Illinois Great Rivers Annual Conference of the United Methodist Church
We have an awesome Missions Team at Forrest Hill. Everyone is very dedicated to the Mission of Jesus Christ.
From the start of the East Bluff Community Center, Forrest Hill Missions has been supportive of their mission. We have had a cookout in the summer and all proceeds go to the East Bluff. We have our food donated by Waugh Foods, so everything we get can go on to our mission.
South Side Mission Women’s Shelter. Each year at Christmas we receive the names of the women who are currently living in the shelter. We purchase gifts for everyone in the shelter so that they can have a Merry Christmas. Our church has supported this mission for many years and we hope to continue this mission.
Our church has a monthly collection of food for the Madison Ave. Food Pantry. This mission is undergoing some changes due to the closure of the Madison Ave Methodist Church. Other groups from the East Bluff are trying to help keep this food pantry going. Its serves people who really are poor and can use the food, without the pantry, they may not have any food at all.
We organized a Panty Parade here at Forrest Hill. This is a mission to help the clothing section of Loaves and Fishes at First Church downtown. We collected underwear for the homeless people that come to eat at Loaves and Fishes. We have the best congregation in Peoria, I believe. We collected for 2 weeks and collected 302 pair of underwear, men's, women’s, girls and boys. Any size, any kind. God is definitely guiding us in mission at our church.
We also took a small group to the Loaves and Fishes mission at First Church downtown in May 2015. We volunteered in the dining room and one nurse was in the medical clinic. Some wrapped and passed out silverware, plated desserts and served them, made and delivered drinks to the table, passed out hand sanitizer, helped people carry their food to the table, did some food pantry work. We all were very blessed to have served. That day we served 258 people, it was amazing to all of us that there were that many people in Peoria who needed a meal. We now know that churches need to play a bigger role in helping the less fortunate.
We have taken collections for short term mission for the Friendship House food pantry when they put a call out that they were in desperate need of peanut butter and spaghetti sauce. We collected a trunk load of those items.
For the past few years, we have supported Luke and Tiffany Wessler as missionaries to Africa. We also in the past have supported Haute Africa which trains people to start helping themselves by teaching them how to run their own business.
We also donate to Operation Santa, where the troops receive a stocking of goodies. There are a few sewers at the church who sew the stockings and then we collect the travel size goodies that Operation Santa places into the stocking and then sends to our troops abroad. This is usually in conjunction with our Veteran’s Day activities
We participated in a letter writing campaign in support of Bread for the World. We believe that all people should be able to have access to food. We do not want our political leaders to cut funding to the places that need food the most, our poorest people.
We take a special collection on every 5th Sunday throughout the year and donate the extra cash to different charities. We have donated to the Deaf and Hearing Ministry, Common Place and Midwest Distribution Center.
We also support our sister church in Ganta, Africa. This is a very small church and we help to support the Pastor’s salary. We get information on this church through James Labala, the District Superintendent for the area in Africa. Although, we have not heard from James Labala for almost three years now. We can’t seem to find any info out about him or the church. We hope and pray that all is ok and communications are just lacking.
East Bluff Community Center
Loaves and Fishes—through volunteer and Panty Parade (collection of new underwear)
South Side Mission Women’s Shelter Christmas Gifts
Madison Ave. Food Pantry, monthly collection of food
Kathy Bloyds Granddaughter Kati’s Mission trip to India
Flo Kooi medical Mission to Honduras