Helping others has been a priority at Forest Lake United Methodist Church since its beginnings. The variety of FLUM’s outreach projects reflects the diverse, caring spirit of its members.
Here are some of the community, national and global ministries our church supports:
Caring Days: a daycare facility for adults with memory disorders. We support them with funding each year. Volunteers are needed as well.
Chance to Work: helps adults find jobs and get back on their feet through work and training.
Christmas Missions: Angel Tree is toys collected for developmentally delayed children from poor families. The Manger Project is a 30 gallon sack filled with household items for the poor and elderly. Bob Haraway is the coordinator. White Christmas is the United Methodist Children’s Home offering. Christmas Day Meals on Wheels are meals cooked and delivered on Christmas Day. Lib Powell is the coordinator. Stockings are also made and delivered for the homebound of our church.
Community Soup Bowl: FLUM provides the meal and volunteers two weekends out of the year to serve the hungry in downtown Tuscaloosa. We provide over 300 meals for each weekend. Arthur Farmer is the coordinator.
Compassion Coalition: an interdenominational agency helping Tuscaloosa County Volunteer Organizations Active in Disaster (VOAD) and the Tuscaloosa County Emergency Management Agency (EMA) to meet needs countywide immediately after disasters. Nancy Green is the director. Marvin McKinley, Gene Smith and Pat Watson work with this ministry. They work with people to rebuild homes and get them back on their feet after the 2011 tornado. Nancy also accepts donations of appliances, household items, building supplies, furniture and monetary donations. She is an amazing woman who will really put you to work in missions.
Good Samaritan Clinic: interdenominational clinic which provides free medical care to the working poor who do not qualify for Medicaid or have insurance. Most of the staffing is provided by volunteers. Shirley Mecredy is the coordinator.
Heifer International: works to help people learn to support themselves by providing animals for needy families throughout the world. The animals provide income for the families from the sale of their milk and eggs. Lucy Deason is the coordinator.
Hope Initiative: FLUM serves on the board of Hope Initiative. This group of community and church leaders meets monthly to serve the poor and homeless of Tuscaloosa. Hope Initiative works with community ministries, home repair, and community building along all races and economic classes to bring the community together to serve others.
Hope Builders: helps people repair or rebuild homes damaged from the 2011 tornado. Marvin and Beebe McKinley, Gene Smith, and Annette Dudgeon work with this ministry. The funds come from donations, grants, UMCOR and the district. They have worked with over 100 families so far. People are still arriving from all over the country to help build homes.
Hospice of West Alabama: a safe and peaceful place for those who are dying. FLUM is responsible for all the volunteer positions the second week of each month. Martha Rogers is the coordinator. At the present time we have more than twenty-five FLUM members who are volunteers. Activities include, but are not limited to, welcome desk greeters, nurses inpatient assistants, homecare assistants, and transportation volunteers. Volunteers often bring homemade goodies and other food and drink for family members who are visiting their loved ones. The interaction of our volunteers with grieving family members is the most important gift we offer. FLUM also hosts the Candlelight Memorial Service in December. This is a time for the members of families who were served by Hospice to join together in honoring their loved ones. After the service, a reception is given.
In As Much Fund: Critical needs are given to FLUM each week through the social workers in town. We are able to help with these needs through this fund. Some examples of the needs we meet are rent, utilities, work clothes, medicine and school needs.
Jesus Way Homeless Shelters and Men’s Shelter: Four duplex houses have been remodeled for the homeless. Rev. Larry Doughty is the director. We give money to him each month for the power bills for the homes. We also collect food and clothing for the shelters and support Brother Larry. In the summer he runs a young men’s tutoring and work program. We also give him funds for this summer ministry. Brother Larry is also building a men’s homeless shelter and we will support him and help with the building of this structure. The Saints and Sinners Sunday School Class also provide 150 meals for Jesus Way and the West End community twice a year.
John Elmore: John is OUR missionary called out of FLUM to serve the people of Chile through building schools and houses. John receives money from FLUM each year for his salary. We also send John and his family cards and anything special he needs.
Love Inc.: this agency brings together Christian churches in Tuscaloosa to provide a clearing house to meet the needs of the poor. Love Inc. is our direct link with the poor. They handle the screening and intake process to help the poor. This enables the people who need the greatest help to get the greatest good. One of our own, Melissa Lang, works at Love Inc.
Meals on Wheels: This program provides a hot meal for lunch to the sick of Tuscaloosa. FLUM is responsible for the first week of every month. Frankie Burton is the coordinator of this ministry. Each Christmas FLUM “takes over” the route by providing over 100 meals for Christmas lunch. Lib Powell is the coordinator of the Christmas meals.
Operation Warm Up: each winter when the temperature drops, Nancy Green and some other angels find places for our homeless to stay for the night. This is a very important ministry- especially since the Salvation Army Shelter was destroyed by the April 2011 tornado.
Tuscaloosa Backpack Coalition: a community wide effort to provide 2500 backpacks to the needy children of Tuscaloosa County.
United Methodist Children’s Home: we support our UM Children’s Home on both a state and local level. The Tuscaloosa group home is now helping the college age boys find jobs and work their way through school. Linda Kennedy is the coordinator. The United Methodist Women’s Night Circle hosts a Christmas party every year for the Children’s Home.
United Methodist Committee on Relief: our global Methodist ministry provides support for people struck by natural disasters. On average UMCOR helps a new community every three days from some type of natural disaster.
United Methodist World Service: we support missionaries and ministries all over the world through the conference giving. We are proud to be at 100% in our conference giving.
University Place Elementary School: we would like to restart our services to the school. If you would like to tutor or read to children, please let us know. Our own Tommy and Erin Flowers are both teachers at the school.
West Alabama Food Bank: a huge clearinghouse and warehouse for the food needs of West Alabama. It is an amazing ministry. They work with dozens of other food banks to provide the local food bank with food at a cost per ounce price. They also provide Secret Meals for school age children over the weekend. This ministry is so large and it is such a joy to help them bag groceries and deliver the food to neighborhoods. They are always in need of food packers and drivers. Martha Rogers works with this ministry.