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Ethnic grants support nine ministries in Africa, U.S.

LINK: Click to open full size version of image
A UMNS photo courtesy of Mozambique Annual Conference

Young adults give reports at the 2005 Youth Leadership Seminar in Mozambique.
May 22, 2006

By Kathy L. Gilbert*

WASHINGTON (UMNS) — Nine grants totaling $138,600 will help programs serving ethnic minorities across the globe reach their ministry goals.

The United Methodist Board of Church and Society approved funding for programs ranging from a leadership training seminar for 35 youth leaders in Mozambique to a program in Shreveport, La., that provides medical supplies and care to the poor and uninsured.

The Ethnic Local Church Fund was created to help the denomination’s program boards support local church and annual conference ministries in each board’s area of concern.

Grants for 2006:

  • 2006 Ethnic Young Adult Summer Internship ($55,000). Eleven interns will live together in Washington June 4-Aug. 1 and work in organizations addressing social justice concerns. The internship has been sponsored by the United Methodist Board of Church and Society for the last 20 years.
  • The Pool of Siloam Medical Ministry in the Louisiana Annual (regional) Conference ($25,000). The grant will support expanding an existing program that provides medical supplies and medical care to the poor and uninsured in the Shreveport District, in response to a fourfold increase in the homeless evacuee population.
  • The Quechan Elders Treasure, Fort Yuma United Methodist Church, Desert-Southwest Annual (regional) Conference ($11,000). This is a local indigenous Quechan-language church project to develop cultural curricula for children to strengthen traditions and identity. It is a method for intervening in drug and alcohol abuse and creating a safe environment.
  • Every Member in Ministry for the 21st Century, Southern Jurisdiction Agency for Native American Ministries ($10,000). This is a continuing leadership development initiative of the Southeastern Jurisdiction to respond to crisis in the Native American community. Focus will be on laity training and advocacy on healthy decision making, addictions and outreach in a three-day summer conference.
  • Black Church Summit, BMCR/Conference Advocacy Team/Connectional Ministries, South Georgia Conference, Southeastern Jurisdiction ($9,800). The summit for local churches in the South Georgia Annual (regional) Conference will build on worship, grant-writing skills, United Methodist Board of Church and Society and agency resources, health care advocacy and community education on issues such as HIV-AIDS, nutrition and preventive health care. The summit is part of a comprehensive health initiative and an effort to strengthen existing networks and outreach to local African-American churches in South Georgia.
  • Sisters, Methodist Mission Church Extension Society, Methodist Action Program, Peninsula-Delaware Conference, Northeastern Jurisdiction ($9,000). This is a 16-week leadership development and risk-reduction program of the Methodist Action Program in the Wilmington, Del., area. The multiethnic project for economically marginal young women focuses on improvement of life skills, self-esteem, socialization and mentoring, followed up by local church relationships.
  • United Methodist Church Women’s Society, Mozambique South and North Conferences, Africa Central Conference ($7,000). A four-day leadership development and training project is held once during the quadrennium and focuses on the Social Principles. It will provide women from across Mozambique with foundational knowledge and advocacy skills to interpret the Social Principles in their own contexts.
  • Youth Leadership Training and Development, Mozambique United Methodist Youth, Mozambique South and North Conferences, Africa Central Conference ($6,800). A leadership training seminar for 35 youth leaders from across Mozambique focuses on community response to the Social Principles, facilitated by United Methodist Board of Church and Society staff and youth leadership. Issues of leadership in community and youth responses will be covered.
  • St. Paul’s United Methodist Church Creative Arts Program for Youth, California-Nevada Annual (regional) Conference, Western Jurisdiction, $5,000. An arts-based development program for San Jose youth in an ethnically pluralistic and low-income area, this initiative builds on the conference vision for ethnic ministries and focuses on drama, music, dance and visual arts classes.

*Gilbert is a United Methodist News Service news writer based in Nashville, Tenn.

News media contact: Kathy L. Gilbert, Nashville, Tenn., (615) 742-5470 or

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