Compassion & Community Outreach

The Diaper Drive

     The Diaper Drive is transforming lives through the distribution of diapers to needy families here in Knox County. With diapers being an expensive necessity, folks have been both thankful and relieved for the assistance.             

      Want to be involved?  

  • Help sign folks up for diapers  

  • Contact the church office to leave a message for Gayle at 392-6626 and sometimes substitute shoppers are needed!

Community Hot Meals

     Every Friday evening a free meal is lovingly prepared for anyone in the community who needs nourishment of body and/or soul.  Community Hot Meals has grown from 25-30 people up to as many as 150+ on some nights.   

     Our guests are invited to share their prayer concerns with the congregation. Some will just ask that we keep them in prayer.  Connecting with guests on Friday night has been life changing for many volunteers as relationships have grown and trust has been built.

Some Community Hot Meals volunteers are here every week, some every other week, a few once a month.  Community Hot Meals is a time for fellowship, laughter, prayer, serving and witnessing God’s grace.  We have servant volunteers who are so dedicated and generous; those who give of their time and those who give monetarily.  

     Want to be involved?

  • Community Hot Meals is more than a hot meal, at the heart of this ministry is sharing the love of God by modeling Christ’s service and staying open to the Spirit. 

  • Contact the church office 740-392-6626 to help cook and clean up and to provide hospitality for our Friday night guests.

Project Read

     Project Read is a ministry transforming the lives of the children who attend our church’s Community Hot Meals program.  Once a month about 25 regular attendees know to come and select a book for themselves to keep and another book to give-away to a friend.  Our attendees often invite new attendees to the program.  The dedicated volunteers  have built a rapport and relationships with the children and their   parents or grandparents who attend.  Often we have mini book discussions and the children often place requests for particular books they would like to read.  The parents or grandparents often comment on how much they appreciate this program and what it means to their children or grandchildren. 

     People from the congregation have consistently donated gently used books, donated their time, money, and skills to this mission. A church member, who is also a teacher for Mount Vernon, approached me one Sunday to share that a student in her classroom had come up to her to excitedly share a new book she had just received.  As the teacher turned over the book to read the back synopsis, she noticed our label: This book is given to you as a gift from your friends at Gay St. United Methodist Church.  It was a great connecting moment.

     Want to be involved? 

  • Others can become involved by just showing up to our monthly book give-away (3rd Friday of the month in room 103 at 4:30pm) or calling the church office at 740-392-6626.  

  • Another way to be involved besides the book give-away is donating funds through the church with a memo to Project Read, new or gently used books, or magazines for all ages in the plastic bin outside room 103.

The Closet

     As you may know, those on food stamps cannot use their card for taxable items (soap, detergent, deodorant, all hygiene items). By supplying these things, it allows them to free up cash for other things. We are serving many more people than in the past, from 35 to over 100 a month. We would like to see this mission continue as long as possible. This ministry has been greatly appreciated over the years.  The Closet is open the third Friday of each month at 4:30 p.m.  

     Want to be involved?  

  • Contact the church office 740-392-6626

Interchurch Social Services

     Interchurch Social Services is an emergency needs provider for Knox County.  With the support of our member churches, we offer assistance with housing, utilities, food, clothing, prescriptions, medical transportation, and information and referral.  Households at or below 200% of the Federal Poverty Guidelines are eligible for services. The love of our Lord is modeled through the caring provided by financial aid, pantry assistance, and conversations with staff and volunteers at ISS.

     Want to be involved?  

  • We can always use donations – cash, food, personal hygiene items, clothing and household goods ▪We also have a need for volunteers in various areas.  ITEMS NEEDED FOR FOOD PANTRY: cereal, soup, potato/rice sides, bath/laundry soaps.

  • Volunteers are needed for thrift store volunteers – especially those who would be able to run the cash register or could be available on a call-in basis, and a volunteer, or two. 

  • There are also occasional special projects that require volunteers. 

  • For more information about any of these opportunities, please call 397-4825. 

     As always, please keep us in your prayers that we may have the resources and the patience to serve!

Winter Sanctuary

     Since 2008, the Winter Sanctuary has been providing emergency shelter for men and in years since to women and children who are homeless in the Knox County area.  As a congregation we have been supporting this ecumenical organization prayerfully, financially with volunteers and by helping to find and develop their new site at 401 W. Vine St. As the shelter has gone through many changes in the last years, Gay Street UMC has risen to the challenge to provide meals, fellowship, transportation and so much more as our community has grown to better understand the root causes of homelessness and provide a Christ-like presence for those going through such a difficult time. With the help of a Advocate, the Winter Sanctuary will be providing more resources and support to assist homeless men, women and children to find and sustain permanent housing.

  • Contact the Winter Sanctuary at 740-392-9277 if you would like to become a trained volunteer. 

Red Cross Blood Drive

     We are in the central Ohio division of the American Red Cross, which represents 27 counties. In those 27 counties, we supply blood and blood products to 43 hospitals and trauma centers. We set goals at each of our blood drives based on a 3 drive average, which is an average of products collected at the most recently held 3 drives. Our hospitals schedule surgeries and procedures based on that number we set as our goal.

     This ministry transforms lives in that it allows people in the community and in the church to come together to do something good for their neighbor. It also transforms lives by saving lives! Every blood donation is tested to make it as safe as possible. It is then separated out into 3 blood products: red blood cells, plasma, and platelets. So, one donation could possibly save 3 lives!

     Our last 3 blood drives have collected an average of 18 units of blood. If each unit could save 3 people, then Gay Street United Methodist Church could be saving 54 lives at each blood drive! That is definitely something to celebrate and something of which all our donors and church congregants can be proud. 

  • Sign up to donate blood 1-800-RED-CROSS

  • Encourage others to donate

  • Volunteer to assist with registration and welcoming donors

  • Help set out the snacks the Red Cross provides

Crop Walk

     Gay Street partners with several local churches to support the effort to end hunger around the world through the Mount  Vernon CROP Walk.  We have consistently funded and helped organize one of the oldest walks in the country, helping to raise money and awareness for those experiencing hunger in our community and throughout the global community. 

     Want to be involved?  

  • Contact the church office 392-6626 if you are interested in walking, supporting the walk financially or by volunteering  on CROP Walk day to support the team!

Prayer Shawl Ministry

     More than five hundred prayer shawls have been knitted or crocheted and given away since the inception of the prayer shawl ministry at Gay Street in 2005.  Many hands have helped create the prayer shawls.   This ministry is very dependent upon the church family alerting the ministry as to where there is need and helping in the distribution of the shawls. Shawls have been delivered or mailed by members of the church to family and friends locally and to distant destinations.  Shawls have been given to folks who are experiencing illness or grief. Though shawls are given for many reasons, most of the shawls are given when someone needs to feel the comfort and warmth of the arms of Christ. 

     Want to be involved?      

  • Anyone wanting to help with the prayer shawl ministry or needing a prayer shawl, please contact the church office at 740-392-6626.

Piece Corps

     The mission of the Piece Corps has many facets. Through the medium of fabric, members work to enhance the visual aspect of worship and to help create a focus for centering worshippers with banners and with paraments for the altar, lectern and pulpit. Members serve the church wherever thread and needle can help.  

     A few years ago, the Piece Corps coordinated thirty quilters from the church and community in creating new pew banners made in memory of our beloved Virginia Kline. Each quilt block has a scriptural reference.      

     The Piece Corps has coordinated work sessions for the making of school bags for missions, made puppets for the Sunday School, crafted covers for the dish caddies in the kitchen, made and repaired costumes, repaired choir robes and created stoles for pastors. Members have also helped with creating worship settings for the East Ohio Annual Conference. They make sure every child baptized in this church has been given a quilt/comforter made by the Piece Corps. The Piece Corps meets the first Monday of the month (barring a holiday forcing a schedule change) at 10:00 a.m. in the Varsity Room.  

  • Anyone wanting to lend their skills to the Piece Corps is invited to join them. 

  • Contact the church office for details at 740-392-6626

Tree of Sharing - We need a volunteer to head up the Tree of Sharing

Food Pantry - We need someone who would be willing to haul the food collected monthly down to ISS.

ISS Board - We need a representative to serve on the ISS Board.  They meet every other month.

The mission of the United Methodist Church is to make and mature disciples of Jesus Christ for the transformation of the world.

Gay Street United Methodist Church

18 North Gay Street

Mount Vernon, OH 43050

740-392-6626       Fax: 740-393-3492

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