We believe that God calls us to not only reach out into the community, but to also offer opportunities for our folks to serve right here at Heritage. We currently have three opportunities for serving ministries; spaghetti ministry, street ministry and our pack-a-sack program. These are ministries that are easy for people to plug into and gives them an opportunity to serve with other Heritage folks right here on our campus. For details on each ministry, please click on a tab below.
Heritage’s Spaghetti Ministry is a dedicated team of volunteers that monthly prepare and serve a spaghetti dinner with all the trimmings. This is a free meal but we do ask for a love offering which goes to sending local children to a Christian camp during the summer. We have sent as many as 60 kids that would not have the chance to go to summer camp. They have a wonderful time and get to hear about how much God loves them. Service opportunities include shopping for the food, prep work like dicing onions, set-up of tables and chairs, cooking sausage, meatballs, garlic bread, serving those that attend the dinner and cleaning up the kitchen and fellowship hall.
On the first and third Tuesdays of each month, a team of volunteers cooks delivers and serves a hot meal to residents of Pinellas Safe Harbor. This is a homeless shelter located just over the Bayside Bridge that houses up to 450 people at any one time. Heritage delivers one of the only hot meals they get each month and they are very appreciative. You can volunteer for any of the following positions:
Shopping Team – This group will purchase the food and supplies needed to prepare enough for 450 people.
Cooks – The prep team meets at 11:00 am on the first and third Tuesdays of each month and prepares all of the food that will be cooked. This is typically a two-hour effort. Once the food is prepared and put into serving pans, it is placed in the church ovens and cooked all afternoon on low heat. This team is typically done by 1:00 pm.
Serving – The serve team meets at the church between 5:00 and 5:15 pm to load the food onto the church bus and deliver it to Pinellas Safe Harbor. The bus leaves the church at 5:30 to go to Safe Harbor where the food is unloaded and the serving cart is set-up. Each housing POD is visited where, in assembly-line fashion, the meal is placed on individual trays and given to each resident. The food is blessed at each POD. We typically serve about 300 – 350 people, leaving the leftovers for late arrivers and are normally back to the church by 7:00 pm. All utensils and trays are washed and put away.
Pinellas County has many families that are in need of food on a regular basis. The school system has instituted the Pack-a-Sack program to enable children in the free lunch program to bring home food for the weekends. Heritage is currently partnered with McMullen-Booth Elementary School where every two weeks we provide meals and snacks to help bridge the weekend hunger gap for children living in food-insecure homes. We pack two weeks of food twice a month at Heritage. This is a food service program supported by United Methodist Cooperative Ministries Suncoast (UMCM). Anyone can help in the packing of the food so it is a great ministry for families with young children to get involved in.