In 1955, United Church members from the Hamilton Presbytery began an outreach program, including a Sunday afternoon tea, for elderly individuals living with low incomes. In the 1960s, momentum gained as Wesley’s programs expanded into a wide range of services for all people, young and old, who were struggling under the burden of poverty. In the late 60s, Wesley’s programs were well underway including a club for seniors and transient men, a drop in and tutoring program for hard-to-reach youth, a youth recreation program and camping trip, a used clothing depot, a nursery and mother’s club, as well as Christmas and holiday celebrations. A community meal was also served after the church service, and area church groups began signing up to prepare and serve meals on Sunday. Wesley Urban Ministries was incorporated in 1979. Partnerships between Wesley and other groups and organizations flourished from the mid 80s onward. Wesley collaborated with many different community agencies and government bodies and became further involved in the areas of health, housing, language, literacy, settlement, immigration, and recreation. Westdale United Church has been a long-time supporter of Wesley Urban Ministries.
At Westdale United, we encourage support through the Christmas Project and Lenten Fund for Others. Members assist each year in one of the Sunday services and meals. The Sunday School and Youth Group have organized our participation in the “Case for Kids” fundraising walk, ride, and run at Bayfront Park, and Westdale has been one of the pacesetter churches for many years. A small organic garden is planted next to the church, and the produce (tomatoes and peppers) is given to Wesley Urban Ministries.