News Archives

Young people's ministries receive grants

3/19/2003 News media contact: Linda Green (615) 742-5470 Nashville, Tenn

NOTE: This may be used as a sidebar to UMNS #149.

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (UMNS) - Fifteen projects addressing young people's concerns will receive grants through programs related to the United Methodist Board of Discipleship.

The diverse projects include a Vietnamese church in California and an institute to help students at a United Methodist-related college explore their callings within a diverse cultural setting. They will be funded by the agency's portion of the denomination's Shared Mission Focus on Young People initiative.

"The grant money provides resources for ministries we believe best help the denomination re-order its priorities in ministries with young people. These ministry initiatives serve as models for the church," said the Rev. Drew Dyson, director of the young people's initiative. "This year, the ministries we have chosen to fund are taking creative approaches to serving young people. They are all initiated by youth and young adults and serving diverse audiences of young people."

A team of discipleship staff, board members and members of the Shared Mission Focus coordinating committee and staff made the selections after reviewing 51 applications. The Shared Mission Focus was formed to reorder the priorities of the United Methodist Church related to issues and concerns of youth and young adults.

Each project had to meet criteria determined by Shared Mission Focus and guidelines set by the Board of Discipleship. Those include equipping pastors for leadership and partnership roles with young people, preparing young people for ministry, and providing youth and young adult programs that encourage lifelong learning and faith development.

Each of the denomination's 14 program agencies will receive $124,000 from the Shared Mission Focus through 2004 to distribute to United Methodist-related ministries on youth and young adults.

Projects receiving funds from the Shared Mission Focus and Board of Discipleship are:
· Nurturing Ministries, New England Annual Conference, Lawrence, Mass., $11,000. The conference will launch an outreach project focused on faith formation through a retreat experience.
· Jubilee Youth Ministry, Miami Valley United Methodist Mission Society, Dayton, Ohio, $11,000. The program plans to equip young people in West Dayton for ministry.
· Reaching Out to Young Adults, Trinity United Methodist Church, Denver, $11,000. The project provides leadership and a strategy for meeting the spiritual needs of local young adults.
· Disciples in the Streets, Broadway Christian Parish United Methodist Church, South Bend, Ind., $10,000. The program identifies and celebrates the gifts of the spirit at work in the lives of the people in the community.
· Discipleship Training for the Institute for Discipleship at Southwestern College, Winfield Kan., $10,000. The program helps college students explore their callings within a diverse cultural experience, particularly by receiving training and being in ministry with middle school and high school youth.
· Program for At-Risk Adolescents, Cookman United Methodist Church, Philadelphia, $9,500. The program, recognized by the Health and Human Services' Office of Community Services as a national demonstration project for faith-based intervention, is a comprehensive, place-based program encompassing education, peer counseling, entrepreneurial training and life-skill instruction.
· Equipping Leaders Initiative, Emerald Youth Foundation of the Holston Annual Conference, $9,500. The foundation's programs equip and encourage youth to know Christ personally, develop spiritually and become leaders.
· Making Disciples of Jesus Christ, Rizal District UMYAF, Marikina City, Manila, Philippines, $8,000. The district will focus on spiritual formation and growth, developing young people as church leaders and partners in mission. It will emphasize that leadership is about making disciples of Jesus instead of disciples of church structure.
· United Methodist Cooperative, Little Rock, Ark., $8,000. The cooperative wants to increase the effectiveness of South Little Rock churches in making disciples of youth and to revitalize each local church in that mission.
· Crave, Christ United Methodist Church, Fairfax Station, Va., $7,500. The program involves monthly worship and focuses on helping youth find new ways of experiencing God's word. Crave is in ministry with 10 other United Methodist churches.
· OIMC Regional Consultants, Oklahoma Indian Missionary Conference, $6,000. The project trains consultants to strengthen local church Native American youth ministry through leadership development and service to the congregation and community.
· Empowering and Equipping Young People for the Future Church, Vietnamese United Methodist Church, Anaheim, Calif., $4,500. The program seeks to bring wholeness to marginalized Vietnamese youth and young adults by communicating the gospel in their language and culture; and creating programs, structures and opportunities for them to learn and develop ministry skills.
· Multicultural Youth for Christ, Cambodian United Methodist Church, Modesto, Calif., $3,000. The project empowers young people emotionally, ethically and spiritually by using the denomination's Social Principles, Book of Resolutions and quadrennial goals and objectives adopted by the United Methodist Board of Church and Society.
· Young Adult Volunteer Initiative, Denver Episcopal Area, $3,000. The program reaches out to young adults and provides hands-on opportunities to serve the Lord in a variety of assignments. It helps young adults discern their call, and provides young adult volunteers with spiritual direction while they explore the connection between faith and service.
· Mission Possible, Grace Korean United Methodist Church, Beaverton, Ore., $2,500. This project, for young people in grades seven to college, promotes an atmosphere to explore Christ through evangelism, worship, fellowship and discipleship.

In a related matter at its March 12-15 directors' meeting, the United Methodist Board of Discipleship affirmed the Shared Mission Focus on Young People's legislative pursuit for a division of ministries with young people. A proposal is expected to be presented to the 2004 General Conference, and if approved, implemented in 2005.

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