Food Bank of Contra Costa County

A team gathers on alternate Fridays at the Food Bank warehouse to sort and box donated food.  The congregation donates nonperishable items for distribution to emergency food programs.  One-third of those served through these programs are children.

 Sierra Service Project

Youth of Lafayette United Methodist Church eagerly anticipate the annual mission trip with Sierra Service Project.  In the summer of 2010 twenty five youth and six adults worked at the Yurok Reservation in Klamath, Northern California.

United Methodist Volunteers in Mission (VIM)

VIM website

United Methodist Volunteers in Mission offer themselves in relationship and their skills in service to others.  Previous Volunteers in Mission have served United Methodist mission in Colonet, Mexico, and the United Methodist Church in Winnemucca, Nevada.

Since 2008 LUMC Volunteers in Mission have served the El Cento Rural Metodista (Methodist Rural Center) in Quesada, Costa Rica.  Missionaries are housed in dormitories at the Center.  Work teams are sent out to serve at neighboring churches in the area.  Mission work includes construction and Vacation Bible School.

El Centro Rural Metodista is a ministry of the Evangelical Methodist Church of Costa Rica.  It was initiated with the support of Bishop George Miller, who served as pastor of the Lafayette Methodist Church from 1942 to 1948.  Current church members are blessed to be continuing the rich legacy of Bishop Miller.

Several of our trips have been to Costa Rica. Missioners repaired homes, continued construction on church grounds, and led Bible school for children.  Click here to view a slideshow of one of those trips.

Winter Nights

Winter Nights is a rotating shelter for people seeking homes, hosted by various congregations in Contra Costa County.  Lafayette United Methodist Church co-hosts the shelter with other congregations in the community, offering meals, children’s activities, and overnight supervision.

 Additional Organizations

Additional Organizations are supported with our financial resources, facility use, and in-kind donations.

California Council of Churches The California Council of Churches was created in 1913. Since that time, it has been a witness to the Gospel by educating faith communities to pursue justice, equity and fairness in the treatment of all people and in particular those most vulnerable in our society. The California Council of Churches has a Sacramento based office representing 51 different Christian denominations with over 1.5 million members. The Council works with the California Legislature in pursuit of the common good for California citizens. To learn more about the California Council of Churches click on link above.

California Council on Alcohol ProblemsThe California Council on Alcohol Problems is a statewide, faith based organization that, through research, education, advocacy and lobbying, seeks to prevent the moral, economic, scientific and social problems caused by alcohol. The Council addresses prevention, under aged drinking, college drinking and many other issues relating to alcohol abuse. To learn more about the Council on Alcohol Problems, click on link above.

Contra Costa Interfaith HousingIn an effort to alleviate and provide a permanent solution to homelessness in Contra Costa Country, in 2000, Contra Costa Interfaith Housing (“CCIH”) was formed. It purchased an apartment complex in Pleasant Hill to provide housing for homeless families in the county. In addition to shelter, CCIH offers programs for parents and children to stabilize families and develop self-sufficiency so families can thrive. To learn more about CCIH, click on link above.

Contra Costa County Food Bank The Contra Costa County Food Bank began in 1975 when a group of citizens recognized that local Contra Costa County families had a critical need for food. The Food Bank now distributes 20 million pounds of food annually. More than half of the food that is distributed is fresh fruits and vegetables. LUMC members help by collecting food at church and sorting food at the Food Bank. To learn more about the Food Bank, click on the link above.

CROP Walk – In 1947 Church World Services began the Christian Rural Overseas Program (“CROP”) which was designed to help Midwestern farmers share their grain with those who were hungry in Post-WWII Europe and Asia. In 1969, the first CROP Walk took place in which people raised money to help eradicate hunger by walking. In Contra Costa County, the CROP Walk takes place in Walnut Creek every autumn. Together church and community members take steps to alleviate world hunger. The money raised from the CROP Walk supports the ministries of Church World Services especially its hunger fighting efforts around the world. It also supports the Winter Nights family shelter in Contra Costa County. To learn more about the CROP Walk, click on link above.

Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals – The Contra Costa County Multifaith Immigration Coalition in Action is a coalition of individuals, congregations and faith based organizations in Contra Costa County that advocates for the socioeconomic and politically vulnerable immigration community. MICA assist immigrant children with assistance in preparing applications for the government’s Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program. This program is part of the Department of Homeland Security’s effort to allow undocumented immigrants who were under 16 years of age upon arrival in the United States, have not been convicted of a crime and are in school or have completed high school or been honorably discharged from the US military and were under the age of 31 as of June 15, 2012, remain lawfully in the United States. Financial support to the Multifaith Immigration Coalition in Action DACA program provides an applicant with $200 towards the $465 application fee.

Fisher of Men – Steve Semler, a former commercial fisherman from South Carolina, has been a missionary in Costa Rica since 2002 where he founded Fisher of Men. This ministry feeds 100 homeless people, both spiritually and physically, in a public park every Saturday morning in the capital city of San Jose. Fisher of Men provides Bible school for children and repairs homes in the “precario,” an impoverished neighborhood near one of San Jose’s trash dumps. Fisher of Men also provides clothing to children (newborns to age 12) in a shelter for abused and abandoned children and assists in maintenance for the shelter itself. The ministry and outreach continues to grow and help those most in need.

Futures Explored

Habitat for Humanity – East Bay/Silicon Valley – Habitat for Humanity East Bay/Silicon Valley has been building homes in Alameda, Contra Costa and Santa Clara Counties since 1986. Habitat for Humanity revitalizes neighborhoods by building affordable and sustainable housing that in turn empowers families with limited incomes to strengthen communities through successful homeownership. Habitat for Humanity works with volunteers and corporate partners that provide construction materials, workers and financial support. To learn more about Habitat for Humanity East Bay/Silicon Valley, click on link above

Heifer Project International – Heifer Project International fights poverty and hunger around the world. Heifer was founded by Dan West after he witnessed the human suffering of refugees when serving as an aid worker during the Spanish Civil War. West realized that what was needed to stem the tide of hunger and poverty was “not a cup of milk but a cow.” After West returned to the US, he and his Midwestern neighbors made this dream a reality and began shipping cows to Europe. Now, decades later, Heifer Project provides a variety of animals to those in need around the globe and pairs the contribution of animals with training to foster self-sufficient farming. Moreover, the animal’s offspring are shared within the community. Thus, Heifer seeks not only to feed the hungry but to improve the standard of living of the entire community. To learn more about Heifer Project, visit

Interfaith Council of Contra Costa Country – There are 107 congregations that are members of the Interfaith Council of Contra Costa County. Members come from a broad range of Christian denominations as well as Jewish, Buddhist, Baha’i, Unitarian, Islamic, Sikh, Unity, Latter-Day Saints and Religious Science traditions. The Interfaith Council facilitates understanding of different faith based traditions through cooperative outreach within the county. For example, the Council has a long history of providing chaplaincy ministries to various Contra Costa County institutions as well as providing social justice and spiritually based programs in the County. To learn more about the Interfaith Council, click on link above.

Mt. Diablo Peace and Justice Center – The Mt. Diablo Peace and Justice Center was formed in 1969 by people who were dissatisfied with war and injustice. The Center seeks to provide a more peaceful, sustainable and co-operative approach to living in community locally and globally through education, advocacy and community building in order to create a better world. For example, the Center initiated a conference for educators on violence and bullying in schools with a focus on conflict resolution and non-violence training and created a website to expand access to materials developed as a result of the conference. To learn more about the Mt. Diablo Peace and Justice Center, click on link above.

Operation Christmas Child – Samaritan’s Purse collects shoeboxes that are assembled by church congregations including LUMC. The shoeboxes are filled with Christmas gifts including useful items like school supplies and hygiene items as well as small toys. Samaritan’s Purse distributes the shoeboxes around the world to children in need. To learn more, click on link above.

Sierra Service Project and Sierra Service Covenant – Sierra Service Project (“SSP”) was founded in 1975 by several United Methodist ministers who believed that young people develop a strong and deep understanding of God’s gifts and God’s grace through the direct experience of being in service to others. Each year, approximately 1,500 youth and 400 adult volunteers from 120 churches and over 40 paid summer staff live, worship and work together on different rural and urban project sites to create safer, drier and more comfortable homes and community buildings in under-served communities. LUMC Youth participate in SSP annually. Moreover, through the Sierra Service Covenant, LUMC provides financial support for the salaries of the paid staff that organize, coordinate lead the SSP program. To learn more about SSP, visit

Trust in Education – Trust in Education was founded by Lafayette citizen Bud McKenzie to ease suffering and enhance the quality of life for Afghan children, women, and families. Trust in Education has distributed more than 50 tons of clothing and enough food for 900,000 meals in Afghanistan and contributed to the construction of schools and collected medical supplies in the US for distribution in Afghanistan. For his tireless work, Bud McKenzie has recently been chosen as one of the Dalai Lama’s 51 Unsung Heroes of Compassion. To learn more about Trust in Education, visit

United Methodist Committee on Relief (UMCOR) – Compelled by Christ to be a voice of conscience on behalf of Methodists, the United Methodist Committee on Relief (“UMCOR”) works globally to alleviate human suffering and advance hope and healing by providing humanitarian relief where natural and man-made disasters strike. 100% of contributions designated by donors to a specific UMCOR relief effort go directly to the designated program. Administrative costs necessary to keep UMCOR operating are funded through the One Great Hour of Sharing offerings and donations designated for operations. LUMC contributes to UMCOR both for specific disaster relief and to support UMCOR’s operational needs. To learn more about UMCOR, click on link above.

United Methodist Global AIDS Fund – The United Methodist Global AIDS Fund (UMGAF) was established in 2004 by the General Conference. Its purpose is to stem the tide of HIV and AIDS around the world, and strengthen the church’s compassionate response to this deadly pandemic. UMGAF supports programs that focus on prevention, advocacy, testing and counseling for people living with HIV and AIDS. Twenty-five percent of contributions to UMGAF by LUMC remain in our conference and the remainder of the funds are used where needed most. To learn more about the Global AIDS Fund, click on link above.

Volunteers In Mission – United Methodist Volunteers in Mission (“VIM”) began in 1976. VIM organizes service opportunities that utilize each volunteer’s skills and talents for Christian service at home and around the world on short term projects such as medical clinics, disaster relief, Bible school and construction projects. LUMC has a long history of supporting VIM projects including sending money and teams to projects located in California, Nevada, Mexico, Costa Rica, Bosnia and more. To learn more about the Volunteers in Mission, click on link above.

Winter Nights – The Interfaith Council of Contra Costa County’s Winter Nights program provides warm, dry and hospitable shelter to homeless families in Contra Costa County. Congregations from various faith traditions house homeless families at churches on a rotating basis. Congregations also provide meals, activities for the children and tutoring. The Interfaith Council provides professional staff for supervision during shelter hours and daytime services such as job training and permanent housing placement assistance. The program runs from fall to spring to provide much needed services and shelter during the coldest and wettest months of the year. To learn more about the Winter Nights Shelter, click on link above.