Mission

Care Packages for the Homeless

Join us as we make care packages for the homeless on Wednesday, March 23rd, in the gym. Pizza will be served at 6:00 p.m. and bag assembly will begin at 6:30 p.m. All ages welcome! No cost! Don't miss this incredible opportunity to impact the lives of homeless individuals in our community. The bags contain personal hygiene and nonperishable food items. They may be kept in cars and handed to people at intersections.

Location: 
Gym
Date: 
Wednesday, March 23, 2016 - 6:00pm

Adult Mission Trip to United Church of Rogers Park

Through the Missions, Justice & Community work area, adult volunteers from DGFUMC will be able to provide much needed support to our sister Methodist church, the United Church of Rogers Park, and their community outreach programs during 2016. 

Our first opportunity will be Saturday, April 9, to help build raised garden beds in the expanding on-site Children’s Teaching Garden. Contact Sheila in the church office at 630.968.7120 to sign-up.

Details about timing, tools, transportation, and lunch will be provided prior to the event.

At anytime during the year you can donate to UCRP for:

  • their church building, which is in need of major repairs;
  • the cost of rebuilding the Children’s Teaching Garden; and
  • community outreach programs.

United Church of Rogers Park
1545 West Morse Avenue
Chicago Illinois, 60626
ucrogerspark.org

Location: 
United Church of Rogers Park
Date: 
Saturday, April 9, 2016 - 9:00am

2016 Adult Mission Scholarship

Interested in giving your time and energy to others in a new meaningful way?

The Missions, Justice & Community work area is offering its fifth annual Adult Mission Scholarship, matching up to $1,000 in mission-related expenses, to a member of our church (age 18+) who wants to embark on a Christian mission trip in the coming year. Guidelines are specified on the application form below. 

Ever think about taking a mission trip somewhere, but don't know how to get started? 

The UMVIM (United Methodist Volunteers in Mission) 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. To learn more about the many different opportunities available to people of all ages, click here to visit umcmission.org. For additional information, contact our Northern Illinois Conference UMVIM coordinator, Lorna Jost, at umvim-ncj@brookings.net.

Applications are due by April 15, 2016.

Alternative Gift Fair

What do you buy the person who has everything? How about a goat, a colony of honeybees, or a beautiful handmade craft?

The Advent season is filled with many warm traditions, and one of those traditions at Downers Grove First United Methodist Church is the Alternative Gift Fair. Many of you are familiar with the beautiful crafts handmade by the artisans of the UPAVIM (United for a Better Life) cooperative in Guatemala. These are gifts that give twice - first, your family and friends will enjoy receiving these lovely items. Second, you will also be empowering the women of La Esperanza in Guatemala City by giving them an opportunity to improve the quality of life for themselves and for their families through access to education, employment opportunities, daycare services for their children, health care services, and programs for personal and professional development.  Choose from a large selection of colorful bags, scarves, Christmas ornaments, kitchen accessories, jewelry, and more.

Heifer International works with communities to find sustainable solutions to end world hunger and poverty. In the past, many of you have donated to Heifer's Living Gift program and some will recall the plaques that hang in the west stairwell recognizing DGFUMC for a high level of donations. This Advent season, MJC will partner with John Smoke to Fill the Ark in the hopes of once again reaching an impressive level of giving in our congregation. To learn more, come talk to Janet Farral in the Parlor about chickens this holiday season!

Best of all, you’ll be able to check off a few more names on your holiday gift-giving list while making a difference in our world. What a perfect way to celebrate the true meaning of Christmas!

Please come visit us in the parlor after each service during the Advent season.

Location: 
Parlor
Date: 
Sunday, November 27, 2016 - 9:00am

Thanksgiving Offering

Happy Thanksgiving!

As we enter this season of harvest and gratitude, we are reminded of the importance and power of giving thanks every day of the year. Christians are called to “give thanks in all circumstances,” (I Thessalonians 5:8) and so experience the gifts of God that we might otherwise overlook. Thankfulness is a choice we can make that opens our lives toward greater contentment and joy, and opens our eyes to see our neighbors with God’s love.  

On Thanksgiving Day we are invited to reclaim the story of a meal long ago, shared in love and thankfulness among people who grew from feared strangers to trusted friends, that began our nation’s Thanksgiving tradition. And we are invited to remember those who in this day are in need of food, shelter, compassion, and justice.

One of the ways we as a church show God’s love for our neighbors is through our Thanksgiving offering. The Thanksgiving offering goes specifically to ministries of local outreach and social justice. Our gifts are directed through our congregation’s Mission, Justice, and Community Work Area (combining the former Mission and Church and Society Work Areas); and will be used to reach out to lives, speak out about needs, and work to bring improved circumstances to others through the organizations described on the reverse side of this letter. 

If you haven't received a Thanksgiving offering envelope, they are available in the church office.

May your Thanksgiving be blessed with God’s abundant love.

Pastors Jim and Greta McDonald
Mission, Justice and Community Work Area

DuPage United Fall Assembly - Addressing the Need for Expanding Mental Health Resources in DuPage County

DuPage United member institutions are invited to come together to push for focus and urgency on expanding services to address deep gaps related to mental health in our region. State’s Attorney Robert Berlin will be attendance.

Incarceration of DuPage County persons in mental health crisis is not appropriate and is expensive. Lack of training for responding law enforcement and lack of sufficient alternatives for responders makes this an unjust and unproductive situation.

DGFUMC members attending do not have to do anything at this assembly. Simply attend -- which shows your support as part of a larger community backing the research and proposed solutions of DuPage United on behalf of persons with mental health issues and those in crisis.

Being present at the meeting:

  • Helps put pressure on the legislators to release funding to deal with this costly issue because it costs FIVE times more to incarcerate someone than provide proper mental health treatment.
  • Supports crisis training for law enforcement personnel - who, due to lack of proper training & appropriate alternatives for people in psychiatric crisis, have no alternative except to incarcerate individuals in crisis.

Also on the agenda is the need for Crisis Triage Centers and other jail-diversion strategies. To learn more, visit dupageunited.org.

Location: 
Union Church of Hinsdale, 137 S. Garfield St.
Date: 
Saturday, November 14, 2015 - 3:00pm

Justice for Our Neighbors (JFON) Volunteer Opportunity

Our church has the opportunity to be the welcome team at our United Methodist JFON (Justice for Our Neighbors) site at Wesley UMC in Aurora on Saturday, November 7, from 8:00 – 11:00 a.m., and from 11:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m. Please come along with our group – see Pastor Greta or Jean Krusinski for more information. JFON offers free, caring legal advice and general guidance to immigrants.

Location: 
14 N May St, Aurora, IL
Date: 
Saturday, November 7, 2015 - 8:00am

September is Hunger Action Month

Food insecurity exists in our Northern Illinois neighborhood. A 2014 study shows the following for the 13 counties (Boone, DuPage, DeKalb, Grundy, Kane, Kankakee, Kendall, Lake, McHenry, Ogle, Stephenson, Will & Winnebago) served by the Northern Illinois Food Bank:

  • Children under age 18 make up 36% of our hungry neighbors, while seniors age 60 and older make up 9%.
  • Among all hungry neighbors, 40% identify as white, 33% identify as Hispanic or Latino and 17% identify as black or African American.
  • 66% of households that use the Food Bank’s services have incomes that fall at or below the federal poverty level.
  • Clients are making tough choices:  77% of households the Food Bank serves had to choose between paying for food and utilities in the past 12 months, and 62% had to choose between food and paying for medicine/medical care in the past 12 months.

Missions, Justice & Community Work Area is donating $1,000 to help fight hunger in Northern Illinois.

You, too, can help fight hunger with a donation:

Donate to the Northern Illinois Food Bank: 
A $1.00 donation to the NIFB = $8.00 in food distributed to area food pantries
Donate online at solvehungertoday.org
Mail a check made out to Northern Illinois Food Bank (273 Dearborn Court, Geneva, IL 60134)
Make a gift by phone, call 630.443.6910.

Support Hope's Front Door

Over the past 15 years, Hope’s Front Door (HFD) has provided emergency assistance to those in desperate need who include the unemployed, underemployed, homeless, seniors and disabled…more than 17,000 individuals and their families in Downers Grove and five neighboring villages. After determining their immediate needs through compassionate conversation, clients are helped with food, medical, dental and/or transportation vouchers, plus a clear pathway into the network of social agencies that can assist them with long-lasting changes to end the cycle of living crisis to crisis.

The Missions, Justice & Community work area recently made a donation to HFD. There are a number of ways you can personally support the organization:

Opportunity to Support 2015 United Church of Rogers Park Summer Camp

Even though our youth have returned from their mission trip to United Church of Rogers Park in Chicago, there are still opportunities for your to support the 2015 Summer Camp. Please see the attached for how you can contribute.

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