One of the most important values of Mill Woods United Church is caring for our neighbours. It begins in our own community, and spreads overseas to every nation. Mill Woods United members are involved in a variety of ministries, some of which are outlined below. For information on our work of reconciliation with First Nations, click here.
We support Bissell Centre by accepting donations of small housewares, clothing, bedding, toys and equipment for infants at the church. The Bissell Centre Thrift Shop sends a truck monthly to pick-up these items. We also support their Child and Family Services Programs by collecting label’s from Campbell’s products. Every Christmas we have a White Gift Sunday when we collect gifts that are wrapped in white paper. These are then sent to Bissell Centre to be given to the participants of their programs at their various Christmas parties.
Mill Woods United Church became involved with the Bread Run in October 2005 when the organizers found themselves short on volunteers. Since then more than 20 congregation members have worked on a rotating basis picking up bread and vegetables from local grocery stores and delivering it to the church where it is sorted and made available to members of the community. On Saturday mornings from 10:00 – 11:00, the sanctuary is turned into a market. This allows community members who struggle with food security to supplement their groceries. Some of the food also goes to a shelter in Mill Woods for abused women. Leftovers are shared with immigrants from South American countries and a shelter for youth in danger. Bread is also taken to St. Elizabeth School for their breakfast program. This project is not just about the food though – it’s about giving – giving of one’s self to someone less fortunate. These volunteers are always prepared to go the extra mile with an abundance of smiles and hugs to go around. If you would like to volunteer to help with this project please contact the church office.
Clothes Encounters of the Second Kind
Our Clothing bank has been in existence since 1995, being the brain child of a group from the community who needed a place from which to operate. Space was dedicated in the church building to house the operation which has been going strong ever since. The Clothing Bank accepts donations of clean, gently used clothing for men, women and children. The clothing is made available for anyone who needs it on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 5:30 – 6:30 p.m. Donations can be dropped off at the church during office hours or brought to the church on Sunday mornings and left outside the Clothing Bank door (east loft room). If you would like to volunteer to help with this project please contact the church office.
The Grand Meadow Community Garden is located on the front lawn of our church and we have 27 various sizes of raised bed garden plots. These provide gardeners with opportunities to practice and promote nutritious and organic gardening methods. All inquiries should be directed to the garden coordinator.
Mill Woods United Church is a participating member of the Edmonton (Gleaners) Food Bank. We operate a depot in the Mill Woods community and work in cooperation with the Edmonton Food Bank to assist people lacking food security. Clients must call the Main Food Bank offices at (780) 425-4190 to request hampers. Hampers are then available for pick-up at the church on Tuesday and Thursday evenings between 5:30 – 6:30 p.m. If you would like to know how you can get involved please contact the church office
The Greater Edmonton Alliance (GEA) is an organization looking for new ways to explore justice issues in our society today. It recognizes that there are many pressures on families that need to be examined, and that a confrontational “us” vs. “them” approach to solving social issues does not work. Members include the Al-Hadi Lebanese Community Organization, Edmonton Inner City Housing Society, Norwood Child and Family Resource Centre, various congregations from the Catholic, Anglican, Moravians and United Churches, as well as several local branches of the ATA to name a few. It is hoped that by having members who are from such a broad spectrum of society, that the perspective on issues will also be broad. GEA provides free leadership training opportunities for its member groups to develop skills which can then be brought back to the member communities. A number of our members attended one of these sessions in February 2006.
Once a year, our congregation provides the food and workers for the Inner City Pastoral Ministry luncheon that follows their Sunday service.
Once again the support and generosity of the congregation came through as we supplied lunch and served it to our inner city neighbors at the Bissell Centre in May. Thank-you to everyone who gave so generously in the way of sandwiches, fruit, vegetables, desserts and all the special treats that our neighbors enjoy so much i.e. pickles and cheese! Also a huge thank-you to our volunteers who had the privilege of serving this lunch. May God’s grace be with you all!
“there are people in the world so hungry that God can not appear to them
except in the form of bread” –Mahatma Gandhi
No Room in the Inn
Mill Woods United supports this initiative each year through a “special’ Christmas offering. “No Room in the Inn” is an annual appeal to Edmonton area churches to help provide safe and affordable housing for those who are homeless or at risk in our city. It is sponsored by the Edmonton and District Council of Churches and the Quality of Life Commission. This appeal, started in 1999, is based on the story of Mary and Joseph who arrived in Bethlehem to discover there was no room for them in the inn so took refuge in a stable until Jesus was born. Too many people today in Edmonton face similar housing crises. Since its inception, local churches have contributed over $700,000 in Christmas donations toward housing projects for those in urgent need of safe, affordable housing.
Seeing Things Clearly!
We have been collecting old eyeglasses for a number of years. These eyeglasses are then taken to the Lion’s Club for their Recycle for Sight program for distribution to the needy in developing countries. If you have old eyeglasses which you are no longer using, please leave them in the Eyeglass Box on the wall in the foyer near the Mission and Outreach bulletin board.
Stamps for Scriptures
Please help us to collect used stamps for the Canadian Bible Society. Cut out the stamps from the envelopes (approximately 1/4 to 1/2 an inch or 1 centimeter outside of the stamp) and leave them in the stamp box hanging on the wall in the foyer by the Mission and Outreach bulletin board. The stamps that we collect are purchased by stamp collectors for $8.00 per kilogram. That money in turn goes directly into the translation, publication and distribution of Bibles.
Tabs 4 Wheels
We collect the tabs from pop cans which are then sold as scrap metal. The funds raised are used to buy wheelchairs for children. There is a container at the back of the sanctuary where your pop can tabs can be dropped. This is a project in support of Easter Seals.