A Lighthouse of Compassion and Connection

November 27, 2023 | | GNJ News

Faith Community UMC in Bayville, Berkley Township

Nestled in the heart of Berkeley Township, NJ, where the beauty of sandy beaches meets the refreshing scent of pine, Faith Community United Methodist Church has stood as a radiant beacon of compassion and community service.

Guided by God’s grace, the church has consistently addressed the diverse needs of the community through a decade of impactful initiatives, transforming its location into a symbol of hope and unity for its neighbors.

Faith Community UMC’s food pantry, created in 2010, is a cornerstone of its commitment to making a positive impact. The weekly ministry feeds up to 65 families, including over 200 individuals, with remarkable growth, thanks to the dedication of coordinator Kim Morris and other church members. Those members include selfless youth—Serena Eloise Calhoun, Lilli Elizabeth Santella, Anthony Madrigal, Erika Kangas, Nicole Kangas, Kaitlyn Massa and Ethan Collins—who strive to embody a spirit of community and make a meaningful difference in the lives of their neighbors.

The church celebrated their contributions at a youth recognition ceremony November 12. The town’s new mayor, state senator and other guests came to show their gratitude and to help strengthen the bonds of fellowship, compassion and community service.

Spreading joy during the holiday season.

Faith Community also joined its neighbors in spreading joy during the holiday season. Sunday School Director Nancy Noll led members to collect donated toys and needed items and deliver them in 151 shoeboxes to children in need as Christmas gifts on November 19. This act of generosity exemplifies the church’s commitment to making a positive impact beyond immediate needs.

Additionally, church leader Jim Cunningham supports our Homeless Ministry by collecting essential items to provide much-needed assistance to those experiencing homelessness in the community. The church’s dual commitment to addressing hunger and homelessness reflects a holistic approach to serving the diverse needs of its community.

Faith Community UMC also invites community neighbors to the church on first Saturdays for a pancake breakfast fundraiser. This monthly gathering serves as a delicious community event, contributing to the church’s ongoing efforts to support various community initiatives.

Rev. ChangYong Shin

In conclusion, Faith Community UMC has served as a lighthouse in Bayville, Berkeley Township and a living testament to the power of faith, compassion and community engagement. The church’s commitment to addressing the needs of the hungry and homeless, coupled with its dedication to spreading joy and support during the holiday season, showcases the transformative impact a congregation can have on its local community.

In God’s grace, as we celebrate these achievements, let us be inspired by Faith Community UMC’s unwavering commitment to making a positive impact, fostering compassion, and strengthening community bonds. May their example encourage us all to reach out and make a positive difference in the lives of those around us.

*The Rev. ChangYong Shin is the pastor of Faith Community UMC and Lakehurst UMC.