“A Door for Community” — Douglas Community UMC

Submitted by the Outreach Committee of Douglas Community UMC.

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Even the front door to Douglas Community UMC says, “How to build community.”

Douglas Community United Methodist Church  is situated on Douglas Island, across the channel from Downtown Juneau.  In addition to worship and study, the congregation  is focused in four areas of outreach in our community:

  1. Feed the Hungry/Feeding Juneau’s Future
  2. Glory Hall Meals
  3. Food Pantry
  4. Building Community in Douglas.

Feeding Juneau’s Future is the larger group which partners with other churches in the community as well as community organizations.  The goal of Feeding Juneau’s Future is to end food insecurity among school aged children in the Juneau Borough.  Money from the Juneau Community Foundation Grant as well as the Gaguine Foundation help fund the Backpacks program. program. We also receive grant funding from the state for the Summer Lunch Program.  Feeding Juneau’s Future is centered out of our building and DCUMC is the recipient of the grant monies to make the following programs happen.

  1. Backpacks program in area elementary and middle schools providing food to go home on weekends for children identified as needing this service. This is funded through the Community Foundation grant.
  2. Food pantries in the high schools.
  3. Summer Lunch programs at low income housing projects.

In this work, DCUMC (Feed the Hungry) provides backpacks for students at Gastineau School, as well as providing the summer lunch program at Cedar Park Housing.

The Glory Hall Meal is provided for those who are homeless in Juneau one Tuesday a month by members of our church.  The food is prepared in our commercial kitchen, transported to the Glory Hall, and served to the people by volunteers from our community.

The Food Pantry at DCUMC is open every Wednesday and Friday from 2-4 PM.  Donations come from financial support from the church as well as from members of our church community and of our wider community donating food.   There are currently 15-20 people who use the pantry weekly.

Building Community in Douglas is an effort to partner with people in our community to support each other in building a stronger and more caring community in Douglas.  In the past year, these are partnerships we are building:

  1. DCUMC and the Douglas Fire Department.  The Fire Department has donated food to our food pantry and made a substantial donation after the Fourth of July.
  2. DCUMC and the Fourth of July Committee in Douglas.  We partner with them every year to host the Douglas Christmas Tree Lighting gathering on the Friday after Thanksgiving.  In addition to refreshments, this year the church is lining up musicians for a small concert in the sanctuary afterwards.  We will also be offering to assist with the Douglas Ghost Walk, a Halloween gathering for the children of Douglas sponsored by the Fourth of July Committee.

As we move into the next year, we hope to be able to be responsive to emerging needs in our midst.

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