What Is the Purpose of the Missions Program?
The Church of the Dunes has a recognized history as a “missions church,” with a long record of providing financial and personal resources to a myriad of missions programs and projects at home and around the world.
The Missions and Social Concerns Commission has the responsibility for educating our congregation on identified needs that are part of the connectional missions of the United Methodist Church.
Commission members strive to continually educate themselves about emerging opportunities in our community, across our nation and around the world.
The principal goal is to create an outreach program that best utilizes the resources at hand and provides the information needed to make informed recommendations to our congregation.
INTERNATIONAL UNITED METHODIST MISSIONARY SUPPORT
Click here to read their newsletters:
Click here to read their newsletter:
Dornon Nepal Mission Newsletter November 2016
Click here to visit their blog, Dornon Nepal Mission:
Click any of the missionary names above to read more about their important work.
LOCAL AND NATIONAL SUPPORT
Support for programs and projects that provide direct services to local residents, particularly those associated with food, clothing and shelter, include.
Current support is provided to Missions For Area People (MAP) in support of their diverse programs such as a food pantry, clothing pantry, medical fund, rental assistance and back to school backpacks. MAP serves more than three hundred families per month. In addition, funding and volunteer services are made available to Supper House, where volunteers from twenty-six churches come together each weekday evening to offer hot dinners to needy people, along with extraordinary hospitality and dignity. Each year, more than twenty thousand individuals and families receive hot meals.
Love INC: (Love In The Name of Christ) is an organization that exists to serve area churches in meeting basic needs of families in the community. Persons receiving services from Love INC have their respective situations assessed so that they can be referred to appropriate agencies for help. Love Inc is not a “hand-out;” the primary objective is always to assist people to move towards self-sufficiency. Love Inc. has completed a transitional housing project for women and children and is working on housing for men. Both will provide longer term housing for individuals and families.
Family Promise: Was organized to assist homeless families in finding permanent housing and establishing self sufficiency. More than a dozen churches, augmented by another dozen support churches, provide weekly shelter and food for individuals and families in the program; most host churches serve as hosts about four to six times per year. Hosting takes a major commitment from churches since they provide facilities,beds, meals, overnight supervision, and laundry services each time they house Family Promise clients. Volunteers are the heart of the network and make it work; without strong support, the program could not exist. It is the only program in the area that provides space for families to stay together. Augmented by services available at the Day Center, clients are able to stabilize their lives so that they can take the necessary steps to find both permanent housing – and if needed – steady employment.
Other Programs: Other programs supported by the church include providing food for the Salvation Army on a regular basis, giving local financial support to Habitat as they continue to build homes in the area, and Tri-Cities Ministries that offer counseling services to people suffering from depression, martial issues, abuse, grief and addictions – always striving to provide hope to those who need someone to listen and care.
Hunger Offering: Once each month, the church collects funds during worship service as a hunger offering. Funds are divided among four agencies: Supper House, Love Inc, Salvation Army and Haiti Hot Lunch Program. Once per quarter, “Brown Bag” Sundays are scheduled to collect food for local pantries, including: Love INC, The People Center, and Salvation Army. In addition, on the fourth Sunday of each month, a special “Mission Moment“ is included in the Sunday morning worship services where funds are collected for local, national and international programs.
Red Bird Mission: Located in Eastern Kentucky, Red Bird Mission and Clinic have been providing ministries in this region of the Appalachian Mountains since 1921. The need remains critical in this isolated, rural distressed area: chronic poverty, lack of jobs, poor housing, and rugged mountainous terrain provide obstacles to a fuller life for the residents. Red Bird Mission strives to meet these needs through ministry in five areas: education, health and wellness, community outreach, economic opportunity, and community housing improvement. You can read the latest newsletter update here. You can read about the water purification project here.
Working through the United Methodist Commission on Relief (UMCOR) established to rebuild shattered lives, strengthen self-sufficiency and encourage partnerships, Church of the Dunes supports a field missionary and a series of other programs that provide direct relief to people in need around the world.
Ubuntu Center: The Ubuntu Center at Africa University is now open. Click here to read more.
Crop Walk: Each year, Church of the Dunes members participate in the annual Crop Walk, to raise funds for world hunger. Our congregation is consistently one of the top five churches in terms of the number of walkers and the total amount of fund raising through pledges.
Panama Medical Project:
They have the highest illiteracy rate, poorest health, highest infant mortality, and lowest per capita income in the country.
Medical teams, one of which we support, travel to the region throughout the year and provide medical, dental and sanitation training and programs for the local populations.
The medical teams have established two important projects: building latrines for each home and training village health care promoters in first aid, sanitation principals, clean water, social issues, serious disease identification and how to access local government resources.
Church of the Dunes supports our local medical team with financial resources and medical supplies.
Click here to view the 2015 trip photo gallery.
Other projects: Other international projects include Blanket Sunday, a program of Church World Services that has, for more than sixty years, worked in partnership with local communities to identify their needs and find the resources they need to build the foundation for a more viable future, including blankets, wells, tools. Etc. Each year, a special offering is taken to raise funds for this important project.
Billy Teninty, a former Church of the Dunes member, is working through Duke University to provide technical training in medical equipment repair to students throughout the world. One of the crucial problems for third world country hospitals is equipment that no longer works; repairing that equipment is a vital need. Billy’s projects are intended to resolve that problem; he is provided with financial resources, and such other support as he deems necessary, to continue up-to-date training in a number of international locations.
Holiday Offerings: Each year at Christmas and Easter, special offerings are taken to secure additional funds to support known on-going work or to fund other programs and projects that have been identified during the year as being worthy of attention and support. On average, about seventy-five percent of the offerings are used to augment existing programs; the balance is used to help support new opportunities.
Volunteers In Missions/Joni Starkey Memorial Fund: Volunteers in Missions is a program sponsored by the Methodist Church which matches individuals interested in serving on short term missions teams and projects requested by host churches, foreign and domestic. The focus of each team varies with the location and requesting agency. The typical VIM term is usually for one to two weeks.
An effective missions program should include opportunities for direct hands-on experiences in the field, such as the VIM opportunities, noted above. Each year, funds are set aside for scholarships for first time participants in VIM trips, as well as other missions outreach, to partially off-set trip costs. Past trips have included project work in Haiti plus a 2012 trip to Red Bird Mission in Kentucky.
How Do I Get Involved in the Church’s Mission Work?
Contact the church Administrative Office and get connected: 616/842-7980.
Please click here for a downloadable copy of our most recent Missions brochure: MISSION BROCHURE, 2012
Congolese missionaries to Cameroon who visited here at the Church of the Dunes last year