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Agency funds racial-ethnic projects and ministries

By United Methodist News Service
June 26, 2007 | NASHVILLE, Tenn. (UMNS)     

A United Methodist agency has awarded $120,590 to 15 projects and organizations serving racial-ethnic groups.

The governing members of the Board of Discipleship approved funding for United Methodist-sponsored projects ranging from a 20-hour marriage enrichment workshop to a camp that helps African-American students in personal growth, spiritual formation and cultural enrichment.

"These ministries and projects funded by the Racial Ethnic Local Church Concern Committee directly contribute to the United Methodist Board of Discipleship's mission of making disciples of Jesus Christ," said Sungnam Choi, director of the committee and director of board's Korean, Asian-American and Pacific Island Ministries. The recipients and grants were announced during the board's March meeting.

"These grant awards help local United Methodist congregations fulfill their goals and serve the local community," Choi said.

Projects receiving funding for one year are:

  • Emerging Leaders Training of the Korean United Methodist Church in Swanee, Ga., a pilot project of the Leadership Committee of the National Association of Korean United Methodist Churches, $20,000 to train lay leaders during one national and five jurisdictional training events;
  • Developing and Inspiring Virtue in the African-American Sisterhood, a ministry of Anderson United Methodist Church, Jackson, Miss., $15,000 to support a comprehensive mentoring program to meet some of the spiritual and academic needs of 12- to 14-year-old girls;
  • Confirmation Celebration, a collaboration between New Hope, Smith Chapel and Suwannee Parish United Methodist churches in the Atlanta-Emory District of the North Georgia Annual Conference, $12,000 to support three African-American youth to attend the Nov. 2-4 "New Creation" confirmation event at Lake Junaluska, N.C.;
  • His Dream, Our Dream-2007, a Korean Leadership Conference, Pasadena, Calif., $12,000 to support a May 25-28, 2007, event at Holliston United Methodist Church to train lay leaders and pastors;
  • The High Plains Initiative on American Indian Ministries, Laurel, Mont., $10,000 to support a Sept. 27-29 event at Tree of Life American Indian Ministry to provide learning experiences for Native American leaders in the high plains area and to help them and non-natives develop relationships and acceptance;
  • Marriage Enrichment Workshops, Park Avenue United Methodist Church, Minneapolis, Minn., $10,000 to support a series of two- to three-day marriage retreats for Hispanic/Latino couples;
  • Youth Harambee, an annual program of the Southeastern Jurisdiction Black Methodists for Church Renewal, $10,000 to support an African-American youth conference that enables youth and their adult counselors to explore what it means to work together in Christian love;
  • Ministry for Korean-American Young Adults in the Greater Boston Area, a program of Saint John's United Methodist Church, Lexington, Mass., $9,000 to help fund a project to teach participants to respect and value Korean roots, internalize American values and value their identity as Korean American Christians;
  • In Spirit Outreach, a project of Norfolk (Va.) United Methodist Church, $5,000 to support a Commonwealth of Virginia and Second-Chance Program of Norfolk to prepare Virginia inmates to reenter their communities upon release;
  • Being Traditional Indian and Christian, a program of the Southeastern Jurisdictional Agency for Native American Ministries, Lake Junaluska, N.C., $5,000 to conduct a summer 2007 conference for Native American clergy, laity and young adults from 23 churches in the jurisdiction;
  • Atlanta Lay Academy, Newnan, Ga., $5,000 for Association of Atlanta Korean United Methodist Churches to equip and train laity and clergy in four weekend events;
  • Spiritual Formation Woven by Cultural Tradition, a ministry of the Tennessee Conference Office of Connectional Ministries, $2,500 to support an area camp that will enable individuals and families to affirm Native American traditions and cultures;
  • A program of Faith United Methodist Church, Mooresville, N.C., $2,090 for a July 23-Aug. 3 academic, artistic and creative camp for African-American students;
  • Asbury-Mt. Olive United Methodist Church Performing Arts Ministry of Topeka, Kan., $2,000 to support the performing arts ministry of African-American and Hispanic families;
  • Leading with Hospitality, Trust and Courage, a program of the National Association of Korean-American Clergywomen, $1,000 to support an Aug. 13-16 program to explore the emotional, relational and political dynamics between men and women and to build solidarity with other ethnic clergywomen.

Priority for grants is given to new programs or pilot projects that focus on developing and strengthening the ethnic local church for witness and mission. Projects must focus on one or more of the essential services provided by the program areas of the United Methodist Board of Discipleship, such as Christian education, family ministries, stewardship, evangelism, spiritual formation, laity ministries or worship. The projects must involve ethnic/minority church members in the planning, leadership and decision making.

The board provides grants up to $20,000 twice a year. Funds are not provided for personnel and equipment. All grants are awarded on a one-year basis, and project funding proposals are due July 1 and Nov. 1. For more information, contact Sungnam Choi at schoi@gbod.org or call (877) 899-2780, ext. 7050.

News media contact: Linda Green, (615) 742-5470 or newsdesk@umcom.org .

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