The United Methodist Church
Portage Chapel Hill is a congregation of The United Methodist Church, the third largest Christian denomination in the world. The United Methodist Church has its roots in England, dating to the mid-18th century when the Reverend John Wesley gathered Anglican student priests together in a call to prayer and personal piety. Other students called these young priests “Methodists” because they had ritual hours of prayer, study, and worship. When the Revolution broke out in the Colonies, Wesley was disgusted that priests of the Church of England returned to the mother land, rather than staying and ministering to the colonists through the war. Wesley took it upon himself to send priests to America. Bishops were then elected, effectively starting the Methodist Church in America. The new church took on the organizational structure of the new United States: that is, The Methodist Church was, and still is, a representative democracy.
Today, The United Methodist Church stands out in its call to spiritual development balanced with social holiness. We are highly involved in bringing Christ to the world through word and deed, transforming communities to be “doing justice, loving mercy, and walking in humility before God” (from the prophet Micah). One of our distinctions is the “Social Principles,” which lays out our denominational stands and advisories on the social issues of our time. Another distinction is that our ordained ministers are appointed to local congregations by area Bishops, following consultation with local church leadership and pastors, according to ministry needs.
Portage Chapel Hill is committed to making use of the many local, national and global mission agencies of the denomination. You will hear of UMCOR (United Methodist Committee on Relief), GBGM (General Board of Global Ministries), District Board of Missions, and more as we, together, seek to maximize our giving to benefit people in need and communities working to become self-sufficient through development. We are part of the Michigan Area UMC, see http://michiganumc.org/. The Gospel of Jesus Christ is spread in deed AND in word through the mission work of Chapel Hill within the denomination and beyond.
CHUM Co-op Preschool
CHUM Co-op Preschool has been located at Portage Chapel Hill since 1970. CHUM Co-op Preschool is not affiliated with Chapel Hill. It is a non-profit educational and developmental program for young children, that is owned and operated by the parents of those attending, and is licensed by the state of Michigan. For more information, visit their website: http://www.chumpreschool.org/.
Kalamazoo Loaves & Fishes
Portage Chapel Hill houses the Romence Road food pantry in cooperation with Kalamazoo Loaves and Fishes. Loaves&Fishes works toward a hunger-free community. Their mission is to feed hungry people and engage our community in the fight to end hunger. Their commitment is to provide high quality food, to develop high quality client access and support, to nurture our volunteer base, to market our services and our mission, and to improve our efficiency and effectiveness. http://kzoolf.org/