Life of the Church

Prayer Garden

Outside of our glass atrium entrance we have a lovely prayer garden for folks to pause, sit, and take a few moments to commune with God.  This space is actually an Eagle Scout project completed by Trevor Sprow from Boy Scout Troop 64, which meets at St. Gabriel’s Catholic Church in Concord, in October 2023.  Trevor has given many hours of his time as a volunteer at Painesville United Methodist Church, so when it was time to think about his Eagle project it was a natural extension to offer his time and service toward a meaningful legacy here as well.  He worked closely with the PUMC Board of Trustees to plan appropriately for the space and then brought in fellow scouts and adult leaders from the Troop to bring the vision to life.  Now, we have a beautiful, mindfully-designed space to allow for peace and prayer in the midst of busy downtown Painesville!  

Garden Club

The Garden Club meets early in the spring to begin strategizing what will be planted for the summer season in our back yard planter boxes. Then, members of the club fill the watering and weeding schedule around the church from late May to mid October. 

The planter boxes that we have behind our building were actually an Eagle Scout project by Mitchell Morse from PUMC Troop #62!   Mitchell worked closely with the PUMC Trustees to design planters that would align with our welcoming vision as well as be beautifully functional.  Then, he and his fellow scouts worked hard to clear out overgrown weeds, plants, and brush before building the benches/planter boxes.  His project was completed in October 2022, but the Troop even committed to providing the first round of plants, which they did in May 2023.  The Garden Club was thrilled with their gift of plants and soil to kick off their inaugural planting year!

Mission Committee 

Our Mission Committee meets every 6-8 weeks, usually on a Thursday morning, to discuss how we can be in mission in the local community as well as for regional or national opportunities, and then schedules time to work on those missions and share them with our congregation.  In March 2023, the Mission Committee conducted new and gently used stuffed animals for local non-profit Asa’s Angels, who used them to fill Easter baskets for children in need in a nearby county. In August the Mission Committee is collected school supplies to stuff backpacks for the Salvation Army, who gives them to needy children. Contact the Church Office to find out more about how you can connect with this group – and be a part of future PUMC mission work!

Heart Walk

The PUMC congregation enjoys participating in the Lake-Geauga Counties Annual Heartwalk.  The congregation first joined this effort in 2022, with 27 walkers raising over $1400 for heart health!  In 2023, over 20 walkers (and 2 babies in strollers!) joined the HeartWalk, raising over $800 for hearthealth!

 Food Pantry

The PUMC Food Pantry operates weekly with the help of several volunteers.  Early in the week, shopping is done for canned and boxed food staples such as vegetables, cereal, pasta, and peanut butter, and household items such as toilet paper and laundry soap, as budget allows.  Then, a few of our volunteers pack two types of bags: food items and toiletry items.  In the middle of the week, the stocked bags are loaded up and made ready to be distributed.  On Thursday mornings, an additional team of volunteers sets up the food items upstairs in our glass atrium and serves the needy population between 9am-12pm. 

 Donations for the Food Pantry come from our congregation through monetary giving or through our donation bins in our Mission Hallway.  We accept donations of non-expired canned vegetables, fruits, and soups, as well as boxes of cereal, pancake mix, macaroni & cheese, pasta, etc.  Sealed household items such as laundry soap, dish detergent, shower gel, etc. are also welcome.   We know that many of our needy population do not have reliable transportation, so the Food Pantry team specifically requests donations in small, individual sizes so that no one is struggling to carry home a giant, bulk purchase of something heavy or unmanageable. 

 We are also periodically recipients of donations from the United Way, which serves many food pantry locations in Northeast Ohio.  Sometimes private companies will also hold a food drive and distribute to the needy – Our thanks to Morton Salt, Lubrizol Corporation and TechDynamix for their periodic donations as well as other individual/anonymous contributors. 

 In the Spring of 2023, our Food Pantry was able to move into a larger room in our church.  A team of volunteers and trustees worked hard to clean up and repaint the space to make it appropriate and ready for food sorting and storage.  In addition, they were able to bring the existing shelving – which were built as an Eagle Scout project by Trevor Jenkins from Troop 159 in Madison, Ohio! – over to the new space so they can continue to be of service for their intended purpose!

 We appreciate all of our volunteers and donors who make the Food Pantry ministry possible!  If you have questions about donating to the Food Pantry, please feel free to contact the church office for more information.

Photo to the left is Trevor Jenkins from about 30 years ago.

Soup Kitchen

PUMC is part of a network of local churches and organizations that prepare and serve food for the homeless and hungry on a rotation throughout the month.  The Soup Kitchen is actually located at St. James Episcopal Church, 131 N. State Street, Painesville and operates five days a week.  Members of the congregation of the Painesville United Methodist Church typically fulfill shifts at the Soup Kitchen on the third Saturday of the month, all year long.  The team plans a meal that covers all basic food groups, prepares it, serves it, and cleans up afterward.  Shifts usually run from 10am-12:30pm (cooking and setup) and 12:30pm to 2:30pm (serving and cleanup).  Additionally, other members of the church will sign up to donate baked goods to also be served for dessert on that shift.  If you’d like to participate in this wonderful local ministry, there is a signup sheet in the PUMC church office, or contact the church office by phone to check available dates and shifts.  Thank you to all who help make this ministry possible!

Grill On The Hill

On Friday evenings from mid-May to mid September, the Downtown Painesville Organization hosts a weekly Classic Car Show right on the Square!  Each week, hundreds of cars are lined up in the grass in in some parking areas and visitors and owners alike are invited to take a stroll and enjoy all of the beautiful historic vehicles!  Around 2017, the Painesville United Methodist Church was invited to be a part of this event by grilling and selling hamburgers and hot dogs.  PUMC said YES!  Each Friday night during the Classic Car Show a team of volunteers from PUMC grills, sells, and serves these items.  Any profits earned are able to help the church out a bit, and the volunteer team enjoys fellowship and camaraderie on lovely summer evenings!  We are thrilled to be able to participate in this family-friendly summer function, and love to be able to use our front “hill” for a great cause. 

Holy Hiking

Periodically, Pastor Jim, Pastor Kenya, or Director of Outreach Maria Strickland will schedule a hike that members of the congregation are welcome to attend.  Typically these hikes are relatively short (2 miles or less) and local to Lake County.  Hikes are usually scheduled and announced 2-3 days prior, once a weather forecast has become a little more clear.  Hikes are also family friendly and can last about one hour, depending on the group pace.  These are announced through our church email platform.  Folks who would like to be contacted for future hiking opportunities should contact Maria in the church office to be added to the email list.

United Woman in Faith

The United Women in Faith is an international organization previously known as the United Methodist Women.  While roles of the United Women in Faith may vary throughout churches, the UWF at PUMC gather for fellowship, fundraising, and service opportunities.  Throughout the year, the PUMC UWF host bake sales, make crafts and host an annual craft sale, a fall craft, and an annual retreat.  This group is open to adult women of all ages.  Meetings are usually held at PUMC throughout the academic year, with occasional summer social gatherings.  Ladies who are interested in joining should contact Barb Alban or the church office for more information.

Susanna Circle

The Susanna Circle is a group of adult ladies that meets on the third Tuesday of the month throughout the academic year.  Ladies enjoy fellowship, card making, and/or crafts throughout the year and a special picnic in the summer.  Ladies who are interested in joining should contact Joyce Flood or the church office for more information.

Stitchers Group

The Stitchers Group meets on Thursdays at PUMC.  Participants work on various sewing or stitching projects that range from teddy bears for infants, fidget aprons for folks with dementia, dresses for girls who need school clothes in Africa, to creating or completing quilts, prayer shawls, and blankets for various causes.   The Stitchers enjoy fellowship and working on their projects starting at 10am, breaking for lunch around 12pm, and resuming their work until around 2pm each Thursday throughout the academic year and is open to anyone who loves to sew, stitch, or do needlework.  Those who are interested in joining the Stitchers should contact Deb Kendrick or Linda Jenkins, or contact the church office for more information.  Don’t forget to bring your lunch!

Other Events

In summary, PUMC is an active church that encourages the congregation and community to get involved and enjoy activities in mission, outreach, music, and fellowship!  Most events are announced through church emails.  To subscribe to our emails, please contact Maria in the church office.  We look forward to welcoming you into the life of the Painesville United Methodist Church!