Mercy & Justice
Faith is action. It is life. It is living to make a difference.
At FUMC Omaha, we have a diversity of ways that we work to make the world a better place. Besides offering local welcome and affirmation, we are working for the full inclusion and acceptance of LGBTQIA people in our United Methodist denomination, the whole church, and all of society. We are passionate about the singular planet we share, and developing creative and concrete ways to give back to the earth. We understand the power of knowledge and awareness, and offer a variety of workshops, discussions, and forums focused on real issues in our community, and real solutions. If you have an interest to seek justice and weave compassion into the world, we have a place for you.
We celebrate the life of Lowen Kruse, a compassionate spirit who was committed to the words of the prophet Micah to “do justice, to love kindness and walk humbly with God.” How? By preaching against segregated housing and redlining, then helping to establish a bank at 52nd and Ames that did not discriminate and forming the United Ministries of Northeast Omaha (UMNEO). Involved in Omaha Together One Community (OTOC), Lowen continued to advocate for groups who faced oppression. Eventually, his heart of advocacy led to him representing the 13th district as a state legislator. Last February, Lowen talked about the history of racial justice at the First United Methodist Church. To hear his speech, please see the video:
ECO Team – This group of passionate environmentalists works to educate the community on ways to reduce carbon emissions. In 2015, the team launched a congregation-wide composting ministry on site that provides people living in urban/suburban areas an easy way to reduce the amount of food scraps sent to the landfill. For Earth Day 2016, the ECO team installed bike racks around the building to encourage biking to church instead of driving. Throughout the year, this ministry provides educational and spiritual opportunities for people of all ages.
Inclusivity/Pride Team – FUMC Omaha is an inclusive and welcoming congregation. We celebrate and firmly believe in love for all. We have a proud partnership with the LGBTQI community of the heartland, and participate in various events promoting an inclusive world. We also advocate for the rights and well-being of those in the LGBTQI community, and are present in the fight for equality and representation.
Immigration Ministry Team – At FUMC Omaha, we believe Compassion is for all, and that includes our immigrant and refugee brothers and sisters. We advocate, support, and provide education for immigrant and refugee families working in partnership with Lutheran Family Services. This team organized our congregation to help welcome and support two refugee families through Lutheran Family Services in 2016. Members continue to offer relationships, support, and advocate for the families.
Nonviolence and Giving Witness – This group is focused on the philosophy and tactics of nonviolent direct action and explores applications for today’s world. From Gandhi’s salt march to Rosa’s seat on the bus, nonviolent direct action can be an effective agent of change. Please contact the church front office for meeting dates and times.
Omaha Together One Community (OTOC) – OTOC is a broad-based, multi-ethnic and interfaith coalition of faith communities and other community institutions whose members work together to shape a community that works for all. FUMC-Omaha members who participate in OTOC do advocacy work year-round on issues such as education and youth enrichment, housing and neighborhood revitalization, just immigration policy, refugee action, and workforce development and job training. The work of OTOC is grounded in the practices of one-on-one relational meetings and house meetings.
Racial Justice – Our congregation has a historic foundation supporting, advocating, and raising awareness for racial justice. This ministry team provides workshops, book/movie discussions, forums, and more centered in both self-reflection and community support for racial justice.
Shalom in Action – Using the United Methodist Social Principles as a guide, this group plans ongoing opportunities for members to write letters on Sunday mornings to decision makers on social justice issues. Meetings as needed, but no more than 8 times per year. Please contact the church front office for meeting dates and times.
Poverty Education and Advocacy Team (PEAT) – This ministry team partners with the ministry team of Clair Memorial United Methodist Church. Our mission statement is: “to impact lives and inspire life through education and advocacy for economic justice for all.” An annual forum seeks to help attendees from our Churches and the community to grow in their sensitivity to and understanding of the systemic aspects of economic justice with the intention that they should in turn educate themselves and advocate and partner with others for the betterment of life for the people of Omaha. Monthly meetings are held at Clair Memorial UMC on the third Tuesday of the month at 5:00 pm.
Living Hope Food Pantry – We have a donation box in our Gathering Place in which anyone can drop off pantry donations for Living Hope Food Pantry. They are always in need of items!
Siena/Francis House – This homeless shelter serves the Omaha community and we support their work through preparing and serving a meal on the third Wednesday monthly. Some of the FUMC groups work with the Omega group in meal preparation.
Mission At Our Doorstep – FUMC Omaha volunteers gather once a quarter at the Foodbank for the Heartland, located at 10525 J Street, to assist with projects planned for us.
Tip Top Shop (Thrift Shop) – Found in Benson at 5910 N Maple Street, the Tip Top Thrift Shop supports the YES program. Our church members staff the store on the first and third Wednesday of the month. If you would like to volunteer, please call Tip Top at 402-551-1302.
Volunteers in Mission – Volunteers in Mission (VIM) is a program of the United Methodist Church that began in the late 1980s. It has rapidly grown to be one of the most popular outreach ministries of the church. The purpose is to provide help for people in crisis or to provide much-needed workers for UMC (United Methodist Church) institutions which then can serve people.
FUMC-Omaha has been actively involved with VIM for over 20 years. Members of FUMC have worked locally, regionally and internationally on different types of projects which include helping build churches, schools, UMC camps; disaster recovery; home repairs; missions, etc. One-day local mission projects are planned which may include the Big Garden, park cleanup, local disaster cleanup, painting, minor home repairs and/or work at local non-profits.