God calls us to be in ministry with children, and every United Methodist church in Minnesota is urged to develop a long-term partnership with a school in its community after assessing the needs that exist. There are children in all Minnesota communities who lack food, school supplies, winter clothes, books, and/or positive role models.
In mid-2015, the conference’s Mission Promotion Team provided grants to 20 churches across the state to help them form relationships with schools in their communities. The grants together totaled about $23,000. That funding came from the 2015 Love Offering, 30 percent of which was earmarked for these grants.
A second round of grants were given out in spring 2016. Twenty-two churches received a grant. A total of $10,000 was distributed, $5,000 of which came from the 2015 Love Offering (30 percent of which was earmarked for the grants) and $5,000 of which came from the Mission Promotion Team.
In 2017, the conference has a total of $5,000 is available for churches to request grants for new initiatives. Applications are due July 31. Download application form
There are many possibilities for partnerships. A few of them include supplying backpacks, clothing, or weekend meals; tutoring or mentoring students; opening up the church to school gatherings; offering parenting, ESL, or literacy classes; and praying for teachers and students.
Join us on Saturday, Sept 16 from 10 a.m.- 2 p.m. at Hennepin Ave UMC for a MAC Round Up event. Our key-note speaker will be Jake McGlothin, Director of Serve Ministries at Floris UMC in Herndon, Virginia. He is the author of “The Mission-Minded Guide to Church and School Partnerships,” and one who has been pioneering this growing national effort for the last twenty years. Together, with Jake, we will address the impact and theology of partnership, learn how to start one (if you haven’t already), and discuss practical tools and tips for effectively cultivating a sustained, long-term commitment to a local school. The event is sponsored by the MAC Missions Promotion Team and is free of charge. Lunch will be provided. Register for MAC Church-School Round UP.
Questions? Contact Director of Community Engagement, Rev. Lyndy Zabel.
Oakwood UMC in New Ulm, which adopted an elementary school in 2011, has a multi-faceted school partnership that continues to expand. It now includes donating clothing for emergency needs, distributing appreciation gifts to school staff, supporting an annual baby shower for new moms, and securing a grant for healthy snacks for students who couldn’t afford them. This year, the school also plans to partner with other churches and the school district to pay for school assemblies and a teacher training on anti-bullying.
Minnesota Annual Conference of the United Methodist Church