Community mission and outreach is very important at First United Methodist. We provide or collaborate on these ministries:
- Social Concerns – this is a group in our church which focuses on caring for the disadvantaged and disabled in our community.
- Hunger Task Force
- Saturdays of Service
- Congregations Helping People – We partner with other Salem churches to provide resources to people in need.
- Interfaith Hospitality Network
- Medical Equipment Loan Program
The Mission Café
The Mission Café, now a friendly gathering place for Salem FUMC members, was created in 2005 for the express purpose of supporting
United Methodist Missionaries overseas as well as local charities.
The Café was the creation of Charlie King, an original Work Team member, and his wife Mardean. Charlie built the cabinet that subtly and efficiently houses the workings of the Café today. He then installed: electrical and plumbing lines, an espresso machine, a microwave oven, a coffee bean grinder, a pull-out drawer for bottles of espresso flavors, a cooling unit, and storage. Shortly after completion, the Kings turned over the Café to the Mission Work team to operate and to generate funds to support missions. The Café was featured in a national Methodist publication a few years ago.
The most important element of the Café are the many volunteers who bake tasty treats for customers who, in turn, donate cash for missions. The volunteers are called upon only four times a year, and the work couldn’t be done without them. New volunteers are enthusiastically welcomed because volunteer attrition occurs when members move away, others are no longer able to attend church, and some are called to join the Lord. In recent years a second generation of volunteers among teens has begun to emerge, and that’s exciting.
The Mission Café is open Sundays from 8:30 AM – 12:30 PM. Currently there are three managers: Dennis Muchmore, Loxie Fitzgerald, and Art Tidey. All pride themselves on a pleasant atmosphere and snappy service.
The Café’s annual obligation to three missionaries is $3,500. Currently that support goes to Teri and Ev Erbele in Alaska, and Katherine Parker in Nepal. The Café and Mission Work Team also appreciate the church’s financial support through a portion of the Christmas offering.
Local mission contributions have included: Women’s Crisis Center, The Salem Outreach Center, Wilson House, and the Baker School.
PS – The children of the church love the Mission Café. Cookies! No surprise there.