See the Community UMC in Action page for photos of mission activities!
Coordinator: Anna Crowder
CUMC Food Pantry
Faith Circle has been responsible for facilitating our CUMC Food Pantry since 1995, but it is a church-wide mission supported by our members, Circles and Small Groups with food and/or monetary donations. The fourth Sunday of the month is our “Stock the Food Pantry” Sunday, but donations are appreciated at any time. Our purpose is to provide emergency/short term food assistance in the form of a bag of shelf stable groceries suitable for 2-3 days for 2-4 people. In 2019 our pantry distributed 269 bags of groceries, over $8,000 worth of food to our neighbors in need.
Due to COVID-19 restrictions, the CUMC food pantry is not currently open for food onsite food distribution. Instead, CUMC is partnering with the full service food pantry at Church of the Ascension to provide food and other assistance to those in need. They are a designated partner of the SEVA Food Bank, with large storage and refrigeration capability, as well as Charity tracking and financial assistance resources.
In lieu of an open in-house food pantry, CUMC will install a "Blessing Box" on the Alton Rd. corner of the church property in 2022. The box will be a free, self-serve food pantry where individuals can "take what you need, give what you can". Church members, community residents and Mother's Day Out families will be encouraged to keep the box stocked as an emergency food pantry for those in need.
Meals on Wheels
A nation-wide non profit organization, Meals on Wheels provides information and services for seniors so no one goes hungry. The need has doubled since March 2020 and Community United Methodist Church continues their support by providing volunteers for the last week of every month. Two volunteers pick up the food with the list of recipients and directions for distribution. There is no personal contact and generally a cooler is provided on the outside of the home. If you are interested in volunteering, contact Lou Schroeder 757-495-1809.
Rise Against Hunger
This has been an annual fundraising event at CUMC the past few years that helps people world wide with food assistance offering aide to the world’s most vulnerable. Rise Against Hunger is an independent non-profit organization that provides meals for children both within and outside of the United States. RAH events pack grain based and vitamin enriched meals by churches or other organizations and send to countries in the developing world. Meals are delivered to schools so that families are encouraged to send children to school because education is the fastest way out of poverty and hunger. CUMC was able to provide 20,000 meals in Nicaragua in 2019.
Serving the Homeless:
VB Housing Resource Center
The HRC serves people who are experiencing homelessness or a housing crisis. This facility is an integration of shelter, housing, healthcare center, dining hall, learning facility, support services and community resources in one facility. It is a community system of city agencies, nonprofit service providers, and faith organizations.
CUMC collaborates with the HRC in several ways with Indirect Service where Small Groups collect laundry soap, diapers, or requested items such as board games. We have collected blankets and air mattresses to stock HRC supplies.
Two to three days a week from 3:30-5:00pm we offer the Schoolwork Assistance Program, directed by Ralph Volk, providing tutoring for children of families that reside in the resource center in order to keep them current with their academic requirements. The volunteer tutors are screened and must meet the requirements of Virginia Beach Public Schools. If you are interested in being a tutor you may contact Ralph by email at RalphLV3@aol.com. Due to COVID-19 there is no personal tutoring at this time.
Winter Shelter Meals: In January 2022 CUMC, will partner with The Gathering at Scott Memorial to provide a week of meals for the Virginia Beach Winter Shelter program. CUMC small groups and volunteers will help cook and serve breakfast and dinner, and offer a bag lunch to homeless individuals. As the Virginia Beach Winter Shelter program returns to physical housing inside church facilities in 2023 or 2024, CUMC hopes to return as a full host church in our own facility.
Blessing Bags: This is our newest mission that CUMC is undertaking. Prepared bags are provided for the homeless and are distributed by The Gathering at Scott Memorial United Methodist Church in partnership for serving the homeless. These are gallon size ziplock bags with commonly used items such as soap, shampoo, a rain poncho, hand warmer/winter, razor, first aid kit, breakfast bar, canned meat/crackers, and water. A Blessing Bag and/or a bag of shelf stable food are provided to the homeless or shut-ins that do not have transportation to get to the distribution center. A Hotline Card from the HRC and a devotional enclosure from CUMC are placed in each Blessing Bag.
Judeo-Christian Outreach Center offers the citizens of Hampton Roads, who so desire, the opportunity to improve their lives by providing them with shelter, food, clothing, and the opportunity to participate in substance abuse counseling, job training, and GED preparation, with the knowledge that someone cares about their well being. http://www.jcoc.org (click on Wish List to see how you may assist). They are located within a few miles of The Gathering at Scott Memorial United Methodist Church which offers additional support for the homeless in that area.
Community United Methodist Church partners with other churches in the area to provide four meals a year at the Judeo-Christian Outreach Center. The average number served was 65, but the need is increasing. Our focus this year has been to offer healthy choices.
CUMC Children’s Clothes Closet will be open every Thursday 10am-noon, or by appointment. There is no charge and donations are accepted anytime, but not required. During the COVID crisis we are now partnering with The Gathering at Scott Memorial United Methodist Church. Requests are placed online with their church website and distribution is on Wednesday with the Fresh Food.
Meeting on a regular basis and sponsored locally at CUMC:
Boy Scouts of America: Troop 362
Cub Scouts Pack 362
Girl Scouts Troop 235
UMCOR Kits for the United Methodist Conference are prepared and donated annually in June. These are school supplies, health kits, or baby kits.
Angel Tree for Christmas is celebrated every December. In 2021 we are sponsoring seven local families for Christmas. We are providing a few toys, clothing, coats and shoes for children, gift cards for adult children and parents and a full holiday meal for each family.
Snowball is an event for mentally challenged adults sponsored by the Seekers Small Group. This is held the first part of December to offer them a special occasion that allows interaction with others of similar disabilities. It is a dinner and entertainment open to our special members and friends of the community. Due to COVID this will not occur until it is safe for both guests and volunteers.
Emergency Response Team (ERT)
This is a service ministry to provide help to local communities that have experienced flooding, hurricane or tornado damage. The goal is to provide clean up and roof tarping that will minimize damage (not repair). Team members are required to complete ERT training to become certified. If interested, contact Kevin Griffin by email at email@example.com.
Due to COVID-19 no specific plans have been made for a 2022 mission trip. However, CUMC volunteers works locally with Faith Works Coalition to build wheel chair ramps and conduct home repairs for low income and elderly homeowners who struggle to stay safe, warm and dry. Our members periodically participate in home ongoing home repair projects and will coordinate a wheel chair ramp project in the summer of 2022.