It Worked For Us (success stories)


Henn. Ave. UMC hosts block party for community

Henn. Ave. UMC hosts block party for community

8/9/2016

On the evening of July 31, close to 300 people gathered in Hennepin Avenue’s parking lot for hamburgers on the grill, baked beans, chips, watermelon, and fellowship.


Centennial hosts first Disability Awareness Sunday

Centennial hosts first Disability Awareness Sunday

8/4/2016

Centennial UMC in Roseville recently hosted its first ever Disability Awareness Sunday, where members experienced being in ministry with people with disabilities through worship, a lunch panel, and workshops.


20+ UMC congregations work to reach thousands at Twin Cities Pride event

20+ UMC congregations work to reach thousands at Twin Cities Pride event

6/28/2016

Members of Reconciling United Methodist congregations in Minnesota created a float for the Pride parade and hosted a booth where they handed out rainbow peace medallions.


Reconciling movement spurs evangelism and discipleship at Minnetonka UMC

Reconciling movement spurs evangelism and discipleship at Minnetonka UMC

5/6/2016

Minnetonka has grown 6 percent per year to reach average Sunday worship of 284 and total membership of 519 in 2015.


Centennial UMC helps community with advance care planning

Centennial UMC helps community with advance care planning

5/3/2016

The church hosted an informative panel discussion and workshop on the timely topic of advance care planning, and 57 community members attended.


Spirit River Community meets local needs through free legal clinic

Spirit River Community meets local needs through free legal clinic

4/6/2016

“Hosting this important event is a privilege and gives us a chance to reach out to a population that might not have the resources able to go to a lawyer’s office,” said Rev. Jim Crecelius.


Northfield UMC reaches community through free playtime for young children

Northfield UMC reaches community through free playtime for young children

3/30/2016

Every Tuesday and Thursday, from 8 to 10 a.m., young children and their caregivers can stop by for playtime in the church’s carpeted gym.


Normandale Hylands “warms the bench” with Super Bowl blanket drive

Normandale Hylands “warms the bench” with Super Bowl blanket drive

2/10/2016

Normandale Hylands UMC (Bloomington) found a creative way to host a Super Bowl-themed blanket drive.


Coon Rapids UMC children, youth provide ‘blessing bags’ to homeless

Coon Rapids UMC children, youth provide ‘blessing bags’ to homeless

1/6/2016

Children and youth at Coon Rapids UMC filled Ziploc bags with necessities to distribute to people in the community who lack consistent housing.


Mabel-Newburg UMCs donate back-to-school supplies to school district

Mabel-Newburg UMCs donate back-to-school supplies to school district

9/4/2015

Even smaller mission projects can make a big difference in the community. Over the summer members and friends of Mabel United Methodist Church and Newburg United Methodist Church decided to collect school supplies to make sure the staff of the Mabel-Canton School District are ready to welcome students back to class. “The people at our churches believe that to have a strong community, we need to have a strong education program,” Rev. David Stoeger said. “This starts with equipping our teachers for the important role they have in the lives of students. It is a joy to support the teachers and students in our community.” The boxes of donated supplies were presented to district staff and were distributed to teachers before the first day of class.


Youth group helps neighbors, raises funds for back-to-school haircuts

Youth group helps neighbors, raises funds for back-to-school haircuts

9/1/2015

Back-to-school haircuts can be costly for parents. The youth group at Peace United Methodist Church in Virginia thought of a great way to reach neighbors and help those in need to get a fresh look by holding a treasure sale at the church. The congregation, along with some community members, donated household items, clothing, and other goods to the sale. At the end of the sale, the youth had collected more than $2,000 and purchased more than 100 gift cards for students to use.


Glendale UMC celebrates first anniversary of Ruby’s Pantry

Glendale UMC celebrates first anniversary of Ruby’s Pantry

8/12/2015

Over the past year Glendale United Methodist Church in Savage has handed out boxes of food to more than 1,325 guests.


Youth share God’s grace, serve neighbors through Urban CROSS

Youth share God’s grace, serve neighbors through Urban CROSS

7/7/2015

Last month, 36 Urban CROSS campers spent a week in St. Paul, helping neighbors with painting, yard work, landscaping, cleanup, construction, and repair projects at 39 sites across St. Paul’s residential East Side.


Pastor gives back to family through free funeral

Pastor gives back to family through free funeral

6/18/2015

Rev. Kristi Franken of Adrian United Methodist Church immediately knew what she had to do when she heard that her son-in-law’s father had passed away with no funding available for a funeral.


Excelsior UMC teen connects generations at church

Excelsior UMC teen connects generations at church

6/1/2015

Hannah Dudak, a junior at Chanhassen High School, implemented a program to connect different generations at her church, Excelsior United Methodist.


Gethsemane UMC reaches community through cribbage tourney

Gethsemane UMC reaches community through cribbage tourney

3/17/2015

More than 40 people of all ages attended a cribbage tournament in March; one-third of the players were from the community.


Lake Harriet UMC reaches new people through spring musical

Lake Harriet UMC reaches new people through spring musical

3/10/2015

Lake Harriet United Methodist Church in Minneapolis has been using the theater as a way to reach new people in the community.


Christ UMC in Rochester hosts climate conversation

Christ UMC in Rochester hosts climate conversation

3/4/2015

More than 60 people from churches in Rochester, Plainview, Chatfield, and elsewhere met at Christ United Methodist Church to strategize faith-based action on climate change.


It’s not Sunday School as usual – it’s better

It’s not Sunday School as usual – it’s better

2/24/2015

Every Sunday Mounds Park United Methodist Church provides children with a special time to learn and grow in love of God.


Minnehaha UMC youth perform 15,000 good deeds in 2014

Minnehaha UMC youth perform 15,000 good deeds in 2014

2/18/2015

Does a good deed stay with the recipient all day? Will the recipient in turn perform a good deed for someone else? That’s what youth at Minnehaha United Methodist Church in Minneapolis asked each other before setting a goal to complete 15,000 good deeds in 2015.


Byron UMC shoe giveaway touches hearts, calls church to mission

Byron UMC shoe giveaway touches hearts, calls church to mission

2/11/2015

Rev. Beth Perez invited members to bring new shoes to donate to the children at Rio Bravo Children’s Home in Mexico. The church, which averages 85 in worship attendance, produced 44 pairs of shoes.


Rethink church conferences—throw a party instead

Rethink church conferences—throw a party instead

1/28/2015

On Sunday, about 200 people from Cross Winds showed up wearing flowered shirts, sunglasses, and hats. Between reports and budget discussions, members participated in hula-hoop and limbo contests and sing-alongs. The party approach to church conferences has increased participation.


La Crescent UMC unites community through sack lunch program

La Crescent UMC unites community through sack lunch program

1/6/2015

How do you bring members of a community together? Feed them lunch.


Hastings UMC garden blesses community with fresh produce

Hastings UMC garden blesses community with fresh produce

12/3/2014

Tammy Bailey used to visit her local food shelf on a regular basis in order to be able to provide for her 16-year-old daughter and 8-year-old son. But since Hastings United Methodist Church started a community garden in the summer of 2013, her trips have become few and far between.


Fairmount Avenue UMC youth group provide warmth to homeless

Fairmount Avenue UMC youth group provide warmth to homeless

11/12/2014

Sixty-six. That’s how many beds the downtown Minneapolis Simpson Housing Services overnight shelter has available to the homeless. It’s also the number of blankets that the Fairmount Avenue United Methodist Church youth group collected for guests.


Mobile Ministry reaches children and youth during VBS in the most northern part of MN

Mobile Ministry reaches children and youth during VBS in the most northern part of MN

9/17/2014

Kabetogama UMC and Crane Lake Chapel (a non-denominational church), both located in the most northern part of Minnesota, teamed this summer for a special Vacation Bible School through The Mobile Ministry.


Homestead Church receives collaboration award for National Night Out

Homestead Church receives collaboration award for National Night Out

9/4/2014

Root beer floats, clowns, face painting, balloon animals, burgers, new neighbors and a vibrant congregation came together on Aug. 5 to celebrate National Night Out in Rochester.


Champlin UMC hosts clothing ‘boutique’ for families in need

Champlin UMC hosts clothing ‘boutique’ for families in need

8/11/2014

On August 4, Champlin United Methodist Church, other faith groups, local schools, and the surrounding community hosted a clothing “boutique” that allowed families in need to “shop” for free school clothes.


Grace UMC blesses community through annual ‘Big Give’

Grace UMC blesses community through annual ‘Big Give’

5/8/2014

What started as an outreach ministry by one of Grace United Methodist Church’s Bible study groups has become a yearly event that the entire church community has embraced.


Oakwood UMC recognized for adopting New Ulm elementary school

Oakwood UMC recognized for adopting New Ulm elementary school

5/8/2014

The church collects and distributes emergency clothing, school supplies, and care items.


North UMC uses social media to rally community, serve hungry

North UMC uses social media to rally community, serve hungry

4/22/2014

Many of us use social media to connect with our friends, but how about if we use it to spur action in our communities?


Richfield UMC journeyed to Jerusalem during Lent

Richfield UMC journeyed to Jerusalem during Lent

4/22/2014

Members of Richfield United Methodist Church found a unique way to exercise their bodies and souls throughout Lent.


Wheelock UMC hosts Hmong youth from across U.S.

Wheelock UMC hosts Hmong youth from across U.S.

4/15/2014

On April 11 and 12, Wheelock United Methodist Church in St. Paul hosted about 140 Hmong youth and young adults from across the United States for an annual event that brings Hmong United Methodists together for worship, workshops, and fellowship.


Park UMC youth use early release day to pack meals for Kids Against Hunger

Park UMC youth use early release day to pack meals for Kids Against Hunger

3/13/2014

When they had an early release day from school on March 5, Park UMC youth (and adults) went to pack meals for Kids Against Hunger.


Richfield UMC youth spread the word about homelessness in MN

Richfield UMC youth spread the word about homelessness in MN

2/27/2014

Richfield UMC youth educate and encourage congregation members to take part in ending homelessness through creating a display with a tent and backpack to emphasize the reality that many homeless youth face.


Byron UMC brings help and hope to refugee camps in Afghanistan

Byron UMC brings help and hope to refugee camps in Afghanistan

2/26/2014

Byron United Methodist Church’s confirmation class project collected 500 pairs of shoes, which went to a refugee camp in Afghanistan. Church members went to a Twin Cities airport to witness the send-off.


Elk River UMC serves as warming house, offering food, fellowship during statewide hockey event

Elk River UMC serves as warming house, offering food, fellowship during statewide hockey event

2/26/2014

As the community of Elk River welcomed 5,700 hockey players and fans for “Hockey Day Minnesota” in January, Elk River United Methodist Church transformed itself into the city’s largest warming house, welcoming visitors with hot food and a warm place to rest.


Churches’ ‘Souper Bowl’ yields 1,000+ cans of soup for hungry

Churches’ ‘Souper Bowl’ yields 1,000+ cans of soup for hungry

2/11/2014

The Seahawks and the Broncos weren’t the only ones competing on Feb. 2. Two churches in the Minnesota Conference were having a “Souper Bowl” of their own.


Park UMC’s ‘Miracle Sunday’ raises $95K to save historic organ

Park UMC’s ‘Miracle Sunday’ raises $95K to save historic organ

12/19/2013

With the help of the United Methodist Foundation, Park United Methodist Church raised enough money to save the church’s historic Cassavant organ, which was in desperate need of restoration to the tune of $93,000.


Advent UMC evangelizes through action on mission trips to Haiti

Advent UMC evangelizes through action on mission trips to Haiti

12/3/2013

Almost every year, members from Advent United Methodist Church travel to Haiti to work on projects there in collaboration with local residents.


Grand Rapids UMC’s ‘open-door coat rack’ provides winter gear for 1,200

Grand Rapids UMC’s ‘open-door coat rack’ provides winter gear for 1,200

12/2/2013

In the harsh northern Minnesota winters, no one can go without a coat—and no one needs to thanks to Grand Rapids United Methodist Church’s “open-door coat rack.”


Faith UMC partners with school, feeds hungry children

Faith UMC partners with school, feeds hungry children

10/29/2013

After discovering that hunger was prevalent in the Farmington community, Faith United Methodist Church forged a partnership with a local elementary school that has made a difference in the lives of needy children in the community.


Normandale Hylands UM Women engage community in fighting human trafficking

10/23/2013

After Normandale Hylands United Methodist Women read a book about human trafficking in the United States and discovered that the problem was prevalent in Minnesota, they were committed to doing their part to combat it.


Gethsemane UMC, other area churches keep food shelf going strong

Gethsemane UMC, other area churches keep food shelf going strong

10/22/2013

The Centennial Community Food Shelf, which began in the 1950s, has continued to thrive and grow thanks to an ecumenical group of area churches that keep it going, including Gethsemane United Methodist Church in Lino Lakes.


A Brush With Kindness team ‘serves Jesus while serving others’

A Brush With Kindness team ‘serves Jesus while serving others’

10/17/2013

Two years ago, members of Lindstrom and Main Street UMCs returned from a mission trip inspired to make change in their own communities.


Crane Lake Chapel parishioners fix up home, reach new community member

Crane Lake Chapel parishioners fix up home, reach new community member

10/9/2013

After noticing a house in the community that was in need of repair, parishioners of the Crane Lake Chapel in northern Minnesota decided to help the owner fix up the house.


White Bear Lake UMC breaks bread with community

White Bear Lake UMC breaks bread with community

9/25/2013

Since constructing the bread oven in 2010, it has brought together the White Bear Lake community on many occasions: meals for local residents, bread-baking classes, and more.


Advent UMC engages in a day of sharing within community

Advent UMC engages in a day of sharing within community

9/11/2013

Members of Advent United Methodist Church in Eagan wanted to celebrate the church’s 30-year anniversary by sharing God’s love with the community. They chose to do that with one great day of sharing, an event they called “Advent Cares.”


Lydia Zion UMC’s birthday ministry brings mission work to everyday life

Lydia Zion UMC’s birthday ministry brings mission work to everyday life

9/4/2013

Lydia Zion United Methodist Church celebrates members’ birthdays in a most unique way: Birthday honorees (and/or other worship attendees of their choosing) are invited to perform a special mission task. Tasks have included zipping through the day with a smile, calling on a friend to see how they’re doing, reading a scripture, taking a meal to someone, bringing a friend to church, and visiting a Sunday School class. It’s a reminder that “we can all be in mission,” says Pastor Larry Kasten, and the ministry has been well-received by the 155-member congregation.


Federated Church’s ‘2-Hour Delay Cafe’ reaches community’s youth

Federated Church’s ‘2-Hour Delay Cafe’ reaches community’s youth

8/29/2013

Each month, schools in the small, west-central Minnesota community of Morris have a two-hour late start due to staff in-services. Younger children have a school-based program, but what do middle and high school students do? Some drop in at the 2-Hour Delay Cafe in the Federated Church.


At North UMC, ‘faith is community’

At North UMC, ‘faith is community’

8/27/2013

North United Methodist Church is big on community outreach. One of its most well known ministries is its clothing closet, through which residents in need can come up to several times each month and select items at no cost.


Chatfield UMC distributes blessing stones throughout community

Chatfield UMC distributes blessing stones throughout community

8/20/2013

This summer, members of Chatfield United Methodist Church embarked on a pilgrimage that involved placing blessing stones around their 2,800-person city and speaking words of blessing and affirmation for the good of the community.


Park UMC shares God’s love by sharing muffins with passersby

Park UMC shares God’s love by sharing muffins with passersby

8/14/2013

Park Avenue United Methodist Church’s Women to Women Ministries group started thinking about ways it could spread God’s love through an unassuming act of kindness and came up with the idea to distribute muffins to people passing by the church in vehicles and by foot.


Small Church of Peace launches big fight against hunger

Small Church of Peace launches big fight against hunger

8/12/2013

When the Volunteers Enlisted to Assist People food shelf in Bloomington needed emergency bags of groceries for people unable to wait for the next available food pantry appointment, Richfield’s Church of Peace stepped up to the plate.


STORM Camp goes missional once again

STORM Camp goes missional once again

8/5/2013

This year’s STORM Camp moved to Faribault. In late July, 63 students and 12 adult drivers from 14 congregations served 70 families in the community.


Willmar UMC rises to donor’s challenge, donates two arks of animals, five pigs to families in need

Willmar UMC rises to donor’s challenge, donates two arks of animals, five pigs to families in need

7/30/2013

In conjunction with vacation Bible school, which had a “Down on the Farm” theme, Willmar United Methodist Church Education Director Jackie Svejkovsky hoped that the congregation might contribute $120, enough to donate one pig through Heifer International.


At Thief River Falls UMC, talents, denominations combine for Imagine No Malaria

At Thief River Falls UMC, talents, denominations combine for Imagine No Malaria

7/29/2013

Three talented musicians who attend a nearby Lutheran church heard about Thief River Falls’ ambitious fundraising goal for Imagine No Malaria and offered to help out by performing a benefit concert.


Spirit River Community’s “Ask-a-Lawyer Day” eases anxiety for new Americans

Spirit River Community’s “Ask-a-Lawyer Day” eases anxiety for new Americans

7/29/2013

Recognizing that things like navigating landlord-tenant relations, understanding child custody laws, and filing taxes can be difficult and complicated for new Americans, and hiring a lawyer can be expensive, Spirit River Community United Methodist Church in Isanti hosts an annual “Ask-a-Lawyer Day.”


The Recovery Church hosts inaugural biker blessing

The Recovery Church hosts inaugural biker blessing

7/23/2013

“I believe God is riding with me,” says Mavis Fry, an avid motorcyclist. “I feel more aware of my surroundings and I ride more safely.” Fry is talking about why she chose to participate in the first-ever biker blessing at The Recovery Church in St. Paul.


Jamaican Adventure

Jamaican Adventure

7/17/2013

A 14-member work team from Brownsdale United Methodist Church recently returned from Brown’s Town, Jamaica, where they worked with local community members.


“Ton of Tuna” campaign feeds a community

“Ton of Tuna” campaign feeds a community

7/16/2013

During Minnesota FoodShare month, River Hills United Methodist Church in Burnsville saw a need to fight hunger in its community. The church came up with a “Ton of Tuna” campaign, which resulted in the collection of 6,555 cans, or almost 3,000 pounds, of tuna to give to local food banks.


Minnetonka UMC youth fundraisers net $41K for Imagine No Malaria

Minnetonka UMC youth fundraisers net $41K for Imagine No Malaria

7/8/2013

Minnetonka United Methodist Church youth have driven the church’s Imagine No Malaria fundraising efforts, which to date have raised $40,609 to combat malaria deaths in Africa.


Lanesboro UMC’s ‘High Tea for High Waters’ Raises $1,300 for Disaster Relief

Lanesboro UMC’s ‘High Tea for High Waters’ Raises $1,300 for Disaster Relief

6/26/2013

Lanesboro United Methodist Church may be small in membership but it’s big on helping those in need. The church raised $1,300 from a “High Tea for High Waters” and used it to support two outreach efforts.


Faith UMC parish nurse leads community effort for caregivers, care receivers

Faith UMC parish nurse leads community effort for caregivers, care receivers

6/12/2013

Faith United Methodist Church’s parish nurse is leading a community-wide effort to provide for caregivers and care receivers.


Thief River Falls UMC “Changes the World” During May

Thief River Falls UMC “Changes the World” During May

5/24/2013

Thief River Falls United Methodist Church raised over $1,400 for Imagine No Malaria during the month of May. The church had a “Muffins for Malaria” fellowship after worship on May 5.


Fridley UMC third-grader leads effort to raise money for homeless

Fridley UMC third-grader leads effort to raise money for homeless

5/15/2013

A third-grade girl at Fridley United Methodist Church has a heart for people who are homeless, and she led a three-week church fundraising effort that brought in $156.65 for Family Promise of Anoka County.


Richfield UMC sandwich-making ministry provides food for homeless neighbors

Richfield UMC sandwich-making ministry provides food for homeless neighbors

4/18/2013

363 Days organization seeks to provide those people who are experiencing homelessness with food for every day out of the year (363 because there are typically meals served at many shelters and other places on Christmas and Thanksgiving).


Packing for the weekend: Feeding hungry children in Lake City

Packing for the weekend: Feeding hungry children in Lake City

4/17/2013

A year ago a team of volunteers at Lake City United Methodist Church began an outreach ministry called “Packing for the Weekend.” This program feeds children on weekends that miss out on nutrition when school is not in session.


Congregation-wide book study paves way for featured speaker, ecclesiologist Tony Jones

Congregation-wide book study paves way for featured speaker, ecclesiologist Tony Jones

1/16/2013

United Methodist Church of Anoka and its satellite campus, Northern Light, took part in an all-congregation book study, named “One Congregation, One Book.” They read Tony Jones’ “The Sacred Way,” and then invited him to speak at the church. Many small groups were formed to study this book, which focuses on spiritual growth and discipline. At the culmination of the book study, congregants felt as though they already knew Jones—which made his message resonate even further.


Brooklyn UMC youth offer token of warmth and comfort for families of Sandy Hook victims

Brooklyn UMC youth offer token of warmth and comfort for families of Sandy Hook victims

12/20/2012

In response to the Dec. 14 shooting in which twenty children and six school administrators were killed, youth from Brooklyn United Methodist Church (Brooklyn Center) offered a token of warmth and comfort for the grieving community during the Christmas season.


Town’s annual celebration provides an opportunity to raise awareness for Imagine No Malaria

Town’s annual celebration provides an opportunity to raise awareness for Imagine No Malaria

8/23/2012

Each summer, the town of Adrian, Minn., hosts a “Christmas in July” celebration for the community. Seeing an opportunity for community involvement with Imagine No Malaria, Adrian and Magnolia United Methodist Church set up a “game tent” for children to win prizes during the day-long celebration.


Inaugural Camp MSP gives middle-schoolers an opportunity to serve the community

Inaugural Camp MSP gives middle-schoolers an opportunity to serve the community

8/17/2012

The first Camp MSP (mission, service, purpose) was held Aug 14-16. Twelve churches from the conference participated in this event designed to bring United Methodist fifth through seventh graders together to have fun, learn, and have the opportunity to serve their neighbor.


Hospitality On a Stick—for 115 Years!

Hospitality On a Stick—for 115 Years!

7/30/2012

The Hamline Church Dining Hall, a well-known and loved institution at the Minnesota State Fair, is providing its 115th year of food and hospitality this year.


The Church Takes To The Streets

7/24/2012

Urban CROSS service camp took place this summer, and was hugely successful. Fifty-four campers completed many projects on houses in the Dayton’s Bluff area of St. Paul.


Pancakes for Princesses

Pancakes for Princesses

7/9/2012

A tragic accident in June left two young girls from southeast Minnesota with burns on over 70 percent of their bodies. Money Creek UMC, a small church near Winona, already had in place a Saturday morning ministry called “cakes for campers,” a pancake breakfast fundraiser to help support the ministries of the church.


Richfield UMC’s carnival a hit for the community

Richfield UMC’s carnival a hit for the community

6/21/2012

On a beautiful summer Saturday last month, Richfield United Methodist Church hosted its fourth annual community carnival. The carnival featured a petting zoo, bounce house, games, good food, music by the Living Waters Band, and a dunk tank.


“Change for a change” offering raises funds for Imagine No Malaria

“Change for a change” offering raises funds for Imagine No Malaria

5/24/2012

Evangelical UMC (Waseca) decided to raise money for Imagine No Malaria by having a special monthly offering called “Change for a Change” during which we would collect change using aluminum coffee pots for the best sound effects we could get.


Ed Dallas rides his bike coast to coast for UMC Mobile Ministry

Ed Dallas rides his bike coast to coast for UMC Mobile Ministry

5/10/2012

Ed Dallas, a seasoned cyclist, is riding his bicycle over 4,000 miles across the country this summer to raise awareness and funds for UMC Mobile Ministry. UMC Mobile Ministry is a Minnesota Annual Conference mission to the communities of Kabetogama and Crane Lake in the northwoods of Minnesota.  Ed’s trip will take him around 90 days; he’s expected to make his way through Minnesota in late June. According to Dallas, “At some time during a person’s life, there will be the need for pastoral care and for those who don’t live in a major urban area, that care might not be available. The Mobile Ministry assures the people in Crane Lake and Kabetogama that they will have access to pastoral care.”


Mission trip to Haiti empowers families to use solar energy for cooking

Mission trip to Haiti empowers families to use solar energy for cooking

4/2/2012

For twelve years, Haiti Solar Oven Partners, a United Methodist Advance Special project based in Brookings, South Dakota, has empowered families in Haiti to use solar energy for cooking and pasteurizing clean water.  The most recent Volunteers in Mission trip included four people from the Minnesota Conference. The team assembled two hundred solar ovens and ran seminars on how use them. By the end of their time there, two hundred new solar oven users had a way purify drinking water and use energy from the sun to cook food to provide for their families.


Community Coffee Saturdays offer simple, effective outreach

Community Coffee Saturdays offer simple, effective outreach

3/2/2012

There is a place to stop for a cup of coffee and friendly conversation in the little village of East Chain in southern Minnesota. The United Methodist Women open the church doors the second Saturday of each month and spend the morning serving the community coffee, rolls and juice.  It’s been so successful, the group has been asked to do it twice a month! This is a valuable way to reach out into the community and make connections.


Living God’s love—outside the church walls

Living God’s love—outside the church walls

2/23/2012

Sometimes doing good can be beneficial for both parties involved. This was the case for Oakwood United Methodist Church (New Ulm) when it decided to “adopt” Jefferson Elementary School. Members of the church did a few small things to help the school community. The church provided a box of emergency clothes the school nurse could use for kids who do not have adequate clothing, gave encouraging notes to teachers and staff members to thank them for making a difference in the children’s lives, and read to groups of children weekly. As a result of their reaching out, the church has seen an influx of new baptisms and worship attendees.


Silent auction at Fairfax UMC raises money for Imagine No Malaria

2/23/2012

Fairfax United Methodist Church has reached their pledged amount for Imagine No Malaria by hosting a silent auction fundraiser that brought in money from community members.


Christmas Eve brunch—and branching out to the community

2/14/2012

Mounds Park UMC hosted a brunch on Christmas Eve and invited the outside community.


“The Gathering Place” Opens in Chatfield

“The Gathering Place” Opens in Chatfield

1/19/2012

Chatfield United Methodist Church’s newly-formed health ministry for senior citizens, The Gathering Place, held its inaugural open house Jan. 10. Led by parish nurse Beverly Simpson, the Gathering Place brings together agencies intent on making elder citizens’ golden years well-lived and enriched through services available to them. The ministry is now open the second Tuesday of each month from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Besides being a place for health education and fellowship, the Gathering Place also houses a medical equipment loan closet available for community use.


Mission trip concert experience provides an unexpected blessing

Mission trip concert experience provides an unexpected blessing

1/11/2012

Debbie Mahoney shares the story of her two sons whose lives were changed during a mission trip last year. As part of the Solid Rock Singers, the two teenagers experienced God’s presence during their performances.


An outpouring of love on Christmas Day

An outpouring of love on Christmas Day

1/10/2012

On Christmas day the First United Methodist church of Red Wing brought 26 trays of goodies to those who had to work that day. They blessed the local fire and police departments, hospital, hotels, local power plant, nursing homes, gas stations and more.


Wednesday Night Dinners started as internal ministry, grew to serve others

Wednesday Night Dinners started as internal ministry, grew to serve others

12/28/2011

Wednesday night, like for many churches, is a busy night at Coon Rapids United Methodist Church. Chancel choir rehearsal and youth group meetings ensure a full, bustling building. Four years ago, three churchgoers decided they had the perfect opportunity—a newly renovated kitchen and and a hungry customer base. They began to serve dinner Wednesdays, charging $3—and it was a hit! Over the years, the organizers developed a ticket process to bring in people from outside. Church members donate the tickets to a family in need—so the family can come to the church, have a warm meal and not be embarrassed. Once an internal fellowship time, this ministry has grown to serve the community.


Advent 5K runners chase down malaria

Advent 5K runners chase down malaria

10/13/2011

More than 100 members and friends of Advent United Methodist Church (Eagan) ran or walked five kilometers on Oct. 8 to raise over $2,500—and save more than 250 lives—for Imagine No Malaria. Participants enjoyed the course of roadsides and park trails, showcasing the beautiful fall scenery. The band for the church’s contemporary worship service, Thrive, provided upbeat music to spur on participants (who could hear it through the entirety of the course). Among church leaders running with the crowd were Bishop Sally Dyck. The event was so successful that the church hopes to organize it every year. Donations continue to arrive at the church office.


Blooming Grove runs for the loaves and sings for (others’) supper

Blooming Grove runs for the loaves and sings for (others’) supper

10/8/2011

On Oct. 2, a clear, bright, and cool fall Saturday,  Blooming Grove United Methodist Church attracted 76 runners and walkers for their first “Run for the Loaves” event and raised nearly $2,300 for county food shelves. This is just one of three events this church (average worship attendance: 40) has led to help feed the hungry in their area. They also hosted a February Cabin Fever Reliever, with a meal, auction, and Wii dance contest. This fought back the winter doldrums and raised $2,111 for the Steele County Food Shelf. Eighty-two neighbors attended the concert they presented in September 2010 that raised $950 for Waseca and Steele County food shelves.


A regular—or decaf—act of kindness

A regular—or decaf—act of kindness

9/22/2011

The last Saturday of each month, Mosaic United Methodist Church members buy the first drink for everyone who comes into the Brookdale Caribou coffee shop (Brooklyn Center) between 9 a.m. and noon. While buying coffee for strangers has been a good way to generate general goodwill in the community and hand out a few brochures and cards, perhaps even more importantly it has been a training workshop for invitation. While inviting people to church is scary, inviting people to get free coffee on a Saturday morning is not. Mosaic members stake out a table and the cast of characters changes over the course of three hours. It is most successful when treated as a way to teach and live invitation. It also does give folks who are interested a chance to check out Mosaic in a non-threatening environment. As pastor I’ve had a chance to meet otherwise anonymous Mosaic Facebook fans and Twitter followers because they feel comfortable coming over and introducing themselves in the coffee shop.


Food, Friendship, and Haircuts

Food, Friendship, and Haircuts

9/1/2011

Family Table at Fridley United Methodist Church has been serving a free meal one Saturday a month since October 2008.  This ministry of food and friendship served its 4,000th meal in June 2011.  The leadership team with the aid of the parish nurse was looking into other services that could be provided when Mary Ann Neu volunteered her time and skills for free haircuts.  Many volunteers share their gifts of hospitality, generosity, and service through this ministry. Paying attention to the gifts and talents of members and the needs of the guests has allowed them to serve our neighbors in more ways.


Lanesboro UMC Provides Hope to Almora Residents

Lanesboro UMC Provides Hope to Almora Residents

8/29/2011

In November 2010, members of Lanesboro United Methodist Church decided to serve in Wadena, Minnesota, assisting with cleanup following the June 2010 tornado that rendered significant damage to many homes in the area. We contacted Kingswood Camp and Retreat Center, and the staff helped us plan the trip. They found us lodging, as the Minnesota Annual Conference does not have a camp near Wadena. Kingswood also found us work through the Ottertail County long term recovery office; these were local people who knew the immediate local needs. In one week we cleaned up debris at two farms, reconstructed a vegetable stand, and painted the exterior trim at 6 homes. Our presence in the town was part of the motivation the people needed to have hope again.


New Day UMC Imagines No Malaria at Spudfest

New Day UMC Imagines No Malaria at Spudfest

8/17/2011

This is New Day United Methodist Church's recipe for parade fun and raising awareness for Imagine No Malaria: Take about 35 people ages 1 through 50; put ten people on roller blades wearing wings and antennae and give 18 people giant flyswatter signs; cover two beds on wheels with netting and insert a preschooler on each bed for a ride; don matching t-shirts (red for the mosquitoes; yellow for the fly swatters); load a vehicle with boxes of plastic flyswatters (imprinted with church logo/website) and kazoos (mosquito buzzers) to give away; get everyone marching down the street, beds and mosquitoes first, followed by the fly swatter signs spelling out “Join Our Swat Team;" play some loud music; coordinate the mosquitoes to "attack" the beds and the fly swatters to "attack" the mosquitoes every couple of blocks; have extra people hand out giveaways.


UZone

UZone

8/15/2011

UZone provides a safe space for Paynesville kids after school.



Minnesota Annual Conference of the United Methodist Church

122 West Franklin Avenue, Suite 400 Minneapolis, MN 55404

info@minnesotaumc.org

(612) 870-0058