Westchester UMC: A Friendly Family Church
When you become a participating member at Westchester United Methodist Church,you are joining a Family regardless of where you come from.
We share a common vision
We believe all people matter to God and that Christ’s message and ministry through the local church is the hope of the world. Together, as one family of Christ followers, we are fully committed to living out this vision in our families, neighborhoods, city, and world.
We share a common community
We were created for deep, authentic relationships with God and other people—and we share a unique community with other believers as members of the body of Christ. We are also called to serve this world for God’s purposes—a mission that Christ invites all of us to join, as part of His church.
We share a common commitment
We believe spiritual growth is a lifelong process. Membership at Westchester United Methodist Church means affirming a commitment that express our devotion to Christ and to one another. This commitment keeps us all pointed in a common, biblical direction as we follow Jesus as members of this local church.
Who are we
"A Friendly Family Church"
Westchester United Methodist Church was organized in 1808 and incorporated on March 8, 1809, making it the oldest church of that denomination in what is now called the Bronx. The society was originally named "Zion Methodist Episcopal Church of the town of Westchester." The first church edifice was erected about 1818 on Walker Avenue (now known as East Tremont Avenue), which was the road leading to West Farms, and the churchyard included a small cemetery. Zion Church was reincorporated on October 26, 1826, but it does not seem to have flourished, as the church corporation was dissolved by reason of non-use. The society was reincorporated a second time on February 7, 1833, under the name of the Methodist Episcopal Church of Zion in the town of Westchester.
We are Still Standing, Praising, and Moving in God's Glory
The first church was destroyed by fire at an unknown time, and the second church was built on the same site. On May 9, 1910, the roof of the second church was set ablaze when the nearby Morris Park Racetrack caught fire, after which the congregation decided that a brick church would be safer. From 1913 to 1948, the congregation worshiped in the roofed-over basement that was two-thirds below ground; throughout this period, the church was known as "The Eelpot Church" because an eelpot is two-thirds submerged below water. Finally, in 1948, the present brick church was constructed over the basement.
Board of Trustees
“As each has received a gift, use it to serve one another, as good stewards of God's varied grace."
The board of trustees supervises and maintains all property belonging to your congregation so that the ministries of the congregation can be effective. The committee is entrusted to see to the proper keeping of God's house as a way to honor God and to facilitate the ministry of the local church.The primary purpose of the church building and facilities is to enable the vision and ministry of the congregation. Good stewardship, common sense, and prudence dictate that the church, parsonage, facilities, property, equipment, furnishings, and other physical property be well maintained. A physical plant that is "well groomed" and attractive is much more welcoming, safe, and hospitable than one that shows signs of benign neglect. We honor God when we care for what has been entrusted to us...
TASKS AND RESPONSIBILITIES
The trustees together have several legal and administrative functions. They are to:
Oversee, maintain, and supervise all local church property. This would include conducting an annual inspection and inventory of all church property, including the parsonage.
Report annually to the charge conference on the state of the church's property, equipment, investments, and resources.
Receive and administer all gifts made to the congregation; make certain that all trust funds of the congregation are invested properly. Develop guidelines for receiving and managing wills, trusts, bequests, and other investments given to the church.
Ensure that the articles of incorporation of the congregation are kept up-to-date, if applicable.
Be responsible, in conjunction with the pastor, for all use of the church buildings and grounds.
Maintain adequate insurance coverage on all church property and develop appropriate risk management policies.
Submit to the committee on finance the annual budget requests for insurance, property maintenance and improvement, and new property purchases.
Be accountable to charge conference and to the church council.
The board of trustees is composed of not more than nine nor fewer than three members. Members of the committee are elected by the charge conference to serve a term of up to three years. At least one-third of the trustees shall be laywomen, one-third laymen, and two-thirds must be members of The United Methodist Church. A provision in the Book of Discipline allows for up to one-third of the trustees to be nonmembers of your church. There may be a person who is involved in your congregation, not yet a member, who would make a good trustee.
-Adapted from Guidelines for Leading Your Congregation: Trustees, 2009-2012, p. 11 and The Book of Discipline of The United Methodist Church--2008