Reaching Out in Ministry


Cross Training




Harvest Table








“A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another."


John 13:34

At Southport, serving others is who we are. Reaching out is what we do. We do it for those within our walls, within the community, and the region.


Ministries within our walls exist so that people might be brought closer to God. Some ministries reach into places where people may never attend a church, but may just need a caring presence and a Christian example. Those ministries exist so that persons might find God through that sharing of Jesus Christ.


Below are reports from 2023 from our ministry leaders: 

Bereavement Dinners


We open the church and provide a meal for the family of church members who lose an immediate family member.  This gives them a chance to just be together in those times with family and close friends. They don’t have to worry about hosting, getting the food together and cleaning up. 

Date: As Needed

Submitted by: Maggie Lucas and Janet Shaffer



Card Ministry


The team of four ladies provide cards at the request of the office staff and they are always asking for more opportunities to share the hope and love their cards offer.  As of our last count they have mailed or delivered 761 cards including the cards made available for you to share with others.  These beautiful cards are created to provide inspiration, encouragement, and love to the recipients. The cost of the ministry is largely born by the card team with little cost for the church.

Date: Ongoing

Submitted by: Kim Kidwell, Suzy Heilman, Cheryl Cutshall, Cindy Pulliam, and Sandy Tilton



Cross Training 


This opportunity for interaction between the various cultures represented at Southport UMC is specifically designed for our 1st-6th grade students and their guardians. We participate monthly in an event providing Food – Faith – Fun to all attending. 

Date: 2nd Sunday, monthly (most months)

Time: 11:45am to 1:45pm



Emmaus Community


Our church provides financial support for members who attend the Emmaus 3-day spiritual retreat. We also receive from our Emmaus Community support through prayers and gifts of agape (symbols of God’s love) for both the Emmaus and Chrysalis (time for teens and college-aged adults) weekends. So far this year eight of our church members attended their first weekend.

Date: Ongoing

Contact: Margaret Trammell, Agape coordinator at SUMC



Family Promise


We miss having the families at our church like we did when we worked with the Interfaith Hospitality Network program of Family Promise.  We are grateful for the opportunity to assist with the new option, the Apartment Shelter Program, in short through grants, donations and fundraisers we are now able to provide housing for families that are in transition.  Southport UMC has been involved for over 20 years in this much needed ministry. A lot of you have graciously given of your time and finances over the years. We have four volunteers who help clean and set up apartments when new families are added.  

This year through the substantial outpouring of love and household items we fully furnished a two-bedroom apartment for a new family. Thank You for your continued support!

Date: Ongoing

Submitted by: Paul & Maggie Lucas





This ministry has been providing food to the unhoused each month for 3 years. The team meets on Thursday at 1pm in the gathering area before the second Saturday of each month. The team buys the food with their donations that need to be placed in white bags. Then the bags are filled to be delivered to a ministry called "Tear Down the Walls" where they take the food out to the unhoused on the second Saturday of each month. 

The team bagging is an all-volunteer group that dedicates their time of 30 minutes each month to bag the meals. The meals consist of eight to nine items focused on items that could last for more than one day of meals. The bags contain: protein, water, fruit, vegetable, cookie, granola bag, chip bag, crackers, and candy.

"They come running when they see the white bags come out of the cars" as is quoted by the directors of the "Tear Down the Walls" ministry. So, God is at work in this ministry due to your support. (Matthew 25:35-36)

Delivery Date: 2nd Saturday, monthly

Submitted by: Sandy Tilton



God’s Will Breakfast


Breakfast is a place where the homeless come to gather for food in a safe, dry, warm environment. We serve on the 3rd Friday of each month. Sometimes, people are there early and waiting for us to serve. We have been told, "We are glad you are here serving today." It starts with prayer—a moment of grace. 

Then, the line forms. Paula shops for the food. She listens and remembers the items people enjoy eating not only at breakfast but take away food such as individually wrapped breakfast bars, bananas, and tootsie rolls.  

Generally, we have enough food for a few 2nd helpings. People ask for seconds to go to take to someone who is not at the breakfast. I wonder sometimes if the second will be their meal for later in the day. It is more than serving breakfast to a group of people. We are helping people/friends, serving God, and giving them a place to belong, if only temporarily. Paula Miller shops for food and always has at least two, if not three, of her kids helping to bring food into the building, cook, serve, clean up, and take a few items back to the car. Edie generally attends. If more food is left, it is boxed up and taken to homeless camps by representatives. (I understand it is social workers).

*Usually, different services are set up in the room for people in need. For example, one week (it was cold and rainy), a gentleman told a representative he did not have a coat. His condition was identified, and it was taken care of.

Date: 3rd Friday, monthly

Submitted by: Janet Shaffer (for Paula Miller's full report, see the Faith Promise Booklet) 



Harvest Table


Our volunteers met many lovely people through this ministry. People who need help in our community. It was a kaleidoscope of stories, needs, and gratitude. At the end of the season, we could see that they would miss our weekly harvest. Several asked where else they could go to get food. One of our volunteers gathered information and printed it so they could hand it out. We provided a safe, comfortable place where they would come, choose their food, talk about their week, etc. People were thankful; if their garden was bountiful, they would bring vegetables to share or the lady who brought flowers to thank us for being there every week. 

The weeks when we had "tunes" it was fun! "Free food - hot dogs, chips, drink. and music!"  The rewards were incredible. We make a difference in our community. We would take donations.  We did not spend any money.  We praise all the gardeners for their efforts and contributions.

Date: Growing season, annually

Submitted by: Janet Shaffer on behalf of the amazing team



Harvest Tea


Harvest Tea was held on Saturday, October 7, 2023, and the earliest comments we heard were ‘can we make this an annual event?’ Our plan is to make it an annual event, implementing improvements and increasing the outreach.  



Habitat for Humanity Panel Build


 - On Saturday, September 23 we have six people from SUMC who participated in a panel build at Second Presbyterian Church for two homes to be constructed soon as a part of the 2023 Interfaith Build. We were able to also contribute $5,000 from Faith Promise funds to help offset the cost of the build.

Submitted by: Dick Bender



Hunger Inc.


The food pantry has serviced the Perry Township, (parts of) Beech Grove, and Franklin Township areas for those who demonstrate a need for supplemental nutrition and hygiene supplies. The Pantry is located at 1416 Epler Ave. in a small building serving as many as 50 plus clients in a day that the pantry is open.  

The pantry is open 3 days a week: Tuesday 10-1, Thursday 4-7, and Saturday 10-1 which can total up to as many as 100-150 clients a week.  That could be as many as 400-600 clients a month. Through November in 2023, the pantry has served about 132,962 pounds of food by providing sustenance for over 15,161 people. The pantry is an all-volunteer program.

There are many volunteers from Southport UMC that serve each month and provide food each week/month to keep the pantry able to service those in need. The pantry is very thankful for the donations given to this ministry.  Southport is a blessing with their support. The Website is or email

 The pantry relies on monetary donations to help purchase food from Meijer Store on Southport Road with their Simply Give Campaign.  

Date: Tuesdays 10am-1pm, Thursdays 4-7pm and Saturdays 10am-1pm

Submitted by: Sandy Tilton



Jubilee Christmas


For over thirty-five years we have had the opportunity to make a difference in the lives of many families from our community during the holidays. We currently are blessed to partner with Homecroft Elementary School where their social workers assist in identifying families who will greatly benefit from Jubilee Christmas. Church family members host a family and in 2023 we served eighteen Homecroft families with over 60 children. The more hosts available means the more families we can serve. Hosts are the direct contact with their family, gathering information to identify needs and gift wishes. On Jubilee Day the family and hosts meet for fellowship and to wrap the gifts to take home.

We prepare lists for the congregation to choose from: shopping online through Amazon; choosing tags from the board in the Gathering Place; making blankets, baking cookies for the families to take home; being a Helping Hand for shopping, set up, and to participate in Jubilee Day. Because of the incredible generosity of our church family Jubilee happens.

Adult family members, hosts, our Helping Hands and the Jubilee Team gather on Jubilee Day for a celebration including refreshments, fellowship, and lots of wrapping. The joy we share is knowing that families who may not have had a traditional Christmas know that we care about them, and their struggles and we want to share God’s love with them. 

Date: Ongoing

Submitted by: Sandy Lewis, Kim Distel, Pam Clough, Karen Kegerreis, Jennifer LaMar, Bethany Brock, Kristy Harris, Jerrie Snell, Sherry Davis.



Kairos Prison Ministry


Our church supports through prayers and financial support the team members who minister to the inmates at Plainfield, Indiana Women’s Prison and Rockville.  Kairos Inside addresses the spiritual needs of the prisoners at the facility. 

The volunteers pray, share the love and forgiveness of Jesus Christ, share meals and fellowship with the incarcerated on a one-to-one basis. Imagination Station provided placemats for the meals served at the facilities and these are treasured by the incarcerated.

In 2023, our volunteers successfully completed two weekends at Plainfield Correctional Facility as well as observing the Torch weekend at the Juvenile Facility in Logansport.  We were disappointed when other weekends were postponed for Indiana Women’s Prison and Rockville Correctional Facility. Our confidence remains that Kairos is in ‘God’s Time’, and we are preparing for our next opportunities. We appreciate your ongoing support and prayers.

Submitted by: Maggie Lucas



One Mission Society (OMS)


We are fortunate to have two members in our church who work for OMS. One department connects donors to our various projects around the world (blankets in Bangladesh, bicycles for pastors in India, soccer clubs in Colombia, etc.). Among many projects OMS provides scholarships to students at the 35 OMS-related seminaries. This past year there were 936 graduates from those seminaries. 

Hope 61, their human trafficking prevention training program, made a presentation at the recent Harvest Tea and SUMC donated to their continued work in Human Trafficking Prevention.  

Southport UMC donated $1,500 to OMS in 2023.

·      OMS-related ministries work in at least 52 languages.

·      OMS rejoices in the 348,008 decisions for Christ worldwide.

·      OMS serves and partners in 78 nations.

·      1,351,384 worshipers in OMS-related churches and groups

·      1,732 cross-cultural and national workers serve globally with OMS, as well as more than 75,000 volunteers.

·      OMS unites in partnership with at least 347 organizations and denominations.

Submitted by: Suzy Heilman



Perry Township Religious Education


Southport UMC has been a long-time supporter of the important ministry that shares the gospel of Jesus Christ as a labor of love for Perry Township families.  We currently provide financial support for the ministry and if you are interested in a hands-on experience, we would like to help you connect on a more personal level.



Ronald McDonald House


As coordinator of the Ronald McDonald House meals for SUMC, I’m happy to say that we as a church have been serving there for at least 25 years. Covid did affect us for a while in how we served. We are back in and serve families that have children at Riley Hospital. We serve once a month with rotating teams of 12 volunteers, with four going in on each visit. We serve anywhere from 20 to 50 people a nice meal at a cost of $200 - $225 per visit.  

With travel time our commitment each week is only about 4 hours. We have been told by those that volunteer and work at the house that they and the families that are there for multiple months look forward to our meal. If you’ve ever had the Ronald McDonald Chicken meal, you understand why. I’d like to thank everyone who has served in the past and is currently serving. It is a much-needed service that we at SUMC provide and it is much appreciated by those at RMH. Thank you.

Date: Ongoing monthly

Submitted by: Paul Lucas



Second Helpings


On Saturday, April 22 we had six people volunteer for some kitchen work in the hunger relief kitchen chopping vegetables as prep work to go into meals that would be sent out to over 100 non-profit organizations. No cost or financial contribution was incurred.  If you would like more information on volunteering for Second Helpings contact Dick Bender.

Submitted by: Dick Bender



United States Chin Coalition


Most of our ministries are hands on with financial support through Faith Promise. We are pleased to provide financial support to the coalition. Pastor Kok Mar is on the board for the USCC.

Other Ways to Serve

In addition to the ministries listed here, we provide these opportunities to serve: 



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