At First Wayne Street, we know that it’s not enough to support and nurture each other; it is vital that we also help others outside the walls of the church.
The membership of First Wayne Street supports a number of missions locally, nationally and globally through our Outreach Ministry, providing leadership, hands-on assistance, and financial gift giving. See below for information on the specific missions we support as a church.
Our members also volunteer time and talents in service to many other community boards, agencies and institutions that serve the general public good, thereby enhancing the quality of life for all.
Mission Work Teams
First Wayne Street has a rich heritage of sponsoring annual week-long work team mission trips. Some years several work team mission trips have been undertaken, including a youth mission trip. Most of our recent trips have been for disaster relief, as we have partnered with local United Methodist Churches and/or agencies in affected areas of the Midwest and Gulf Coast that have suffered hurricanes, tornadoes and flooding.
Church members gave 101 work days to mission trips in 2011.
FWS’s 2012 Summer Youth Mission Trip was to the United Methodist Committee on Relief’s (UMCOR’s) Midwest Distribution Center at Chatham, IL, where the youth put together flood buckets and health kits that were warehoused to provide for an immediate response when needed.
Local Mission Support
Allen County Jail Chaplaincy
Allen County Jail Chaplaincy provides ministry support for individuals incarcerated locally and their families, as well as for the victims of crime.
Associated Churches of Allen County
Associated Churches of Allen County is a consortium of 130 churches that gives leadership to many ecumenical ministries in Allen County, including: Neighborhood Food Network, A Baby’s Closet, Rising Stars (connecting schools, churches and organizations), Military Families and Missions.
Charis House is a facility for mothers and children in need of spiritual, emotional and physical support in our community. It is a ministry of the Fort Wayne Rescue Mission.
CitiLink Bus Pass Program
First Wayne Street provides a limited number of CitiLink bus tickets each month to assist with the transportation needs of local residents for medical appointments, job interviews or job training classes. In 2014, we distributed almost 1,100 single trip bus passes and about 450 all-day passes (total value over $2,650). In 2015, thanks to an employer match of a significant gift from a church member, we were able to purchase bus passes valued at almost $5,000 at half-price in January. We have budged to distribute 60 all-day passes ($3 value) and 160 single trip passes (1.25 value) each month and still hold a one-half month allocation as emergency reserve. We have also purchased seven 31-day passes ($45 value) for emergency needs.
East Wayne Street Center
East Wayne Street Center on the city’s near east side, offers a variety of services and programs, including Head Start, GED classes, home repair and a clothing bank. It is also in the Neighborhood Food Network as a distribution center. FWS’s monthly food offering goes to EWSC’s food bank.
Fort Wayne Campus Ministry
Fort Wayne Campus Ministry offers Christian fellowship, Bible Study, mission projects, and counseling for students who attend Indiana Tech and IPFW.
Fort Wayne Habitat for Humanity
For the past 14 years, area United Methodist Churches have joined Fort Wayne Habitat for Humanity to build a home for an area family. First Wayne Street has been a partner in this effort. In 2011, we contributed to help sponsor and build a home for the Naing family. This year we are partnering again to build a home for a hardworking family in our com¬munity. Construction is scheduled for August 2012. The total cost to fully sponsor a Habitat home is $60,000. To raise the $60,000 needed for this year’s build, the Task Force is kicking off a May “Drive for Five” campaign, challenging each member in the 34 United Methodist Churches in the Allen County United Methodist Church Task Force to contribute $5 to this year’s build. The First Wayne Street Sunday School offering goes to Habitat for Humanity.
Mission Possible: Kids
In January 2016, First Wayne Street began participating in a program called Mission Possible Kids, a national non-profit that empowers kids to change the world by helping others. Our kids get to be “special agents doing God’s work,” an experience that will help open their hearts & minds to the world and their place in it. We’re not just talking about how God calls us to help – we are showing kids how to answer that call, to prove they can change the world no matter their age. Kids are agents from kindergarten to 5th grade, youth are associates, and leaders are agent handlers. Schedules are available on the Information Table. We usually gather on Sundays after church from 11:00 am to 1:00 pm. Everyone brings a lunch to eat, & then we have a Call-to-Action, Agent Briefing on the current mission, mission work, and a spy game if time permits. Previous missions so far have included a) preparing “busy bags” (for kids to use while waiting in hospital emergency rooms); b) decorating and delivering cookies to firefighters and ER staff; and c) making blankets for Project Linus.
For more info about the national organization, visit them at missionpossiblekids.org.
Pastor’s Discretionary Benevolence Fund
As a downtown church, First Wayne Street strives to serve the needs of homeless and transient individuals at the heart of Fort Wayne who appear at the church office door in crisis. The Pastor’s Discretionary Benevolent Fund provides appropriate, but limited, emergency assistance to those Jesus called “the least, the last and the lost”— those who have fallen through the cracks in the social safety net and have nowhere else to turn but to Christ’s church.
Wellspring Social Services
Wellspring Interfaith Social Services provides programming to senior citizens & special needs individuals, children & youth (both after school and summer programs) and parents in need. Wellspring also manages and maintains a food bank. Summer Camp Scholarships for inner city children & youth are First Wayne Street’s primary area of support.
National & International Mission Support
Operation Classroom is a United Methodist hands-on mission in the two English-speaking, West African countries of Liberia and Sierra Leone, that makes a difference in the lives of youth. Operation Classroom of Indiana is in partnership with 5 of their schools, as well as with other churches in other conferences “to upgrade the educational system of Liberia.” First Wayne Street’s Children’s Worship Offering goes to Operation Classroom, selected for support by our children themselves.
The United Methodist Committee on Relief (UMCOR) is a not-for-profit organization dedicated to alleviating human suffering around the globe. UMCOR’s work reaches people in more than 80 countries, including the United States.
UMCOR provides relief to survivors of natural disasters, i.e., earthquakes, volcano eruptions, hurricanes, tsunamis, floods, tornadoes and famine, as well as humanitarian relief and support where war and civil conflict disrupt life to such an extent that communities are unable to recover on their own.
UMCOR serves as a “voice of conscience among Methodists to act in the relief of human suffering without distinction of race, color, or creed.”
UMCOR spends 100 percent of designated donations on the projects our donors specify. When UMCOR donors give their time, money, and supplies, they join UMCOR as the hands and feet of Christ.
In addition to offerings taken for specific disaster relief efforts, FWS’s 2012 Summer Youth Mission Trip is to UMCOR’s Midwest Distribution Center at Chatham, IL, where the youth will put together flood buckets and health kits that are warehoused to provide for an immediate response when needed.