Sharefest

AUGUST 8, 2020 

Our first Sharefest last year in 2019 was a great success! Anyone who would like to involved in this year’s 2020 Sharefest is encouraged to participate. The Wilmington Pastor’s Association, area social services, and local organizations are committed to being involved, but we will need around 200 volunteers. It will again be held at the Wilmington High School Parking lot. EVERYTHING IS FREE TO WHOEVER IS IN NEED: truck-loads of free food, clothes, home items, books, bicycles (see our Men’s Club Bike Ministry), health screenings, employers looking to hire, social services, prayer tent, bouncy house and bubbles for the kids, and free lunch! This is a big event and we need many, many volunteers. Sharefest is also a vital mission for our community, so we ask everyone for prayers and support. This year we have a fundraising goal of $5,000. 

If you are interested about how you can help, please call the church office at 815-476-5474. 

Congregational Care Committee

The Congregational Care Committee is a new committee whose purpose is to see that all church members stay connected.  Calls and visits are made, especially to those who are homebound, suffering an illness, or detached from the life of the church family.

Outreach Ministry

Outreach Committee

The Outreach Committee selects a Mission of the Month for each month of the year.  Loose offering from the offering plates plus designated Mission Fund donations are collected and sent to the chosen mission of that month.  Their selections support local, regional, national and global missions.

Catfish Days Booth

During the Catfish Days Flea Market, the last Saturday of July, there will be a booth to provide information about the church and offer a sweet treat to visitors.

Kuzma Care Cottage

Kuzma is a local food pantry that is a community-wide mission started by St. Rose Catholic church.  On the first Sunday of every month, a special collection is taken during worship to support the work of Kuzma Care Cottage.  Many of our church members regularly work a shift at the Cottage to distribute food to those having a difficult time.

Our Caring Closet

Our Caring Closet is a clothes ministry that was started in our church and out-grew the space.  They offer free clothing and small household items to those in the community who could use some extra assistance.  Yearly, the congregation collects new socks and underwear for the Closet’s distribution prior to school starting. Several of our members work at the Closet on a regular basis.

Christian Help Association

CHA or Christian Help Association is a community-wide organization that operates during Christmas, Thanksgiving and Easter to provide extra food for members of the community in need.  Our church purchases, in bulk, several items to be included in the Christmas food baskets, as well as having a gift tag tree for toy donations, and help collect coats, mittens and hats.  At the same time, our Sunday School children collect a new book for each of the children up to age 17 whose families receive assistance. Many members assist with packing and distribution of these items ahead of Christmas.

Nurture Committee

The Nurture Committee strives to nurture and include all members of the church family in the life of the church through social and other events.  The committee oversees the serving of Coffee Hour following Sunday morning worship service unless families have signed up. They have hosted Blood Drives and Life Line Screening for the community.  Cards are sent to those who have been hospitalized or experience a death in the family.

Music

Chancel Choir

The Chancel Choir sings twice a month for worship during the school year.  The members practice on Wednesday evenings at 7. This choir is for high school students and adults. 

UMC Praise Ringers

The UMC Praise Ringers is a 5-octave English hand bell choir that practices on Tuesdays at 7-8:30 p.m. September – May.  They perform monthly during the worship service. They also perform during the Community Thanksgiving service and at other times.  The choir is open to high school students and adults.

Special Music

We welcome special music throughout the year, especially during the summer when the choirs are taking a break.  Contact the church office or pastor if you have a talent to share.

Christian Fellowship Group (CFG)

Christian Fellowship Group meets at 6 p.m. on the fourth Thursday of each month (except November and December) in the Fellowship Hall.  It is open to all ages and all stages. It is for anyone who wants to come together for a group potluck meal and fellowship.  

Bring your own table service and a dish or two to share.  Stay and spend some time getting to know others in the church.

Men’s Club

Men of the church meet on the second Saturday of the month at 8 a.m. at the church to share breakfast, fellowship and devotions.  Members of the Men’s Club take turns cooking breakfast.

A yearly Spaghetti Dinner fundraiser is held in March.  Proceeds are used to support local and area missions.

Men’s Club Bike Ministry

FUMC Men’s Club and volunteers from the Island City Baptist Church and Christian Life Assembly are joining forces in a new bicycle ministry. In preparation for Wilmington Sharefest 2020, the Bicycle Ministry has a goal to provide at least 50 bicycles at the August 8, 2020 event. Last year, 20 bikes provided by Sharefest founder and Wilmington native, Gary Cheney were gone in the first hour. Currently, there are about 40 bikes in various states of repair in the shop. We will meet on announced Saturdays to repair the bikes. Keep your eyes open for bikes set out on garbage day or if you have unused ones, call Steve at 815-347-3790 to arrange a pickup. Please join us in this effort to provide used bikes by praying for this ministry, assisting in the shop, donating unused bikes and/or donating funds for needed parts.

Some of the service projects the Men’s Club has undertaken with the help of the congregation: 

  • Built school desks to send to developing countries
  • Sorted potatoes for the Northern Illinois Food Bank
  • Put together flood buckets for use following disasters
  • Re-built the church playground equipment
  • Instrumental in bringing GED volunteer training to Wilmington to train adults to assist young adults in studying for their GED test in hopes of equipping them with the needed skills to improve their employability, thus improving the quality of life for them and their families
  • Instrumental in bringing ShareFest to Wilmington

Men’s Club “Good Nights” Mission

Our Caring Closet receives 2-3 requests per month for beds. After providing food and clothes to those with the greatest need through two compassionate Wilmington organizations (Kuzma Care Cottage and Our Caring Closet), people, especially children, need Good Nights of sleep. 

The idea started at the 2019 Church garage sale when 7 beds frames (not mattresses) were kept to start a program of providing beds as requested. Since mattresses must be new, it is expensive to provide a bed to someone in need. When a bed is delivered, we provide a frame (sometimes a headboard/footboard), new box spring/mattress set, a new pillow and new sheets. We would like to add a mattress pad to the offering. To date, no blankets have been provided, however, clean, gently used blankets would be okay. Nelson’s Furniture has been providing the mattresses at cost. A twin set is about $175 and a double, $210. The linens, with mattress pad, cost about $40 if you can find good sales. 

Requests for beds will only be taken from Our Caring Closet. They are located at 205 N. First St. in Wilmington and are open Tuesdays from 9 a.m.—3 p.m. and Thursday from 9 a.m.—1 p.m. 

There are a few ways you can work/assist with the Good Nights mission: 

1. Pray for this ministry. If the numbers hold true, we might deliver 24-36 beds this year. That is more than one class-room of children in an elementary school. 

2. Volunteer to deliver beds. It takes two people and you need to be in decent physical condition; having access to a pickup is helpful. 

3. Find beds. Look in your basement or garage. Watch your street when garbage is out for useable bed frames and headboards. (Watch for bikes, too—see our Bike Ministry.) 

4. Donate some money or watch for linen sales and buy twin and full sets, a pillow and/or a mattress pad. Checks can be payable to the First United Methodist Church with the word “beds” in the memo line. You are also able to give through this website. Look for “Make a secure online donation” near the bottom of the home page. Use the “Other” line on the donations page and indicate “Beds” for its use. 

If you have questions, want to volunteer or have a bed frame to pick up, call Steve at 815-347-3790. 

Methodist Women

The Methodist Women meet on the first Thursday of each month (Sept. – June) at 1 p.m. in the church Library for devotions, mission and fellowship.  Fundraisers are held throughout the year to provide support for mission projects and to purchase needed items for the church:

  • Homemade soup each Sunday after worship in January
  • Potato Bake in September
  • Annual Roast Pork Dinner in the fall for the community
  • Bellettini Foods’ grocery receipts collected year round to earn a 1% rebate 

They host a Christmas Tea featuring the Wilmington High School Show Cats early in December, which is open to the community.    

The Martha Circle’s mission is to serve funeral dinners for our church family experiencing a loss.