The World Is Our Parish
All-Church Faith Formation Video: Grace UMC in Mission!
John Wesley believed that, as Christians, we must reach out to the world with not only the Good News of Jesus Christ, but with our service to others in His name. With that tradition in mind, Grace Church supports over 50 local, national and world-wide missions each year with monetary contributions and/or hands-on help.
Helping the Hungry
Households with limited resources often must choose between paying their rent and feeding their families. Food assistance can prevent the tragedy of homelessness for people who find themselves in the position of having to make such a difficult choice. Grace United Methodist Church supports the following food pantries with donations made on the first Sunday of every month (except for January's collection).
2023 First Sunday of the Month Food Pantry Collection Dates and Recipients:
January 1: Common Pantry
February 5: Loaves & Fishes
March 5: Aurora Interfaith Food Pantry
April 2: Marie Wilkinson Food Pantry
May 7: Common Pantry
June 4: Loaves & Fishes
July 2: Aurora Interfaith Food Pantry
August 6: Marie Wilkinson Food Pantry
September 3: Common Pantry
October 1: Loaves & Fishes
November 5: Aurora Interfaith Food Pantry
December 3: Marie Wilkinson Food Pantry
Monetary food pantry donations are also appreciated; please place donations in the offering plate or the ceramic "Love Loaf," with checks payable to GUMC and "Love Loaf" noted on the memo line. In addition to our monthly food collections, Grace has participated in the Feed My Starving Children MobilePack for the past four years, with increasing commitment to the cause each year. Other hunger efforts we regularly support include, to name just a very few, Heifer International, "Souper Bowl" of Caring, and Hesed House.
Grace partners with Habitat for Humanity Fox Valley and 20+ churches in the area providing affordable housing in the Aurora community. Grace youth and adults serve as the "foundation laying" team, providing the initial construction of the home and then continue to support the project in various stages until the home is dedicated (typically in the late fall) and the keys are given to the homeowner. Grace provides construction support, monetary support, and a strong prayer commitment to these families receiving a hand up. In the summer, younger teens (6th-8th grade) and adults spend three days serving various organizations around the Chicagoland area in our "Hope@Home" Youth Summer Missions program.
Grace UMC has been a strong supporter of Hesed House since its inception in the 1980’s. Located a mile south of downtown Aurora, the mission of Hesed House is to feed the hungry, clothe the naked, shelter the homeless, and give people the chance to hope again. It has become a national model for ending homelessness: one person, one family at a time. It is the second largest homeless shelter in Illinois outside of Chicago. Find more information at www.hesedhouse.org. Each second Tuesday of the month, Grace UMC provides about 140 hot meals and 100 sack lunches. Grace church Volunteers work both at the church kitchen and at Hesed House. In addition to volunteer work, donations of food items, toiletries, and cash are generously provided by Grace UMC families. If you have any questions, wish to contribute, or volunteer, please email Larry Hartman at LEHartman@sbcglobal.net
National and International Support
Grace goes beyond the Chicagoland area to provide hope to people and organizations throughout the country and across the world. Some of the National and International Missions Grace supports are:
Teens (9th-12th grade), college students and adults of the community are invited to travel with us to another state for a week each summer to work with communities in need through our "Side-by-Side" Youth Summer Missions program.
The Russian Initiative is an ongoing relationship with two Russian United Methodist in Volgograd, Russia since 2008. We regularly Skype with our two UM pastors: Vladmir Ilyukhin of Hope Church and Valeri Patkevitch of Transfiguration Church. Visit (www.peopleofgrace.org/russian-initiative) to learn more about the history of grace Church in Russia, past and future trips to Russia and the difficult situation of spreading the gospel in Russia.
Adults are welcome to join us in Maua and Meru, Kenya, where members of Grace and the community team up to assist in building an AIDS orphan home, improving local hospital conditions, helping African school children, and other projects.
Our United Methodist Women, who sponsor several major fundraisers throughout the year, donate 100% of their proceeds to local, national and international missions.