Community United Methodist Church
Monday, March 10, 2014
Open Hearts, Open Minds, Open Doors
Short Term Volunteer in Missions (STVIM)
Most recently, Mary Tholkes and Joanie Anderson traveled to Jamaica with the World Beat Connection Band on a musical mission trip. Lyndy Zabel is leader of the group and they completed 10 concerts in 5 days! They stayed at a retreat center outside of Brown's Town and traveled to nearby towns for the concerts. Below are some pictures as well as links to some of the concerts:
Community Kitchen Dinner
We serve a free meal to the community on the 2nd Monday of each month. Everyone is welcome!
Park and Rec Summer Lunch Program
We provide a meal each Friday for 6 weeks for the youth participating in Columbia Heights Park and Recreation Program
We deliver meals to shut-ins for a week four times a year through the Meals-on-Wheels program.
We partner with another church to provide dinner to families enrolled with Family Promise of Anoka County, a transitional housing program, two times a year
National Night Out
We host a neighborhood party for people in the community with live music, hot dogs, and a fire department truck visit.
Each August we participate in the Metro Paint-A-Thon. A team of 15 to 20 members work together to scrape, prime, and paint a house. We have painted more than 25 houses over the years.
S.A.C.A. is our local food shelf and many of our members volunteer to help package and sort the donations at the S.A.C.A. site. School supplies are collected in the fall and Christmas gifts for children are collected in November and December. The director of S.A.C.A. is also a long time member of our congregation.
(CTI) is a nonprofit organization that alleviates hunger and poverty in the developing world by designing and distributing simple, life-changing food and water technologies. CTI was founded in 1981 by a group of missionaries, research engineers, and General Mills food scientists. The team formed an organization of skilled volunteers that would use its knowledge and expertise to help the poor use simple tools and local resources to resolve their food problems. CTI promotes food security by building and deploying devices that address the post harvest side of the food chain. Many organizations focus their efforts on seeds, fertilizers, and irrigation for cultivating crops, but few consider farmers’ post harvest needs. CTI’s devices help farmers process, store, and sell their crops—improving nutrition and providing economic opportunities for the rural poor.
Another STVIM group goes to the UMCOR depot in Baldwin, Louisiana. This is where relief supplies are collected, sorted, and prepared for shipment when an emergency arises - either domestic or international.
Community Garden of Hope
In 2010 Community UMC in Columbia Heights started a Community Garden for the benefit of the families that use the local food shelf, SACA (Southern Anoka Community Assistance). It was a collaborative effort between the church, the city, the food shelf and Wells Fargo. The city provided the land and access to water from a fire hydrant. The church provided volunteers to pot up the seeds and space for a nursery to sprout the seeds. The food shelf provided a list of interested gardeners and the seeds and Wells Fargo gave a member of the church a paid leave to pull all the pieces together. It was a huge success. 10 families had plots on which they grew produce for their families and a common area was maintained for the food shelf. By the end of the summer over 1,200 lbs of produce had been donated to the food shelf, the families had shared their produce with an additional 30 people, 15 kids from the Park and Recreation Department had the opportunity to participate in the garden finding bugs, pulling weeds and learning about plants, and an empty corner in the city had been turned into a beautiful garden. In 2012 the garden was again planted. It was expanded and now allows 22 families to participate.