Forest Home Chapel
Monday, August 20, 2018
United Methodist Church, Ithaca New York

Our Missions


Left to right: Mennonite Central Committee school kits waiting to be assembled; Fazilee, Pastor Rebecca, Ariana and Jalil on the Crop Hunger Walk; Sunday school children under a Church World Service blanket.

Missions at Forest Home Chapel

Remarks by Rebecca Dolch


Why do churches engage in Mission? Three highlights stand out for me:


Mission is about paying attention to people and energizing the life around them. In the process we receive meaning and energy and connection with the very people and situations we focus upon.

It helps for our focus to be specific. This year, our focus is on the amazing story of Africa University in Zimbabwe, started by the United Methodist Church over 20 years ago, and training leaders and helpers for the continent of Africa. Locally we are focusing on local food ministries, including Kitchen Cupboard.


When we give time, prayers, money, resources, educational emphasis and any type of attention to a specific group of people or a special circumstance, we experience the spiritual concept that we are deeply connected to all human beings, and the whole planet. We belong to each other. Human beings are wired for connection.

Help People

Help people is one of our Biblical mandates. Jesus drew people's attention not because of his philosophy or because of theological statements about him, but because he helped people. In the name and power of God, he healed, taught, fed, reached out to the outcast and made them heroes and heroines. Mission is about reaching out and helping people who need it, calling on the power of God to use us and our resources to empower others.

Ithaca Kitchen Cupboard

A major focus of Forest Home Chapel’s outreach is Ithaca Kitchen Cupboard, a food pantry in downtown Ithaca. The Kitchen Cupboard, an ongoing project of Area Congregations Together since 1969, serves as an emergency and supplementary food pantry for people in the City and Town of Ithaca. The Cupboard (open daily from 1:30 to 3:00 p.m. at the Salvation Army building) provides eligible households with three days’ worth of balanced meals (mostly non-perishable items) which can be prepared or cooked by people in their own homes.

Forest Home Chapel supports the Kitchen Cupboard in numerous ways. We staff the Cupboard on the second Tuesday of each month, sending two or three Chapel people to distribute orders to the families who come to the Cupboard window. We collect food for the Cupboard every month on the Sunday before our Tuesday staffing days. During the months of March and April we emphasize monetary collections for the Cupboard, to increase the pantry’s return from the annual Feinstein Million Dollar Challenge. And we help staff the Kitchen Cupboard booth at the annual Ithaca Alternative Gift Fair, where shoppers may donate to local non-profits in the name of friends and family.

For more information or to volunteer to help, please download this document How to Help Ithaca Kitchen Cupboard, or contact Debbie Novelli at



United Methodist Committee on Relief

UMCOR is a frequent recipient of Chapel support, most recently for 2011 Flood Relief in the Upper New York area. Past and ongoing support includes relief and rebuild efforts for Haiti. 100% of designated gifts support intended needs. UMCOR field offices and trusted, knowledgeable local partners provide relief and development in more than 80 countries.



Family Reading Partnership

When you read to children, they know you love them.

A bright red wooden crate waits in the entryway of the Chapel, ready to be filled with "gently used" children's books. Once the create is full, the books are taken to Family Reading Partnership, and join contributions from many other community organizations. The books are then distributed in "Bright Red Bookshelves" all over Tompkins County — health care waiting rooms, grocery stores, day care centers — anywhere parents and children will see the books, and take them home free, to read and love.

Each March, The Family Reading Partnership and Area Congregations Together (ACT) promote a Faith in Books Weekend. The Chapel participates in this special book collection drive.

The Chapel has a long history of members vigorously supporting this initiative, combing yard sales and other collections to donate thousands of books to the effort. Be part of it!  




Church World Service Blanket Sunday

Traditionally on Mother's Day each year

At Forest Home Chapel, we traditionally have an offering for Church World Service’s Blankets+ program on Mothers’ Day. Blankets+ is a special mission opportunity for all ages. Some 8,000 congregations and groups across the U.S. hold CWS Blankets+ events, providing funds to help people in need around the world, including the U.S.

For over 60 years, Church World Service has worked in partnership with local communities to identify their needs and access the resources they need to build the foundation for a more viable future, including:

  • Blankets, tents, food and other emergency supplies in the wake of a disaster
  • Tools and seeds for refugees returning home to replant their fields
  • Wells for families living in drought prone areas to provide clean, safe water to drink and to irrigate crops and gardens
  • Literacy training and microcredit for women struggling to realize their potential
You're the plus in Blankets+! For more information about Church World Service and Blankets+, go to



Protestant Cooperative Ministry (PCM)

at Cornell University

A recent new "mission" for Chapel members is to demonstrate love in the form of snack foods sent to PCM students hard at work, studying for finals each semester at Cornell. We fill sixty bags with home-baked treats, fruit and juices, candy and nuts, as well as an inspirational message from Pastor Dolch and the congregation. 

PCM Chaplin Taryn Mattice reports that students are thrilled to receive fuel for their studies, and even more thrilled to know that members of the Ithaca community are keeping students in their thoughts and prayers during this anxious time.