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    United Methodists of Upper New YorkLiving the Gospel. Being God's Love.

    news article

    Brown Memorial UMC engages community while sharing God’s love

    May 20, 2024 / By Judy Graigmile / .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)

    In 2021, Brown Memorial UMC received a Peace with Justice grant. This grant, along with church congregant donations, allowed the church to continue Loads of Love Laundry Mission, which offers free laundry washing and drying the last Monday of every month at the Canal View Laundromat in Phoenix, NY. The church provides laundry detergent, dryer sheets, coins to operate the machines, and new 30-gallon garbage bags (for cleaned laundry) to families and individuals who, for financial reasons, wish to participate in this mission. Families can do up to five loads of laundry free and individuals up to three free loads of laundry per gathering. We offer assistance with moving and folding laundry, if desired. We engage with the mission patrons and their children through conversation, prayer, a kids’ craft, and a beverage and snack at each gathering. We offer free local transportation to/from the laundromat to anyone who needs it.  
    During the COVID-19 pandemic (April 2020-Fall 2022), we did not meet in-person at the laundromat. Instead, we delivered Loads of Love Laundry Packets to each patron allowing them to select the safest time to do their laundry with social distancing in mind. These packets included all the laundry supplies and coins for the machines, a child’s snack, and a brief devotional with a prayer. 

    The relationships built through the Loads of Love Laundry Mission with patrons and their children led to some families and individuals attending our church, having their children baptized, and attending youth Sunday School. We also developed friendships of trust and caring which expanded into a two-way sharing of ideas and resources as well as our church assisting patrons with free clothing, outer wear, footwear, furniture, transportation to medical and other appointments, helping complete and/or fax important paperwork, meals, groceries, and a few times help with paying rent. We continue in this regard. 

    The Peace with Justice grant also allowed us to serve local residents a healthy, low-cost meal and beverage at Music in the Park, a weekly free public music event at Henley Park in nearby Phoenix. Local residents of limited income, as well as others, were able to enjoy a hot and delicious meatball sub meal at a very low cost. Those who bought the meal were delighted, expressing that it was a nice change from hot dogs and hamburgers, and that it was plentiful for the price.  
    Our goal was to engage with local residents in a relevant way that allowed us to share Christ’s love and upcoming church events while helping all to have access to a low-cost meal. There were lots of conversations and smiles shared as we served the attendees. Organizations in our community are asked to provide at least one meal during this summer music series. We were able to do this with the grant funds helping to offset the meal costs. 

    And it didn’t stop there. With the help of the grant funds, we were also able to provide a hot healthy “to-go” meal & beverage at Brown Memorial UMC to their congregants and area neighbors, some homeless or dealing with food scarcity. The meals went quickly, and the church congregants were very appreciative and supportive of our assistance in providing a meal to those in need and sharing in offering Christ’s love with them. Some of our Sunday School youth participated in the meal serving and found it very enjoyable and plan to do this mission again in early 2024.

    To apply for a Peace with Justice Grant, click here and to give to this Special Sunday to benefit a local Upper New York church, donate here

    With more than 100,000 members, United Methodists of Upper New York comprises of more than 675 local churches and New Faith Communities in 12 districts, covering 48,000 square miles in 49 of the 62 counties in New York state. Our vision is to “live the Gospel of Jesus Christ and to be God’s love with our neighbors in all places."