Radical Hospitality and Risk-Taking Mission and Service are essential parts of the way GUMC actively lives the example of Jesus. Listed here are many of the ways we carry out our vision, including hands-on opportunities as well as programs that can use financial support. Contact the church office for more information or to be referred to team leaders.
This team of gardeners works to create an outside impression of GUMC that reflects a warm welcome to the community. They gather each Tuesday morning in the spring, summer and fall to plant, trim and weed.
Festival of the Arts Ice Cream Booth
Selling ice cream cones at the Grand Rapids Festival of the Arts is a long-standing GUMC fundraising tradition. It’s also fun! New helpers are always welcome during the Festival, which takes place the first week of June.
Feeding America Food Trucks And community dinners
Free food distribution happens at GUMC several times/year, and is frequently accompanied by a free community meal. Be part of GUMC’s risk-taking mission and radical hospitality by helping to unload the truck, shopping with our guests, and preparing food.
Sunday morning Java/Coffee Time
Sunday morning fellowship between the worship services is an important part of our life together! Bring snacks or help to pay for them; help set-up chairs and tables; keep the trays filled and the coffee flowing.
Hospitality and Guest Services
Ushers, greeters and Welcome Center staff assist guests and worshippers alike to feel comfortable, safe and right at home. Offering radical hospitality to all is part of GUMC’s vision…and it’s a great way to meet people!
Each night Security Team members make sure that windows are closed, lights are off and the building is locked. Team members serve in one week segments, rotating turns throughout the year.
Prayer Shawl Ministry
This group of knitters and crocheters meets once per month to share what they are working on, pray for those receiving shawls, and determine new needs. Warm fellowship and mutual support is part of their ministry.
UMW Bake Sale
Bring in some cookies, pie, fresh bread, jams or jellies and help support the mission work of the United Methodist Women.
Once a month a group of dedicated folks heads downtown to help prepare a free community noontime meal.
Community Cupboard and Cooking Classes
Our food pantry is open on the first and third Tuesdays of each month in the late afternoon. Cooking classes usually happen at the same time.
Toys for Tots
GUMC has become the area’s largest distributor of Toys for Tots each December. It’s a lot of work, but nothing is more rewarding than helping kids to smile. You can serve a meal, wrap gifts or keep the kiddos busy while their parents shop.
GUMC partners with Hand2Hand which provides weekend meals to public school students who experience food insecurity. You can help by shopping, transporting food items to our assigned school, and especially supporting the program financially.
Vacation Bible School
A summer week of fun, faith and learning! Adult and teen volunteers are invited to share the joy with children from GUMC and the wider community.
GUMC offers regular opportunities for adults and youth to connect with folks outside our local area who need our help in a variety of ways.
Sunday School teachers and volunteers
Faith development for all ages is part of life at GUMC. And the best way to learn and grow is to teach and lead! Children’s Sunday School leaders rotate so that they can worship, too. Youth leaders may serve on Sunday mornings, but also in the evenings or during the week. Adult classes happen at a variety of times. You don’t need to be a Bible expert, you just need the desire to share and grow in faith. (Please note that GUMC requires background checks for all volunteers who work with children and youth.)
Teddy Bear Ministry
Donate a stuffed bear that brings comfort to someone undergoing a stressful or difficult time. Bears are available in the church lobby for anyone to take, love and share: worshippers of all ages, friends and loved ones outside of our church family. GUMC teddy bears have been sent all around the Grand Rapids area and even shipped out of state.
A place of peace, memory, meditation and prayer, the Memorial Garden was established in 2004 as a long-lasting tribute to those who have passed away. All donations received are used for the care and maintenance of the area.
Stephen Ministry is the one-to-one lay caring ministry that takes place in congregations using the Stephen Series system. As a Stephen Ministry congregation, GUMC equips and empowers lay caregivers - called Stephen Ministers - to provide high-quality, confidential, Christ-center care to people who are hurting. Learn more about this ministry!
GUMC actively lives like Jesus by generously supporting a wide variety of programs and projects in our local community, state, nation and world. Most, but not all, of the programs we support are connected to the United Methodist Church, including our covenant relationships with missionaries, our Special Sunday offerings, disaster relief, and local outreach programs such as the UM Community House in Grand Rapids. Our Mission Team decides on the recipients and the level of support, balancing factors such as the type of mission and its location.