Bethany United Methodist Church encourages volunteer service and financial support of many organizations and projects that provide immediate assistance to those in need and/or create long-term solutions to improving the lives of people in need. Opportunities include: work teams, special offerings, emergency appeals, and our Simple Gifts program designating an organization or project each month to receive currency or checks placed in mission envelopes and loose change in the offerings.
The Playing Field
The Playing Field, partnering with Early Head Start and Bethany United Methodist Church, opened a child care and early education program in August 2015. We seek to create a unique model that will educate children experiencing homelessness right alongside children from more advantaged backgrounds. We believe this model will be a step toward minimizing the disparity between white and minority children and will have amazing benefits for children from both groups. Read much more about The Playing Field using the link above and also check out their website and their Facebook page.
The Playing Field has a wish list of items that are needed to equip classrooms. If you would like to donate items, check out their Amazon Wish List and select any items that you would like to donate (items may be shipped to Bethany UMC at 3910 Mineral Point Road, Madison, WI 53705 or to your home). If you would rather, you can just write a check out to Bethany and put “Wish List” in the memo field. Cash donations will be given to The Playing Field so they can order what is needed.
Check out photo galleries of getting The Playing Field ready for opening, finishing the playground, and some of the first kids enrolled.
Allied Partners is an interfaith coalition of congregations working together to assist residents in the Allied-Dunn’s Marsh neighborhood. Bethany participates by contributing food, financial donations, and volunteers for the Food Pantry, the Eviction Prevention Fund, and the Wellness Center/Cooperative, and by providing representation on the Allied Partners Board.
Allied Dunn’s Marsh Food Pantry
Bethany collects and periodically delivers food and grocery items for this Food Pantry located in the Boys & Girls Club in the Allied Drive area.
The following items are often in short supply and needed by the Food Pantry:
Corn Bread Mix
Ramen Noodle Soup
Cream of Mushroom or Chicken Noodle Soup
Canned Green Beans or Corn
Canned Tomatoes or Tomato Sauce
One pound packages of Spaghetti
Canned Fruit (peaches, pineapple, etc.)
Canned “Meals in a Can” (spaghetti and meatballs, ravioli, stew, etc.)
Toilet Paper (large or double rolls)
Disposable Diapers (sizes 3, 4, and 5)
Hamburger and Tuna Helper
Copies of this list are also located by the donation bins near the elevator; please take a list for future reference. Maximize the impact of your donation by watching for sales. Let’s help our neighbors who need our assistance.
Other nonperishable items are also appreciated including items such as canned vegetables or soup, common varieties of jam (such as grape or strawberry), bottled juice, or dry cereal. Please do NOT donate perishable or partially used items.
Monetary donations to the Food Pantry are also accepted. Put your check or currency in a Mission envelope and write “Allied Food Pantry” on the outside, or deliver or mail your donation to the Church Office. Make checks payable to Bethany UMC and write “Food Pantry” on the memo line. You can also give on Bethany’s Giving Financially page.
Domestic Abuse Intervention Services (DAIS)
The mission of DAIS is to empower those affected by domestic violence and advocate for social change through support, education and outreach. Their vision is a nonviolent community that actively promotes safety, peace, justice and hope.
To make this happen, DAIS offers a wide array of crisis intervention and community education/prevention programs, including a 24-hour Help Line, programming for children from violent homes, legal advocacy, support groups, emergency safety planning, and the only domestic violence shelter for all of Dane County.
Habitat for Humanity (HFH)
Habitat for Humanity (HFH) of Dane County. Bethany UMC has been an active faith partner with (HFH) of Dane County. This has been an outreach activity of Bethany for over 25 years. We see the commitment of HFH “to build affordable housing for God’s people in need” being at the core of our work as United Methodists to live out the Wesleyan precept that “All the World is Our Parish.” Each year Bethany strives to engage in at least three volunteer weekend workdays at a Habitat project site in the Madison Area.
Over the past six years Bethany has supported three Faith Builds. A Faith Build is the combined effort of six churches, where each one raises a portion of the funds to support purchase of the building materials needed to complete an HFH house. Then each church coordinates six or more Saturday workdays during the construction season. These 36 weekends represent the majority of the volunteer labor that completes the house. In Dane County, HFH builds to an Energy Star standard that assures the owners’ low utility costs and a pleasant environment in which to live.
For a bit of background information on the Rosario family, whose home will be built this year, click here.
In addition to the Saturday workdays, there are opportunities to volunteer during the week if your schedule does not allow you to participate on the weekends. To volunteer for the Bethany weekends in 2017 go to the HFH Volunteer Hub. (Instructions for using the volunteer hub can be found here.)
2017 Volunteer Days
|June 20||June 24|
|July 25||July 29|
|August 22||August 26|
|September 12||September 16|
Luke House provides a community meal program serving 100-150 people, most dealing with some aspect of poverty. Bethany is one of about 40 faith communities taking responsibility for shopping, preparing, and serving a noon and evening meal each month.
Madison Area Urban Ministries (MUM)
MUM has just celebrated over 40 years of social justice work in Dane County, partnering with the faith community. MUM’s focus includes advocating for the homeless and access to affordable housing and medical care, providing ministry to those in prison and their families along with programs to help those newly-released from prison adjust to everyday life, and exploring solutions to violence in our society.
Porchlight operates an emergency shelter for men at Grace Episcopal Church. Several volunteer organizations prepare and serve two meals each day to more than 100 individuals using the shelter. Bethany volunteers currently serve the evening meal on the first Sunday of the month.
The Road Home Dane County
In collaboration with local faith communities and organizations, The Road Home Dane County is committed to the empowerment and long-term success of homeless families with children, and to serving each family with dignity and respect. Four times a year, Bethany serves as co-host for families for a week with Temple Beth El and Blessed Sacrament. Volunteers are needed to help with set-up, dinner preparation, childcare and overnight supervision.
Simple Gifts for June will benefit Porchlight, a local nonprofit that strives to decrease the homeless population by providing “a helping hand – not a handout.”
Porchlight accomplishes its mission by providing emergency shelter, food, employment services, counseling, and affordable transitional and permanent housing to homeless people in the Dane County area.
In fact, it is the county’s largest supplier of low-cost housing. Porchlight is comprised of an emergency shelter for men at Grace Episcopal Church. In addition, it supplies housing and services for men and women suffering from serious mental illnesses, veterans, adults in recovery from alcohol and/or drug addictions, and low-income women, men and children with over 100,000 nights of shelter.
Guests at the emergency shelter receive two hot meals per day that are prepared and served by several volunteer organizations. Bethany volunteers currently serve the evening meal on the first Sunday of the month.
Porchlight’s services are designed to foster independence and the transition into permanent housing and employment. Porchlight aims to provide a sense of community in ways that empower residents and program participants to positively shape their lives.
Please give generously to our longtime partners at Porchlight, as your support will make a difference in real and relevant ways.
To contribute put loose coins in the collection plate or put a check or currency in a Missions envelope. Write “Porchlight” on the outside of the envelope. Make checks payable to Bethany UMC and put “Porchlight” on the memo line. You may also contribute online here.
Simple Gift Offerings for 2017
- January: Madison Area Food Pantry Gardens
- February: Youth Mission Trip
- Ash Wednesday: Pastor’s Discretionary Fund
- March: UMCOR Health Kits
- April: Habitat for Humanity
- Easter: Mujila Falls
- May: The Playing Field
- June: Porchlight
- July: Madison Area Urban Ministries
- August: Road Home Dane County
- September: Harvest of Hope
- October: Gordon and Ardell Graner (Global Mission Partners)
- November: Reconciling Ministries Network
- Thanksgiving: Pastor’s Discretionary Fund
- December: Allied Eviction Prevention Fund
- Christmas Eve Offering: Global Mission Partners
Special Sunday Offerings
Over the course of 2017, Bethany will participate in several special offering Sundays sponsored by the broader United Methodist Church.
These church-wide Special Sundays collect offerings that enable United Methodists like you to: offer refuge in times of disaster; promote peace and justice; provide scholarships and student loans; reach out to the community; teach skills to encourage self-sufficiency; and share the love of Jesus Christ with God’s people.
Peace with Justice Sunday (June 11)
With your offering envelope for June, you received an envelope for Peace with Justice Sunday. You might take a minute to consider how we support peace and justice in our society and the greater world through our activities as a church.
50% of your offering is used by the annual conference to support each conference’s Peace with Justice coordinator and the Conference Board of Church and Society; and 50% is used for Peace with Justice ministries related to the General Board of Church and Society.
In addition to the mailed envelopes, or special envelopes in the Sunday Bulletin on June 11th, you may also contribute on line under Giving Financially.
Upcoming 2017 Special Sundays
- Human Relations Day (January 15) strengthens United Methodist outreach to communities in the United States and Puerto Rico, encouraging social justice and work with at-risk youth
- UMCOR Sunday (March 26), previously known as One Great Hour of Sharing, enables the United Methodist Committee on Relief to reach out through worldwide ministries of food, shelter, health, and peace.
- Native American Ministries Sunday (April 30) nurtures mission with Native Americans and provides scholarships for United Methodist Native American seminarians.
- Peace with Justice Sunday (June 11) enables the United Methodist Church to have a voice in advocating for peace and justice through a broad spectrum of global programs.
- Golden Cross Sunday (August 13) provides support for health and welfare ministries in the Wisconsin Annual Conference.
- World Communion Sunday (October 1) provides scholarships for U.S. racial- and ethnic-minority students, and international students, on both undergraduate and graduate levels.
- United Methodist Student Day (November 26) furnishes scholarships and loans for students attending United Methodist-related and other accredited colleges and universities.