Young Elders’ Fellowship
This group provides Christian fellowship, education, and service opportunities for many retirement age (though not necessarily retired) individuals who are willing to call themselves “Young Elders”. More than half of those who attend regularly are not members of South Avenue United Methodist Church, but have church memberships elsewhere. This diverse group welcomes married couples, single men and single women.
Activities: This fellowship group is supportive of South Avenue United Methodist Church’s effort to be a Christian witness in the community of Wilkinsburg and the larger world. A Favorite Films Program and various children/youth ministry projects are outreach activities at the present time.
Contact Person: For additional information or reservations, contact Anne Vogeding (412-372-6001)
On the third Monday of the month, you will find members of SAUMC in an unusual place; a homeless shelter. Bethlehem Haven, a homeless shelter for women, began here in Wilkinsburg. This is how we became involved. When they moved to a larger and nicer facility in Pittsburgh, we went along. The shelter provides meals and a place for the night. It also provides programs to help women find sobriety, employment, and a permanent residence.
Our job at SAUMC is to take one meal per month to the center. It consists of an entree, vegetable, fruit, rolls, milk, beverages and a delightful desert. Then, we take the meal, serve it, and spend some time with the residents. The human contact is the best part of the ministry. Seldom has anyone volunteered and not been blessed.
The Program is a halfway house opportunity for men and women who have been convicted for crimes and drugs to complete their sentences away from the prison environment. In the facilities in Oakland they are able to work on education, job skills and life skills they will need when released.
South Avenue ministers to The Program in two ways. Over the year, we collect and deliver personal care items (soap,toothpaste,toothbrushes,lotion,combs,etc.) to stock a cupboard for the people to use when they arrive at the facilities. In November, we have a Christmas Angel Tree containing angels with the age/name/sex/size and suggested gifts for each child of parents who are in The Program. Members of the congregation take the angels and buy gifts which are brought unwrapped to the church. The Program picks up the gifts, the parents wrap them and give them to their children at a December Christmas Party. This has been a very worthwhile ministry.