Working through a Monthly Mission Emphasis and the Missions Committee, Madison First UMC endeavors to be a mission minded church that equips and empowers others to do work that matters. We collect donations for a variety of programs like the United Methodist Committee on Relief, Community Food Pantry, SCORE International, and many more. You can help make a difference by giving to our monthly “Mission Emphasis” or signing up to join one of our Mission Teams.
February Missions Emphasis
In June a group of Pointe of Grace dancers, teachers, and parents (including several members of our church) will travel to Hildale, Utah on our second mission trip. We were honored to serve in this same community for a week last April and look forward to going back. Hildale (also known as Short Creek) was the home of a fundamentalist sect of the Morman church known as the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints or FLDS. Their leader Warren Jeffs was arrested and sentenced to life in prison in 2012 for the forced marriage of underage girls. The corrupt leadership and subsequent arrest of Warren Jeffs left the people of this community traumatized and very disillusioned by organized religion. Over 70 percent of the people have left the FLDS church and have no professed faith, and there is only one church in Hildale. Hildale is still a polygamous community. Most homes have three or four wives and forty to fifty children, many of whom are neglected. Warren Jeffs’s leadership also damaged the economy in Hildale, and the people are still struggling to overcome those economic struggles.
Our mission group partners with SCORE International and Community of Grace Church to conduct a free dance camp as an avenue to share the love of Christ with the children of the community. Since we are working with the local church, our dance camps provide the pastors and church members with an avenue to draw people to the church and begin to build relationships with the unchurched people of the community. As stated above, many of the children are neglected, particularly the girls, so we are honored to share our love of dance and love for Jesus with them. We will also participate in traditional mission trip activities like working in the church’s thrift store, cleaning, and light construction. Last year we unloaded a semi-truck of materials for the thrift store associated with the church, organized the craft room at the Dream Center (a home for people escaping the FLDS) and did some cleaning and painting at the home of a former FLDS member. Our hotel for the week is run by one of the wives of a former FLDS member. Over the course of the week last year, we began to build a strong rapport with the hotel owner and her daughters as well as several of the other parents of dancers. We look forward to continuing to build those relationships and pray for opportunities to share the Gospel. Our goal is to share the love of Jesus in many different ways and share The Gospel when we have the opportunity.