Spotlighting Our Local, National & International Outreach
Thank you for your feedback. We received a few emails in response to our last issue saying it had provided more insight into FMUC involvement in our community. We hope to continue to keep you informed and look forward to your questions and suggestions. In this issue we look at a couple opportunities to help those in need who could use a hand, but first we look at a missed opportunity.
For the past six years, FUMC has sent mission teams to the western highlands of Guatemala to help build homes for deserving families. In a normal year, the team would have traveled to Guatemala for a week in early February, but due to the COVID virus, this year's trip was cancelled. In fact, where Pura Vida would have led 3 or more groups in a year, our Feb 2020 trip was the only construction crew to have gone all of last year. Fortunately the local crew was able to complete the house that we'd started.
Not only are we not helping to provide shelter to someone in need this year, but we've lost the opportunity for fellowship and to act as ambassadors to the world. A much anticipated highlight of these mission trips is the annual visit to the elementary school in Lemoa where the students greet us with a performance after which we get the chance to learn and play together with them. Neither are we supporting the local economy by purchasing souvenirs and supplies at the Chichicastenago market or from local vendors.
Constructing homes is only one aspect of Pura Vida's mission in Guatemala. Their primary focus is to support the education of children in rural areas such as Lemoa through scholarships. Several members of our church sponsor students with monthly donations which go towards tuition, supplies, uniforms, bus fares and tutoring. Sponsors receive updates on their students progress and can communicate with them via letters. These mission trips provide the opportunity to meet with their student and with the student's family, so this is another casualty of the pandemic.
Yet despite the global crisis, Pura Vida has continued in their mission to improve the lives of the people of Guatemala. In 2020, some of their many accomplishments include:
The Missions Committee is pleased to announce that
FUMC will be sponsoring a Pura Vida Virtual Work Trip
To get involved, visit the Pura Vida website to join the Work Trip by following the link below. For a contribution of $250 or more, you can be an Official Team Member. Benefits include daily updates during the trip week, access to exclusive photo and video content, and your name on the team member webpage (optional).
In addition, a portion of our Easter Offering will be going to support this Virtual Work Trip.
Habitat for Humanity
Have a strong desire to channel your inner Bob the Builder? Would you like to frame walls, install sheetrock, paint doors, or swing a hammer all while helping to improve someone's life? Then Habitat for Humanity may be right for you!
Each year, H4H completes around 5 or more homes in Loveland for deserving families. But these are not handouts. Recipients must be income qualified to receive a zero interest loan which is paid back over time based on their ability to pay. In addition, they must provide "sweat equity" in the form of 250+ hours of work on Habitat's job sites.
FUMC has been involved with H4H dating back to 1987 when they participated in putting up siding on the first home built by H4H here in Loveland. Every year since then, FUMC has joined with H4H and other churches in the area to provide labor and funds to build and/or renovate designated Faith Build homes.
If you are considering donating your time to help construct a home, rest assured that safety is the number one priority. During this pandemic, masks have been required and crew size has been limited to prevent dissemination of the COVID virus. H4H provides all tools and safety equipment at the job site, however you are welcome to bring your own tools if you desire. You will be given detailed, on the job training, so prior construction experience is not required and you don't have to do anything that you don't feel comfortable doing.
This year, there are 5 FUMC construction opportunities scheduled over 5 months. Since we currently aren't attending church in person, signing up at the help desk isn't an option. Instead, there is an online sign-up website which can be accessed via the link below or you can contact Mark Elliott or reply to this email.
Join us for FUMC Habitat Faith Builds
May 1st, June 5th, July 24th, August 28th and September 25th
Sign up early ... and often! Looking forward to seeing you on the job site!
And don't miss the Searchers Class on March 7th when
Faith Relations & Volunteer Director
Loveland Habitat for Humanity
will be the guest speaker
Food Bank for Larimer County
Since the middle of January, the Food Bank has been distributing food five days a week, Tuesday through Saturday, to families dealing with food insecurity. This change was prompted by the growing number of people requiring food assistance. Prior to this, there would be days at the Loveland Food Share where cars would be lined up out onto the street.
With the additional days, more volunteer opportunities have opened up. Opportunities at the Food Share run the gamut. Whether it's pushing carts of food out to the clientele, directing traffic, inspecting bread, or bagging assorted food items (AFI), there's no shortage of work. Also, the Food Bank has another Food Share in Fort Collins and there's always the warehouse out by the airport where volunteers sort food drive donations, bag produce, or help out in the kitchen preparing food. Shifts at both locations usually last about two and a half hour.
Several members of our congregation already are regulars at the Food Bank. You can sign up directly at their website as an individual. On occasion, our church has volunteered as a group. If you have an interest in volunteering as a group either on a one time or regular basis (once a month?) reply to this email with your suggestions and availability.
As you can see from the pictures below, the FUMC congregation has stepped up again. Thanks to everyone who brought donations of food and/or money to the Ash Wednesday drive through event. The food and cash totaling $170 were delivered to the Community Kitchen where it will be used to feed people in need. FUMC Family Outreach and the Missions Committee wish to thank you for your generous support.
First United Methodist Church
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