Missions and Ministries

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Through gifts of time, money, and other resources, First United Methodist Church is involved, both locally and globally. Most missions and ministries can use help with funding, and many utilize volunteers to serve others. FUMC is dedicated to helping and loving our neighbors as Christ told us to. We welcome gifts of time and resource to help us help others.

For more information contact the church office at 941-955-0935 or [email protected]

To volunteer for any of the Missions and Ministries of First UMC, Click HERE.

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Resurrection House

First Church has been active in ministering to the homeless in downtown Sarasota for many years. Resurrection House, a faith-based resource center for the homeless, offers a range of services and gives help to those in need. 

Visit Resurrection House 

Contact Ralph Blincoe for details ([email protected]).

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Hope 4 Communities - Day4Hope

This annual event in July serves about 175 children who are homeless or borderline homeless and in desperate need of school supplies. Ways to serve include packing backpacks, sorting food, and getting things ready for the day of the event. On event day volunteers help set up the tables, take registrations, hand out gift cards, load backpacks and food bags, help with refreshments, and more.

Visit Hope 4 Communities

Contact Jan Via (cjvia2007@ yahoo.com).

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Family Promise

This ministry provides temporary housing and food for families who suddenly find themselves homeless. Our goal is to help them get back on their feet.

Visit Family Promises

Contact Jan Via ([email protected]).



Designed for people who have lost a loved one, either recently or years ago, GriefShare is a weekly video seminar featuring some of the nation’s foremost experts on grief recovery topics. Each seminar is combined with a small group discussion to allow participants to talk about the content of the video and about how they are dealing with the death of their loved one.

For more information, contact Pastor Woody ([email protected]; 941-955-0935).

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Salvation Army

We partner with Salvation Army through their Angel Tree to provide gifts for children at Christmas. Volunteers also ring the bell for the Red Kettle Drive in the Narthex to raise funds to provide food, shelter and children’s after-school programs. Both of these projects benefit local needy persons and families.

Visit Salvation Army

For Angel Tree, contact CG Kauffmann ([email protected]).

For Bell Ringers, contact Mary Unfricht ([email protected]).


Gocio Elementary Rockin' Readers

This mission helps very young children learn to read by having volunteers read one-on-one with students once a week for 1 hour (two 1/2 hour sessions).

Visit Rockin Readers   

Contact Pastor Woody (wwoodward@ firstsrq.com; 941-955-0935).

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Caritas is one of the largest community outreach ministries in the Sarasota area. Its primary purpose is to provide temporary, emergency assistance to those who find themselves in acute financial need.  Giving to Caritas through First United Methodist is easy.  Mark your check or indicate online that you want to give to Caritas.  100% of your donation goes to help the less fortunate.  

Caritas is a joint effort of five downtown churches: First United Methodist Church, First Baptist Church, First Presbyterian Church, Church of the Redeemer, and St. Martha’s Catholic Church. Each congregation is responsible for one day a week, Monday through Friday, from 10:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m.  Monday is First United Methodist’s day.

Applicants may use the service three times a year, and records are kept. Each church complies with mutually agreed policies and uses its own budget to meet the emergency needs of the clients interviewed. All churches contribute to the Caritas Pantry located in the First Baptist Church on Main Street. 

Caritas is located at 1645 Fruitville Rd., Sarasota, FL 34236. If you have any questions concerning assistance, volunteers can be contacted Monday – Friday, from 10:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. at 941-366-5620. 

Monday is the day FUMC volunteers are present to help those in need through this mission.

Visit Caritas

Contact:  Chris King (chriskingod@gmail. com; 850-556-3290) or Leah Pittard (rockpitt38@ gmail.com; 941-586-0186).

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Zoe Empowers

First UMC provides funds to help orphaned youth break the cycle of poverty. Instead of begging in the streets, they enroll in a three-year program to learn a skill and learn how to run a business. This allows them to feed and house their siblings as well as send them to a school. Nearly all graduates have created a successful business which in turn contributes to the well-being of their communities. We support a group in Zimbabwe. A trip to visit these budding entrepreneurs is scheduled for April 2024.

Visit Zoe Empowers

Contact Peggy Hite ([email protected]).

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Be a Blessing Ministry

Loving outreach in many ways—helping new mothers, buying gifts for home-bound church members, collecting/donating clothes to the homeless, and more.

Contact Joy Broaddrick ([email protected]).


Ukrainian Gathering and Support Group

This mission, coordinated by Nicerfl.org, serves as a safe space for Ukrainian refugees and immigrants to meet, socialize, perfect their English speaking skills, and learn about living in the United States and, specifically, the greater Sarasota region. First UMC provides the space and has several volunteers tutoring and offering support. In addition, the church has raised funds for supplies and relief efforts in Ukraine and has hosted a Ukrainian Celebration and held an anniversary Prayer Service.

Visit nicerfl.org

Contact [email protected].


Artisans' World Marketplace

First UMC provides discounted rent so that the business can help low-income entrepreneurs from around the globe sell their merchandise.

Artisans' World Marketplace partners only with organizations that adhere to the internationally accepted principles of fair trade. Fair trade organizations also work hard to share specific and meaningful information with consumers about the artisans who create the products they choose to purchase, hoping to increase their understanding of the difference fair trade shopping can make in lives and communities around the world.  128 S. Pineapple Ave. Sarasota, FL

Visit Artisans' World Marketplace

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Goodwill Manasota

First Church partners with Goodwill which strives to enhance the dignity and quality of life of individuals and families. Goodwill helps people reach their full potential through education, skill training, and the power of work. First Church provides a turkey and other Thanksgiving dinner foods for forty-five veterans and their families. We often provide hams to veterans at Easter.

Visit Goodwill Manasota

Contact Peggy Hite ([email protected]).

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Meals on Wheels

First Church helped found this ministry in Sarasota in 1971. Serving 500 meals daily requires the work of 450 volunteers. You can be one of them.

Visit Meals on Wheels 


Association of Campus Ministries

This ministry supports interns who seek to further the spiritual journey of college students on the campuses of several institutions in the Sarasota/Manatee area. 

Visit UMCMA 

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The mission of the Florida United Methodist Children’s Home (FUMCH) is “To empower children and families to experience God’s love as revealed in the ministry of Jesus Christ.” In 1908 the Florida United Methodist Children’s Home was established in Enterprise, Florida, as the Florida Methodist Orphanage. Since then it has grown and changed to meet the needs of children and families, including residential care, foster-care programs in several Florida counties, independent living, and an early childcare educational center. FUMCH believes in and is committed to 1) Development of spirit, mind, character, and body within a Christian context, 2) Holistic family-based services within a culture of safety and excellence, 3) Lifetime commitment to practicing integrity, generosity and service to others, 4) Interdependent relationships fostering self-sufficiency, and 5) Celebrating and encouraging diversity, inclusiveness, and unconditional love.

Visit FUMCH   


Fair Share Contributions

Through First United Methodist Church’s fair share contributions (called Apportionments), we contribute over $100,000 annually to the United Methodist Church’s missions and ministries which include healthcare, education, training in agricultural practices, disaster recovery, refugee programs, and many more. For example, about 20% of our gifts go to the General Board of Global Ministries (GBGM) which connects the church in mission. This is accomplished by sending missionaries, including young adults, from everywhere and to everywhere, collaborating and engaging with volunteers, evangelizing and church planting through mission initiatives, addressing diseases of poverty and global health, and responding to natural and civil disasters. About 30% goes to benevolent ministries within Florida.

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Cuba Sister Churches

We are connected to two churches in eastern Cuba in the Holguin area: Iglesia Juan Vicente Loma, served by Pastor Nelson Gee and Iglesia Madama served by Pastor Katia Lisbet Hidalgo. From time to time First Church sends teams to visit our sister churches and to help out. We have provided water pumps so communities have access to clean water, material for building repairs, and the pastors’ salaries on an ongoing basis.

Contact Rev. Dr. Sam Wright ([email protected]; 941-955-0935).

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United Methodist Special Sundays

First Church reaches around the world through churchwide Special Sundays with offerings which enable United Methodists to offer refuge in times of disaster, promote peace and justice, provide scholarships and student loans, reach out to the community, teach skills to encourage self-sufficiency and share the love of Jesus Christ with God’s people everywhere.

Human Relations Day (Sunday before the national observance of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s birthday) strengthens United Methodist outreach to communities in the United States and Puerto Rico, encouraging social justice and work with at-risk youth.

UMCOR Sunday (fourth Sunday in Lent, previously known as One Great Hour Of Sharing) enables the United Methodist Committee on Relief to reach out through worldwide ministries of food, shelter, health, and peace.

Native American Ministries Sunday (third Sunday of Easter) nurtures missions with Native Americans and provides scholarships for United Methodist Native American seminarians.

Peace With Justice Sunday (first Sunday after Pentecost) enables The United Methodist Church to have a voice in advocating for peace and justice through a broad spectrum of global programs.

World Communion Sunday (first Sunday of October) provides scholarships for U.S. racial- and ethnic-minority students and international students on both undergraduate and graduate levels.

United Methodist Student Day (last Sunday of November) furnishes scholarships and loans for students attending United Methodist-related and other accredited colleges and universities.


 Other ways First United Methodist Church helps out our community

Agape Flights

Flights deliver food, toiletries, water filtration systems to struggling Caribbean communities (e.g., Haiti, Dominican Republic).

All Faiths Food Bank

Provides food for many individuals and nonprofits in the local area.

Samaritan Counseling Center

Provides free or low-cost counseling to those who are troubled, depressed, and in need of counseling.

Pastor's Benevolence Fund

Funds requests from members and nonmembers who need immediate assistance (e.g., utilities, food, transportation, medical care).