Give your time and talents to our Durham community.
Congregations For Children (C4C) is a state-wide initiative of The United Methodist Church focused on reflecting the love of Christ in the community by helping children in public schools who are living in poverty. Epworth works to provide love and support for children through support and connection with our neighborhood schools. Our efforts include our after-school tutoring program and backpack ministries. This outreach model encourages all congregations to embrace their local school and through relationship and presence, discover ways that they can help children to a healthier and full life through:
- Helping to teach a child to read or to improve their reading skills
- Helping a child access the basic needs for successful learning … food, clothing, supplies for school, etc.
- Helping increase parental connections through support of students and teachers
Thus, as we seek to offer the life and hope of Jesus to children, we find the presence of Jesus anew in the life of a child. For more information, please visit: NC Conference Congregations for Children Web Site
Epworth has partnered with other churches and organizations to create a strong after-school tutoring program each Monday and Wednesday during the normal Durham School year. The program focuses on at-risk third, fourth and fifth graders and we partner with Hope Valley Elementary school. Part of the program is aimed at helping children with reading, writing, spelling, comprehension and math skills as well as general homework help. A more focused element of the program involves tutors who have voluntarily received training, paid for by Epworth, through the Augustine Literacy Project, that is designed to help students with a wide range of reading disabilities or problems. We also provide a light snack for the kids in the program. The two areas that we always need folks to “reach out” in are tutoring and snack-making. We ask for a nine-month commitment and provide some support for the homework helper. To learn more, please contact the church office.
Every year there seems to be a growing number of children who are chronically undernourished because of their family’s financial situation. Many of these kids rely on subsidized lunches for their main meal of the day. On the weekends, they often are not able to get the kind of food they need. Backpack Ministries are modeled after similar programs in other churches. The main idea is to provide a pack of nutritious food that will carry them through the weekend. Each week these foodstuffs are collected and organized into “packs” that are delivered to the school (in this case Hope Valley Elementary), which then distributes them to kids that they have identified as needing them. The skills needed are being available to stock, sort and pack food, and occasionally deliver the backpack to the schools. This is a great opportunity for families with young children to practice outreach together because hunger is easy to understand and food is a very tangible way to help. To learn more about Epworth’s Backpack Ministry, please contact the church office.
The United Methodist Church is called to care for God’s earth. Our Creation Care Committee works to advocate for change within our church, our local communities and beyond. To learn more about this important work, please contact the church office.
Families Moving Forward (formerly IHN)
FMF is now located at 300 Queen St., which is behind the Main Library, downtown. This is a ministry that helps families move from temporary homelessness to stable housing and provides much support during this transformation. Epworth has been a part of this ministry for 23 years. I hope you will help keep this important ministry going! For more information or if you have any questions, please contact the church office.
This is a ministry that provides an evening meal to homeless individuals who come to the Durham Urban Ministries center. The meal which is prepared beforehand is served to over 150 people. Epworth commits to serving meals three times per year.
Journeying Toward Justice (JTJ)
This ministry seeks to:
- Educate ourselves and others about social justice issues
- Create an environment at Epworth that is welcoming to all
- Engage with our Durham community in order to promote social justice
What does it mean to create a welcoming environment? Several groups at Epworth are simultaneously acting to make our welcome “loud and clear” to our surrounding community. In addition to the ongoing work of our Outreach, Witness, and Communications committees, Epworth’s JTJ group is working to increase our understanding of our Durham neighbors. JTJ is especially concerned with those who might not assume that Epworth is a welcoming place. We currently partner with the “Dismantling Racism Group” in our Corridor District to read books about social justice, and to bring authors and other speakers to our annual Lecture Series.
Faith Teams originated with the Religious Coalition for a Non-violent Durham. The idea is to create loving support groups from faith-based communities and partner with a formerly incarcerated person. Teams meet on a regular basis to talk, socialize, enjoy a meal together, or anything they plan. There is training to establish logistics and answer questions. Friendship is a proven way to ease the transition back into community life, one person at a time. Epworth currently has multiple Faith Teams. To learn more, contact the church office.
This event is a fund raiser for Church World Service and other hunger fighting organizations both local and global. Many Durham organizations join together for Durham’s CROP Hunger Walk each year. Funds raised at the walk are split, with 75% going to CWS or another global hunger-fighting organization, and 25% going to local hunger-fighting organizations here in Durham.