Local Missions

“...and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, Judea, Samaria, and even to the ends of the earth”
- Jesus, Acts 1:8

We are called to share God’s love with the world. That means the people next door, across the state, and on the other side of the globe.

At Advent we begin the work of making God's love real right in our backyard. You can read more about our local mission efforts by clicking on the tabs below. Those tabs noted with a (*) are Cornerstone Missions.

* Greenville Area Interfaith Hospitality Network (GAIHN)

GAIHN

The mission of the Greenville Area Interfaith Hospitality Network is to assist local congregations to share hospitality responsibilities, such as emergency shelter support and provision, transitional housing and meals. By providing safe lodging to homeless families, nourishing meals and genuine hospitality to those in crisis, Advent UMC is committed to being a faith community of radical selflessness, risk-taking ministry and extravagant generosity.

What if you could do one very simple thing that made it possible for three families to not sleep in their cars tonight? What if because you were a tiny bit uncomfortable, three families are warm, fed, and safe tonight? What if because you and your family walked in their shoes for one night, three families didn't fear losing their children tonight?

As the only Greenville shelter that focuses on keeping families with young children together, GAIHN will offer accountability and help in overcoming each families' hardships. We get the easy part, making them feel welcome and allowing them to experience God's people living out Jesus' commands. Advent offers emergency shelter once a quarter to three families. We are in need of volunteers to cook, host, and spend the night in the church with these families.

To learn more about homelessness and the GAIHN program, please visit www.gaihn.org.

To learn how you can help GAIHN at Advent, contact Leigh Randall

* Hope Academy

Hope Academy

Founded in 1997, Hope Academy (located at Advent) provides an alternative to traditional educational programs. The mission of the academy is to challenge each student while also ensuring personal success. Both preschool and academy classes are inclusion based, allowing children with special needs to learn side-by-side with their peers, providing an opportunity for all children to learn that differences are to be celebrated, not feared.

Click here for more information.

Hope resides on Advent's campus throughout the week and opportunities for hands-on volunteering with students are available. For more information on how you can volunteer, please contact Bettye Butler.

Backpack Blessings

Backpack Blessings

The Facts - Thousands of low-income children in Greenville County rely on food support from the National School Lunch Program. Sadly, during the weekends and over school holidays, when school is not in session, children are at risk of going without the food they need. In addition to what hunger can do to their health and physical development, hunger can affect their behavior and school performance. In turn this can cause them to be distracted in class, have lower test scores, and higher absence rates.

Our Mission - Backpack Blessings has partnered with local elementary schools and works directly with guidance counselors who identify children that have a need for a program such as ours. The Backpack Blessings program currently provides 81 children with child-friendly, easy to prepare, food to take home over the weekend.

How you can help - With your food and monetary donations we can support these children to help ensure they stay healthy and have a better opportunity to receive a good education.

Spread the word - Backpack Blessings is a simple mission that both large and small groups can help support. Boy/Girl Scout troops, schools, National Honor Society and Beta clubs, Sunday school classes and businesses can collect items to help keep our pantry full and bags being sent to the children who need them. Please consider our mission when your group or business is looking for a project to support.

Food items - Below is a detailed list of the items we send in our bags. In effort to keep the bags of food as nutritious as possible please refrain from donating cakes, cookies, chips, candy, etc.

  • Juice Boxes/Pouches (100% juice or lower sugar preferred) - no fruit punch, sports drinks, etc.
  • Instant Oatmeal packets
  • Cereal (single serving size only)
  • Microwavable Pasta or Macaroni and Cheese (single serving size only)
  • Franks and Beans (single serve pop-top cans only)
  • Applesauce Cups
  • Fruit cups or pop-top cans
  • Microwave popcorn
  • Peanut-Butter/Cheese Crackers
  • Granola Bars
  • Pudding Cups
  • Raisins (single serving size only)
  • Pretzels/Gold Fish (single serving size only) - no potato chips, nacho chips, etc.

For questions or if your group/business would like to set up a collection please contact Carolyn Hamilton or 864-553-9137.

Blood Drive

Blood Drive

One pint of blood can save up to three lives. Someone needs blood every two seconds. 4.5 million Americans will need a blood transfusion each year.

Bi-monthly the Blood Connection volunteers come to Advent to collect much need blood donations. Blood drives occur in February, April, June, August, October, and December. Check the announcement section for the when and where. For more information about upcoming blood drives, please contact Dee Vaughn.

For additional information about the Blood Connection please visit their website.

Food Pantries

Food Pantries

Weekly food collections are delivered to Greenville area food pantries. Donations can be left in the bins in the Narthex. In addition, watch for hands-on opportunities where you can volunteer in a food pantry or warehouse.

Some of the local pantries we support include:

God’s Pantry

Golden Strip Emergency Relief and Resource Agency

Harvest Hope

Habitat for Humanity

Habitat for Humanity

habitat

Established in 1998, the Golden Strip Church Coalition (GSCC) is a non-profit, ecumenical Christian ministry that has partnered with Habitat for Humanity to break the cycle of poverty and build homes for hardworking families who are unable to qualify for a mortgage. Each spring, Advent volunteers assist with the Golden Strip Church Coalition build.

For further information on HFH in Greenville, please see their webpage.

To volunteer, or for more information, please contact Susan Hopkins.

March Mission Madness

March Mission Madness

March Mission Madness (MMM) is an annual signature Advent event. Held on a Saturday in March, MMM offers a one-day local mission trip opportunity. For all those wanting to experience a mission opportunity but unable to fund or give the full time commitment of a mission trip, this is for you!

For more information please contact Jim Tindal.

Safe Harbor

Safe Harbor

Safe Harbor, Inc provides a 24/7, year round crisis line and emergency safe shelter for victims of domestic abuse. Both the crisis line and shelter are equipped with counselors, paraprofessionals and trained volunteers to provide direct assessment, support, counseling and case management to assist victims of domestic crime with relocation, employment and other professional services that may be needed during their residency at the shelter. Other Safe Harbor services include advocacy for clients going through family court, hospital emergency room victim services, and educational programs in Greenville County Schools to teach students about domestic violence and promote healthy dating relationships.

For more information about Safe Harbor and the work they do to support the Greenville area community, please visit their website.

SantaHatchie

Santahatchie2

SantaHatchie

During the winter break, Advent students and adults come together to help provide home improvements to create warmer, safer homes in our community for families in crisis. Patterned much like Salkehatchie Summer Service, the SantaHatchie Mission is held right here in the greater Greenville community.

This local mission allows students in middle school, high school and college the opportunity to serve alongside each other while developing relationships with the families served. Advent children also participate in SantaHatchie through a children’s workshop and additional adults from Advent participate through providing and serving meals.

Serenity Place

Serenity Place

Serenity Place is a residential treatment center for pregnant women, young mothers, and their preschool children. Each year, about 120 mothers and children find hope, healing, and transformation in the program, with each family living on-site for about six months. Up to 48 women and children are in treatment at Serenity Place at any given time.

Each Thanksgiving, the Gleaners Sunday School class provides a noontime traditional Thanksgiving meal and entertainment for the mothers and children of Serenity Place.

For more information on how you can participate with the Gleaners class, please contact Valerie Norris at 864-297-0716.

Shepherd's Gate

Shepherd’s Gate

Shepherd’s Gate is a shelter for homeless, abused, addicted or abandoned women. The women there receive counseling and the tools to get back on their feet. Emanuel Women's Outreach Circle (an Advent United Methodist Women's Circle) has identified this as their on-going mission effort. They collect toiletries for these women and provide a wave of grace that includes collecting things needed in the shelter from toilet paper to feminine hygiene products. They also have a Christmas dinner and a Spring dinner at the shelter to spend some time with these women.

For more information about how you can help support Shepherd’s Gate through Emanuel Circle please contact Susan Martin or 864-243-1973.

For more general information about Shepherd’s Gate, visit their website.
Triune Mercy Center

Triune Mercy Center

Triune Mercy Center is a non-denominational mission church that ministers alongside the homeless in downtown Greenville. Every FIFTH SUNDAY, Advent has the opportunity to serve a hot meal at the Triune Mercy Center located at 222 Rutherford St, Greenville. We meet at Triune at 4:30pm and finish around 6:00pm. We need volunteers to transport food for the meal and help with clean-up at Triune, and provide desserts (cookies, brownies) and dinner rolls.

In the month leading up to the FIFTH SUNDAY, we collect five needed items such as art and office supplies and canned goods. Thank you so much to all for your help with our mission at Triune Mercy Center.

For more information about Triune Mercy Center, visit their website.

If you have any questions, you may contact Phyllis or Jim Cashion 864-630-5506.

Advent Helping Hands

Advent Helping Hands

Advent Helping Hands is a ministry aimed at providing service to those in need of support. The need could be a situation of aging, sudden illness, or other inabilities related to taking care of their property. Examples of work include things such as: house maintenance, yard work/repair, or errand running.

Our first focus is to take care of Advent members in need. If you need some help, or if you know of someone else who might benefit this service, please send a note to Jim Grayson or call him at 513-324-7756.