Here's an idea ...

On this page we will be sharing stories about mission and ministry being done at our local churches that

other churches across the Conference may want to join in on or replicate in their own communities.

Sometimes simple ideas can have a big impact, and when we share those ideas, the impact grows. So we are encouraging folks to share ideas and stories about ministries and missions that have helped your church make an impact.

If you have a mission or ministry you think might inspire other churches, tell us about it. Send a short description and a photo if available to subject line: Here’s an idea. 

Latest ideas

Peterborough UMC to host open-mic nights

Live broadcast your worship service online – free

RI church tells the story of its mission with in a short video

Downtown churches come together rather than compete on Ash Wednesday

Youth group partners with supermarket program to feed the hungry

Click the images for a larger version.

Youth group partners with supermarket program to feed the hungry

The youth group at St. Paul’s United Methodist Church in St. Albans, VT, worked with an existing food-donation program to make a difference during the 2014 holiday season.

The youth collected money to purchase Helping Hands food boxes from Hannaford Supermarkets. The boxes are packed by the supermarket and distributed to food pantries near the store where they are purchased. Learn more about the Hannaford program.

At St. Paul’s, 186 Helping Hands food boxes were purchased by members and friends through the youth group. Those who purchased the boxes were given the option of doing so in memory of or in honor of friends and loved ones. The names were listed in the church bulletin.

Another 50 boxes were purchased through St. Paul’s Benevolence account, and some friends and members also purchased boxes directly from the store.

St. Paul’s has been participating in the Helping Hands contest for a few years now. Initially, members Mike Bessette and Joy Jenkins would collect money for the food boxes before and after worship. Over the last couple of years, Bessette, who leads the youth group with his wife, Casey,  involved the youth who began doing the collection.

This cooperative effort netted another benefit for those in need: The St. Albans’ Hannaford Supermarket won the chain’s Helping Hands contest by selling more food boxes than any other Hannaford store in New England.  The prize was a $3,500 donation to the Franklin/Grand Isle Community Action Food Shelf.

And the supermarket chain’s contest spurred a little friendly competition among area churches as well to see which could sell the most boxes.

“We did not win that contest this year, but it doesn’t matter,” said Debbie LeBlanc, the administrative assistant at St. Paul’s. “The real winner is the food shelf, which is better equipped to help fight hunger in our area. We are so grateful to Hannaford’s for running this contest and offering such a nice cash prize to feed those in need.” 

  Downtown churches come together rather than compete Ash Wednesday
The churches of Pittsfield, MA have decided to begin the holy season of Lent not in icy competition, but together. Five churches from four denominations will hold one Ash Wednesday service, with elements from each of their traditions woven into the ecumenical service. The service, scheduled for 7 p.m. Wednesday, Feb. 18, 2015, was to include communion and a jazz ensemble. 
Together, First United Methodist Church of Pittsfield,St. Stephen's Episcopal Church, South Congregational Church, First Church of Christ Congregational, and Zion Lutheran Church model the unity of the body of Christ, rather than a competition among divided churches in a community.
A press release about the service said: "Ash Wednesday begins the preparation time prior to Easter, the most solemn time in the church year. During this time, Christians reflect upon their sins and the way they live so they can work towards improving their lives and deepening their Christian discipleship."
How better to do that then by coming together as Christians.

Church uses video to tell the story of its mission

This video, made with a compilation of still photos, from Mathewson Street United Methodist Church in Providence, RI, tells the story of its Prayer & Friendship Breakfast in a powerful and compelling way.  Since the spring of 2012, MSUMC has partnered with Pastor Jack Fitzelle-Jones and MSUMC Trustee Scott Budnick to provide a Sunday morning meal and prayer service to the downtown community, especially those in need. The service is from 8-9 a.m. 

Watch the video

  Broadcast your worship service online – for free

Often, people cannot make it to church because of illness, travel or weather, but that doesn’t mean they have to forgo worship. Technological innovation has made what was once an expensive venture now close to free. In fact, most churches already have what they need. United Methodist Communications has information and resources.

Learn more


Peterborough UMC to host open mic nights

The Peterborough United Methodist Church in New Hampshire is stepping out into a new field of outreach by starting a monthly open-mic night.

Beginning on April 17, 2015, on the third Friday of each month the church will host open-mic evenings in the fellowship hall. The church is at 43 Concord St., Peterborough.

Got a guitar and a song or two under your belt? Write poetry and like sharing it? Got a story to tell? Like the idea of stand-up comedy? Need to practice your public speaking? Got an acoustic musical group that needs some exposure? Sing a cappella with some of your buddies? Got a drum circle going?

Come share your thing in a laid-back environment. Grab a cup of coffee, iced tea or spritzer and enjoy some music, poetry and whatnot, while you wait your chance to share … all ages and levels of talent are welcome.

Like listening to the act on stage rather than being the act? That’s OK too! Come support local artists while catching up with friends!

Doors will open at 6:30 p.m. for participants to check in and set up. Music and readings will begin at 7 and continue until 9.

For information, call the church at (603) 924-4294 and leave a message. See more on the church’s  open mic Facebook page