The members of Laguna Beach United Methodist Church are very active in mission and service work in the local community, in providing a helping hand as part of national organizations, and participating in a wide variety of mission trips. Each year members from Laguna Beach United Methodist Church participate in various trips to mission sites. These have included five trips to Mexico, house-building with Baja Vision and orphanage repairs, with Corazon de Vida. There have been two trips to Haiti, and another to Cuba. In 2014 a team went to New Mexico to work at a kids’ camp for families with HIV/AIDS, “Camp Corazones.” In 2015 a team worked at The Bethlehem Center, a Methodist-supported after-school program for inner-city kids in Chattanooga, TN. Next summer, in 2016, a team will return to Orkeeswa School, a project of IEFT in Tanzania.
Please take some time to review some of the organizations with which LBUMC is involved with locally, nationally, and internationally via the tabs below.
Laguna Beach Alternative Sleeping Location
The city of Laguna Beach established a temporary overnight shelter for homeless adults on Laguna Canyon Road called the Alternative Sleeping Location. Laguna Beach’s Friendship Shelter, under contract with the City, operates the program every day from 5:00 PM-10:00 AM, providing a safe alternative for Laguna’s chronically homeless. Every evening an organization, or church, will bring dinner to Laguna Beach’s Alternative Sleeping Location where about 70 people show up to eat and get a good night’s rest in a safe and warm environment. The Laguna Beach United Methodist Church team is proud to provide dinner every Wednesday evening. For more information on Friendship Shelter, please visit their website: Friendship Shelter.
Experts on homelessness within Orange County agree that it has reached crisis proportions, and that there are not enough resources designated for chronic and emergency programs. With that understanding, Illumination Foundation was founded in late 2007 to effectively lower the barriers for Orange County’s homeless population to access existing resources and services. In July 2008 IF launched the “Pre-Transitional Housing and Wrap-Around Program”, a comprehensive program that houses and supports homeless families with children in motels in Orange County. IF was established within the UC Irvine Health Care Executive MBA Program as a non-profit public charity organization. Today, IF’s governing board consists of community leaders in medicine, nursing, social work, information technology and education.
Laguna Beach United Methodist Church is proud to have church members active with IF and participate in ongoing mission programs. For more information on IF, please visit their website: Illumination Foundation.
Meals on Wheels
LBUMC members are active with Meals on Wheels. Designed by a Registered Dietitian, each delivery consists of a hot, ready-to-eat meal, a cold meal to eat later in the day, and a breakfast meal for the following morning. Volunteers deliver meals Monday through Friday between the hours of 10:30 AM and 1:00 PM. For more information on Meals on Wheels, please visit their website: Meals on Wheels.
Habitat for Humanity
Habitat for Humanity of Orange County is part of a global, nonprofit housing organization operated on Christian principles that seek to put love and faith into action by building homes, communities and hope. Habitat for Humanity of Orange County is dedicated to eliminating substandard housing locally and worldwide through constructing, rehabilitating and preserving homes; by advocating for fair and just housing policies; and by providing training and access to resources to help families improve their shelter conditions. Habitat for Humanity was founded on the conviction that every man, woman and child should have a simple, durable place to live in dignity and safety, and that decent shelter in decent communities should be a matter of conscience and action for all. For more information on Habitat for Humanity, please visit their website: Habitat for Humanity.
Sierra Service Project
Sierra Service Project’s (SSP) mission is, “Building faith and strengthening communities through service to others.”
SSP is a Christian non-profit organization providing life-changing experiences through acts of service repairing homes in rural and urban communities and serving in Central America. Laguna Beach United Methodist Church has a long standing tradition of sending youth work teams each year to share in God’s love through SSP.
During SSP’s Domestic Summer Program each year, approximately 1,500 youth and 400 adult volunteers from 120 churches and over 40 paid summer staff live, worship and work together on six different project sites. Together, their work results in over 130 safer, drier and more comfortable homes and community centers. For more information, please visit SSP’s home website: Sierra Service Project
In 2000, 27 members of Laguna Beach UMC went to Zimbabwe for a work-team at Africa University. The trip was co-led by Rev. Ginny Wheeler and Kay Ostensen, under the advisement of trustee and founder, Ed Fry and Cathy Fry, who visit AU frequently. This outstanding university includes students from 19 different nations in the continent of Africa nearly half of whom are international students. Africa University aspires to become a world class setting for leadership development in Africa, and 1% of each church’s apportionment is designated for this exceptional school.
IEFT (Indigenous Education Foundation of Tanzania)
Orkeeswa School is a community-based, community-led initiative located in a predominately Maasai village. Our students live and learn within their village, allowing them to take their education home with them every day and make an immediate impact. We have a deep respect for culture and seek to equip our students with the capacity to protect their values, prevent exploitation and make long-term decisions in favor of cultural preservation. For more information on IEFT, please visit their website: Indigenous Education Foundation of Tanzania.
United Methodist Missions
A major responsibility of Global Ministries is to connect the various parts of the Church as United Methodists engage in global mission.As a biblically rooted and historically informed organization, Global Ministries facilitates engagement in God’s mission. As part of Global Ministries, the United Methodist Committee on Relief (UMCOR) is a not-for-profit organization dedicated to alleviating human suffering around the globe. For more information on United Methodist Missions, please visit their website: Global Ministries.