Every Christian is a missionary! That simple statement drives our entire mission planning and programming at Wesley Church. Not that we expect - or even want - all of our members suddenly to uproot and head overseas! What we mean is that every person who faithfully follows Christ will follow him into a hurting, struggling world, offering Christ's love to all.
Mission is not something that we delegate solely to a mission team, nor is it something done by a "professional" or "full-time" missionary. It is properly the role of every Christian and can be accomplished whatever you may be doing with your life.
Our mission expressions take the members of our church into the heart of the needs of the cities of Allentown, Bethlehem, and Easton, across our own state and neighboring states, and into the rest of the United States as well as around the world. We work alongside the poor, the homeless, the refugee, the sick, the mentally ill, the imprisoned, the oppressed and the lonely. We do so because our faith is only complete when we serve as Christ served.
Wesley United Methodist Church believes that while we are located in the midst of the suburbs, we have our face turned intentionally towards that city. We will not turn our back on the needs around us, nor the call to go into the entire world in the name of Jesus.
As you look through the various ministries listed here, you will find plenty of ways that you can get involved. Some will take a little of time; others a significant amount. Some are one-time opportunities; others demand a deep commitment of an ongoing nature. Some involve just your time; others your resources - or both. Some are a short drive from home; others will take you to the homes of people in different cultures and time zones.
Shopping for Missions
Wesley Shopping for Missions gives you the opportunity to order food-shopping certificates for Weis, Valley Farm and Giant. Use the certificates as cash when buying your groceries. Wesley Church receives 5% of your purchase and uses the money for missions. Order forms are available at the Wesley Shopping for Missions table in the Atrium. Connect with Susan.
Here are some thoughts from a member of the Refugee Resettlement Team about what Supporting the Jafari Family meant to her:
It was a privilege to get to know the members of the Jafari Family as they spent their first year adjusting to their new life in Lehigh Valley. The chance to use my "mom's taxi service skills" to help Ben (Byamungu) and Gabriel get to work on the weekends seemed like a perfect fit for me since I live on the west end of Allentown, and the hours were perfect - pre-wake-up for our kids.
It was a frequent reminder of the struggles so many face transporting themselves to work and the precariousness of those arrangements. I often couldn't sleep the night before for fear I might miss my alarm clock at 5:15 AM and completely mess them up. One day that happened when late the evening before I let the kids sleep out in our tent. As I joined them I forgot about alarm clocks and overslept. I've never jumped into a car so fast. I just prayed their employer wouldn't hold it against them. As I prayed, it did seem like every light in Allentown turned green as I approached. I think they were praying on their end too. How many men and women depend on others everyday? I was cheering when they earned their drivers licenses. Independence granted with a small plastic card.
I tried to explain to my kids what it must be like to walk in their shoes, to leave your home, to start over without the language skills, to survive in a completely different economy and rely on your faith in a place where everything is foreign and no one knows the life you left. The girls seemed to appreciate the struggles they faced but it wasn't until our garage became a staging area for their move that it sunk in.
When the news came that they would have to move again (from Allentown to Bethlehem) and would need all new belongings, we were overwhelmed by the outpouring of support from friends and neighbors. In a season of economic uncertainty and personal insecurities, we were all reminded of our blessings. The power of faith and the Internet combined, and bags and boxes started to fill the bays of our garage. For our family, the lesson was clear. Our needs are met and we are secure, but so many families' needs go unanswered. It was a gift for us to be part of a project that helped another family meet those basic needs and attain the resources and support to live securely and independently.
God bless them!
What is a CROP Hunger Walk? Neighbors walking together to take a stand against hunger in our world. Together we raise awareness and funds for international relief and development, as well as local hunger-fighting. Adults and youth walk together in the Bethlehem CROP Walk in October. Connect with Carol M
On Thursdays, Wesley Church women are at Trinity Episcopal Church helping to feed more than a hundred people. Connect with Carol. On Wednesdays once a month, Wesley Church men are at New Bethany Ministries helping to feed more than a hundred people. Connect with Bob Totten.
Bread for the World
An Offering of Letters is part of our celebration services on Peace with Justice Sunday. The letters have been concerned with the renewal of the Farm Bill, poverty focused development assistance, renewing and strengthening local hunger assistance programs. As an act of faith, letters to US Senators and Congress members are written while we are in the pews, during the celebration service. Anywhere from 60 to 85 letters are written on an Offering of Letters Sunday. Connect with Jason and Jaimee Walters.
Volunteers in Mission (VIM)
United Methodist Volunteers in Mission is a missionary movement within the Methodist Church designed to provide an official channel whereby Christians, 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. We have sent teams twice to assist in flood recovery in upstate New York. Connect with Jeff Rose.
Wesley has had a Marvine Elementary School Mentoring Ministry since 2003. Adult Wesley Church members spend about an hour a week, usually after school, with an elementary grade student.
The object is to give young people assistance to succeed in life. Students are selected by the school guidance counselor who chooses pupils who she believes are in need of academic or emotional support. Studies show that children respond to adult guidance outside the family through various activities with dependable adult friends. The mentors begin their meetings, usually in the school library, by talking to get acquainted, practicing reading, playing table games such as checkers or puzzles, and receiving help with homework.
As trust develops between the mentor and student, activities outside the school, such as throwing a ball, visiting a public library or bookstore, sharing an ice cream cone, etc. can add variety to daily life. In addition, fishing, attending a concert, a football or baseball game, etc can broaden a student's interests. The students should develop confidence and relate better to teachers and other adults. They also learn good values to live by from the mentors. A mentor always affirms the student's education. Marvine Elementary School teachers have reported positive results in students who have been helped by mentors. The students have improved attitudes and grades, better attendance, less tardiness and fewer deportment problems.
Our mentors tell of the satisfaction of being involved with this ministry. Currently, we have four active mentors and 3 waiting for assigned students. Those interested in more details can Connect with Don S.
Our Social Justice Ministry Team is watchful for place to work for justice, whether in approaching community or state leaders, or writing to elected officials or creating a service project. Connect with Jason and Jaimee Walters.
The first Sunday of every month is food collection day. Food collected is shared with New Bethany Ministries and other organizations in the community. Bring your donation and place it under the communion table.