faith in action

Church and Society Awards Grants for 2019

Church and Society oversees the distribution of three different grants available to United Methodist congregations and organizations. Here are the project titles, descriptions, and Annual Conferences of the 2019 Ethnic Local Church, Human Relations Day, and Peace with Justice Grantees:

Ethnic Local Church Grants

Seminar for Justice for All in Central Black-Soil District

South Russia Conference, Eurasia Central Conference
Approved: $10,000

A creative proposal for this region, the request focuses on working with students from Africa who have migrated to Russia in the Black-Soil District. It also provides antiracism training and strategies for Russian and African immigrants working and worshipping together in The United Methodist Church. African and Russian students care for disabled children and welcome unhoused neighbors together. However, incidents of racial violence against African students is on the rise. The impact of this training is to focus on strengthening congregations and outreach among Africans and Russians to respond proactively together. This model can be duplicated for other emerging, transitional congregations and student ministries in Eurasia.

Truth Café-Racial Equity Dialogue Leading to Action

Western North Carolina Conference
Approved: $10,000

A congregational-led program that focuses on multiracial gatherings and crucial conversations to build transformative solutions, as well as structured dialogue and listening toward actionable knowledge around racial privilege and responses. The focus is on truthful, accountable, and mutual relationships across racial divisions amongst 30 congregations, and includes African American, Asian American, Native American, Latin American, and European American constituencies.

Institute for Multicultural Ministry

Germany Central Conference
Approved: $6,000

The Institute for Multicultural Ministry is a new holistic ministry program which aims to further equip pastors and lay leaders serving churches in communities transitioning from monocultural to multicultural due to migration. It launches with a pilot project at the Educational Center of the Germany United Methodist Church in Stuttgart, Germany, and is in partnership with The United Methodist Seminary in Reutlingen, Germany. Students will be clustered into small covenant groups for continued mentoring and mutual support as they navigate the challenges of growing multiracial, multiethnic congregations while also promoting social justice in their communities.

Human Relations Day Grants

Chicago Alternative to Incarceration Collaborative – Neighborhood Intern Project

Northern Illinois Annual Conference
Approved: $10,000

This project expands Chicago ATI’s work with justice-involved youth through community engagement, mentorships and leadership development. Funding will allow increased participation and support for the youth with the goal of increased community healing, social emotional growth and reduced recidivism.

Family Resiliency to Eradicate Engagement on Drugs

Philippines Central Conference
Approved: $10,000

Through education, economic empowerment and community engagement, FREED seeks to address the ongoing crisis of substance abuse and its intersections with poverty and human rights. Partnering with local governments, churches, schools and nongovernmental organizations, the program will strengthen family resilience and provide community support to both youth and adult family members living in the Manila North Cemetery.

Advocacy and Pastoral Accompaniment of Minors in Prisons

West Congo Annual Conference
Approved: $3,500

This project focuses on the rights of children and minors who were either born in prison or unlawfully arrested. Churches in the conference will work with ecumenical partners to connect with, organize alongside and advocate for children to bring justice.

Peace With Justice Grants

Advocacy for Economic Empowerment of Methodist Women

West Congo Annual Conference
Approved: $5,000

This grant will fund a three-day educational workshop on economic and gender issues for 100 United Methodist women in the city of Kinshasa, Congo. Priority will be given to mothers, widows, and rurally-based women, and will offer financial and resource management training. It will also include opportunities to meet with representatives of local financial institutions to discuss access to microcredits.

Kapwa Wholeness Foundation

Southern Nigeria Annual Conference
Approved: $5,000

This grant will fund a two-week educational program focused on substance abuse prevention and addiction recovery, with skills acquisition training for 100 Nigerian youth in Adamawa State. Parents, religious leaders, and nonprofit leaders are also encouraged to participate and learn effective, collaborative ways to prevent and combat substance abuse in a region where Boko Haram and corrupt politicians use illicit substances to target, recruit, and exploit the youth.

Amanzi Women’s Ministry

Louisiana Conference
Approved: $5,000

The Amanzi Women’s Ministry is a witness to the New Orleans community that seeks to improve the lives and families of single and homeless women by providing free basic laundry services, opportunities for spiritual growth, coaching in simple life skills and other educational opportunities. This grant supports efforts to expand operational hours in order to serve more women.

Organic Agri-Aqua Project/Adopt-a-Tree United Methodist Men Renewal Program

Philippines Central Conference
Approved: $3,500

This grant funds the work of United Methodist Men in developing a portion of their conference’s property into a sustainable source of organic, healthy foods. The food will be provided to participants of United Methodist Church seminars and trainings in the area, as well as delegates during Annual Conference meetings and residents of the Davao Episcopal Area. The project includes organic vegetable farming, animal husbandry, orchard production and mushroom culture and management. Besides maintenance, UMM will have regular prayer fellowship meetings, participate in an adopt-a-tree program, and engage in ongoing educational efforts to make their food program as sustainable and environmentally responsible as possible.

Wade in the Water: A Reconciliation Pilgrimage

Mississippi Annual Conference
Approved: $3,500

This grant supports a three-day student-led training event hosted by Seashore United Methodist Assembly, Gulfside Assembly and the Wesley Foundation of Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College in Perkinston, Mississippi, which aims to expand the organizations’ racial reconciliation ministry. The event will raise awareness of historical injustices that occurred during segregation and how civil rights workers responded. Students and participants will learn how to recognize and respond to current policies and actions that negatively affect or target minorities, particularly people of color, and how to promote a more just set of values.

Adult Day Program/Vocational Training and Employment Services

East Ohio Conference
Approved: $2,000

Flat Rock Homes has a covenant relationship with the East Ohio Conference of The United Methodist Church, and provides vocational support to adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities as they transition from school to adulthood. The decline of farming, manufacturing, and business development have hit Ohio’s rural areas especially hard, and individuals with disabilities are twice as likely to experience unemployment. This grant contributes specifically to Flat Rock Homes’ Adult Day Support Program, which currently teaches 36 adults vocational, social, civic, independent living and recreational skills.

PA Committee for the Analysis and Reform of Our Criminal System

Western Pennsylvania Conference
Approved: $2,000

This grant supports the partnership between Pennsylvania’s penitentiaries and the Western Pennsylvania Annual Conference of The United Methodist Church, particularly the prison ministry, which emphasizes prison visits and a project that advocates for the educating and training of inmates so they will be employable upon release. While online classes have proven to be highly beneficial, the grant also aims to enable increased visitation and in-person training, which has been deemed the superlative method of rehabilitation.

In Their Own Language: A Program of Justice for Our Neighbors New York

New York Conference
Approved: $2,000

Originally created in the basement of John Wesley United Methodist Church in Brooklyn, New York, Justice for Our Neighbors New York provides free or low-cost immigration legal services to people from around the world who have come to the United States and face systemic poverty. This grant contributes to language services for prospective indigent, immigrant clients who are doubly penalized as victims of systemic poverty and have difficulty accessing legal services due to language barriers.

Summer Camp to Avoid the Summer Slide

North Georgia Conference
Approved: $2,000

This grant contributes to a partner program between Mount Pisgah United Methodist Church and Corners Outreach, a nonprofit learning center aimed at breaking cycles of poverty by enabling childhood educational success. Community volunteers from churches, youth groups, local businesses and nearby colleges help lead four summer camps for elementary students where they read together and play math games to avoid “the summer slide,” the period when progress gained in school subjects is lost due to lack of practice.

Hungry Huskies

Northern Illinois Conference
Approved: $1,000

Hungry Huskies is a program of the Wesley Foundation at Northern Illinois University aimed at addressing food insecurity on campus. Free dinners are offered every Sunday along with educational discussions based on the Social Principles of The United Methodist Church. The program works to welcome the stranger as well as fight food insecurity, since ethnic students, “Dreamers”, and undocumented students are disproportionately affected.