Methodist Church participate in the week-long community wide paint-a-thon where local homes in need of sprucing up are given a fresh coat of paint.
Elementary Reading Program
Adults are matched with children in the Burlington Elementary Schools to become a reading buddy and help them practice their reading skills once a week during the school year.
CROP Hunger Walk
The second Sunday afternoon in October is the annual time to raise awareness of those who live in hunger in our neighborhoods and throughout the world. We walk to raise funds so others may eat. Sponsors fund walkers who can choose a 1 mile, 3 miles or 6 mile route.
Starting in August, supplies for school kits are assembled, and donations are gratefully accepted for blankets and other projects which benefit the needy abroad. These are taken to Ingathering at Iowa Wesleyan University on the first Saturday in November and distributed through the United Methodist Committee on Relief from Midwest Mission Distribution Center in Chatham, IL.
Throughout the fall, donations of children’s underwear are collected and then distributed to families at the Port of Burlington with Toys for Tots on a Saturday in December.
When the Burlington Homeless Shelter has its annual fall soup supper fundraiser, the bowls that attendees may keep are donated through the LOFT Market, our fair trade market. Also, during the year donations of paper products are delivered to the shelter.
Salvation Army Bell Ringing
During two days in the Advent season, church members are stationed outside a local grocery store for hour shifts to ring the Salvation Army bell as a fundraiser for their community ministry.
A sign up sheet for a wide variety of grocery items is posted in November for church members to donate items for 10 to 14 needy families in the Burlington area. These baskets are delivered church members the Saturday before Christmas.