Acts of Compassion

Acts of Compassion at EPUMC

Missions Focus Groups

Sponsored Community Service Groups




Missions Focus Groups

EPUMC supports four local and regional social service agencies with our gifts and time.  Check out this photo album illustrating some of our work with these groups.

Things of My Very Own (TOMVO).  TOMVO provides crisis intervention services to children impacted by extensive abuse or neglect as well as children who are, solely due to the lack of items necessary for sustainability, at risk of a Child Protective Services intervention.  Transitional assistance includes clothing, toys, school supplies, toiletries, books, and basic necessities.  TOMVO also provides enriching educational activities to at-risk children.  On the first Sunday of every month, EPUMC takes up a special monetary collection during worship to benefit TOMVO.  In addition, several members of the congregation volunteer at TOMVO's headquarters in the Stockade neighborhood of Schenectady.  

Bethesda House of Schenectady.  Bethesda House is an interfaith ministry to the homeless, disabled, and economically disadvantaged citizens of Schenectady County.  Located in the Hamilton/Vale neighborhood of Schenectady, Bethesda House provides a daytime hospitality center, case management, food pantry, and transitional and permanent supervised housing.  Clergy and laity from EPUMC were instrumental in the founding of Bethesda House in 1992 and have continued to be involved as volunteers at the hospitality center and food pantry, members of the Board of Directors, and participants in the annual "Bowling for Bethesda House" and other fundraisers.  Several years ago, EPUMC initiated the "Sock Project;" on the second Sunday of each month during the worship service, we take up a special collection of socks and money to ensure that the guests of Bethesda House have clean, dry, warm socks to wear.  On the fourth Sunday of the month after worship, we gather in the narthex to make 200 sandwiches for Bethesda House, using deli meat and cheese provided by the congregation and bread supplied by the church.  

Schenectady Inner City Ministry (SICM). SICM is a partnership of 51 congregations for ministries of social service and social justice.  With financial support and volunteers from its members and others, SICM serves thousands of high-need people each year.  SICM addresses public health needs such as food insecurity and nutrition education, racism and diversity concerns, and summer recreation and education.  EPUMC supports SICM in several ways.  On the third Sunday of every month during worship, a special monetary collection is taken up for the SICM Food Pantry located on Albany Street.  During the summer, volunteers from our congregation assist in the Summer Lunch Program, which provides free hot lunches to Schenectady children.  In May, EPUMC fields a team for the CROP Walk , sponsored by SICM, which raises funds to combat hunger and poverty locally and globally. Individuals from EPUMC have also volunteered at the food pantry for many years.    

Regional Food Bank of Northeastern New York.  The Regional Food Bank collects large donations of food from the food industry and distributes it to charitable agencies serving hungry and disadvantaged people in 23 counties.  From Plattsburgh to Newburgh, in urban, rural, and suburban communities, the Regional Food Bank provides over 30 million pounds of food a year to 1,000 food pantries, soup kitchens, and other agencies that feed the hungry.  Several times a year, volunteers from EPUMC spend a couple hours on a Saturday afternoon working at the Regional Food Bank, located on Albany-Shaker Road.  We help to sort and pack food and household items for shipment to the frontline agencies.  For more information, contact Trish Roeser.  


EPUMC also hosts two service organizations that minister to our community.

Circle B.  Circle B formed in the early 1940s when a group of women got together several evenings a week and rolled bandages for the Red Cross during World War II.  The name honors their founder, Belle Bielman, a member of EPUMC.  Later, they started doing crafts and selling them, giving the money to help the church.  Today, they meet monthly at the church to knit and crochet lap robes, prayer shawls, and baptismal shawls, which they donate to nursing homes, rehabilitation centers, and individuals.  Their mission is to make people feel good and to let them know we are thinking of and praying for them.  New knitters and crocheters are always welcome.  On fifth Sundays of the month, the congregation is invited to donate knitting yarn and money to support the Circle B ministry.



Al Tabari Court Youth Group.  The Al Tabari Court Youth Group is sponsored by the Al Tabari Court #28 Daughters with support from the Al Tabari Temple #121 Nobles and EPUMC.  The group is open to all girls between the ages of 6 to 17 regardless of race, creed, or color.  The purpose of the youth club is to build character, health, and positive self-image through dance and drill team exercises, cultural and educational experiences, and community service.  The group meets on the first and third Saturdays of the month.  EPUMC is pleased to host ATC Youth Group meetings and fundraisers.  The girls participate in EPUMC outreach activities and, from time to time, perform at church.  For more information, contact Desiree Chaires. ‚Äč



EPUMC has three onoing "mini-missions" collections located on the small table in the hallway near the entrance to the education wing.  If you have questions or would like to help with any of these projects, please contact Trish Roeser.

Box Tops and Labels for Red Bird Mission.  We collect Box Tops for Education and Campbell’s Soup Labels for Education.  These are counted and mailed to the Red Bird Mission in Beverly, Kentucky annually.  (It has been noted that Campbell’s no longer seems to be putting the Labels for Education on their soup labels.)

Over the past six years, EPUMC has sent a total of 2,800 box tops and 1,200 soup labels.  Please continue to clip and save these items for our collection.  This may seem like a small number of labels, however, over the years, Red Bird Mission has collected enough to qualify for a number of vans.  Each van is a MILLION Box Tops!

Red Bird Mission and Clinic have been providing ministries in this region of the Appalachian Mountains since 1921.  Today the need remains critical in this isolated, distressed, rural area.  Chronic poverty, lack of jobs, poor housing, and rugged mountainous terrain pose obstacles to a fuller life for the residents of this area.  Red Bird Mission and Clinic strives to meet these needs through ministry in five areas: education, health and wellness, community outreach, economic opportunity, and housing.  To learn more, visit


Eyeglasses for Lions Club.  We also have an ongoing eyeglass collection through the Lions Club.  This past year, at least 20 pairs of glasses have been passed on to the Lions Club.  Any kind of eyeglasses, frames, lens, or cases are accepted.  Thank you for helping others who cannot afford this vision care.

Pennies for Mission Focus groups.  In another jar, we collect pennies (and any other coins/bills) for our Missions Focus groups (TOMVO, Bethesda House, SICM).  Every little bit helps, so keep emptying your loose change in the jar!




EPUMC administers a GROWTH Fund (Gifts, Renewal, Outreach, Witness, Talents, & Help) that awards grants to organizations and individuals for projects that are consistent with EPUMC's mission, vision, and values.   

An internal GROWTH Committee reviews applications twice a year.  The deadlines for submission of applications are March 31 and Oct 31.  Completed applications can be mailed to the GROWTH Committee, Eastern Parkway United Methodist Church, 943 Palmer Avenue, Schenectady, NY 12309 or dropped off at the church office.

Click here to download the application form.  Applications can also be picked up at the church office.

The following guidelines might be helpful for deciding whether to submit an application: 

  • Local, national and international organizations have received funding, but local groups that may not receive other set funding have received preference.
  • Preference is also given for new projects, programs, or initiatives with potential to continue with other funding sources in the future.
  • Funds are not meant to support an organization's general expenses.
  • The amount of fuding available varies each year, and there is not set amount to request. The Committee has approved grants $800 to $10,000 with a majority of awards being between $1,500 and $3,000.

Be sure to include proof of non-profit status with your application.

EPUMC invites and encourages organizations that receive funding to reach out to the church to share the results of the grant, including visiting the church to share with the congregation, especially if there is a way for the congregation to become connected as volunteers.

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