Get Involved

Local Missions
Brown Memorial
Erwin First partners with the Brown Memorial United Methodist Church on Syracuse’s near west side. Brown Memorial is located in the 13th poorest zip code in the United States at the corner of S. Geddes and Davis Streets. Brown Memorial serves west side community by providing weekly worship and other outreach mission engagements that are always looking for mission hands:
Westside Food Center – Foodbank, diapers, and more
Tutoring program provides homework help for area students
Life skills for adults and youth
Sunday afternoon free community meal
Christmas Store
And other short term/long term outreach ministries.
For more information contact Pastor BJ at

RESTART Ministry
An outreach ministry of the Syracuse United Methodist Ministries for people who are restarting their lives, the ministry addresses a critical need to come alongside families and individuals who are going through a life change.
Emergency deliveries of furniture and essential everyday items are done as needed and truck deliveries are done on the first and last Wednesday of the month. We welcome all volunteers to join this needed ministry.
Send an email to to contact team leader Evelyn D.

Jail Ministry
Jail Ministry is a local organization comprised of dozens of volunteers who visit assigned inmates at the Onondaga County Justice Center on a weekly basis. Jail Ministry has been visiting and advocating for inmates for more than forty years right here in Syracuse. The commitment is to visit typically between one and three assigned people at a time for one hour per week. The people housed at the Justice Center have not yet been convicted of any crime. They are held there while their cases go to trial or get dismissed, so the population is constantly changing. An advocate can visit a person for a year, or for a couple of weeks. It all depends on the person’s individual case. During the pandemic, volunteers are writing letters in place of in-person visits. In my twelve years as an advocate for inmates at the Justice Center, I have visited dozens of people. Without a doubt my life has been greatly enriched by this experience. “…I was in prison and you came to visit me”.  MATTHEW 25:36
Send an email to to contact team leader Susana N.

International Missions
Guatemala Mission
Guatemala international mission is an opportunity to work with a team that will be traveling to Guatemala by fundraising, collecting items, and praying. Or, you can join the travel team and fly to Guatemala where you will come along side the people of Guatemala and work with them to improve life in many ways as well as experience new cultures and ways of living in Central America.
Send an email to to contact team leader Dave B.

Uganda Mission
Erwin First is a mission partner with Nexus Seminary, Uganda. We support this ministry through publishing resources for Uganda pastoral students and through direct contact via sending annual mission teams to Uganda. These mission teams are partnered with Ugandan nationals to work in the field of their expertise: medical professionals with medical professionals; teachers with teachers, agriculturalists with agriculturalist, etc. While our core work is training rural pastors in Uganda, we have helped to build schools, water wells, a medical clinic and more.
If you are interested in assisting with the Uganda Mission, either through financial support or direct participation (or both), contact Pastor BJ at

Erwin First UMC Ministries
Music Ministry
The Music Ministry at Erwin First UMC is a large and diverse part of our worship.  While our choir is on hiatus during the Covid 19 crisis, there are still many ways of making music together safely.  Instrumentalists and singers are needed to lead worship,  as solos, as part of the band and in other worship music.  Handbells are starting up again and hope to be making music together soon. We’d love to have you join us in making music in praise of God.  All skill levels are welcome. 
Contact Pastor Karen at

Discipleship Team
The Discipleship Team works to define and implement an intentional plan for growing disciples at all stages of the faith journey. This includes helping those early in their journey to establish a faith walk as well as coming alongside all those who desire it to help build relationships and provide tools that will help us go deeper in faith and wider in mission.

Some of the initiatives of the Discipleship Team are Small Groups, God Moment Interviews, “Try Church” workshops, and the Spiritual Disciplines and Life In Community sermon series. Using the Spiritual Life Inventory process and other tools, we help folks sort out the next steps in their journey. Are you called to come alongside others on the Spiritual Journey?
Send an email to to contact team leader Kristy B.

The Barnabas Team: Encouraging each other in Christian Community (In Development!)
The Barnabas Team supports members of the Erwin First community as makers of interpersonal and intrapersonal peace. We do this by helping to build relationship skills, resolving conflicts, and connecting people with each other and the resources they need. This team in development needs your help to figure out how to carry out its mission!
Send an email to to contact team leader Kristy B. or email Pastor BJ at

Mission Team
The Missions Group of Erwin First UMC believes in building a supportive fellowship with our community. We hope to provide a helping hand to others whether it may be physical or spiritual, to encourage others to change their lives through hope, comfort and love. Some projects include a “peanut butter and jelly” drive to assist students who lose access to school meals during the pandemic; providing and cooking community dinners in a Syracuse West Side neighborhood; and both specialized fundraisers and an annual rummage sale that raises money for international missions, United Methodist Women’s missions and campership funds for underprivileged kids.
Send an email to to contact team leader Dorcas.

Sunday School / Youth Ministry
Sunday School is dedicated to nurturing the spiritual growth of children, so they may know God, love God and know that God will always love them. We teach from the Bible and even if those events occurred far in the past, we show how relevant they are to the modern day and how to use those lessons in their lives. Sunday School is currently being held via Zoom.
Send an email to to contact team leader Dorcas if you are interested in contributing or in getting your children involved.

Administrative Council
Council is an opportunity to work with a team of leaders to influence the spiritual and communal direction of the church as well as participate in decisions pertaining financial, mission, and ministry of the church.
Send an email to to contact President Dave B.

Pastor/Staff-Parish Relations Committee (P/S-PRC)
The Pastor/Staff – Parish Relations Committee works to build a strong positive relationship between church staff and the congregation so that the mission of the church can be advanced.  The committee is responsible for recruiting of staff and retention and review of church pastors and staff. The P/S-PRC works to encourage, strengthen, nurture, support, and respect the pastor(s) and staff and their families. The committee welcomes persons who care about the well-being of church staff as an essential component of the church’s ministry, listen well to both staff and people of the congregation while keeping a focus on the mission of the church, and are able to maintain confidentiality. Experience in human resources management is welcome but not required.
Send an email to to contact team leader Doug J.

The Erwin First United Methodist Church Board of Trustees provide space for ministry to happen. As such they are the church’s ministry responsible for the property. The Trustees are responsible for ensuring that routine maintenance, upgrades, etc. are properly cared for. While Board membership is an elected position within the church, the Trustees utilize volunteers with expertise in repairs, maintenance, etc.
Interested in helping with painting, fixing, arranging, designing, etc.? Contact the church office at 315-472-4082 or via email