MISSIONS & OUTREACH
Our missions programs develop deeply committed Christians by sending members of our congregation into our community, nation, and world to make disciples and serve others in ways that honor God, share Christ, transform lives, and promote justice. Here at Saint Paul’s, we take our name seriously. Saint Paul was the first missionary, and we work to be a church worthy of his name. When Saint Paul’s was formed in 1952, Bishop Branscomb challenged the congregation: “Never lose your missionary zeal; when you do, change your name!” We have a number of ways we do this. But first and foremost, we believe that all of us are called to the mission field. We ensure that our missions work as a church is not merely about providing funds, but also involves us being the hands and feet of Jesus. How can you get your hands into missions? Watch for announcements in the bulletin and newsletter and look for a missions event that fits your schedule and your abilities. Contact: Charlie Guyton (559-9423 or [email protected]) or Meg Guyton (443-4175 or [email protected])
Some of our on-going opportunities include:
ALZHEIMER’S PROJECT, INC. was founded by Saint Paul’s in 1991to provide comfort, support, and assistance to persons with memory disorders and their caregivers. The Alzheimer’s Project is committed to serving the Big Bend community of Florida through education and training, in-home respite, support groups, counseling, referral to community resources, and pro-active recovery of wanderers through the Project Lifesaver program. Volunteers provide respite once a week for usually 2-4 hours at a time, whether at our facility based respite or into a patient’s home. Volunteers provide companionship and help our clients get a break from their reality, enabling them to relax. AP is now an independent organization, but relies on Saint Paul’s for volunteers and in-kind support. Contact: Megan Bakan at Alzheimer’s Project (386-2778).
BIG BEND HOMELESS COALITION receives financial support and volunteer services from Saint Paul’s. The Coalition’s mission is to end homelessness in the Big Bend through leadership, education, advocacy, and the provision of quality services. They are dedicated to providing the vital services necessary to prevent and end people’s experience of homelessness: emergency shelter, permanent and permanent supportive housing and homeless prevention and rapid rehousing. They compassionately and effectively meet the needs of our community’s most vulnerable, including veterans, people with disabilities and long histories of homelessness, and families with minor children. In addition to annual financial support, several small groups at Saint Paul’s participate in the provision of food at the Hope Community Center.
CESC, Inc. (The Kearney Center) The Kearney Center is a 24-hour comprehensive emergency service center that serves as a point of entry into assistance by coordinating services and responding to immediate needs of individuals and families until appropriate permanent housing can be arranged. The Center provides space for state, federal and local governmental agencies, non-profit and faith based organizations to co-locate and provide wrap-around services. The Kearney Center provides overnight shelter and daytime services that connect clients with social service providers, case management, and housing-focused programs. The most basic needs such as a warm shower and clean clothes are provided as well as information and referrals to a variety of social services in our community. Saint Paul’s involvement with the Center is through financial support.
CREATION CARE The Earth belongs to God! Everything in all the world is His! (Psalms 24:1). Creation Care ministry members at Saint Paul’s are inspired to be good stewards of God’s beautiful creation and share ideas with our congregation and community on how to live sustainably. From growing organic vegetables (that we donate to Manna on Meridian) in the Mosaic Garden , to organizing community clean-ups of Lake Ella, to coordinating events such as the Ladybug Jubilee, EV Expo, and Blessing of the Animals, to making reusable t-shirt bags, we find joy in our calling to be caretakers of God’s creation, and we welcome people of all ages to join the fun. Visit our Facebook group at https://www.faceboook.com/groups/spumccreationcare/ to learn more. Contact: Cara Fleischer ([email protected] or 404-771-2608).
DISASTER RECOVERY Saint Paul’s has a long history of responding to regional natural disasters by sending teams of volunteers to assist in recovery efforts. We have sent teams to Mississippi and Louisiana in response to Hurricane Katrina, to Haiti in response to an earthquake, to Alabama in response to the Tuscaloosa tornado and to Pensacola and Lake City, Florida in response to flood events. In 2018 we sent three different teams in response to Hurricane Irma. In 2019 our focus will shift to the Florida panhandle and the response to Hurricane Michael. Seven members recently attended Early Response Team (ERT) training. Saturday trips for debris removal are continuing to be planned throughout the upcoming months. All levels of skill are welcome and encouraged to participate. Contact: Don Griesheimer at [email protected]t.net, (850) 567-0030 or Jim McConnaughhay at (850) 222-8121 or [email protected].
ECHO (Emergency Care Help Organization) Outreach Ministries puts faith into action by serving people in crisis and poverty in Leon County since April 1981. ECHO has grown into the largest Christian human services agency in Tallahassee, directly assisting thousands of people each year in our community. ECHO’s clients are served through 4 programs: Emergency Resources, Family Services, Housing Assistance, and The Furniture Bank of Tallahassee,. These programs are designed to assist people in their efforts to become independent, productive, and stable. Saint Paul’s provides quarterly financial support and several Sunday School classes sponsor a continuous drive for food items and supplemental seasonal food drives.
FLORIDA UNITED METHODIST CHILDREN’S HOME The Florida United Methodist Children’s Home is a diverse ministry that includes residential care, therapeutic group care, foster care, emergency shelter care, independent living assistance, and community child care center. There are two campuses; the main campus is in Enterprise Florida, and the North Campus is in Madison, Florida. Saint Paul’s provides direct financial support of the Florida United Methodist Children’s Home through Fifth Sunday offerings, and several Sunday School classes have provided supplemental gifts to support the construction of the North Florid campus.
As a KATE SULLIVAN ELEMENTARY SCHOOL Partner for Excellence, Saint Paul’s provides volunteer mentors to work with struggling students. Each trained mentor spends 30-60 minutes each week with a child, providing one-on-one academic assistance. Studies have shown over and over that mentoring improves grades, strengthens social skills, and even creates future community volunteers. And mentoring is just as rewarding for the volunteers as for the students! For more information about mentoring and other ways we support Kate Sullivan, contact Meg Guyton (443-4175 or [email protected])
MANNA ON MERIDIAN distributes food to our neighbors in need, no questions asked. “Manna” is a place where churches and community come together with the common goal of reflecting God’s love to each other and our community. Manna is a partnership ministry of the members of Faith Presbyterian, St. Stephen Lutheran, Saint Paul’s United Methodist, and the Unitarian Universalist churches. Each month these churches collect and distribute approximately 200 bags of groceries to people who suffer from hunger. Saint Paul’s wants to become known as Manna’s “cereal church” by focusing on the collection of cereal during 2018. Food distributions are held the third Saturday of each month, 8:00 until 10:00 a.m., from the building behind the church office parking lot at Faith Presbyterian Church. Bagging is done the prior Monday. Contact: Charles Hubbard ([email protected])
NEW LIFE CENTER, ZAMBIA and Delbert and Sandy Groves are recipients of financial support from Saint Paul’s. Reverend Delbert Groves is a United Methodist missionary with the General Board of Global Ministries based in Kitwe, Zambia. With his wife, Sandy, who is also a missionary, he serves at the New Life Center. The center, established in 2001 through Delbert and Sandy’s efforts, has grown into a resource for the young United Methodist Provisional Conference of Zambia. It has numerous outreach ministries, including New Life Press, health education, PET Zambia (handicap bikes for mobility), a learning and computer lab, English instruction, instruction in new church construction, and other training ministries. Additional information is available online at www.NewLifeZambia.com. The couple also hosts volunteer-in-mission work teams.
OPERATION LOVE YOUR NEIGHBOR is an annual event where members of Saint Paul’s devote their time and skills to reflect Christ’s love in our local community. In 2018 we spent a Saturday with different teams: cleaning the shores of Lake Ella; renovating a teacher’s lounge at Kate Sullivan Elementary School; baking and delivering cookies and treats to nursing stations at TMH; creating health bags for Refuge House, making shirt bags for Manna on Meridian, and bagging groceries for Manna on Meridian. 2019 will hold new opportunities. Contact: Peggy Benton 385-5146 or [email protected].
RESTORATIVE JUSTICE is a relatively new ministry area at Saint Paul’s. The work area addresses social justice issues. In 2018 it was actively involved in support of Amendment 4, which restored voting rights to convicted felons. It also sponsored Christmas support for families who had a member incarcerated. Contact: Michael Dobson.
Our SISTER CHURCHES provide opportunities for mission and ministry in different countries and cultures.
The Cuba/Florida Covenant established a formal relationship between the Florida Conference of The United Methodist Church and The Methodist Church of Cuba. Saint Paul’s has sent several teams to establish a deeper relationship with our sister church in Yaguaramas, Cuba, and that congregation has sent representatives to visit us as well. Funds from Saint Paul’s enabled our sister church to construct a new sanctuary building, the first Methodist church built in Cuba since the Communist takeover. In 2018 and 2019 we are providing financial assistance for the construction of a parsonage. Contact: Rev. David Gill ([email protected] or 352-223-2759)
Through the Haiti/Florida Covenant signed by the Florida Conference and The Methodist Church of Haiti, we are in a chartered sister church relationship with the Methodist church in Soisson, Haiti. Our history with the Soisson congregation goes back to the 1980s, when several of our members served on a District team that assisted with the construction of their church building. Contact was re-established in 2012 when a Saint Paul’s team performing earthquake recovery met with the Soisson church as a potential sister church and our prior common history was discovered. We support each other through prayers, gifts, and service. For the last several years we have sent teams to our sister church to help with vocational and computer education. In 2018 a team from Soisson visited at Saint Paul’s. In 2019 we will be sending a team to Soisson to assist in their re-establishment of a vacation bible school. Contact: Flo Dickinson ([email protected] or 212-2739) or Liane Giroux ([email protected] or 320-0882).
SLEEP IN HEAVENLY PEACE is a new mission ministry in which Saint Paul’s is involved. The Tallahassee chapter’s first build commenced in November 2018 and was formed with Saint Paul’s financial assistance. Sleep in Heavenly Peace builds for children who do not otherwise have a bed that are sleeping on the floor, on pallets or air mattresses to name a few. SHP Tallahassee has built over 220 bunks during its first year and Saint Paul’s UMC has sponsored two build days in 2019 one in April and November. Persons of any skill level can effectively participate under the guidance of station leaders who have been trained. The motto of this ministry says it all: “NO KID SLEEPS ON THE FLOOR IN OUR TOWN.” Contact: Charlie Guyton ([email protected] or (850) 385-0275) or John Cousins (850) 445-6045 or [email protected]).
Sleep in Heavenly Peace Tallahassee Chapter Teams Up with The Living Harvest for Bedding Drop off Bins. The Living Harvest Thrift Shops (all locations) are accepting new twin bedding (sheets, pillows; comforters) donations on behalf of the Sleep in Heavenly Peace (SHP) Tallahassee Chapter. At SHP our mission is to ensure that no kid sleeps on the floor in our town, and donations of bedding enable our financial donations to go further in building more bunk beds. The Living Harvest Thrift Shop Locations are conveniently located throughout Tallahassee at: 4500 West Shannon Lakes Drive; 1219 West Tharpe Street; and 308 Orange Avenue East.
SOUL FOOD is a mission to the homeless in our community. There is a monthly distribution of food and clothing the last Saturday of each month. Items are collected throughout the month in the church office or bins in Sanders Hall. Trucks are loaded with your donations and delivered across the lake to the homeless community. In addition, we serve a hot evening meal one each month. Contact: Belinda McClellan through the church office (385-5146)
SUNDAY SCHOOL CLASS mission projects are an integral part of Saint Paul’s overall mission efforts. Many of our adult Sunday School classes sponsor mission fundraising and volunteer activities as part of the core of their programming. These projects include financial support of the Florida Conference’s United Methodist Children’s Home, care packages for soldiers, stockings for Angel Tree recipients, yard work for the disabled or infirm, meal preparation for those under medical care, construction of wheelchair ramps, provisions of food baskets for needful families, Christmas Connection sponsorship, preparation of meals for the HOPE Center, preparation of meals for mission teams, preparation of meals for youth ministries and, no doubt, a host of other activities. Mission activities are essential to our healthy Sunday School program. Contact your Sunday School class leadership or propose a new project for your class.
UMVIM (United Methodist Volunteers in Mission) Southeast Jurisdiction is a recipient of financial support from Saint Paul’s UMC. UMVIM is a grassroots movement within The United Methodist Church designed to provide an official channel where both lay and clergy may offer their skills and talents for Christian service at home and around the world on short term assignments at their own expense. Their work includes construction and renewing of mission facilities, teaching, witnessing, conducting medical clinics, conducting Bible study or Bible School for children, and serving in disaster relief efforts around the world. The UMVIM network offers guidance, organization, and training for more than 125,000 volunteers serving with the poor; building churches; and assisting in disaster response, community health, and leadership training each year.
VACATION BIBLE SCHOOL is another important mission opportunity at Saint Paul’s. Each summer our Children’s Ministry organizes and executes a week long educational experience for the children of our community, many of whom are not members of Saint Paul’s. One focus of each VBS is a mission project, which is explained to the children, and the children raise funds for the project. It is enthusiastically supported, and children learn at an early age that missions is an essential and meaningful part of the Christian experience. Contact: Jill Merryday at (385-5146 or [email protected]).
WESLEY FOUNDATIONS are campus ministries at both Florida State University and FAMU. Historically, Saint Paul’s has financially supported the Wesley Foundation only at FSU. In 2018 Missions asked the SPUMC Foundation to make a matching gift to the FAMU Wesley Foundation. In preparation of the 2019 mission budget request, the total budget for Wesley Foundations increased from $2,000 to $2,600, and it was evenly split between FSU and FAMU.
YOUTH MISSION TRIPS are an essential part of Saint Paul’s mission experience and education. Each year Saint Paul’s youth are given the opportunity to experience a summer mission trip with adult chaperones. Various types of activities have been undertaken: home repair, wheelchair ramp construction; house painting; urban ministry; Vacation Bible School leadership. The youth help raise funds throughout the year to fund their mission effort, and they are taught that missions is an essential part of Christian discipleship. 2019 summer mission trips will focus upon communities in the path of Hurricane Michael. Contact: Raymond Pandley (385-5146 or [email protected]).