Arab First United Methodist strives to share the heart, mind, and hands of Christ in fellowship and worship that results in outreach to His world. People of all ages are involved in missions seeking to serve not only here in Arab but also in Alabama, in the United States and throughout the world.
We feed hungry children in the Arab area on the weekends. Reports from teachers and school nurses indicate that kids come to school on Monday mornings hungry, having not eaten properly during the weekend. Our church family purchases food approved by the school nutritionist and packages it weekly into individual sacks. We’d love your help (call the church office). Every Friday, the school receives the sacks of meals, snacks, and juices for each child who participates in the program. The food sacks are distributed to each participating child before he/she is dismissed home for the weekend. The food items are kid-friendly, meaning light-weight foods that require little-to-no preparation and are nutritious. This ministry is for the entire school year!
For more than 50 years, Arab First UMC has adopted 60-100 needy children. For Christmas, children are provided with presents, a Bible, a fruit and candy bag, a food box for their family. It is a fun event for our whole church family to be involved in. The “Beyond” consists of connecting with these same children before the start of the school year and helping them with their school needs.
Whether extending a cool bottle of water at the Fall Community Festival or a warm cup of cocoa at the annual Christmas parade, we offer the love of Christ in tangible ways in our community. Members can be found at a variety of other community events, such as school faculty breakfast, mealtime for the kids during high school band camp, and whatever comes our way. We sharing with others the message that “God loves you and so do we.”
Arab First UMC has several active prayer ministries including a prayer chapel (with communion on Sundays), annual prayer retreats, prayer partners, prayer visits, and the like. Arab First UMC is active with Emmaus, a prayer weekend experience offered by the Methodist faith which also includes follow-up support Emmaus community meetings.
Arab First UMC is committed to a tithe of all our general budget income to the North Alabama Conference of the UMC for connectional mission giving through the United Methodist Church. To learn more about the life-changing ministries of the North Alabama Conference that we support, see the Conference website. To learn more about the incredible global ministries that we support, see the Global Ministries website.
Sunday School classes, Methodist Women, United Methodist Men, children, youth and many other fellowship groups are all active in the mission field with each having adopted one or more ministries. Here is a sampling of some of the missions Arab First United Methodist Church supports through its small groups.
American Red Cross and Relay for Life
Arab City Schools and Brindlee Mountain County Schools
Arab Senior Citizen Center
Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts of America
CWJC = Christian Women’s Job Corps
Food Drives for Local Food Pantries
Local Nursing Homes
Marshall County Christmas Coalition
Marshall County Department of Human Resources
Room In The Inn
TESA = Temporary Emergency Services of Arab
Thanksgiving Baskets for Shut-ins
UMCOR (United Methodist Committee on Relief) and the Decatur Disaster Warehouse
United Methodist Children’s Home
Upper Sand Mountain Parish
Here is a sampling of some of the other missions Arab First United Methodist Church supports with seasonal church-wide efforts.
UMCOR (United Methodist Committee on Relief) with funds as well as kits prepared for specific needs such as school kits, health kits, birthing kits, layette kits, cleaning kits, sewing kits. Disaster relief is also supported. We also make frequent visits to help at the Disaster Relief Warehouse in Decatur, AL.
Christmas Shoebox ministry for overseas kids each holiday season through the Decatur UMCOR Warehouse.
Sponsorships via Watoto and World Vision organizations.
Other foreign missions and their needs as they arise.
A number of adults from Arab First UMC go on personally organized mission trips each year, and there are retired missionaries in our congregation. The youth group also goes on a mission trip each summer, and this is part of the fiber of youth ministry at Arab First UMC.
There is always a way for you to get involved in hands-on mission at Arab First UMC. It is our desire that everyone serve with their heads, hearts, and hands. Check out Connecting Points for up-to-date information about how, or contact our Director of Adult Discipleship to get plugged in.
Members of our congregation find multiple ways to help the homebound. We provide transportation to medical appointments, construction of handicap ramps, provision of Communion to shut-ins, and hospital visits as some of the helpful ways to assist those in need. “Blessings received” are the reward for time spent in this ministry.