OUTREACH AND MISSIONS
Reaching out to the needy and inviting the least and the lost to gather around God's table to be cared for is a tremendous task. Building mission includes a lot of stuff: food, clothing, health, shelter, literacy are just a starting place. We at Main Street believe that we can make a different world by our love and following God's call to fulfill each other by simply finding each other and meeting each other's needs. The Bible reminds us that perfect love removes all fears. So our mission work is to do more than just feed and clothe people, watch after their health, their homes, and their well-being for which each one of these is significantly essential, but we have decided to partner with people of different cultures in a way that we can help each other in our task to follow in the footsteps of Jesus. Our mission statement is really only the starting line for our journey together, to make Christ known, loved, and served here and everywhere. Will you join us on our journey?
Serving Area Kids (SAK)
Serving Area Kids (SAK), a 501(c) 3 non-profit entity, is a summer lunch program designed to provide meals to kids who need our assistance during the summer months. We provide a snack lunch to children aged preschool through 10th grade every Monday-Friday (excluding holidays), 11:30 am-12:30 pm, from the last day of school in May/June to the first day of school in August. We have 5 distribution sites throughout Alton: Main Street UMC, Olin Park, Killion Park, Hellrung Park, and Bethesda Temple. Children must be present to receive their lunch. No documentation required. Limit one lunch per child per day.
Volunteers are needed (11:15 am-1:00 pm) each day to assist us with the program. If you would like to volunteer, please click here and visit our online volunteer sign up page. Of course, financial assistance is always welcome! Checks can be made payable to SAK and mailed to the church (1400 Main Street, Alton, IL 62002). Or, you make a donation online by clicking here.
Crisis Food Center
The Crisis Food Center is the main food pantry in Alton. We support them on an ongoing basis. Our members are encouraged to bring non-perishables to church with them every week. Then we deliver our non-perishables to the Crisis Food Center at least once a week.
Dr. Long United Methodist Church, Sofia Bulgaria
Since 2008 Main Street UMC entered into a Partnership with the Dr. Long UMC in Sofia, Bulgaria. The Partnership is overseen by the In Missions Together program of the General Board of Global Missions. The guiding principle of all In Mission Together (IMT) Partners is 50/50 sharing. We each share with the other our talents, lives, and love of God. When we travel to Bulgaria, as much time as possible is spent with the people of the Church and activities with them. We have also helped with food distribution to needy persons and relief to displaced Syrian refugees. We have been privileged to host members from Bulgaria who traveled to the US for work, pleasure, and church business. Our focus in this mission is to help them help themselves by sometimes supplying funds for projects for which they have the people and knowledge to complete by themselves. We send a group of core people every two years and have had a person attend their annual conference since 2009.
Clean Water for Liberia
A few years ago, a college student burst into his pastor's office to say he wanted to bring clean water to Africa. Within days, the two had hatched a plan to donate money to the cause. Within weeks, the whole church had joined in. In the coming months, they decided that sending money was not the stopping place. A team was formed to go to Africa to help with clean water efforts.
The Clean Water Project, the MSUMC sector of this movement, was formed in conjunction with the Illinois Great Rivers Conference (IGRC) of the United Methodist Church Water for Life Mission Team. Several young adults will be traveling to Liberia in December 2016 to dedicate wells, lead trainings on water safety and hygiene, and much more. In the meantime (and well after their return), the group works to educate others about the water crisis in Africa as well as raise money for clean water efforts.
Primera Iglesia United Metodist Church, El Paraiso, Honduras
Our relationship with Honduras began as a result of a little girl named Quevend that we encountered through Compassion International in 2002/03. Over the next 13 years and 6 trips to Honduras later, over 50 members of Main Street UMC (and friends) have encountered the deep faith, authentic worship, and love of the Honduran people...and lives have been changed forever.
The United Methodist Church initially found itself in Honduras responding to the devastation that resulted from Hurricane Mitch in 1998 - a hurricane that came on shore over the country (as a hurricane) and remained for a week. The devastation and loss of human life was simply unimaginable. After the primary relief efforts, the Board of Global Ministries established a Mission Initiative in Honduras that today is represented by 19 church plants throughout the country. Our Main Street Missionaries have served 4 of those churches (Tegucigalpa Central, Fuerzas Unidas,Danli Central, and our In Mission Together Partnership Church - El Paraiso.
Main Street's work with these churches has included church construction, stove construction, education building construction, vacation bible school, women's ministry, and most recently, fluoride treatments for the children of the church and surrounding community...all the while building relationships that will last a lifetime. By the way, Quevend turned 18 in January of 2015 and has since graduated from the Compassion Program, but for our team, visiting 6 times and watching this little girl become a beautiful young woman was a priceless treasure. We hope to meet our new child, Jorge during our trip in June of 2017...and the adventure will continue.
If you are interested in being a part of Team Honduras (we take Mission trips every other year), please contact Greg Gelzinnis, 618-550-9291, or any current member of the team. We encourage everyone to consider a mission trip of some kind during their life.
Shoe Man Water Projects
As a means of supporting our Social Principles, Main Street UMC is collecting new or gently used shoes for the Shoeman Water Projects in Bridgeton, MO. Did you know it takes 40 years for a pair of shoes to decompose in a landfill? Instead of dropping those used shoes in the garbage, tie them together or put a rubber band around them and drop them in the Shoeman collection box in the church lobby. The shoes will be used to raise money to provide safe water in countries such as Haiti, Panama, Belize, the Dominican Republic, and Sierra Leone. The Living Water of Jesus Christ is also shared as they work in each community to provide clean safe water, sanitation, and hygiene training. It is only through the shoe collection efforts such as at Main Street that the Shoeman Water Projects is able to continue this life saving work. Click here to learn more
Wesley House Resale Shop: Hearts-n-Mission
Hearts-N-Mission is an upscale resale shop with the purpose of raising funds to support the mission of Alton Main Street United Methodist Church, to make Christ known, loved and served, here and everywhere. The shop specializes in quality home furnishings, decor, gifts and select women's accessories. A time and place for drop off, or pick up, of donations can be arranged. If interested in volunteering or donating please contact Becky Pate at (618)-462-2495. The shop is open the FIRST SATURDAY of every month. Make sure to visit on the next FIRST SATURDAY!