United Methodist Economic Ministry

30 Years of Caring

RR1, Box 726, Strong, ME 04983

The mission of the United Methodist Economic Ministry (UMEM) is:
"to clothe the naked, feed the hungry and house the poor."
In 1998 UMEM became the first Regional Ministry of the New England Conference.

In The Beginning

There was a dream . . .

The United Methodist Economic Ministry has its roots in the Sugarloaf Protestant Ministry, the Evangelical United Brethren Churches in Kingfield and Salem and Mission at the Eastward. The Rev. Charles Reid, the first director of the UMEM, had a vision of a better life for the spiritually and economically challenged of the area.

In 1969 the first building was moved to the present Salem site from Bigalow Hill and set up as a thrift shop. The next year an addition was built to serve as a furniture refinishing shop and for job training. Over the next thirty years the Salem facility has grown to include the food cupboard, conference room, office space, dip tank room, and workgroup quarters.

The Solon United Methodist Church property was acquired in 1993 and a thrift shop and food cupboard were established to serve the area. In 1998 the Solon parsonage was sold and the proceeds invested with the United Methodist Foundation for the future security of the ministry in Solon.

In 1998 UMEM became the first Regional Ministry of the New England Conference.

Today There Is . . .

The reality . . .

In 30 years the mission of the UMEM has not changed, "to clothe the naked, feed the hungry and house the poor". Key to this is education and training so that people can become self-sustaining.

The challenges are still here and UMEM seeks new ways to minister to the people of this region.

New partnerships through the Western Maine Regional Ministry Project have been formed to further the ministry of the UMEM, Mechuwana Camp and the local churches.

While thrift shops, food cupboards and housing ministry are the most visible programs of our region, there are many more programs designed to meet the challenges of this area.

After school programs are being established in some churches while some others are looking at the challenges facing families with elderly members.

Safe and adequate housing is of concern in each community within the region and is being addressed through the use of Mechuwana Mission Camp, UMEM Workgroup Program, and other local church programs.

Tomorrow There Will Be . . .

Children who grow up in an atmosphere of hope and love, because . . .

We Are Not Alone

Our ministry is supported by . . .

Individuals who are called by God to make a difference in the world and do this by . . .

Churches who take their call to mission seriously by . . .

The New England Annual Conference by . . .

What You Can Do

  • Pray for the ministry of UMEM, Mechuwana and the Regional Ministry Project
  • Search your heart for your personal response to mission
  • Talk to your local church about mission
  • Volunteer your time and talents
  • Pray

    © 2001-2002 Winthrop United Methodist Church, Winthrop, ME Last Updated: January 15, 2002