The 3rd Thursday of each month we “throw open our doors” and provide a wholesome dinner with good fellowship to anyone who enters our doors.
Westfed is a local collaborative effort of Westside churches that provides an end-of-month food panty at Grace Lutheran Church and sponsors the building of homes for low income families in our community through Habitat for Humanity. Volunteers are always needed for both efforts! Food donations are collected through a bin in our church narthex and hints about monthly food needs appear regularly in the church bulletin. Food is distributed from Grace Lutheran Church supported by the donations of many congregations, including our own.
Hurricane Recovery through Presbyterian Disaster Assistance
For the last two years, our church has sent volunteer groups to the Gulf Coast to help with recovery efforts needed as a result of Hurricane Katrina. Teams of volunteers replace drywall and floors, paint and repair roofs. Both skilled and unskilled volunteers are needed. (Plumbers and electricians are especially valuable commodities!) Those with less experience are teamed with skilled workers. Groups are typically formed for trips to the Coast in spring and fall. Click here to see what's going on!
Whiz Kids of City Gospel Mission meets regularly with students from Westwood School providing extra enrichment and one-on -one time with an adult. The students’ teachers provide the “lessons” for the tutors to work with. All one needs to be a tutor is a background check and a willing spirit! We also collect labels from Campbell's cans to help purchase school supplies for Westwood students. A basket for the labels is in the church narthex.
My Neighbor’s Place is a new ministry operated by local churches and headed by Westwood United Methodist who owns the building on Harrison Avenue. Tuesday mornings, the building hosts a free store for clothing and household goods and Wednesdays, a food pantry. Volunteers are needed to sort items for the free store, to provide hospitality and help shoppers make their selections. Our church also collects donations of casual clothing and small household goods for My Neighbor’s Place through a bin located in the church narthex. An old Masonic Lodge has become a community center of support with food, clothing, and small appliances for the taking. Special meals, fellowship events and worship are offered each month.
We were the founders of the Westside Habitat efforts and have now helped build 20 homes. Work is mostly done on Saturdays. Find out how you can help get a family into their own home – a blessing that lifts everyone’s spirits. People dig ditches, pound boards, do drywall, do landscaping, or serve a hot lunch! You can join in this inspiring work – Habitat for Humanity. Call us for contacts. We are now helping to build the 24th home in the Western Hills area as families purchase and work toward home ownership. Families remain together as the parents work and the children go to school. Staying overnight at Westwood United Methodist Church our own congregation provides dinners, breakfasts and sack lunches to these people.
Our church participates with Westwood United Methodist in hosting homeless families several times a year as they work to develop job skills and find employment and permanent housing. Families stay overnight at the Methodist Church and go to the Interfaith Hospitality Network headquarters during the day. Volunteers provide meals and hospitality when the families are at the church. Donations of small personal care items (shampoo and other toiletries typically offered free with hotel stays) are collected in our church narthex for Interfaith. Click here for more information.
Westwood First has a special relationship with Third Presbyterian Church, our neighbor church to the south on McHenry Avenue. The youth program uses our gym for basketball and other activities. We support the Third Church youth program through the sale of Kroger and Meijer cards that return a portion of money spent in these stores in conjunction with the cards. We also collect food for Third Church families in a bin in the church narthex.
In addition to the above ministries, financial support is given by our congregation to: Ethiopian Student Outreach, Third Presbyterian Church, Medical Benevolence, Musalaha (Palestinian-Jewish youth reconciliation organization), City Gospel Mission, City Cure, the Llanfair Life Card Fund and the special offerings of the Presbyterian Church (USA) such as Presbyterian Disaster Assistance and The One Great Hour of Sharing.