NASHVILLE, Tenn. Nov. 7, 2018 /Discipleship Ministries/ -- Discipleship Ministries (The General Board of Discipleship) announced the recipients of its Discipleship Ministries Racial Ethnic Local Church Concerns grants (RELCC).
The RELCC grants provide funding of up to $10,000 to strengthen the ethnic local church through leadership training, small groups, worship, stewardship, and spiritual formation as they engage in developing disciple making systems inside the church walls, as well as in the local community. Priority was given to new programs and ministries that move churches to places where disciples are formed, grow, and make new disciples of Jesus Christ who will transform the world.
Naomi Annandale, director of Research and Strategic Evaluation for Discipleship Ministries, chaired the board’s selection committee. She said, “The board was grateful to be able to award these grants. We received many exciting proposals and choosing the recipients from among them was difficult. We are eager to see what these grant recipients are able to do to help their churches reach out to the communities around them.”
Serving with Annandale on the selection committee were Discipleship Ministries colleagues Alma Perez, acquisitions editor for Spanish language resources, and David Kim, director of Korean, Asian American and Pacific Islander ministries. Also serving were Discipleship Ministries board members Rev. Motoe Yamada Foor, senior pastor of Sacramento (CA) Japanese United Methodist Church, and Rev. Dr. Mike Bowie, senior pastor of St. Luke Community UMC in Dallas, TX.
“These grants are meant to be seed money to help something get off the ground,” said Annandale, “not to finance something that is already an on-going ministry. Every year we look for new and exciting programs our churches want to do to reach their communities for Christ.”
Churches that received the awards are:
Family UMC of Saugus, MA (New England Annual Conference). Award for: Strengthening the Foundations and Multiply through Discipleship in the Church: Implementation of discipleship system, including training leaders, expanding small groups, conducting relational outreach in community, writing and editing discipleship material in Portuguese. Racial-ethnic group: Hispanic/Latino (Brazilian). $10,000.
First UMC of Tucson; Tucson Korean UM Fellowship; Menlo Park UMC, Tucson, AZ (Desert-Southwest Annual Conference). Award for: Racial-Ethnic Society of Tucson: Small group outreach program for spiritual growth, community organizing, education, and advocacy for justice and compassion. Racial-ethnic group: Multi-Ethnic (Hispanic, Korean, White). $10,000.
Central UMC, Charlotte, NC (Western North Carolina Annual Conference). Award for: Empowering Parents: A supplement to the existing Children of the World Learning Center preschool program at Central United Methodist Church, which will include intentional parent involvement and training that will equip parents as well as inviting them to become disciples of Christ. Racial-ethnic group: Hispanic/Latino. $5,200.
Church of the Disciple, DeSoto, Texas (North Texas Annual Conference). Award for: Transitions to Transformation: Community engagement including Village Groups, Community Conversations, leadership development and media outreach focused on young adults. Racial-ethnic group: African American. $10,000.
Wesley Church of Hope, Columbus, Ohio (West Ohio Annual Conference). South Side Hope: Neighborhood improvement program meant to strengthen commitment to transitional neighborhood, help people buy homes in neighborhood, and connect church to community through discipleship development. Racial-ethnic group: African American. $5,000.
Kona UMC, Kailua-Kona, Hawaii (California-Pacific Annual Conference). Award for: South Side Hope: Neighborhood improvement program meant to strengthen commitment to transitional neighborhood, help people buy homes in neighborhood, and connect church to community through discipleship development. Racial-ethnic group: African American. $5,000.
Salem UMC, Baltimore, MD (Baltimore-Washington Annual Conference). Award for: Resurrection Baltimore: Faith community development (including in-home worship, prayer, pastoral care) for undocumented immigrants currently afraid to participate in faith communities because of danger of deportation, as well as education/leadership training for their children and other young people. Racial-ethnic group: Hispanic, African American. $5,000.
“We purposely look for projects that take a fresh approach to discipleship,” Annandale said. “We want to see church members reach out to a hurting world and embrace those who need Jesus. I believe all of us look forward to see how these churches use the grants to do that. We see these grants as a way for Discipleship Ministries to partner with churches as they create new avenues of discipleship.”
The mission of Discipleship Ministries is to support annual conference and local church leaders for their task of equipping world-changing disciples. An agency of The United Methodist Church, Discipleship Ministries is located at 1908 Grand Ave. in Nashville, Tenn. For more information, visit www.UMCdiscipleship.org, the Press Center at www.UMCdiscipleship.org/about/press-center or call the Communications Office at (877) 899-2780, Ext. 1726.