Opportunities to Serve
In our community and the world
We believe that all people are called to engage in servant ministry to those in our community, our area, and our world who are in need. Our congregation and its members support a number of organizations, by giving our money as well as the gifts of our time, energy, and talents.
Our congregation has an ongoing relationship of financial support, giving each year from our budget, with Family Promise, Underground Ministries, and Oasis Teen Shelter. We also support the Family Promise program as a Support Church.
Below, you can find more information on each of these programs and organizations, as well as some information on how we partner with organizations within the United Methodist Church.
Family Promise of Skagit Valley
Bay View UMC is a “Support Church” for the Family Promise program here in the Skagit Valley. As a support church, we partner with other congregations to provide overnight accommodations and meals for homeless families during four weeks each year. We are very excited to be a part of the Family Promise program, which is making a huge difference for families in our valley that are experiencing homelessness.
At any moment, there are around 1000 children in the Skagit Valley who are experiencing homelessness. The mission of Family Promise is to help homeless and low-income families achieve sustainable independence. The program seeks to help families get back on their feet, securing employment, housing, and stability. Family Promise is a response by the faith community to the problem of family homelessness in Skagit County.
The program has thirteen Skagit Valley congregations that partner as “Host Congregations” to provide overnight accommodations and meals for one week at at time for 3-4 families. During the day, families will travel by bus to the Day Center, where they will work with a social worker to find and utilize resources for securing housing for their family.
Family Promise is a nationwide network of more than 180 of these local affiliate programs across 41 states. The program is proven to help more than 80% of its clients secure housing.
Learn more about Family Promise here.
Learn more about our local program, and how to get involved, here.
Friendship House provides temporary housing to individuals in Skagit County who are struggling to make ends meet, as well as resources and opportunities for their residents to change their lives. Every day, Friendship House serves hot meals to hungry – including people who are Friendship House residents as well as anybody else who needs a meal. In 2012, they served over 50,000 meals. They are always welcoming new volunteers for various needs, especially in helping to prepare and serve meals.
Learn more about Friendship House here.
Skagit County Habitat For Humanity
Skagit Habitat for Humanity (SHFH) is a people-to-people partnership, drawing together individuals and communities to build decent, affordable housing with people who are living in inadequate housing and who are unable to secure adequate housing by conventional means. Partner-families are selected based on their need for adequate shelter; their ability to pay for a Habitat home; and their willingness to partner with Habitat for Humanity. After a Partner Family works 500 sweat equity hours, SHFH sells the homes and the family’s mortgage payments are put into a perpetual fund to continue construction of more homes. SHFH is always looking for volunteers, both at their build site and at their Store.
Learn more about how to volunteer with Habitat for Humanity here.
Oasis Teen Shelter
At the YMCA Oasis Teen Shelter, homeless youth from all over Skagit County are given shelter, hot meals, and the support they need to improve their lives. Oasis has provided short-term emergency shelter to youth age 13-17 since 1997 and operates 365 days a year, from 6pm to 7am. The home-like residence is licensed to serve 7 youth per night for up to 21 days. During their stay, the youth find supporting adults, warm meals and opportunities for recreation and skill building. Each meets with a Case Manager regularly and together they work on transitioning the youth to safe and appropriate long term housing. Education is emphasized, with each youth required to attend school or pursue alternative learning.
Learn more about Oasis Teen Shelter here.
Community Action of Skagit County
Community Action is an independent, community-based private nonprofit. We are part of a nationwide network of Community Action agencies established under the Economic Opportunity Act of 1964 to fight poverty at the local level. Community Action was established locally in 1979, growing as community needs and resources were identified. We support over 30 inter-related programs and are the main provider of human services to low-income individuals and families in Skagit County. We group this array of services into six areas of focus: Housing and Homeless Prevention; Hunger and Nutrition; Healthcare Access; Education and Job Skills; Critical Needs; and Volunteerism and Community Engagement. Our mission is to foster and advocate for self-sufficiency among low-income people in Skagit County.
Learn more about Community Action here.
Underground Ministries seeks to open new relationships of embrace and trust between gang-affected prisoners and our communities to which they return, for our mutual transformation and resurrection.
We serve those at the bottom of the American system: prisoners, gang members, those most feared, locked away in solitary confinement, and deemed dead to society. We build relationships, incarnating the kind of love we see in Jesus, friend of sinners and outcasts, who wept over Lazarus in the tomb before he raised him from the dead.
We are inspired by how Jesus not only spoke life into the underground, but then called a community to roll away the massive stone so the beloved could join the land of the living. And so we build relationships with churches, lawyers, families, correctional facilities and neighbors. Why? So we can, together, creatively move through prison walls, roll away prisoner debt, and open new opportunities for these returning, formerly-feared men to become the fathers, husbands, employees and voices God has called them to be.
These new relationships turn us (“on the outs”) into the kinds of people, and communities, God has called us to be. As we both risk shedding our defenses–mainstream and underground alike–we discover our purpose together, the life of the world to come.
Learn more about Underground Ministries here.
Jamaa Letu Orphanage
Bay View UMC sponsors a boy at the Jamaa Letu Boys Orphanage in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. Jamaa Letu is an orphanage sponsored by the Pacific Northwest Conference of the United Methodist Church. The orphanage provides food, shelter, and education to the children, giving them hope for their future.
You can learn more about Jamaa Letu here.