Every community, regardless of its size, has a segment of the population that is marginalized. As Christians we are called to seek ways to reach out to those in need. Spend time observing your community and talking to the schools, police, and social agencies to learn where the need is greatest.
Here are some ways that churches in Yellowstone Conference have found to help address needs in their communities:
Family Promise: Their mission is to help homeless and low-income families achieve sustainable independence. This is an ecumenical effort. Bozeman UMC, Missoula UMC, Hope UMC (Billings), St. Pauls (Helena), Billings First UMC, Grace UMC (Billings), Christ UMC (Great Falls), and First UMC (Great Falls) all participate.
Free Store: "Stores" set up at a local church (often using empty Sunday School rooms). People in the church volunteer to sort donated items and help on days the store is open. Contact these churches to learn how they got started: Evangelical UMC (Billings) Act Your Faith; Lonsdale UMC Sidney, and Browning UMC www.bumpmission.org.
Prison Ministry: Leading a worship service at the prison or visiting inmates. Evangelical UMC (Billlings): Act Your Faith
Socks and Sleeping Bags: Collecting what is needed for the homeless in winter. Shiloh UMC: www.shilohumc-mt.org