Mission is Central in our church. We support missionaries, local schools and nonprofits, campus ministries, and projects around the world. This is a sample of recent efforts.
Central provides financial support to two missionaries at present. Mbwizu Ndjungu, native of Cameroon, works in the United Methodist Church of Belize, a Central American country on the Gulf of Mexico. Her work focuses on empowerment of women and youth.
Erika Fitzgerald, from Houghton Lake, MI and former 5th grade teacher in the Lansing area, is now teaching at a faith-based elementary school in Morelia, Mexico. Kids who don’t have access to public schools get the education they need to get out of poverty. And Erika loves them all.
Soaring Unlimited, Haiti
This ministry started a couple decades ago by a Lansing area woman (Dorothy Frederickson) when she retired, initially serving pregnant women and sometimes children orphaned by AIDS. Since then the ministry has expanded to education and other health services, partnering with the MSU College of Medicine to offer medical care at a newly built clinic. Linking our missions work to our celebration of Jesus’s birth, one of our Christmas projects is to furnish supplies for baby boxes, which are designed to provide a safe sleeping place for newborns. Find out about more about this or other projects of this wonderful ministry to people on the northern coast of Haiti, at http://www.soaringunlimited.org/
Helping people in crisis
Central actively responds to emergencies locally and around the world. Our denomination runs one of the most effective disaster relief agencies in the world, the United Methodist Committee on Relief (UMCOR), and we give generously to support UMCOR every year. Whether a cyclone in Bangladesh or a hurricane landing on U.S. soil, UMCOR is on the ground immediately.
Our Valentine project each year raises hundreds of dollars to help Church World Service provide a durable, warm blanket to refugees as well as victims of natural disasters. Hand-made valentines are a gift to donors, who then share the card so that its recipient knows a donation has been made in their name. For more information on this inter-faith project, visit https://church.cwsglobal.org/blankets/
On Noisy Sundays, church members bring the change they have gathered to help replenish the fund used by our pastor to assist local families with emergency expenses. (We take checks and bills, too!)
Young adults who arrive on a college campus for the freshman year are often overwhelmed, feeling alone after being part of a faith community at home. Wesley Foundations offer a safe space with spiritual support, particularly for young adults from the UMC. Michigan State University (http://www.msuwesley.org/) and Central Michigan University (https://cmich.miwesley.org/) are two of the campus ministries we have supported in recent years.
South Lansing Ministries (SLM) is one way the United Methodist Church in Lansing lives its faith with those who are hungry, hurting and in need due to poverty. Two members of our church are on SLM’s board of directors, and the congregation regularly collects food and items for the SLM personal needs closet. Recently, we started collecting non-perishables for the food pantry. The project is staffed by church volunteers each Friday morning from 7-9 in front of the church. People coming to work downtown can drop off food donations at that time. Find out more about SLM and its compassionate work at https://www.southlansingministries.org/
Another local project is with a Lansing School District elementary school. For several years, we stocked classrooms at Willow Elementary with much needed supplies, we donated hats, mittens and scarves for their kids are part of our Christmas offerings, and we supported the teachers with meals during parent/teach conferences. Vegetarian or meat chili? We brought them both!
How to support missional efforts
If you are interested in supporting any of these missional efforts, donations are welcome through the church. Just let us know what the donation is for. And if you want to volunteer, contact the church office at 517-485-9477. Just let them know you want to leave a message for the missions committee, give us your name and phone number. We’ll get back to you!