How We Care
Caring for those who cannot attend services
A team of volunteers telephone and visit those who are shut-ins, homebound, in convalescent homes or hospitalized.
Personal visitation and prayer are shared along with flowers, especially during the Easter and Christmas seasons.
To help in this way, or if you know of someone who should be added to our list, please contact Mary Odendahl at (619) 448-8714.
The Lay Pastors also visit shut-ins and hospitalized members, and provide a monthly worship service at Grossmont Gardens Convalescent Center. The lay pastors arrange for the distribution of poinsettias and lilies seasonally. Meets on the 2nd Tuesday of the month at 10 a.m. in Room 24. Grossmont Gardens worship is 4th Wed. at 10 a.m. in their activity room.
Mercy Ministries Begins With El Nido (The Nest)
Mercy Ministries will eventually encompass all the mission projects of our church, both local and international missions. The new Mercy Ministries met on Sunday, May 18th with representatives from El Nido, a transitional living program for women who have recently left a domestic violence situation and are currently homeless, in need of an emergency shelter, and want to reach financial independence through employment, school or vocational training or college work.
El Nido is an eleven-unit apartment complex located in central San Diego in a confidential site for safety reasons. It provides stable housing while allowing the residents to offer emotional support to each other and less isolation during this stressful time in their lives. They live in these complexes for up to a year or more and with the assistance of social workers, obtain counseling, child care, employment, educational, and the transportation services they need to become self-sufficient. Each of the units is furnished by a local congregation.
Maria Garcia, the director of El Nido, and Sister Margaret, the chair of the Board of Directors, shared with us the great need to have our church "Adopt" the room (a former garage) into a computer tutoring, art therapy, English as a second language, educational and job preparation facility. Plans are already underway to paint the room using some of the funds that were redirected from the former housing ministry to this project.
With our church's continuing financial support, they will be able to do remodeling of the facility, support a summer day camp for the 25 children currently residing there, fund transportation and child care, and purchase school supplies , shoes, and clothes before the fall school term begins. They explained that there are many opportunities for our members to help in multiple capacities. It will be a blessing to us as well as to them if we respond to this new call to ministry.
Prayer requests are coordinated through the church office and are sent to over 50 different prayer volunteers. We have both a telephone and an email prayer chain. If you would like to participate as a member of the prayer chain, please let us know by e-mail.
We promote health and healing in our congregation and our community, offering blood pressure checks monthly as well as blood sugar checks. When there is interest, we arrange for speakers or plan special events on topics such as:
The United Methodist Church understands health as physical, spiritual and social well-being and being in harmony with each other, with the environment, and with God.
Anyone interested in participating is most welcome, and anyone with a health background is particularly needed. Contact Lois Knowlton for more information at (619) 466-3094.
Prayers and Squares
Prayers & Squares is an interfaith outreach ministry that combines the gift of prayer with the gift of a hand-tied quilt.
Hundreds of quilts have been made for sick babies, for cancer and AIDS patients, for those facing surgery or difficult family situations – each for someone in special need of prayer.
Anyone may ask for a prayer quilt whether a member or associated with a member of our church. The only requirement is that the recipient of the quilt gives permission for the prayer that they request.
We accept no payment—It is a gift of love.
Prayers and Squares meets on the fourth Saturday of every month in Room 22 from 8:30 am to Noon (see map on the About page.) You do not have to be a quilter to participate—there are many tasks that do not require sewing expertise.
Email Lois Knowlton if you are interested in participating or in contributing something for the cost of supplies.
For the international organization of Prayers and Squares see http://www.prayerquilt.org
San Diego Guatemala Mission Project
The Guatemala Project assists the people of Guatemala to be self-sufficient, through projects developed with the local beneficiaries. We have been working in the highlands of Guatemala with the Methodist church, primarily serving poor indigenous persons.
For over 20 years the Guatemala Project has helped Mayan Communities in the mountains of Guatemala by providing:
All of the funds to make these projects possible come from donations and the profit from selling handcrafted items made in Guatemala. We help the economy by purchasing products from trade schools, cooperatives, family businesses, and individuals who sell their products in local markets. All proceeds from donations and sales are used to fund our Mission Project in Guatemala.
As an example of what can be accomplished, in the community of Saquilla, a remote and poor community southwest of Chichicastenango, in one year we were able to complete the construction of four sorely needed classrooms for the local primary school. We installed 74 efficiency stoves and rewired 10 adobe homes as well as installed several new computers and a network router at the school in Patalup. Our medical team saw over 600 patients in one week.
For further information, please contact:
Sponsor a Guatemalan Student
We have made the commitment to provide school scholarships to 60 children and youth. You may sponsor an elementary school child for only $75 a year, $100 for a middle school student, and $150 for a high school equivalent. You may sponsor a particular child, if you like. The scholarship provides for any school fees, books, school supplies, and sometimes a school sweater. This makes it possible for very poor, sometimes orphaned, children to continue their education.
For further information, please contact:
Interfaith Shelter Network
Through networked congregations, people are sheltered at church facilities while they are finding a new place to stay. Congregations benefit by getting to know homeless individuals personally, and the mutual sharing of stories is beneficial to both.
Guests are screened by an area social service agency to assure there will be no active drug, alcohol or mental health problems. Guests sent to the Network's congregations must be willing to work closely with the referring social service agency to resolve the problems leading to their homelessness. This is a practical, manageable way to serve for both host and support congregations.
Congregations host the program for two weeks at a time, usually once, but no more than twice a year. Only 12 guests at a time generally stay in the congregation facilities. At the end of two weeks, the whole operation—cots and guests—rotates to another area congregation. Guests can stay up to eight weeks in the Network.
The Network involves 120 congregations of all denominations county-wide in a Rotational Shelter program. About 60 of the congregations host the program in their facilities for two or four weeks a year and the remainder serve in a valuable support role, providing volunteers for meals and overnight hosting, transportation and donations.
Every season, La Mesa First United Methodist takes a turn hosting the shelter. We provide breakfast and food for sack lunches and dinners. Two or three of our members stay with the guests overnight to ensure that they have a comfortable and safe stay. We also invite other local churches that do not have adequate facilities to be the hosts one or more nights during our rotation on the schedule.
If you would like more information about the Interfaith Shelter Network, please visit their webpage. If you are interested in learning more about how our church is involved in this important community service project, please contact us with questions.
Missionaries we support
The Missions committee supports mission personnel in various places throughout the world. Currently, we support 2 missionaries. Members assist with special events and host meals focused on our missionary areas. Meets on the 4th Sunday of the month at 11:45 a.m. in Room 24 (see map on the About page.) Child care is available with prior notice.
Romeo del Rosario
Romeo (Romy) del Rosario is Dean of Studies of the Malay Department, helping to enforce academic standards, develop policies and curriculum, and monitor the quality of teaching at the seminary in Malaysia.
At the Union Theological Seminary he also teaches courses in:
The past assignments for this personable ambassador for Christ include pastoral works in Sierra Leone, Jerusalem, and the West Bank of Palestine.
Be sure to visit his webpage for more information.
Terry & Muriel Henderson
Terry and Muriel Henderson of Mexico are working in Puebla, Mexico, helping to assist resource poor farming families in their quest for a life of dignity and hope.
The goal of the “Give Ye Them to Eat” (GYTTE) Program is to work together with the families, discover the causes of the hunger and poverty, and to find solutions within their reach, without fleeing to cities in the United States.
The program provides development
opportunities in the following areas:
GYTTE provides the hands on training and the villagers do the rest.
See their webpage for more information.