First UMC members serve in the Charlottesville community in a wide variety of ways, but we are always looking for new ways to demonstrate the hospitality, love, and grace of Jesus Christ. If you have any new ideas about how we can better serve our community please contact Pastor Phil Woodson, Associate Pastor for Outreach and Witness!

Check out our new board for Volunteer and Community Engagement Opportunities:

 

Hootboard

Information about our current Community Outreach and Witness Ministries

"One Thing" Focus Ministry - For the past year we've been collecting different items for different organizations and members of our community. So far we've collected camping supplies, coats & jackets, laundry detergent, peanut butter, children's shoes/clothing, and personal care items. Through partnering with other churches and already stable charity organizations our gifts have had a tremendous impact on how ministry is accomplished in Charlottesville. Please keep any eye on our weekly email,and the church bulletin for upcoming opportunities to participate in this vital ministry.Please contact Conor Sipe or Bill Clarke, the heads of our Outreach and Witness ministry teams with any questions or suggestions for future collections

Our Front Yard - Lee Park, while operated by the City of Charlottesville, is essentially our church's front yard. We are always looking for new ways to partner with already planned community events and engage with our neighbors - but especially so when they utilize this space. We are active volunteers with many of the Charlottesville races and marathons as well as the Tom Tom Festival which both use the park multiple times throughout the year.  Check out the video below to see how First UMC members were engaged with our community during the 2016 Charlottesville Pride Festival! please contact Pastor Phil Woodson, our Associate Pastor for Outreach and Witness if your organization or event would like any additional volunteers.

Bread & Blessing Soup Kitchen - This weekly outreach ministry provides a nourishing meal that is prepared, cooked and served with loving hands in the First UMC fellowship hall every Monday 10 AM - 2 PM. Hungry guests are looking for a place to fill their stomachs and get out of the weather. Volunteers of any age and any level of cooking experience are welcome. The group meets in the kitchen to prepare, cook, serve and cleanup after our last guest is served. If you are interested in helping with this compassionate outreach ministry, contact Christina Gibson-Rizzo.

First United Methodist Preschool (FUMP) - First United Methodist Preschool provides developmentally appropriate preschool and exposure to the Bible and teachings of Jesus. In addition, FUMP provides scholarships for up to seven students who qualify as low-income or at-risk. Above and beyond tuition, these scholarships provide emergency assistance and resources for the student's families.  This important ministry is funded by fundraising and generous support of First UMC. Volunteers are welcome to get involved with the preschool board scholarship committee or simply give a donation. If you are interested in participating or learning more, please contact the FUMP Director.

Good News Jail Ministry - A world-wide ministry, founded 50 years ago in the state of Virginia, our mission is to make Disciples for Jesus Christ by bringing the Word to our incarcerated brothers and sisters.  The  Albemarle-Charlottesville Regional Jail houses a chaplain who ministers to approximately 500 inmates with the help of volunteers who teach Bible classes, mentor inmates, and preach. Fundraisers cover the chaplain’s salary and costs of running and maintaining an office. Support also comes from churches and donors who have a heart for the ministry. If you are interested in participating or learning more, please contact Jeanne Payne.

Justice Ministry Team (IMPACT) - is 32 congregations of different faiths who worship one God. IMPACT uses a listening process to identify issues of injustice which are the origins of poverty, joblessness, low literacy, homelessness, poor health, mental illness, and hopelessness. Once issues are identified, research is conducted to find solutions and present them to those persons in our community who have the power and resources to effect change. Being a member of the IMPACT ministry involves prayer, discernment and action. Attendance at yearly rallies and assemblies establishes networks among congregations and those in need. If you are interested in participating or learning more, visit IMPACT's website or contact Conor Sipe. Past justice ministry issues have included:

  • Affordable Housing - 2007, 2008 & 2009
  • Dental Care - 2008
  • Interpretive Services/Language Access - 2010
  • Pre-K Education - 2009 & 2010
  • Mental Health - 2011, 2012
  • Homelessness - 2013, 2014
  • Youth Mental Health - 2014
  • Crime & Drugs - 2015
  • Elder Care - 2016/2017

Loaves & Fishes Food Pantry - Begun in 2004 as a ministry of First UMC, its mission is “To give food with kindness and compassion to those seeking assistance while providing an opportunity for volunteers to serve their neighbors in Charlottesville and surrounding communities.” Loaves & Fishes currently gives bagged groceries to low income individuals and families three times per week:  Tuesdays 7-9 pm; Thursdays 6-8 pm; and Saturdays 10 am-1 pm.  We currently give food to about 1,200 families per month (3,500 people); 40% of these are children. To volunteer to help with food distribution, please call them at (434) 996-7868.

PACEM - is a ministry of over 21 local congregations to the homeless in our community. Each night from October through March an evening meal and a warm place to sleep is provided to men and women in our community who would otherwise be hungry and sleeping outdoors. Currently shelters operate out of local churches for one to two week blocks of time. Volunteers are needed each year during First UMC’s sheltering time to welcome guests, cook and serve meals, visit with guests, and to be overnight hosts. The PACEM ministry affords the opportunity for participation for volunteers of all ages including children and seniors. If you are interested in participating or learning more, please contact Tommy Gibson.

Pack to School - provides bookbags and supplies to those in need at local schools, Jackson Via and Burnley Moran. Supplies are delivered in August prior to the start of the school year. This important ministry helps children start their year on a positive note and it shows Christian love and support . If you are interested in participating or making a donation please contact our church office.

Prayer Quilt Ministry reaches out to those in need of prayer by providing a small lap quilt tied with knots representing the prayers of our congregation. These quilts are made by many loving hands. You don't have to know how to sew to participate. There are many ways you can help! Ironing, cutting squares, matching fabric, shopping for fabric, sewing, and layering are just a few ways you can lend a hand! We meet on the last Sunday of the month in the Fellowship Hall at 12:30 pm unless it falls on a Holiday. Please join us for some wonderful fellowship!! If you are interested in participating or learning more, please contact Teri Guertler

Wesley Foundation at UVA (www.wesleyatuva.org) - a United Methodist campus ministry where students are nurtured and challenged. Wesley provides a physical space, study rooms, and the space to grow in faith during college through retreats, small group studies, Thursday night forum, Sunday evening worship, and service opportunities. If you are interested in participating or learning more please contact our church office!