Christ United Methodist Church Ministries

Worship and Music

At the Sunday worship services of CUMC communion is celebrated weekly; lay members serve as worship leaders; children participate in worship; inclusive language is used; and quality music and a volunteer choir are featured.

 

                                                  Children & Youth 

Children & youth are not just the church’s future, they are the church’s present. At CUMC we value our children and youth as active members and leaders of our community.  We host a number of events throughout the year intended especially for children and/or families such as drag storytime, Halloween party, Easter egg hunt, etc.

 

During worship, children and youth are ALWAYS welcome.  Period.  While we do offer nursery and Sunday School options for those who wish to participate, kids of all ages are also invited to stay for the duration of the worship service—wiggles and giggles are embraced!  There is a small table available with coloring materials in the back of the sanctuary to help our littlest worshippers engage.  Each Sunday there is a children’s sermon during our worship service to help kids engage in a lesson related to the day’s scripture or theme.

 

A nursery is available from 9:50-11:10am for crawlers through age 3—just ask an usher for help locating the nursery (downstairs in Room 112 of the Cradlerock Children’s Center wing).  Sept-May, after the children’s sermon, kids in Pre-K through 12th grade are welcome to attend the children’s or youth Sunday School class for the duration of the sermon.  The Sunday School classes will return to the service before the service ends.  During the summer, children and youth worship together with the adults. 

 

We take our children and youth’s safety seriously at CUMC.  All nursery and Sunday School volunteers are background checked to ensure the safety of all.  

Mission

At CUMC we express our faith through both our words and actions.  As a small church, we recognize that some the best ways we can actively serve our community is by partnering with non-profit organizations that are best equipped to meet specific needs in our community and beyond.  In addition to encouraging and equipping folks for active volunteer service in our community, we as a church regularly collect donations to support various non-profits. 

Here are some of the non-profits and projects we have supported with donated items (as requested), giftcards, money, etc.:

  • UMCOR (the United Methodist Committee on Relief) is like the Methodist Red Cross—a disaster relief organization that is often one of the very first on the ground in natural and human-made disasters.
  • The United Methodist Board of Child Care, located in Baltimore, is an organization that supports children in need through residential, educational, and mental health programs.
  • Grassroots Crisis Intervention Center, based in Columbia, provides 24/7 resources for behavioral health, crisis, and homeless services for individuals and families. One of the ways we support Grassroots is by hosting, along with other congregations at the Owen Brown Interfaith Center, the warm welcome (aka cold weather) shelter for one week each winter season.   
  • Howard County Food Bank supports our neighbors who are food insecure.
  • Turn Around is a non-profit that supports and advocates for people impacted by domestic violence, human trafficking, and sexual violence.
  • Capitol Hill United Methodist Church, our sister congregation in DC, has become a welcome center for migrants bused to DC from Texas and Arizona. In response to their urgent request for these specific donations, we have been supporting their essential work by collecting sneakers for all genders/sizes and winter coats for men. 

 

                                    Caring Connection

At CUMC we understand our church family as just that—chosen family.  We gather regularly to share in food and fellowship—we genuinely like hanging out together!  We also support one another through the many joys and challenges life throws our way.  We at CUMC often joke (though we mean it) that we believe in Casserole Theology.  This means that sometimes the way we live out our faith is by showing up with a casserole in hand to support someone in a moment of difficulty!

Our Caring Connection ministry facilitates many of the ways we live out this commitment to caring for one another, including:

·      First Friday Potlucks—join us on the first Friday of the month at 6:30pm for an all-church potluck, usually hosted in a member’s home.  The location for each month’s potluck is advertised in worship and through the weekly email.  Everyone brings a dish to share to this informal time of conversation and connection. 

·      Women’s Lunch Bunch—women are invited to join us on the second Thursday of the month at 12pm for a potluck, usually hosted in a member’s home.  The location for each month’s potluck is advertised in worship and through the weekly email.  Everyone brings a dish to share.  Sometimes it is an informal gathering of conversation and other times, as advertised, there is a focus on a specific topic or project.  Lunch bunch also organizes to visit some of our homebound members. 

·      Supporting our Homebound Members—our Caring Connection Ministry organizes volunteers to visit, send cards to, arrange rides to church, and offer additional support to our homebound members.

·      Meals—our Caring Connection Ministry organizes volunteers to provide meals to those who may be recovering from surgery, in treatment, grieving the death of a loved one, having recently welcomed a new child, or any number of other scenarios where meals are a welcomed form of love. 

 

Justice for All

A core piece of our congregation’s identity, mission, and Christian faith is justice.  We hold a fundamental belief that all people are of sacred worth and will be welcomed, celebrated, and affirmed as their whole selves in our church community.  Together, as a part of the way we live out our Christian faith, we work for the rights, dignity, and abundant life of absolutely everybody.  We support social, racial, environmental, and economic justice in our church community and beyond. 

 

Our Justice for All Ministry is the team of CUMC members and friends who have committed to leading the congregation in these efforts for justice–including education, advocacy, and action.  Justice for All meets monthly, regularly contributes Justice Minutes to our worship services for continued congregational education and organizes our congregational presence in such events as Howard County Pride and a monthly Black Lives Matter protest.  Justice for All also works with other committees and teams of the church to sponsor such events as a Bystander Training to help equip our larger community to be advocates for the safety and rights of all our neighbors. 

 

As United Methodists, CUMC works together with other congregations, caucuses, and groups within our denomination to support important movements for social justice.  In 1997, our congregation officially became part of the Reconciling Ministries Network, the global advocacy group that works for the inclusion of LGBTQ+ persons in the full life and ministry of the United Methodist Church.  As a congregation, we have also committed to being an Anti-Racist Church.  We continue to affirm in word and deed that Black Lives Matter, and we continue to educate ourselves as a congregation about the ways systemic racism and implicit bias have impacted our society, our denomination, our church, and our individual lives.  We understand these specific commitments to both racial and LGBTQ+ justice to be ever-evolving commitments that require our continued attention to learn better and do better.   

 

 
Reconciling Ministries Logo

                                         Community Ministries

 

Our church seeks to be in ministry with and for our larger community.  A fundamental part of our identity and calling as followers of Jesus is to love and serve our neighbor.  We cannot love and serve our neighbors if we do not first know our neighbors.  CUMC’s Community Ministries Team was created in the summer of 2023 in order to create more intentional connections with our larger community of Owen Brown, of Columbia, and of Howard County at large.  

 

Our Community Ministries Team plans events specifically designed to connect with and serve our community.  These are events that help us get to know our neighbors and that let our neighbors get to know us.  We seek to strengthen these relationships while also meeting very real needs within our community.

 

These events are often planned in cooperation with other groups.  We partner for many events with our partner congregation at the Owen Brown Interfaith Center, the Unitarian Universalist Congregation of Columbia (UUCC).  Other groups we have regularly partnered with include Howard County PFLAG and the Howard County Office for Human Rights & Equity (HCOHRE).  

 

Events hosted by our Community Ministries Team along with the support of the entire CUMC congregation and various community partners: 

·      Drag Storytime

·      Community Halloween party (in conjunction with UUCC)

·      Bystander Intervention Training (in conjunction with HCOHRE)