Snapshots of Vitality

Mark Doyal, Michigan's Director of Communications, was in Iowa on business. Time for a friendly reunion in Iowa City with Bishop Deb and Brad Kiesey. All send Michigan their love.

See Christ in the faces of Michigan United Methodists who share their faith on the pages of Facebook.
“Your church’s Facebook page is like the sign in front of your church,” says United Methodist Communications contributor, Jeremy Steele. He then observes, “Though most churches take good care to make sure their sign by the road is well kept and updated with current information and that it puts forward the message they want to display, the Facebook page often gets less attention.”

Your church’s Facebook page offers a huge opportunity for opening your doors to your neighbors. Here are some congregations and agencies in Michigan who are making a good effort to celebrate making disciples and transforming the world on Facebook . Have a photo that we’ve missed? Email News Editor Kay DeMoss. Click here for Jeremy Steele’s Six Tips to Get More Like’s on your Church’s Facebook Page.

MICHIGAN AREA … Young leaders around the firebowl at Lake Louise. THRIVE Leadership Academy was held July 16-20. Bridget Nelson, Michigan Area Coordinator of Youth Ministries, says, “Grateful for this time with this group of high schoolers.”

GRAND RAPIDS DISTRICT … You learn a lot on mission trips … like where French Fries come from. Unleashed students from Valley Church are in Detroit serving at Cass Community Services. See more at Unleashed — Valley Church Student Ministries.

DETROIT RENAISSANCE DISTRICT … Rev. Jeff Regan traveled to Fraser: Christ United Methodist Church to present the Wayne C. Barrett Steward Leader Award. The United Methodist Foundation of Michigan established the Wayne C. Barrett Steward Leader Award upon Dr. Barrett’s retirement as President and Executive Director. The purpose of this award is to honor United Methodist congregations across the Michigan Area for their exemplary stewardship ministry and culture of generosity. See more at Christ Church Fraser.

LANSING DISTRICT … Members of University UMC gave $1,930 toward the cost of birthing kits for the mothers and babies the Felisane Clinic in Mizak, Haiti. The project also received a $1,000 grant from the church’s Endowment Committee. The UUMC Missions Committee members and friends were able to assemble and package 50 kits. The Felisane Clinic is a ministry of HAPI (Haitian Artisans for Peace International. See more at University UMC-MSU.


MARQUETTE DISTRICT … South Lyon UMC volunteers on the job in Newberry roofing with God’s Country Cooperative Parish. See more at God’s Country Cooperative Parish.

UMCAMPING … Crystal Springs is a place to make friends. Having a good time at  Faith, Fun & Fine Arts Camp. See more at Crystal Springs Camp and Retreat Center.

MARQUETTE DISTRIST … Cub Scout pack 333 is active at Gwinn UMC. Five cub scouts and a Boy Scout, along with their pastor Ron Fike, enjoyed a weekend at Camp Kinawind learning about God, birds, and more.  Rev. Dave Wickert  from Augres, MI was the hosting pastor teaching the P.R.A.Y. – God and Me program.

LANSING DISTRICT … Both campuses of Sycamore Creek Church–South Lansing and Potterville–came together in Valhalla Park on June 25 for a Baptism celebration! Worship, becoming partners, baptisms, and a BBQ. See more at Sycamore Creek S Lansing.

SAGINAW BAY DISTRICT … The Vacation Bible School at Wisner United Methodist Church collected 237 cases of bottled water for their local fire departments. See more at Wisner UMC.

HEARTLAND DISTRICT …Volunteers from Mt. Pleasant 1st are at Cass Community Social Services making mud mats and engaged in other activities. Pastor Diane Gordon says, “Pulled weeds near tiny homes and the church playground, cleaned an old store room in the church basement, and lots of other tasks.” See more at Mt. Pleasant First UMC.

DETROIT RENAISSANCE DISTRICT … Bishop David Bard and his wife, Julie, were present at Detroit: Metropolitan UMC on Centennial Scholarship Sunday, June 11th. They are joined here by Pastor Janet Gaston Petty (Senior Pastor of Metropolitan UMC) and Ken Kubit (Chair, Centennial Fund/Scholarship Committee). The Centennial Fund has paid out over $1.2 million in scholarships and grants to deserving United Methodist students  since its inception in 1985. The scholarships are available to United Methodist students world wide. In addition to scholarships, the Centennial Fund provides outreach support to various local/world mission ministries. See more at Metropolitan United Methodist Church.

ALBION DISTRICT … Center Park United Methodist Church organizes for the rummage sale to raise money for missions. “Any leftover items are donated to another local organization who also has a sale to raise money for the community we live in.” See more at Center Park UMC.

SAGINAW BAY DISTRICT … This summer, the office staff of the Saginaw Bay District are connecting with churches within their district. Teri Rice, Admin (upper left) and Tina Karnath, Children’s Ministry hit the road. As of July 6 they drove three days, covered 700 miles and visited the leaders and pastors of 18 churches. There are still two travel days and eight churches left on the docket of those who requested a visit. “Lots of information has been shared and it has been an enriching experience to connect faces to the emails or phone calls that are often made to far away individuals.” See more in the Teri & Tina Road Trip Photo Album.

MARQUETTE DISTRICT … Saginaw Bay District Volunteers in Mission travel over the bridge for service. Wisner UMC at work at God’s Country Cooperative Parish. See more at God’s Country Cooperative Parish.

UMCAMPING … Pilgrim United Methodist Church enjoys a wonderful weekend at Lakeview Campground. The Saturday night potluck was attended by 72 people. Sunday morning worship at the beach was attended by 127! See more at Lakeview Campground.

GLOBAL CONNECTION … It’s Vacation Bible School season in Zambia, too. Missionaries Delbert and Sandy Groves welcome students to the New Life Center. Theme for Kids’ Camp a.k.a. VBS is Jesus Changes Lives. See more at New Life Center Zambia.

KALAMAZOO DISTRICT … Kalamazoo: First United Methodist Church is rocking the city’s central Bronson Park with their Justice For Our Neighbors table. See more at First UMC Kalamazoo.

DETROIT RENAISSANCE DISTRICT … Say hello to Will Lobb, this year’s Hospitality Coordinator and head chef at Motown Mission. See more at Motown Mission.

LANSING DISTRICT — Sunday evening worship around the campfire at Wacousta Community United Methodist Church. There’s a sweet, sweet spirit AND s’mores. See more at Wacousta UMC.SAGINAW BAY DISTRICT … One Week-One Street was started through the collaboration of a member of Auburn UMC, Tamara Klida, and a downtown Saginaw pastor, Roy Baldwin. Pastor Duane Harris explains: “It’s really a VIM experience in the city of Saginaw and is now in its fifth year. The project focuses on one street for one week in the neighborhood and revitalizes homes and lots.  Law enforcement reports a significant reduction in crime in this area as a result.  People from many different denominations participate as do several business sponsors.  For more photos and details see One Week, One Street.

DETROIT RENAISSAINCE DISTRICT … Meet Detroit: Centro Familiar Cristiano’s Mission Intern, Josiah Reese. He made this prop for Centro’s Hero Central. Looks like Centro and their interns are having a super summer. See more at Centro Familiar Cristiano UMC.

GRAND RAPIDS DISTRICT … The Worship Team at Cornerstone: Heritage Hill Campus having fun with the theme, “Assembly Required.”  The series kicked off July 2. “we’ll look at how God can build us up, just as he did with Elijah.” See more at Cornerstone Church–Heritage Hill Campus.

SAGINAW BAY DISTRICT … The Young Disciples of the Saginaw Bay District traveled to Loveland, Colorado July 1-8 for, “Week of Hope.” A Group Ministries activity, the experience involved worship, fellowship, witness and service at a variety of projects. See more at Saginaw Bay District.

ANN ARBOR DISTRICT … June 19-21 four churches partnered to bring Hero Central VBS to the Milan Community. Rev. Mary Hagley reports: “Milan Marble Memorial UMC, London UMC, Azalia UMC, and Dixboro UMC partnered again this year. Between the four churches we had 46 volunteers and 38 heroes (kids) come to ‘Discover their strength in God!’ Each hero received a ‘God’s Helping Hands,’ cape to decorate and wear, which reminded them of our Bible verse, Do Good. Seek Peace and Go After It– Psalm 34:14b. Over the three days we learned that God’s heroes have heart, courage, wisdom, hope, and power through Bible lessons, science experiments, crafts, games, and songs. We collected snacks from all of our congregations and heroes put together 73 “Hero Power Kits” for kids in the Milan area who participate in free food programs. God is good!”

MICHIGAN UNITED METHODIST CAMPING … Bishop David Bard and wife, Julie, were guests for lunch at Camp Kinawind on July 2. The Bishop was in the pulpit in Tennant Chapel at Lake Louise earlier that morning. See more at Camp Kinawind.

KALAMAZOO DISTRICT … Youth from Stevensville UMC travelled to West Virginia. “Working hard this week at our mission site! We’re removing nails from boards to recycle into wood chips for playgrounds and putting in a subfloor for a house that was underwater from a flood in 2016.” See more at Open Hearts Minds.

CROSSROADS DISTRICT … Working together across the generations at Clarkston United Methodist Church. See more at Clarkston UMC.BLUE WATER DISTRICT … Pentecost at Cass City UMC. Pastor Jackie Roe telling the kids “We need the Holy Spirit to fill us just like the balloons need helium to float.” See more at Cass City UMC.

HEARTLAND DISTRICT … Having a great time at Pompeii United Methodist Church Vacation Bible School. See more at Pompeii United Methodist Church.

CROSSROADS DISTRICT … Clarkston UMC’s ARM (Adult Righteous Ministries) engages in transformational ministries inside and outside the building. See highlights of their week’s work at Clarkston United Methodist Church.

ANN ARBOR DISTRICT … Pa Rum Pa Pa Pum. This Drummer Boy was part of the fun at the Blissfield: Emmanuel UMC 6th Annual Talent Show. See more at Emmanuel UMC.

LANSING DISTRICT … Move the projector, they said. It will be easy, they said. Easy with the right equipment. Holt United Methodist Church goes through an AV upgrade that requires a new projector in the sanctuary. See more at Holt UMC.

GRAND RAPIDS DISTRICT … Residents of Clark Retirement Community enjoying raised-bed gardening. Now in its second year, thumbs were made greener with some training provided by MSU master gardener. Residents can choose one or more square feet in the garden and plant veggies or flowers of their liking. They help with weeding and harvesting of the produce when it is ripe. See more at Clark Retirement Community.

DETROIT RENAISSANCE DISTRICT … Earn-A-Bike is a program sponsored by The NOAH Project in Detroit. Class participants learn how to take apart and fix donated bicycles over a two-week period. At the end of the program, they get to keep their bike as a means of transportation around the city. See more at The NOAH Project Detroit.

KALAMAZOO DISTRICT … Who knew a new appointment could be so romantic!?! Rev. Greg Culver, who begins ministry at Vicksburg UMC on July 1, says: “Carrying my bride into our first purchased home — 15 years after our wedding!” Best wishes to Greg and Joanne Culver and family in their move from Charlevoix.

SAGINAW BAY DISTRICT … Learning to play bells. The Summer Enrichment Program is in full swing at West Branch UMC. Learn more at West Branch First UMC.

DETROIT RENAISSANCE DISTRICT … Berkley First welcomes Rev. Elbert Dulworth to dining below the bridge. Elbert has moved south from Marquette, where he was District Superintendent, to Birmingham where he will serve as Senior Pastor of First UMC. See more at Berkley First.

GRAND RAPIDS DISTRICT … Having fun at the United Methodist Community House Senior Prom. This is an annual formal event. This year’s theme, “Fantastic Voyage.” See more at UMCH.

KALAMAZOO DISTRICT … Waffle Church at Sunnyside UMC was a big success. A family-inclusive experience. “Something special for all – but most especially if you find it hard to sit and be quiet for an hour!” See more at Sunnyside UMC.
BLUE WATER DISTRICT … On June 14 Rev. John Ball, associate pastor of Lake Orion UMC, was sworn in as a volunteer chaplain for the Lake Orion Police Department. He received his badge and uniform along with an LOPD hat. John’s responsibilities will include supporting and caring for the police force as needed. “I am humbled to be asked to serve … In the words of John Wesley, ‘The world is indeed our parish.’ It is a gift for LOUMC to be the church in the center of the community as we take on the responsibility of caring for our neighbors.” See more at Lake Orion UMC.

KALAMAZOO DISTRICT … Joyce Bliss (center0 sat by a camp fire at Crystal Springs over 70 years ago. On May 26th she brought her daughters, Nancy Bliss and Karen Bliss Dalzell, back for a visit. Camping changes lives … for a lifetime! See more at Crystal Springs Camp and Retreat Center.

MICHIGAN UM CAMPING … Who is that masked woman?? She’s Sherry Stone, Director at Camp Kinawind. She’s working with volunteers to get the camp ready for summer fun. Water on, tents and teepees up, and kitchen facelift. See more at Camp Kinawind.

GRAND RAPIDS DISTRICT … Making a joyful noise at Grand Rapids First’s Arts Alive Camp: Kindness University. The congregation hosted a tent at the city’s 2017 Festival of Arts. See more at First UMC Grand Rapids.

KALAMAZOO DISTRICT … Whoa, David! That’s one TALL order! Goliath comes to Kalamazoo First UMC during, “The Rock Slinger and his Greatest Hits.” See much more at First UMC of Kalamazoo.

CROSSROADS DISTRICT …  Flint: Calvary reached out to their neighbors with a food give-away on June 10. At the 2017 Annual Conference Calvary was recognized as recipient of the One Matters Award of Discipleship Resources. See more at Calvary Church Flint.

GRAND TRAVERSE DISTRICT … Meet the Secret Saints of the United Methodist Church of Cadillac. The big reveal happened on June 12. Thanks were given to those who encouraged CUMC’s college students throughout the school year (anonymously) with cards, homemade goodies, and small gifts to let them know they were being thought of and prayed for. See more at United Methodist Church of Cadillac.

DETROIT RENAISSANCE DISTRICT … Staff of Motown Mission commissioned after three-day training with the Detroit Conference Mission Intern Program. Anti-racism training, conflict management, worship, spiritual gifts, and more! See more at Motown Mission.

ALBION DISTRICT … Marshall UMC’s 180 Youth Group ends the school year with Paper Plate Awards. This “Community” Award was one of many. See more at Marshall United Methodist Church.

MICHIGAN UM CAMPING … Thank you to everyone who contributed to the purchase of the new golf cart! at Lake Huron Retreat Center. “This will be a tremendous asset to our ministry this summer and in the years to come,” says Director Ann Emerson. “You have blessed us with your financial gifts.” See more at Lake Huron Retreat Center.

GLOBAL CONNECTION … Missionary Paul Webster (center) and assistance, Silvester, are in the U.S. thanking supporting churches. In Richmond, IN Paul and Silvester caught up with Rev. Ted Halstead (right) who volunteered at Mujila Falls, Zambia in 2014.

GRAND TRAVERSE DISTRICT … Conference provided various opportunities to visit Native American ministries in the region. Rev. David Nellist (r) and wife, Glenys, visited Northport Indian Mission Church, site of Spirit Journey. Grand Rapids Trinity UMC is among churches building up the campground for ministry with young people directed by Brandon Ahmicasaube Smith (l).

ANN ARBOR DISTRICT … District Superintendent Mark Spaw celebrates 21 years of service on the Board Of Ordained Ministry of The Detroit Conference.

MICHIGAN AREA … The Rev. George Howard journeyed from Atlanta to Michigan on behalf of the General Board of Global Ministries. He celebrated the mission-mindedness of the West Michigan and Detroit conferences and presented Bishop Bard with a plaque: Gratitude to the Detroit Conference for the highest number of missionaries supported in the North Central Jurisdiction.

LANSING DISTRICT … A Dynamic Duo. The pastoral team of Lansing: Mt. Hope United Methodist Church — Rev. Rob Cook (l) and the Rev. Eric Mulanda. Eric came to the congregation by way of DR Congo and Africa University. His sermon on abundance inspired the Annual Conference.

MICHIGAN AREA … A holy fist bump. Bishop David Bard joins children in the Grace Space set up at the front of the hall during Saturday morning worship. Churches around the Michigan Area are offering radical hospitality in their sanctuaries with pray-grounds such as this. ~mic photo/Hannah HazenDETROIT DEACONS … The Deacon Trio of musicians in worship leadership. L-r: Revs. Carl Gladstone, Christy Miller-Black, and Caleb Williams.

DETROIT CONFERENCE … Andy Wayne is a man of many talents … Member of Committee on Standing Rules, Council on Finance and Administration, Design Team … all that and a crucifer, too. Here he is on Sunday ready to lead the processional.

MICHIGAN AREA … A Celebration of the Journey of Ministry took place on Saturday. A “passing of the mantle” took place between a those retiring and those newly ordained. Shown here l-r: Deacon Catherine MIles and Deacon Nancy Fanscher; Elder Gary Haller and Elder Andrew Lee.

MICHIGAN AREA …Bishop Bard asks at end of business on Saturday, “Is this the right way to wear these?” Sample responses … “Only if the yellow and blue one is in the front and very visible!” … “Yes, Bishop!! MSU on top!! Good call!!” … “Yes, with the exception of the Sparty tie. That one is worn DEEP in your closet.”

MICHIGAN AREA … Clergy who equip and support their colleagues. Back: Rev. Jeremy Wicks (Outgoing Chair, John Wesley Association, WM) and Rev. Dean Prentiss (Chair, Order of Elders WM). Center: Rev. Greg Lawton (Chair, Order of Deacon Chair, WM) and Rev. Sue Platt (Chair, Fellowship of Local Pastors and Associate Members, DC). Front: Rev. April McGlothin-Eller (Chair, Order of Deacons, DC) and Rev. Mary Gibson McInnes (Chair, Order of Elders, DC).

LANSING DISTRICT … Bill Chu, Director of Campus Ministry of the Wesley Foundation at Michigan State University, responded to Bishop Bard’s sermon, “Your Bishop is a Basket Case

WEST MICHIGAN CONFERENCE … Rev. Dean Prentiss, Chair of the West Michigan Order of Elders, announces that the Rev. Bernanrd Randolph continues to hold the Conference Cane as the oldest elder in the clergy community. Bernard has held the cane since 2009 and will turn 101 in October of this year. The Rev. Art Spafford is the holder of the Detroit Conference Cane.

MICHIGAN AREA … Meanwhile Area Director of Communications and Assistant Kristen Gillette are experimenting with fruitful new ways to relay information … Banana Gram?




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