At First UMC Hickory, we have a heart for caring

We care for our congregation and their families with support during times of illness and loss, and with congratulations during times of joy and new birth. Congregational care plays a vital role in bringing the church community together as the body of Christ.

Among many other things, we lead worship services at Kingston Residence and Springs of Catawba, make visits to the home-bound, write notes, and make phone calls. Below is a list of how you can get involved.

Lead worship at a local independent/assisted living residence for older adults. There is a set order of worship which includes hymns, scripture, & a short message. People are responsible for leading worship once every 2 months or so. We have people to play the piano for the hymns.

Whenever a church member passes away, as part of our ministry to the family, First Church will provide a bereavement meal. This meal is coordinated by the Bereavement Committee. If you would like to be a part of the group that provides this vital ministry, or if you need more information, please contact the church office. We also send meals to our homebound members after Wednesday night meals and other occasions. We also have people who coordinate teacher luncheons at SW, meals for the foster care folks (Another Place at the Table), coordinate disciple refreshments and Kairos cookies.

We here at First UMC believe in the power of presence. Families who have babies receive a blanket that was made by the ladies who gather on Tuesday mornings in our craft room. Under the leadership of our Visitation minister, homebound members of FUMC are routinely visited by our clergy, members of our church, and by our Visitation minister. Periodically the sacrament of Holy Communion is taken to these members. The Upper Room daily devotion book is delivered to these members by volunteers who are coordinated by the Older Adult Council. Our pastoral team also visits members who are hospitalized, disabled, and visit with families who have experienced the death of a loved one. From shut-ins to hospitals, visitation is a priority in our relational ministry to make disciples of Jesus Christ.

The Card Ministry of First United Methodist expresses the caring heart of our church family and the caring heart of God to those that are facing difficult times or joyous times through messages of hope and encouragement.

We have a team of people that help when a birth occurs in the life of the church. We bring each new family a Bible and blanket and when needed, we will provide meals for new family. We celebrate the gift of new life and try to meet the needs of those welcome children into the world. We also have a group that will visit young families who find a new home here at First UMC.

We welcome all those that come to visit in the church, either in worship or throughout the week. We have a Lay team dedicated to making screen door visits to thank people who come to visit and answer any questions. This is a vital part of our church being in relationships with one another.

It is our honor and privilege to pray with and for one another. We have a team of dedicated lay persons and staff that will offer prayers for the ones in need. We send a weekly email inviting our prayer team to pray for the needs of the week. If requested, we place names in the church bulletin for the whole congregation to be able to lift them in prayer.

The Mature Methodist Council is excited to share a ministry opportunity with you. FUMC members have always done a great job in taking care of each other and others in our community. Joan Macijewski is visiting with each of our shut-ins once a month to keep them connected to FUMC and to let them know they have not been forgotten. There is still a need to help those who are living independently but from time-to-time need help with simple chores, a ride to an appointment, grocery shopping, changing batteries, lights bulbs, etc. The vision of the Care Ministry is to have two volunteers a month who will help with those extra needs of the members. We have a few who have signed up, but we need others in order to make this ministry successful.

There are countless scriptural references as to how we are to care for the vulnerable in our community. The Book of James tell us,
“Religion that is pure and undefiled before God, the Father, is this: to care for orphans and widows in their distress, and keep oneself unstained by the world” (1:27)
With God’s vision, and a clear need in the community, the following ministry initiative is created to offer an empowerment opportunity, as well as support, for individuals who are aging out of foster care. The goal is to offer them affordable housing along with mentor support so they may develop life skills that will enable them to become healthy, independent adults.

First UMC Hickory is committed to loving God and loving all people. If you, a loved one or a friend are exploring their identity, coming out, or living your life as a member of the LGBTQ+ community and would like someone from the faith community to have safe conversation with or walk with you through your journey, reach out to the members listed below. They can get you connected with a small group of people who are members of the LGBTQ+ community, parents of LGBTQ+ children, or allies.

Lauren Oakes (she/her)- – (336)-736-5015

Alan Clark (he/his)- (704)-578-4588

Kelly Cross (she/her)-  (828)-291-9591