United Methodist Economic Ministries (UMEM): Being 'The Blessed Community'

March 21, 2022

By Rev. Eleanor Collinsworth, president, UMEM Board of Directors 

This is what “blessed community” looks like!  One day in the “bleak midwinter,” a person unknown to Shop Manager Rene Michaud entered the UMEM’s Thrift Shop in Howland, ME, and handed her $100 to be used to provide coats for those in need of them.  
That $100 enabled 25 children and adults to pick out new-to-them coats, along with winter accessories.  
This kind of community sharing happens on a weekly, even daily basis at UMEM, in their two Thrift Shops (in Howland and Salem, ME) and in their Food Pantry in Salem.  While some community partners are known by face and name as they enter the doors of the ministry sites, UMEM has many more that reach out in support of the ministries from all around New England Conference, all around the Northeastern Jurisdiction of the UMC, and beyond.  
As UMEM has tackled the challenges presented by the COVID-19 global pandemic in these past two years, God has blessed us with the means to not only survive but thrive. In addition to meeting the most basic needs of at-risk community members in the broad areas surrounding Salem and Howland, UMEM has provided stable and meaningful employment for its staff of seven full- and part-time employees.  
All this has depleted UMEM’s meager financial reserves allocated for operating expenses, and so a Spring Appeal is now underway to support UMEM’s operating budget as we now face expanding inflation, and as UMEM prepares to welcome mission teams back to the Salem, ME site after a two-year COVID-induced hiatus.  
Donations may be made online at our website (www.umeconomicministry.com) or by mail to UMEM, 1458 Salem Road, Salem Township, ME 04983.  Thank you for your support of “The Blessed Community” at UMEM!