Mercy & Justice
There are many areas of Mercy and Justice Ministries with which members and friends of FUMC-Omaha are involved. Updates can found here and also in the Sunday Announcing newsletter.
Big Garden--The Big Garden is our community garden where we work to grow seeds of justice and build new relationships while we water and weed. The Big Garden team works to learn more about food security and more about locally producing food. There are opportunities for us to connect with folks that live around us and through Earth Day.
Food Drives and Crop Walk--We work to support Together, Inc., Pearl Pantry, and the Crop Walk through food drives at FUMC and in our community. FUMC members are able to help by bringing needed items, learning more about food security and by helping to transport items to our community partners. The Crop Walk is an ecumenical global effort to provide financial resources to global agencies and local food pantries.
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.
Habitat for Humanity -- FUMC-Omaha joins with a coalition of churches to build a house in Omaha, working one or more mornings or afternoons in the late summer or early fall. Habitat for Humanity is a nonprofit, nondenominational Christian ministry that welcomes all people, regardless of race, religion, ethnicity, or any other difference, to build and repair simple, decent, affordable houses with those who lack adequate shelter.
OTOC (Omaha Together One Community) -- OTOC is a broad-based, multiethnic 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.
Volunteers in Mission--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. Recently, the adult VIM group paired with the youth VIM group to work in Joplin, Missouri for tornado relief. Mount Sequoyah Retreat Center has been a popular location for VIM trips. 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. We plan to end the one-day events with a gathering at the church where participants can share their experiences of the day.
Inclusiveness Team--Organizes FUMC participation and support in community events including Pride Parade and National Coming Out Day. Pride Parade is a summer event that allows us to get out into the community and remind the world that all people are sacred children of God. This teams needs help in preparation, a watch team, an event team and a marching team on the day of Pride. There are other opportunities with publicity and support for National Coming Out Day in October. The Inclusiveness Team also helps in challenging the larger United Methodist Church to be more just and faithful.
Poverty Effort--This team will facilitate conversations around the book, "What Every Church Person Should Know About Poverty". All classes and ministry teams are invited to try the book and the Poverty Effort Team will be a support resource in this effort with a year-end gathering to review our learning. The Poverty Effort Team will also work to develop tools for ministry teams to understand the systemic injustice that creates needs such as home and food insecurity. The Poverty Effort Team will be working to develop a Community Kitchen that will build community through affordable meals that prevent our reach for fast food.
Shalom in Action--This is a ministry of letter-writing to advocate for just public policies that are consistent with the Social Principles of The United Methodist Church. Members of FUMC-Omaha who participate in Shalom in Action help to organize letter-writing by the congregation to elected officials about four times a year concerning a variety of policy issues from civil rights to food security to foreign policy.
NUMB Ride and Bike Church--The Nebraska United Methodist Bike ride for hunger is an annual event inviting folks from across the state to raise money and have fun getting to know each other on the ride. Bike Church is a monthly bike ride where folks get to know each other and ride across the city on the second Saturday monthly July through October.
Urban Abbey--This is our non-profit coffee house and FUMC-Omaha is invited to join us for coffee with a cause. This ministry not only includes helping to invite friends there for a cup of coffee or tea that supports our Community Partner, but it could also be a part of volunteering time and support to the coffee bar.