Acts of Compassion

Acts of Compassion at EPUMC

Hands-on Outreach Activities

Missions Focus Groups

Hosted Community Service Groups

Mini-Missions Donations




Hands-on Outreach Activities

Several times during the year, the Outreach Team offers the congregation an opportunity to roll up their sleeves for the benefit of members of our church family and our community.  Examples include making cards and baked goods for older and homebound members, sending making "care packages" to send to our college students, assembling hygiene kits for United Methodist disaster response teams across the country and the globe, and making up blessing bags to be distributed on the spur of the moment to people in need whom we meet in the streets.  Other congregational volunteer opportunities are noted below.  Check the calendar on the website for upcoming opportunities to be the hands and feet of Jesus.




Missions Focus Groups

EPUMC has a long-standing partnership with four local ministries.

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.  To visit the TOMVO website, click here.


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.  To visit the Bethesda House website, click here.


Schenectady Community Ministries (SCM).  SCM is a partnership of more than 50 congregations for ministries of social service and social justice.  With financial support and volunteers from its members and others, SCM serves thousands of high-need people each year.  SCM addresses public health needs such as food insecurity and nutrition education, racism and diversity concerns, and summer recreation and education.  EPUMC supports SCM in several ways.  On the third Sunday of every month during worship, a special monetary collection is taken up for the SCM 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 SCM, which raises funds to combat hunger and poverty locally and globally. Individuals from EPUMC have also volunteered at the food pantry for many years.  To visit the SCM website, click here.


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.  To visit the Regional Food Bank website, click here.


Hosted Community Service Groups

EPUMC also hosts three 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.   ‚Äč





Daija's Dolls.  This ministry, a labor of love of a member of our church family, restores American Girl dolls and other toys and makes them available, at no charge, to children in kinship and foster care settings. The workshop is located at the end of the education wing of the church.  You can support this ministry with donations of needed items or as a volunteer.  For more information, visit the Daija's Dolls Facebook page.





Mini-Missions Donations

Throughout the year, the Donation Station located in the hallway between the narthex and the education wing accepts donations of items to support ministries in the church and in the wider community.  



Little Free Library.  EPUMC hosts a Little Free Library near the Palmer Avenue entrance.  Passersby are welcome to take a book from the library, which was built by EPUMC members.  Users are also encouraged to place books in the library for others to enjoy.  We have found that more books are taken than donated, so EPUMC maintains a back-up supply of used books for all ages to replenish the library as needed.  Click here to learn more about the Little Free Library network.





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.



Deposit bottles for youth events.  Bring your empty, clean deposit bottles and cans, place them in the large bins at the Donation Station, and let the church take them to the redemption center.  The proceeds will be used for activities to support our children and youth.


Socks for Bethesda House.  New socks for the guests of Bethesda House can be dropped off at the Donation Station any time.  Remember that there is also a special collection for the Sock Project every second Sunday.



Yarn for Circle B.  Knitting yarn to supply Circle B for their prayer shawls and blankets can also be donated any time at the Donation Station, in addition to the special collection taken up every fifth Sunday.  



Planet Green ink cartridge recycling.  Have empty inkjet cartridges that you don’t know what to do with?  Now you can help our church and the planet by bringing them here to be recycled.  We are participating with a company called Planet Green Recycle that accepts empty cartridges for recycling and pays us for collecting them.  No laser/toner cartridges, please.  To visit the Planet Green website, click here.




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 October 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 funding available varies each year, and there is no 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.