Missions at First Church
Then Jesus came to them and said, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”
Our missions and ministry opportunities here at First Church are a vital component to our spiritual growth. We believe that the path of discipleship must include putting our faith into action (see James 2: 14-26). Members of our church family are active in mission opportunities both here locally and overseas. Wherever God is calling you, we have a great missions opportunity for you.
Whether you’re called to work with disadvantaged children, bless seniors and shut-ins or work to spread the Gospel in another country, First Church has ongoing mission opportunities for you. Below is a list of some of our current mission and ministry opportunities. If you don’t see what you’re looking for, drop us a note as we’d love to discuss.
Started in 2016, through the leading of the Holy Spirit we have formed a partnership with United Methodist Conference of Cuba. As travel restrictions have eased, we have made more than a dozen short-term mission trips into Cuba over the past 2+ years. Most our work has been coordinating through local churches in Holguin and Havana.
Microsociety mentors and lunch buddies
A few years ago, some of our members began looking for ways we could help disadvantaged students and their families. Working in partnership with Jonesboro Public Schools, we’ve created several programs to help the kids at MicroSociety Elementary School. The students of Micro are disproportionately impacted by poverty and food insecurity (99% qualify for free meals at school). Our members are driven to demonstrate the love of Christ to the kids of Micro in three ways:
- Provide food (see list) for the weekend backpack program;
- Serve as a mentor or lunch buddy, visiting weekly with a student at MicroSociety to be a positive, shining influence in their lives;
- Providing funds to help support our continued efforts at Micro (checks can be made payable to FUMC with “MicroSociety” in the memo line)
If you’d like to learn more or get involved in our ongoing mission at MicroSociety, please e-mail Lynn Bruner.
Breaking Bonds ~ Tuesday night fellowship & worship
Breaking Bonds Ministries, Inc was placed upon the hearts of Casey and Tiffanie Turner in 2014 with a goal of helping the broken rid themselves of the bondage of sin in their lives. The name “Breaking Bonds” stems from a verse out of Isaiah 14:3 that says;
And it shall come to pass in the day that the Lord shall give thee rest from the sorrow, from the fear, and from the hard bondage that you were made to serve.
Breaking Bonds is a Ministry whose mission is to spread the good news that you no longer have to serve the bondage of this world with drugs, alcohol, anger, sex, food, or any other form of bondage that you are serving in your life.
Breaking Bonds holds a worship service every Tuesday night in Wesley Hall. A free family meal and fellowship time starts at 5:30 with worship starting at 6:15. The service is open to the public and is a great way to show your support for the amazing work being done.
In addition, Breaking Bonds is always looking for volunteers (including small groups) to help prepare and serve the family fellowship meal. If you or your small group would like to participate, please contact Pastor Casey Turner.
Medical equipment mission
Our medical equipment mission is one-of-a-kind in our community. Taking in durable medical equipment that is no longer needed, our team works to make sure that others are blessed. The costs of durable medical equipment (including but not limited to wheelchairs, crutches, canes, potty chairs, etc.) can be a major financial barrier for some. Our medical equipment mission will loan out needed items at no charge to patients who otherwise could not obtain these items.
Rev. Patty Soward leads this important mission and anyway interested in helping out or who is need of equipment should contact her.
A mission that was started by members of our Elevation service (11:11 am on Sundays), Team 25:35 was formed to provide support to at-risk children and their families in our community. Working in close partnership with Jonesboro’s alternative school, Success Academy, the members of act as mentors and tutors for the children and a support system for the school’s faculty and staff.
Throughout the year, Team 25:35 collects needed items including food (backpack program), school supplies, clothing, personal hygiene items and classroom materials. The need is great and our goal is make sure these children and those who work with them never feel neglected or forgotten.
If you’d like more information about Team 25:35 and how you can help, please contact Christy Lemmons.
For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in …
About five years ago, members of FUMC started two ministries specifically aimed to help people with developmental disabilities and their families.
Abilitrees is a Sunday school class that meets in our main building on Sunday mornings at 9:45 am. Meeting in the fellowship hall, participants enjoy a Bible lesson, an activity and a snack. The teachers all work on a voluntary basis and are there because they love Jesus and they have passion for people with disabilities. We have some designated parking and an ADA compliant entrance that makes both the building and the classroom accessible.
JIGSAW (Jesus Is Great, Super, And Wonderful) meets off-campus at the David Puryear Center one Tuesday per month. Volunteers and staff from FUMC bring Sunday school to the residents of this facility and the program includes the curriculum, an activity and a snack.
If you’d like more information about either program, please contact Deana Weeks.
The care team ministry is one of the longest standing missions at FUMC. Volunteers meet monthly to write cards for the elderly, the ill and shut-ins. In addition, volunteers travel to area nursing homes to bring the joy of the Gospel and the love of Jesus Christ to residents who otherwise couldn’t attend church regularly.
Members of the care team are often called upon when a family member of the church passes away and meals and other preparations are needed.
If you’d like to be part of this ministry or have any questions, please contact Pastor Patty Soward.
Helping neighbors food pantry
An inter-faith food pantry made up 24 religious organizations, Helping Neighbors distributes over 300,000 pounds of food to the hungry and needy every year. Serving the residents of Craighead County, FUMC volunteers help staff the pantry as well as provide much-needed donations to stock the shelves.
Commonly needed items include canned goods, crackers, pasta & rice meals, soap, baby food and diapers.
Donations can be dropped off in the designated box in the fellowship hall.
holy grounds (Coffee team)
It’s hard to believe there was ever a time when Christians gathered without the benefit of coffee. Thankfully, we don’t have to live in those “dark ages.”
Holy Grounds is our coffee ministry and is open every Sunday morning during worship times. Serving two different blends, a decaf option, as well as tea and water, the volunteers of Holy Grounds are striving to make sure you are both hydrated and caffeinated on Sunday.
If you’d like volunteer to work in our coffee ministry, please let us know.
Other opportunities to serve
As Jesus told his disciples, “the harvest is plenty but the workers are few …”, there are always more opportunities to serve the Kingdom of God. If you don’t see an area of service or missions listed on this page that matches where God is leading you, just drop us a note. We’d love to hear from you and talk about what God will be doing next!