First United Methodist Church St Pete
Thursday, December 05, 2013
United Methodist Women Purpose:
The organized unit of the United Methodist Women shall be a community of women whose purpose is to know God and to experience freedom as whole persons through Jesus Christ: to develop a creative, supportive fellowship; and to expand concepts of mission through participation in the global ministries of the Church.
United Methodist Women (UMW) is one of the largest and oldest women’s organizations in the world. Founded in 1869 by a group of women determined to send missionaries to India, it has grown to 800,000 concerned Christian women who work together to support ministries to women, children and youth in thousands of communities in the United States and more than 80 countries around the world.
From the days when the founders raised funds to send a nurse and a teacher to India to the present, UMW has been a vital part of the mission work of the United Methodist Church, providing nearly one-third of the financial support for community centers and missionaries. For those with a heart for mission, UMW is an effective way to channel your energy. Each unit has a separate charter within the larger church, including a pledge to mission similar to the apportionment of every United Methodist Church.
Our activities are guided by our purpose:
A community of women whose purpose is to know God and experience freedom as whole persons through Jesus Christ… Spiritual growth is an important element of our organization. We attend District and Conference Spiritual Life Retreats, and grow in our spiritual walk through small groups called “Circles.” We use the Prayer Calendar to support those missions and missionaries and employees of the Board of Global Ministries.
To develop a creative, supportive fellowship; In the circles, women develop creative, supportive relationships that nurture, encourage and support. Circles come in a variety of shapes and forms, so that the interests and preferences of any woman can be accommodated. Check out the list of circles below!
To expand concepts of mission through participation in the global ministries of the church. The FUMC unit of UMW has a pledge to mission of nearly $7,000. We support the ministry of Connie DiLeo, our missionary in the Dominican Republic. We are active with our community ministry, United Methodist Cooperative Ministries, which supports a pre-school for immigrant children, Ditty Bags for the homeless and farm workers, a program for providing nutritious snacks through the Pack-A-Sack 4 Kids program, English as a second language classes, tutoring, etc. These are a few examples of the ways United Methodist Women identify issues such as hunger, abuse, and homelessness. We become knowledgeable about these issues and then we respond to help provide solutions.
How can I get involved?
The best way is to identify a small group, roll up your sleeves and dive in! The small groups are listed below, with contact information included. You will be surprised by the variety of ways women can serve the Lord.
PROJECTS AND FOCUS FOR 2011
We plan to grow our membership by identifying women with a heart for mission who would like to participate in the purpose listed above. United Methodist Women play a key role in supporting missionaries and deaconesses in the mission field. We plan to aggressively pursue efforts to include all women in our projects and programs.
Following are major projects of UMW:
• PACK-A-SACK 4 KIDS: First Church is one of 9 churches in the St. Pete/Clearwater area that is participating in this program to provide weekend snacks for grade school children. We have been assigned Woodlawn Elementary, and United Methodist Women is spearheading this project within the church. Forty children receive 10-12 snack items to take home over the weekend. These are children whose families are unable to provide adequate food for them. You can help by bringing snack items to the church and depositing them in the Pack-A-Sack box near the Fellowship Hall. Lists of food items can be found at the box location. Contributions are also welcomed. It costs approximately $5 per child. How about adopting one child a week for a month or more? Checks can be made out to United Methodist Women, with “Pack-A-Sack” on the “For____” space on the check. You can use a pew envelope as well, with “UMW – Pack-A-Sack” on the envelope. It will take the help of the congregation to keep this program afloat. This program is directed by the United Methodist Cooperative Ministries, a local mission center for the Methodist Church. Contact Peggy Canada for more information: 823-2094.
• DITTY BAG PROJECT: Each year local Methodist Churches provide “Ditty Bags” with toiletry items for farm workers (especially the children) and homeless. Last year UMW assembled 320 of these ditty bags, which were gathered in October by the United Methodist Cooperative Ministries. You can help by saving hotel shampoos, conditioners and lotions, men's tube socks, 4-ounce toothpastes and toothbrushes, washcloths, and new or used copies of The Upper Room or other devotional materials. Contact Nancy Fallis for more information: 341-0130 (P.S. If you like to sew, we need help making cloth ditty bags.)
• RUMMAGE SALE: The first week in August finds the women and friends of UMW sifting and sorting through piles of clothes, kitchen items, books, home furnishings, holiday décor, etc., etc., and some things difficult to identify! A special early-shopping event will be held Thursday from 4:30 to 6 pm for those participating in Celebrate Recovery and for church members. The sale will be held in the Bishop Building on the southwest corner of our property. Contact Elaine Martin (867-7211) to make other arrangements.