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

    news article

    How Endwell UMC lives out the mission of the United Methodist Church Part I

    January 24, 2022 / By Shannon Hodson / .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)

    When the Rev. Mark Kimpland and his wife Lynne Kimpland arrived at Endwell United Methodist Church for Rev. Kimpland’s appointment nine years ago, Endwell already had an active and thriving congregation.

    Rev. Kimpland said, “This congregation has been mission-minded for many years, long before I came here. I did not have to spend a single moment inspiring them or cheering them on to get them to do what they need to do. It’s in their DNA. They just love to be in mission.”

    Feeding the hunger is one way that Endwell UMC is living out the mission of the United Methodist Church.

    A few years ago, the Food Bank of the Southern Tier reached out to Endwell UMC to see if they would consider offering food to the community. At the time, people in need of food, would stop by the church once a month and go through tables picking out what they wanted.

    When the COVID-19 pandemic hit the Southern Tier of NY hard, increasing hunger in the area, the Elmira Food Bank asked Endwell if they would consider being a site for their mobile food bank. Endwell agreed to do so.

    David Alexander, the facilities manager at Endwell UMC runs the operation. One Monday a month, at 8:30 a.m., the Southern Tier Food Bank tractor trailer arrives from Elmira, unloading hundreds of food items. Inside Endwell UMC’s Fellowship Hall, volunteers start assembling boxes and filling them to the brim with healthy, fresh food.

    Over 200 families show up their cars, lining up in a neatly organized line in the Endwell UMC parking lot and volunteers bring out their boxes.

    More than 40 volunteers each month help every Monday morning. Some direct traffic and some fold up the boxes; others fill boxes; some bring the boxes to the parking lot; and others bring the boxes to the cars.

    David said, “These volunteers show up every month. We are very lucky that it’s like a village here. Everybody loves helping. It’s amazing to see all these people pull together and make it so wonderful for the people in need. For people who can’t come, I have people who will deliver boxes.”

    Right after the mobile food bank efforts are completed, volunteers start prepping for the Lord’s Table, a Monday night dinner that has been offered at the church for 25 years.

    Once offered in the church, COVID changed this ministry to a delivery ministry. Homecooked meals are prepared in the church and then delivered to over 50 families. Some rely on these meals for a temporary basis (example: after surgery) and some rely on it every week.

    Elsa Bingel has been involved in this ministry since its inception and has been leading the effort for the past five years. She coordinates the deliveries.

    She said, “Sometimes, the meals we deliver are the only warm meals people have each week.”

    Recently, restaurants, such as Brooks BBQ, have been donating meals for the ministry.

    Rev. Kimpland says “The one Monday each month when the mobile food pantry and dinner both take place, we have people at the church from 7 a.m. until 7 p.m. volunteering in these ministries. It’s amazing to see how efficient and passionate they are.”

    Click here to watch a video by UNY Communications, featuring the Mobile Food Pantry at Endwell UMC.

    TAGGED / Connectional Ministries / Vital Congregations

    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."