Category Archives: Mission and Outreach

Help Those Impacted by Hurricane Ida

Hurricane Ida’s impacts will be felt for a long time along the Gulf Coast. With torrential rains and wind speeds that topped 150 mph, damage ranges from destroyed homes to flooded streets and a crippled power grid.

The storm made landfall Aug. 29, and its slow progression—often only at 8 to 10 mph—meant its high winds and heavy rains stayed over areas for long periods of time while advancing north and east into the continental United States.

The United Methodist Committee on Relief (UMCOR) is deploying to Louisiana, and Great Plains Conference Early Response Teams are expected to deploy once public safety officials give approval — likely in a week or two. Great Plains personnel are encouraged not to self-deploy but rather to wait until the official call is made to avoid hampering efforts of emergency responders who are still trying to rescue people from flooded areas.

You can make a financial donation today or in the weeks that follow. By check, special offering envelope, or online at https://abilenefirstumc.org/giving/.

Little Free Pantry Collection

Tomorrow, September 5, 2021, we’ll be taking up a collection for the Little Free Pantry. You can contribute money or food items. If you choose to bring food, we especially need Energy/Snack/Granola bars, peanut butter and jelly, pancake mix (the kind that only needs water is best), macaroni, canned meat/fish, individual cereal packets, pasta, spaghetti sauce, fruit snacks, snack bars, canned fruit, and self-contained microwaveable meals, personal hygiene products, and water.

Signs Are In

Our “Love Kindness” yard signs are here. Send an email to office@abilenefirstumc.org or call 785-263-2623 if you would like one delivered by the youth group, or you can stop by the church during office hours and pick one up. (The signs are free either way.)

Mission and Outreach Meeting Notes

The Mission and Justice Team met last Tuesday night and heard reports about the Shepherd’s Run, the Hat and Mitten Tree and the Little Free Pantry. It was noted that a lot of kids have been using the Little Free Pantry and that has created demand for kid-friendly items such as snack bars. Pastor Collins shared that we have a donor offering to purchase “Love Kindness” yard signs for an outreach project. The design is below.

Little Free Pantry COVID-19 Update

This post is a Little Free Pantry update. Yesterday the little free pantry received so much use that it was restocked four times. In an indication that it isn’t being misused, a different person came to collect items from the pantry each time. I’m sharing this to thank those of you who have contributed for your ministry and to encourage those of you who haven’t participated to do so. God made us to look out for one another, to care for one another, to serve one another. We are our siblings keepers.*

You can bring donations to the church office, drop them by the Divel’s house (the two story pink house on Cedar street across from the church—you can’t miss it) or simply keep them in the car and restock the little free pantry when you drive by. If you do the latter, please send me an email or text so we can keep track of how many times it is refilled.


*I know that in Genesis, Cain said, “I do not know; am I my brother’s keeper?” (NRSV) But Cain had just murdered his brother out of jealousy. Cain’s question is a cautionary tale, not an example to follow. The entire life of Jesus Christ affirms that we are indeed our siblings keepers.

Hat and Mitten Tree

This year the Mission and Outreach Team is again sponsoring a “Hat and Mitten Tree” in the narthex (lobby). We’re collecting hats, mittens, gloves, scarves, underwear, and socks in all sizes from pre-k to high school. (Underwear and socks go under the tree!) We’ll turn these items over to employees of the Abilene school system around the first of the year.

UMCOR Already at Work

The United Methodist Committee (UMCOR) on Relief is already at work in the wake of Hurricane Dorian. We’ll be taking up an offering on September 15, 2019 (we’re going to try something new and we want to give folks advanced warning about it). If you prefer to give online you can go to the giving page on our church page on tithe.ly and select UMCOR. We’ll split anything we receive 50/50 between domestic and international hurricane assistance (UMCOR does both).

Link: https://bit.ly/2lGI2He

Little Free Pantry Sunday Tomorrow

This coming Sunday (July 7, 2019) is the first Sunday of the month, the Sunday we collect items for the little free pantry. Here are a few essential items if you want to help out:

  • canned fruit
  • canned vegetables
  • canned soup
  • canned meat
  • cereal
  • breakfast and granola bars
  • macaroni and cheese
  • ramen
  • spaghetti (and spaghetti sauce)
  • peanut butter and jelly
  • crackers (especially saltine crackers—they’re good for putting peanut
  • butter and jelly on)
  • add water only pancake mix and syrup
  • fruit snacks
  • canned milk

A few final encouragements: 1. peanut butter, jelly, and crackers go really fast; 2. Ask yourself if you would eat what you are bringing; and 3. remember that the Little Free Pantry is, well, little.

May is Food Pantry Month

May is the month First UMC traditionally provides food and funds for the operation of the Community Food Pantry which helps supply food and utility funds for those less fortunate. The following is a list of the immediate needs of the food pantry:

Baking Supplies: cake and muffin mixes, frosting, oil, flour, and sugar
Canned Foods: fruit, vegetables, soup, condiments, and meat substitutes
Cereal: hot cereal, cold cereal, cereal and breakfast bars
Cleaning Supplies: laundry soap, dish soap, and hand soap
Paper Goods: toilet tissue, paper towels, napkins, and facial tissue
Pasta: macaroni, noodles, and spaghetti
Personal Hygiene: shampoo, conditioner, deodorant, toothpaste, toothbrushes, women’s feminine products, disposable diapers, men’s shaving supplies, hand and body lotions, and creams
Meats: any kind of canned meat and fish, especially tuna
Miscellaneous: peanut butter, jelly, coffee, tea, ramen noodles, rice, dry beans, crackers, juice, syrup, instant potatoes, hamburger helpers, spices, salt and pepper, jello, and pudding mixes

Grocery bags (complete with a list of needs attached) will be available on Sunday mornings beginning tomorrow (May 5, 2019) and then throughout rest of the month to take home with you and fill, and then return the following Sunday or to the church office during the week. This year everything we receive will be going to the Community Food Pantry (not the Little Free Pantry on site), so feel free to bring larger items.

Help Us Restock the Little Free Pantry

This coming Sunday (April 7, 2019) is the first Sunday of the month, the Sunday we collect items for the little free pantry. Here are a few essential items if you want to help out:

  • canned fruit
  • canned vegetables
  • canned soup
  • canned meat
  • cereal
  • breakfast and granola bars
  • macaroni and cheese
  • ramen
  • spaghetti (and spaghetti sauce)
  • peanut butter and jelly
  • crackers (especially saltine crackers—they’re good for putting peanut butter and jelly on)
  • add water only pancake mix and syrup
  • fruit snacks
  • canned milk

A few final encouragements: 1. peanut butter, jelly, and crackers go really fast; 2. Ask yourself if you would eat what you are bringing; and 3. remember that the Little Free Pantry is, well, little.