Servants at Work
For more than three decades, every summer (except when there’s a global pandemic) PUMC youth and adults have traveled to Appalachia to spend the better part of a week helping people in rural areas who struggle to keep their homes safe and dry.
Servants at Work (SAW) is not just about fixing leaky roofs or repairing drafty windows. It’s about demonstrating a commitment to love God and follow Christ by serving others. It’s about establishing relationships that can last for years after the week is over.
Through the years, the SAW mission trip has consistently proved to be eye-opening, meaningful—sometimes even life-changing—for those who participate. Read more about SAW here.
Vacation Bible School
Our annual Vacation Bible School (VBS) is typically held from 9 a.m. to 12 noon during the first full week of August (Monday through Friday) for children ages 4 through entering 6th grade. VBS features Bible stories, singing, arts and crafts, outdoor games, and, yes, snacks. For these young people, it’s always an AMAZING experience. The final day features a special musical performance for parents, family, and friends, highlighting everything the children have learned. The week ends with a final, special treat—ice cream for all!
Salvation Army Meals
Once a month, different PUMC volunteers prepare meals in support of the West Chester, PA Salvation Army’s Community Meal program.
Easter Basket Drive
In the weeks leading up to Easter, church members pick empty baskets and fill them with toys and treats. The baskets then go to the Methodist Home for Children.
Our spring and fall rummage sales are on the verge of becoming legendary in our community. The lines are long at the opening bell, as people who love to shop can find some great deals. Items end up finding a purpose instead of in a landfill. And what’s more, the money raised supports the annual youth Servants at Work (SAW) Mission Trip. In short, everybody wins!
Each year in late summer, we collect donations of school supplies to fill the backpacks of young people whose resources are limited.
Halloween Trunk or Treat
During the Halloween season, our church hosts an annual “Trunk or Treat” event whose popularity seems to grow each year. Church members and friends park their vehicles in our parking lot, open up their trunks, and then decorate those trunks in creative, fun, and sometimes scary ways. Of course, all trunks are well supplied with a variety of treats for the kids. Meanwhile, our church’s youth group unites to build a haunted house (arguably more fun for them than it is for the kids!).
The goal is to connect with our community, give weary parents a fun activity for their children, and, mostly, to send the message that church CAN be–and SHOULD be–fun!
Each year during the Christmas season, a small tree goes up in the church foyer. It’s not just any tree; it’s an Angel Tree, decorated not with lights and ornaments, but rather with angel-shaped tags, each listing ages and genders of children at risk of not receiving any gifts at Christmastime. Church members take tags and purchase gifts for these children. Last Christmas, the gifts went to the Methodist Home for Children to benefit severely needy families in the Kensington area of Philadelphia.
Spirit of Christmas
The goal of our annual Spirit of Christmas event is to provide an opportunity to experience peace and get centered on the birth of Christ.
The sanctuary features a Christmas hymn sing, along with performances by soloists and small ensembles. Just one of the ways we recognize and celebrate the birth of Christ the Savior.
With this in mind, we love hosting church members and families from our community, especially those with young children, for a special Saturday evening during the Christmas season. Outside, visitors will see a live nativity scene featuring sheep from a nearby farm. Inside, the sanctuary is filled with live Christmas music, and in our fellowship hall, there’s arts and crafts, face painting, and goodies for children, along with the opportunity to meet Santa and the Mrs. There’s plenty of hot chocolate and cookies to go around.
Since 1966, the Paoli Methodist Nursery School has operated continuously as a ministry of Paoli United Methodist Church. Operating in an environment governed by Christian principles, its mission is to foster the emotional, social, intellectual, and physical development of children ages 2 years 7 months to 6 years, preparing them for their future education.
Each class is staffed by a Pennsylvania State Approved Nursery School Teacher and an Assistant, along with a special KIM (“Kids in Motion”) Teacher and a Music Teacher. The school operates under the direction of the PUMC Administrative Council and the Nursery School Management Council.
Our church’s sizable front yard delegates space for people who live nearby to grow lettuce, spinach, peppers, cucumbers, green beans, tomatoes, peppers, peas, cauliflower, squash. . . are we missing anything?
The PUMC Community Garden is home to 16 plots, each of them 8 feet by 4 feet. The fence around it protects the vegetables and fruits from all manner of critters. Our garden symbolizes our desire to care for our neighbors and the community that surrounds us.
Paoli Car Show
Each summer, on Saturday the weekend before Father’s Day, our church plays host to the Paoli Car Show. It’s an opportunity for members of our church and people from the community to gather and bond around a common hobby. Dozens of cars attend—and usually bring their owners along! In addition to automobiles that are in their prime because they’re past their prime, the day features plenty of picnic-style food and live music from PUMC’s Rising Son praise band.
Have a cool car? Register here for free to show it.