Outreach and Missions for CUMC are intertwined with all that the church does. Once the Methodist Church became a part of the Pagosa Springs community in 1897, it began its mission work. Many community organizations were either created or hosted by the church. CUMC continues to sponsor a Boy Scout Troop and Cub Pack. Music Boosters held their early musical productions in the sanctuary, and high school graduations were held at the church. It continues to be the site of numerous weddings and funerals for our members and other community people.
Our mission work in the community reaches out to many in need. Through the Pagosa Outreach Connection, an organization formed with the Office of Human Services, several local churches, and other assistance organizations, we provide for may residents and visitors in Pagosa Springs. Our Community Assistance Fund and Food Pantry program provide thousands of dollars of support annually. At Christmas we support the Toys for Tots program to make the holiday special for many children in need.
A Care and Share truck arrives with new supplies for the food pantry the second Tuesday of each month. The truck comes from Colorado Springs with boxes of mixed foods for two agencies in Pagosa Springs. Each agency has the opportunity to order items at a reduced cost from the Care and Share warehouse. Every month the availability is different. A recent grant from the Pomar Foundation allowed Care and Share to buy fresh produce to distribute. When CUMC receives produce we share with St Patrick's Episcopal Church, the Catholic churches, Seeds of Learning, and Loaves and Fishes.
Our Thrift Store was started by the United Methodist Women in 1973 as a mission project for the community. Its gently used merchandise is available to many residents and visitors alike at especially affordable prices.
One of our main local mission support undertakings is the Russ Hill Memorial Christmas Bazaar. From the profits of the annual bazaar, we donate an average of $12,000 each year to local non-profit organizations that serve our community. Regionally we support McCurdy School in Espanola, New mexico, through the soup labels campaign, and we send goods and funds to the Four Corners' Native American Ministry in Shiprock. Our main focus in Shiprock is the Home for Women and Children.
Nationally and internationally we support disaster victims through the United Methodist Committee on Relief (UMCOR). Volunteers in Mission programs were active following Hurricane Katrina to help rebuilding efforts. More recently VIM groups aided victims of Hurricane Sandy, tornadoes in Missouri and Oklahoma, and floods in Colorado. We also support the hospital at Chicuque, Mosambique, the United Methodist Church of Russia, and the people of Kenya. VIM teams have traveled to Tonga and Zimbabwe to serve the Global Ministries of the United Methodist Church. Recently UMCOR was involved in earthquake relief in Haiti.
Gifts of the Heart
The Gifts of the Heart program is available throughout the year and is suitable for any holiday or special occasion. CUMC members or people in the community may purchase a gift that benefits all. People who would normally spend for a material item may now make their giving a benefit for people who need extra support during these challenging times. Monies from the Gifts of the Heart program are used to support the CUMC Food Pantry, Community Assistance Fund, the After School Tutoring program and other community programs for Pagosa Springs youth. So why not decide to break out of standard gift giving process and purchase a Gift of the Heart that will not only bless the gift's recipient, but it will provide much needed assistance to others in our community.
CUMC MISSION TRIP TO LOUISIANA
In October 2016 a team of eight traveled to Gonzales, Louisiana to help in the clean-up of homes destroyed in that area by late summer flooding. The group spent the week carrying ruined household items to the curb, ripping out cabinets, bathroom fixtures, walls, and floors so displaced residents could then begin the process of rebuilding their homes. Not only was the team blessed by the opportunity to serve and to represent CUMC, but also by the generous hospitality and many kindnesses of the members of the Gonzales United Methodist Church.