We at Fairhaven believe in taking care of all of God’s children. God teaches us to put our faith into action. So, each year, Fairhaven participates in numerous outreach activities. Although we are helping others, we are always humbled by the experience. Some of the many activities in which we participate are listed below. If you would like more information about anything that is described below, please contact us.
Church-Wide Special Sundays
The United Methodist Church designates a number of Sundays throughout the year as opportunities for recognizing and supporting particular ministries. These are referred to as Special Sundays and include an offering used to fund the work of these programs. Offerings are collected nationwide and enable the United Methodist church to do much more than is possible for local churches on their own.
Fairhaven observes and collects a church-wide offering for the following six Special Sundays:
- Human Relations Day (Sunday before the national observance of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s birthday) strengthens United Methodist outreach to communities in the United States and Puerto Rico, encouraging social justice and work with at-risk youth.
- UMCOR Sunday (fourth Sunday in Lent) enables the United Methodist Committee on Relief (UMCOR) to reach out through worldwide ministries of food, shelter, health, and peace. UMCOR is a non-profit organization dedicated to alleviating human suffering around the world through its programs and projects in disaster response, health, sustainable agriculture, food security, and relief supplies. UMCOR’s efforts reach people in more than 80 countries, providing humanitarian relief when war, conflict, or natural disaster disrupt life to such an extent that communities are unable to recover on their own. UMCOR spends 100% of designated donations on the projects its donors specify. For more information on UMCOR, go to www.umcor.org/.
- Native American Ministries Sunday (third Sunday of Easter) nurtures mission with Native Americans and provides scholarships for United Methodist Native American seminarians.
- Peace with Justice Sunday (first Sunday after Pentecost) enables the United Methodist Church to have a voice in advocating for peace and justice through a broad spectrum of global programs.
- World Communion Sunday (first Sunday of October) provides scholarships for US racial- and ethnic-minority students and international students, on both undergraduate and graduate levels.
- United Methodist Student Day (last Sunday of November) provides scholarships and loans for students attending United Methodist-related and other accredited colleges and universities.
UMCOR Relief Kits
Two to three times a year, different groups at Fairhaven assemble relief kits for UMCOR. The relief kits are then delivered to a distribution center in Pennsylvania where they are stored. They are then sent out to areas in need.
Each year, Fairhaven members (including the Young Adult group) assemble dozens of cleaning buckets and hygiene kits. Cleaning buckets contain supplies to help people begin the overwhelming task of clean up in the aftermath of floods and hurricanes. Items in the buckets include detergent, heavy duty trash bags, work gloves, sponges, and more. Hygiene kits are sent to areas that have been affected by disasters, frequently to areas recovering from floods and hurricanes where residents have been made homeless and are without basic hygiene items. Kits include a hand towel, washcloth, soap, hair comb, nail clippers, band-aids, toothbrush, and toothpaste.
Supporting Montgomery County Coalition for the Homeless
Fairhaven supports Montgomery County Coalition for the Homeless (MCCH) and its affiliate, Coalition Homes, in a variety of ways. These organizations aim to ensure that homelessness is a rare, brief, and nonrecurring experience.
MCCH provides a men’s emergency shelter in Montgomery County which is open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, for men experiencing homelessness. Located in Rockville, MD, the shelter serves approximately 850 men each year. Emergency shelter has been provided there since the early 1990s. Residents have access to basic amenities such as showers, beds, laundry, and dining facilities. The shelter also offers support services to help residents exit homelessness more quickly. These services include thorough assessments, case management, vocational counseling and job training, health education classes, in-house 12-step meetings, and mobile medical services.
Each year Fairhaven supports MCCH in many ways, including
-Providing hot meals and bagged breakfasts for residents
-Providing a BBQ lunch for residents
-Donating school supplies for children in MCCH and Coalition Housing
-Providing hand-knitted hats and scarves
-Donating Christmas gifts
-Donating supplies for ongoing needs
Partnership with Fields Road Elementary School
Fairhaven partners with Fields Road Elementary School. Each summer, a back to school supply Drive is held to assist many families in our community. Backpacks, books, and other supplies are donated.
Each spring, a book drive is held to collect new or slightly used books to donate to the children for summer reading. Students without access to books for summer reading lose more than two months in reading achievement over the summer months. The books that are collected are distributed to students to ensure they are able to keep up with their reading over the summer.
Mentoring and volunteering as classroom assistants are other opportunities available to support local children and help shape their futures.
Overseas Outreach Missions
Establishing a Covenant Relationship
In the spring of 2018, Fairhaven entered into a covenant relationship with a university in the capital of Mongolia, Ulaanbaatar, Huree University of Information and Communication Technology. Huree University is a member of the International Association of Methodist Schools, Colleges, and Universities (IAMSCU). The United Methodist Church’s General Board of Higher Education and Ministry (GBHEM) is also actively seeking ways in which to collaborate with that University. Recently, Rev. HiRho Park, Ph.D., executive director of the Clergy Lifelong Learning Office at GBHEM led a group on a seven-day visit to Mongolia. The group’s goals were to raise awareness of the new provisional conference that has been established in Mongolia and also to visit Huree. Fairhaven members Dick and Peg Vert recently hosted the president of Huree University, Dr. Chung Soon Hoon, and Peg will be joining the University’s advisory board.
Through all these efforts one important aspect of a Covenant Relationship has already been established, namely personal contacts.
How We Can Help
The cost of tuition for one year at Huree is $1,000. The added cost of meals is also beyond the reach of many students. An additional $200 per year will provide a student with lunch for a whole year.
Fairhaven has committed $2,400 per year for four years to support two students, $2,000 of which comes from the operating budget and $400 comes from an offering on Education Sunday (the first Sunday in June each year). However, $2,400 is the bare minimum – our goal is to raise more increments of $1,200. In fact, during the first four months of our covenant relationship, we raised $6,000, which will support five students for a year.
If, at any time during the year, you wish to make a donation to support the students at Huree University, please make a check out to Fairhaven and write “Huree University” in the memo line. Then drop it into the offertory plate at the worship service or mail it to the church office.
Huree University’s website is at www.huree.edu.mn. If you would like to learn more about what the United Methodist Church is doing in Mongolia, there are several articles at https://www.gbhem.org/search-gbhem/mongolia.
THE SIERRA LEONE AGAPE VOLUNTARY EFFORT (SAVE)
Fairhaven collects a special offering once a year for SAVE.
SAVE came into existence in 1999 as an expression of Christ’s love and concern for the deteriorating human conditions in Sierra Leone. Since the horrific civil wars that occurred in Sierra Leone between 1992 and 2002, the country has suffered devastation, leaving children orphaned, general impoverishment, and no means for families to sustain themselves.
SAVE’s focus is to reach out with the love of Jesus Christ to this devastated country. SAVE’s goal is to bring help in the form of basic resources such as clean water, school buildings, and supplies. It provides personnel to allow the communities to become self-sustaining and live healthy, productive, Christ-centered lives.
Two projects have been undertaken: Adopt a School and Adopt a Village. SAVE has partnered with churches in Sierra Leone to build a seven-room school. In 2010 in the village of Kenema, through the services of World Hope, a well was dug, pumping clean water into this small village for the first time. Future plans are to develop a medical clinic, hire a nurse, and build a parsonage for the church pastor.
Following the Ebola outbreak and the mudslide in 2017, many families and communities in Sierra Leone were left destitute and without vital supplies of food and medication. SAVE partners with organizations in Sierra Leone to help meet the needs of these people.
Food Collection for Gaithersburg HELP
Twice a year, Fairhaven collects and delivers non-perishable food items to Gaithersburg HELP to assist local families with their basic needs.
Gaithersburg HELP evolved from a 1968 vision. Gaithersburg’s faith community recognized that emergencies can happen at a moment’s notice, and government assistance often takes time. To meet the immediate needs of families affected by financial challenges, local churches and synagogues joined together to form Gaithersburg HELP to provide coordinated assistance.
In 2018, 499 lbs of food were donated.
For over 40 years, Gaithersburg HELP has supported local residents in need by providing them with food, infant needs, prescription funding, and transportation.
The Lord's Table
The Lord’s Table (Gaithersburg Community Soup Kitchen) is held at Epworth United Methodist Church.
The Lord’s Table serves a hot, multi-course, nutritious mid-afternoon meal to those in need in our community. Operating six days a week, the soup kitchen requires a regular daily group of volunteers.
From September through May, on the fifth Tuesday and Friday of each month, volunteers from Fairhaven prepare and serve between 40 and 80 meals.
Board of Child Care
he Board of Child Care (BCC) is a non-profit organization that shares United Methodism’s vision to be a community of hope, providing an opportunity to heal and a safe and caring environment for children, youth, and families.
In 2018, Fairhaven supported BCC by collecting and donating items for BCC’s Christmas store. Each year, BCC sets up a room filled with housewares, jewelry, other gifts, and gift baskets where children and their families can shop for loved ones at no cost.
Book Drive for the Lakota Indians in North and South Dakota
Fairhaven collects and donates new or slightly used books for delivery to the Lakota Indians in North and South Dakota.
The Lakota Indians have strong cultural and spiritual ties. For the most part, the Indians strive to preserve their way of life. From youth, parents train their children in the values and morals of their tribal group. All types of books in good condition are gratefully accepted in this annual book drive.
N. M. Carroll Manor Home
N.M. Carroll Manor Home is an affordable assisted living facility for seniors in Baltimore City, MD.
N.M. Carroll community features on-site meals, activities, and services for residents. Activities and socialization programs allow residents to maintain healthy lifestyles
Led by the United Methodist Women, Fairhaven collects an annual offering for residents in the N.M. Carroll Manor Home. For more information on the work of the United Methodist Women, go to http://fairhavenumcmaryland.com/united-methodist-women/.
Halloween Candy Program for the U.S. Troops (Operation Gratitude)
Fairhaven collects Halloween candy for Operation Gratitude. This program annually sends 200,000+ care packages filled with food, entertainment, hygiene supplies, and handmade items, plus personal letters of appreciation. These packages go to veterans, first responders, new recruits, wounded heroes, their care givers, and individually named US service members deployed overseas and their families waiting at home.
Operation Gratitude aims to lift the spirits and meet the evolving needs of the military and first responder communities. It provides volunteer opportunities for civilians anywhere in America to express their appreciation to all who serve our nation. Since its inception in 2003, Operation Gratitude volunteers have shipped more than 1,600,000 care packages.
Although candy is a small gesture of thanks for those who give so much we need them to know how much we cherish each and every member’s service.
Over 80 lbs of candy were collected in 2017.