By: Christa Meland
Ninety-two elementary school children live within three blocks of the Wesley UMC in Hibbing, which is also in close proximity to several schools, and yet only one school-aged child attends the church.
With the help of an Acts 2 Investing in Congregations grant from the Minnesota Conference, Wesley UMC will begin an after-school program on Wednesday afternoons that includes religious education, hands-on learning, snacks, homework help, and a family-style meal.
“We plan to use this program as a platform to build a family outreach ministry culminating in a Wednesday evening worship service targeting currently unchurched families in our neighborhood,” said Rev. Andrew Petter. “We hope that our work will bring new persons into our church so that they, too, can become disciples of Jesus Christ.”
Wesley UMC is one of 10 churches across the conference that received a $1,000 grant bring to life ideas that were inspired by the Acts 2 Talks and/or the ideas in the Missional Toolkit for Churches presented at the 2017 Annual Conference.
If you missed out, don’t worry—it’s now time to apply for regular Investing in Congregations grants, which are distributed annually to churches that demonstrate a potential, capacity, and commitment to reach new people, grow in love of God and neighbor, and heal a broken world. Funding can be used for new ministries, programs, and staff positions. Each year, there is $200,000 in grant money available through the conference’s apportioned budget, and a team of clergy and laity reviews applications and awards funding. Grants have ranged from several hundred dollars to more than $30,000.
Applications for the next round of grants are due by 11:50 p.m. Oct. 15. Interviews are December 2 (in person or remote, as requested by grant committee). Award decisions will be made by December 10, and initial funds will be distributed around mid-January. Read grant guidelines.
Access grant applications:
Minnesota Annual Conference of the United Methodist Church