If you visit a United Methodist congregation, you’ll likely see or hear, “The mission of the Church is to make disciples of Jesus Christ for the transformation of the world.” It’s an audacious statement to direct the aim towards transforming the world.
For Methodists, this bold missional belief is founded in a sense of God’s continual work in the world. United Methodist forebear John Wesley was known to link personal devotion to God and public service to neighbors. Their love for God is revealed in the way they love the ones whom God loves.
So, how are United Methodists in Hamilton County loving those whom God loves?
Noblesville First UMC is feeding the hungry. Teter Retreat and Organic Farm, a 120–acre retreat center and organic farm that is an outreach ministry of the church that aims to feed spirit, mind, and body. In 2021, over 20,000 servings of fresh produce were grown and distributed to feed the hungry in Hamilton County.
Emmanuel UMC is feeding the hungry and providing for children in need. The church sewed 100 bags and packed them with supplies for school kits for Midwest Missions. They also hosted a rice meal packing event where congregants of all ages worked in an assembly line to make 1,200 rice packs, or the equivalent of 7,200 meals. They were shipped to Guatemala and countries struggling with food insecurity.
Fishers UMC is serving individuals and families through their food pantry which has operated since 2017. It is a community-wide effort that feeds thousands of individuals and families in Hamilton County. Over 2 million pounds of food and personal care items have been distributed in the past 5 years, showing love and care to those in need.
Bethlehem UMC is loving those in crisis by making meals for families at Ronald McDonald House in Riley Hospital for Children. They are a modest congregation making an oversized impact in their work with local missions and organizations, supporting multiple local food pantries and several Girl Scout troops.
Pleasant Grove UMC is serving local law enforcement. The Carmel Police Department exercises their K-9 officers on their church property. The congregation also raises money for local and global missions through their highly–anticipated annual Fish Fry.
Westfield UMC is partnering with local organizations such as Alcoholics Anonymous, the Wellbeing Coalition of Westfield, the Lion’s Club, and much more to make an impact on the people in their city.
Several Hamilton County United Methodist churches are loving children by offering high-quality preschool programs at an affordable cost for average working families. Christ UMC’s preschool has been operating for over 50 years in Westfield offering child-centered developmental curriculum for ages 3-5.
Noblesville First UMC’s preschool offers flexible schedules for ages 14 months-6 years old. The church also offers Respite Nights for families of children with disabilities several times a year.
Emmanuel Christian School at Emmanuel UMC is a preschool and kindergarten, where students are highlighted each month in a Sunday service with an art display and special children’s time.
United Methodists are making a missional impact as they serve their local and global communities, and as they bring people together for discipleship, worship, and relationship. As they love those whom God loves, God is using them to transform the people in Hamilton County and around the world.