Grace U M C in Bangor was designated a Mission Church of the New England Conference for our work with the homeless and those less fortunate.
See I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up do you not perceive it? Isaiah 43:19
The people of Grace UMC are indeed in Mission with Christ, even in the midst of many transitions and challenges over the past few years. Grace UMC continues to do God’s Work and explore what the “new thing” God has in store for us during these transitions and challenges.
Stories abound about how Grace UMC has been the hands and feet of Jesus in our community and as we restructure how we function as committees to do all that God has called us to do. Because we are on mission with Christ we have renamed the committees “commissions” and have reorganized to four work areas: Worship, Mission/Outreach, Membercare, and Education/Discipleship in addition to the administrative commissions. We have renewed our commitment to keeping prayer and our Behavioral Covenant as the central part of all we do. We are focusing on serving God from our gifts, passions, and experience.
Grace Church strives to be the “Heart ” in the Heart of a Mission Field as we serve many people who are struggling with poverty, hunger, homelessness, addictions and recovery, domestic abuse, and mental illness. Worship happens not only on Sundays at Grace, but on most days of the week, especially through the Thrift Shop and Warming / Cooling Center. It is here our volunteers are able to share God’s love by assisting patrons as they shop, offering free bread and other food to people. The volunteers listen to those who come in and to those who sit outside our doors and they offer encouragement and hope. Recently a homeless man said, “We know you are here. We know we can come here for help.” The Grace family takes God’s command to love our neighbors as He loves us seriously. The Community Meal is another integral part of our mission in the community. The members take turns preparing and serving the meals. The number we serve has grown. It is a blessing to see all members active in sharing God’s love in so many different ways at Grace U M C. Most of our mission is focused locally, but we also are participating in a Heifer Project overseas and we exceeded our goals in the “Imagine No Malaria” campaign saving over a hundred lives in Africa and helped combat the spread of malaria there. We have weekly Prayer meetings focused on discerning God’s direction for our ministry and mission and praying for our church family and the community. About a dozen people have participated in this ministry. One young man said of our prayer times, “I look forward to coming back here all week. I know I am not alone.” We have also had weekly Bible Studies on various topics.
That year’s recipients are:
If you are searching for a Bangor Maine Church with a Ministry with a Mission where you can get involved, you have landed on the right page. This could be your turning point as you get with Christ and his Ministry to those in Need. Grace Methodist walks the walk and you are Welcome to join us. First stop by this Sunday at 10 am and meet us. Stay for coffee after the service and we will explain our mission and outreach to Bangor’s homeless and poor. You will want to belong here if you care about people.
We also care for Veterans here with a Vet’s Clinic Weekly, Food Distribution Ministry, Saving Grace Thrift Shop and we are the home base for the new Bangor Maine Street Pastors. This is a street ministry where Pastors and Lay Clergy go out on the streets of Bangor Maine every Friday night and meet and care for anyone in need of prayer. They have been known to help anyone they see and meet with kindness and caring. Some are poor and in bad health. It is a new type of ministry that was started elsewhere and is now part of Bangor’s outreach and lifeline. Bangor recently became the second city in the country to implement the Street Pastors program when clergy and volunteers from several local churches began roaming downtown streets to care for, listen to and help the people they encounter.
Street Pastors was founded in England in 2003 as an inter-denominational church response to urban problems there. It now has thousands of trained volunteers working in 280 locations in the United Kingdom, the West Indies, Australia and California. Bangor is the first on the US east coast. The Rev. Eustace Constance of Street Pastors in London and his wife have spoken at our church and have personally helped to organize the local group. This new outreach ministry may be of interest to you as you explore the missions that Grace UMC is involved with here in Bangor.
Both lay and clergy are welcome to join this new outreach group. You may be surprised that a small church in Bangor has so much going on. It can only happen when the Lord is a great part of it. You can be part of this ministry too! Come by on Sunday at our 10:00 am service and stay for our coffee hour following the service. A recent sermon was about Jonah. There are some interesting biblical stories in the Old Testament . Having recently returned from Iraq, I saw a number of old biblical sites there including from that former Mesopotamia from so many years ago. Bet you did not know Noah and his wife were both buried in Northern Iraq? I was allowed to see that site that the Kurdish people had known about. The Kurds showed our American group that included some US Army soldiers. The site was near a long since dried up river bank hidden away. It took a while to find it and I took pictures. It is story I’ll write about sometime. Another story might be near Fallujah where Sadam and his sons had been and then occupied by US Marines. I got to spend 13 months with the Marines. You learn to rough it. Eight and a half years over there, I have a lot of experiences. – John.
Please stop by on Sunday at 10:00 am and be inspired. We’d be happy to get to know you and tell you about our busy schedule of activities. Thanks for stopping by. Next Sermon will come from the New Testament. Hope to see you there. We’re right at the corner of Union and Clinton Streets in Bangor. If you would like to help with our food ministry, we would be especially thankful. God Bless You.