Snapshots of Vitality

DETROIT RENAISSANCE DISTRICT ... NOAH Project's Earn-A-Bike class is rolling right along. Earn-A-Bike is a two week class which teaches participants how to care for a bike, and at the end of the class, they receive their very own bike! See more at The NOAH Project Detroit.

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.

GRAND TRAVERSE DISTRICT … Great night of chili and ministry sharing at Hersey UMC. “Thanks everybody for adding your passion and energy to the fall church conference season.” See more at Grand Traverse District UMC.

MARQUETTE DISTRICT … Marquette Hope: Skandia UMC campus works on a new banner for Camp Michigamme See more at Marquette Hope.

MICHIGAN UM CAMPING … An energy interpretation of Saint Paul’s words coming to you from Camp Kinawind! See more at Camp Kinawind.

BLUE WATER DISTRICT … The Sanilac County Baby Pantries, housed at Croswell UMC and Maple Valley School, needed clothing racks. Six members of the Lexington United Methodist Men worked alongside the Women’s Life Group to get the job done. The Baby Pantry, organized by the Sanilac County Child Abuse Prevention Council has operated since 2001. Services include free clothing, safe cribs and diapers as well as educational resources. Thanks UMMen for supporting children and their families.

HAITI PARTNERS … Rev. Carl Zeigler leads a prayer and blessing for Pastor Noelsaint and his ministry work in Jeremie, Haiti circuit area. A good Blue Water district mission event at Armada UMC. See more at Jeremie Haiti Project.

LANSING DISTRICT … The Comfort Quilt quilters of East Lansing: University UMC work hard all year ’round and received well-earned recognition on October 15th. The quilts go to organizations that help the homeless. Pastor Bill Chu and children among the patchwork. See more at University UMC-MSU.


BLUE WATER DISTRICT … “Bat Man likes cuddles when he takes a break from his superhero duties.” And the capes were for sale at the Cass City UMC bazaar. See more at Cass City UMC.

ALBION DISTRICT … On August 9 the Scotts United Methodist Women visited the Food Bank of South Central Michigan. They were given a tour of the facility and they made hundreds of Encouragement Cards for the Kids Backpack program.


CROSSROADS DISTRICT … Rev. Jack Mannschreck (Elder) and Rev. Kathy Pittenger (Deacon) serve together at Waterford: Central UMC. They have been intentional about how their ministries weave together and the uniqueness of each of their calls. On World Communion Sunday Pastor Jack led the Great Thanksgiving from behind the Communion Table while Rev. Kathy raised the bread and then the cup. While Pastor Jack offered anointing oil, Rev. Kathy prayed with those who desired it. Pastor Jack offered a closing blessing and Rev. Kathy cared for the remaining bread and cup at the Table. The presence of both the Elder and the Deacon at the Table has become an integral part of the celebration of the sacrament at Central UMC. Photo courtesy Shannon Taylor

SAGINAW BAY DISTRICT … Sunday School youth at Frankenmuth UMC are earning extra cash for the October Bread Pan Offering by “Piecing Together $$$” for Bishop Judith Craig Children’s Village. If Pat Arvilla’s piece fits one of the five missing spaces in the jigsaw puzzle, she wins a prize. The Bread Pan Offering for Mission is the big winner.

GRAND TRAVERSE DISTRICT … And what do you think happens NEXT?? Colleen Wierman and Jeremy Wicks supporting CROP Walk at Kingsley United Methodist Church. See much more at Kingsley UMC.

MICHIGAN AREA CAMPING … They are definitely NOT in Kansas anymore! Off to see the Wizard and enjoying Harvest Fest 2017 at Myers Lake Campground. See more at Myers Lake Campground.

DETROIT RENAISSANCE DISTRICT … October 8th at Royal Oak First UMC. “Truly a congregation of all ages! Al and Margaret are celebrating 71 years married, and Avery is baptized! See more at Royal Oak First UMC.

MICHIGAN AREA … During the JFON Roundtable held in Detroit Sept. 27-29 , the 2017 National Volunteer of the Year Award was given to Kirstin Huhtala Karoub. Kirstin has been an integral part of JFON SEMI since 2009, serving their Board of Advisors and helping to launch and lead the Dearborn clinic. In accepting the award, she said she is driven by two guiding principles: “Love your neighbor” and “Here I am.” See more at JFON SEMI.
GRAND TRAVERSE DISTRICT … Woman’s Best Friend. Blessing of the Animals at Alanson and Harbor Springs UMC. Pastor Susan Thorpe Hitts with her dog, Fritz.

LANSING DISTRICT … Pastor Tom Arthur and Bishop David Bard on a roll (paint roller that is) at Hands Across Lansing. On October 7th about 100 United Methodists showed up at Lansing: Mt Hope STEAM school and did all kinds of service projects including painting five classrooms.

ALBION DISTRICT … The earth-keepers of Sturgis UMC. The litterbug clean-up team is at work along the roadway this fall. See more at First UMC of Sturgis.

DETROIT RENAISSANCE DISTRICT … “Buckets and volunteers making God’s love visible.” Nardin Park UMC partnered with other churches and community organizations across metro Detroit to fill 500 flood buckets for the United Methodist Committee on Relief. See more at Nardin Park UMC.

KALAMAZOO DISTRICT … Signing the “Amazing Ministry Quilt.” Seven volunteers in Mission from Plainwell United Methodist Church went to work in North Carolina. They went to “restore hope” to those hit a year ago by hurricanes Julia and Matthew. See more at Plainwell UMC.

CROSSROADS DISTRICT … If I had a hammer! Central Michigan University students went to Flint to lend a hand constructing a hoop house for Asbury UMC Farm. Art students provided some awesome creations. See more at Asbury Church.

DETROIT RENAISSANCE DISTRICT … DownRiver UMC cut the ribbon on their new facility on September 28. Pastor Margie Bryce holds the ceremonial scissors along with Taylor Mayor Rick Sollars. See much more at DownRiver UMC.

GRAND RAPIDS DISTRICT … Grand Rapids: First UMC hosted an Art Prize Block Party with plenty of creativity and fun for all. See more at First UMC Grand Rapids.

SAGINAW BAY DISTICT … Grace Church Bay City raised $10,084 in two weeks for hurricane relief through the United Methodist Committee on Relief. It’s awesome generosity such as this that has resulted in $8.7 million in donations to disaster response funds.  See more at Grace Church Bay City.

GRAND TRAVERSE DISTRICT … “Pounds and pounds of potatoes were lovingly pealed to perfection” for Green Sky Hill’s Harvest Dinner. “Miigwech to these dedicated women, working in Greensky’s kitchen on the hottest day of the year!” See more at Greensky Hill UMC.

GRAND RAPIDS DISTRICT … United Methodist Community House, supported by United Methodist Women of the Michigan Area, is building a bright future with children! #preschoolmatters #learnteachgrow.

SAGINAW BAY DISTRICT … United Methodist Men of Coleman: Faith UMC, “serving alongside our Wesleyan brothers at the elementary school open house last week. Over 300 families attended because we are willing to be the church in our community!” See more at Faith UMC Coleman.

GRAND RAPIDS DISTRICT … Rev. Jeff Bowman (3rd from right) celebrates the “Ignite Your Passion for God” event sponsored by Muskegon Methodist Men at the Frauenthal Theater. Bowman, pastor of Muskegon Heights: Temple UMC, said, “It was an honor and privilege to share the stage with these men of God today.” See more at Muskegon Methodist Men’s Ministry.HEARTLAND DISTRICT … On September 23rd Feeding America food truck was on site at Rodney UMC. “Thanks for all of the help from 32 helpers from Ferris State University student chapter of the American Marketing Association See more at Big Rapids  United Methodist Parish. LANSING DISTRICT … September 24th was Sock It To Me Sunday at University UMC in East Lansing. The effort was part of an ecumenical effort with the Love Clothing Center located inside Judson Memorial Baptist Church. Love Clothing Center is entering its 27th year of collecting from churches. This year’s goal is for each local child to receive seven pieces of underwear and seven pairs of socks at the beginning of the school year. See more at University UMC MSU.

NORTH CENTRAL JURISDICTION … Bishop Laurie Haller says, “NCJ women bishops enjoying dinner with our dear friend, Bishop Judy Craig, the one who paved the way for us and so many others. Thanks be to God!” L-r: Bishop Deborah Lieder Kiesey (retired), Bishop Sally Dyck (Northern Illinois), Bishop Laurie Haller (Iowa), and Bishop Tracy S. Malone (East Ohio) surround Bishop Judy Craig, who served the Michigan Area from 1984-1992.

HEARTLAND DISTRICT … Everyone had his or her turn with the shovel on September 17, Miracle Sunday at Pompeii United Methodist Church. There was a special offering  to support the new addition. After worship there was a groundbreaking ceremony. See more at Pompeii UMC.

GRAND RAPIDS DISTRICT … World Communion Sunday at Temple UMC in Muskegon Heights. L-r: Rev. Jennifer Wheeler (Crestwood UMC); Rev. Orea Peterson Jr (John Wesley AME Zion); Rev. Jeff Bowman (Temple UMC); and Rev. Anita McCants (Phillip Chapel AME Church) officiated. KALAMAZOO DISTRICT … A crew of volunteers at First UMC Kalamazoo is organizing the supplies requested by UMCOR for the hygiene kits and cleaning buckets. The congregation will continue to collect through the end of September. They are also serving as a collection site for boxed supplies from across their region.

DETROIT RENAISSANCE … How sweet it is. Hazel Park First UMC combined disaster relief with a bake auction and raised $1,048 dollars for United Methodist Committee on Relief.

KALAMAZOO DISTRICT … a local congregation, Bangor: Simpson UMC, supports one of its sons of John Wesley, Paul Reissmann. Rev. Mona Joslyn and Carole Pumfrey bless Paul as he starts his work at Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary. Reissmann was active during his college years at Kalamazoo Wesley and currently serves as the Social Media Coordinator for the Michigan Area. See more at Bangor Simpson UMC.

DETROIT RENAISSANCE DISTRICT … September 15 was United Methodist Night at Comerica Park. Not only did the Tigers beat the White Sox, but these and other faithful disciples were on hand to promote the upcoming Hands4Detroit, coming to the city on October 7, 2017. See more at Hands4Detroit.

KALAMAZOO DISTRICT … Wesley Campus Ministry at WMU enjoys some fall fun in the orchard. Nothing tastes better than a freshly picked apple.
DETROIT RENAISSANCE DISTRICT … Chelsea Williams (left) started her US-2 service in 2015. During her 2 years she coordinated the bag lunch program, brought on new volunteers, and provided a welcoming, caring presence for guests. On Sept. 8 NOAH thanks Chelsea for “leaving her mark on our hearts.” See more on Facebook/The NOAH Project. She now starts a new chapter of her life back home in North Carolina. See more at NOAH Project.

MICHIGAN CAMPING … Eric and Sherry Stone have two out of 24 buildings buttoned down for the winter at Camp Kinawind. Camp Director Sherry invites others to a fall work camp to be held at Kinawind September 27 through October 3. See more at Camp Kinawind.HEARTLAND DISTRICT … Students at Central Michigan University (CMU) Wesley issue an invitation to “Tacos & Topics” Tuesday at 9 p.m. Good food then ” share your views respectfully with others and learn more about each other and the world around us.” See more at Wesley at CMU.

ANN ARBOR DISTRICT … South Lyon UMC enjoyed an outdoor service at the gazebo in McHattie Park. Rev Mary McInnes and Rev Kenny Walkup preached on Iron Man and the full armor of God. See more at South Lyon First UMC.

SAGINAW BAY DISTRICT … The 4th annual Faster Pastor Charity Race was held at Tri-City Motor Speedway on July 14, 2017. The event raised $29,329.78 for 11 local non-profit groups. This year 11 pastors from several different denominations and non-denominational churches participated. Auburn UMC pastor, Duane Harris has won the race the last two years and raised funds for Fresh Aire Samaritan Counseling Center.  

GRAND RAPIDS DISTRIST … Offer them Christ (and Ramen Noodles). That’s what’s inside those “College Survival Kits” being shared by Trinity UMC at campuses around Grand Rapids. Pastor David and Glenys Nellist make the rounds During Trinity’s College Week. See more at Grand Rapids Trinity UMC.

CROSSROADS DISTRICT … Swartz Creek UMC has a new “toy” that promotes generosity. “This brings a new level to ‘joyful giving.'” See more at UMC of Swartz Creek.

GRAND TRAVERSE DISTRICT … Traverse City: Central UMC celebrated the last Church in the Park of the year on September 3. The event featured a Cookie Potluck. Children’s Ministry sold popcorn. See more at Central UMC-Traverse City.ANN ARBOR DISTRICT … The Good News House Group, a ministry of 17 area churches, has begun work on their 30th and 31st houses for Habitat for Humanity of Huron Valley in Ypsilanti. Volunteers from Manchester UMC are part of the effort. See more at Manchester UMC.

KALAMAZOO DISTRICT … Streams of mercy. Pastor Joe Shaler celebrates Baptism at Otsego United Methodist Church. See more at Otsego UMC.

SAGINAW BAY DISTRICT … Frankenmuth United Methodist Church’s Pastor Reed Swanson was part of the ecumenical celebration as Blessed Trinity Catholic Church celebrated 50 years in Frankenmuth. Left-right: Saginaw Diocese Bishop Joseph Cistone, Father Robert Byrne, Pastor Reed Swanson, and Father Fred Kawka. See more at Frankenmuth UMC.

CROSSROADS DISTRICT … Flint Court Street UMC volunteer at the griddle as the congregation serves breakfast on CRIM Day. Others then hand out water and cheerthose running in the Festival of Races. See more at Court Street UMC.

 ANN ARBOR DISTRICT … Saline United Methodist Church leaves its corner of southeast Michigan to volunteer in the U.P. Hosted by Houghton: Grace UMC, they worked on home repairs in the area. At the same time, they  had work boots on the ground at a Habitat for Humanity project in Ann Arbor. Way to go, Saline Disciples! See more at Saline First UMC.

GRAND RAPIDS DISTRICT … Muskegon: Lake Harbor United Methodist Church presented Ross Park teachers and staff with special back-to-school blessings. See more at Lake Harbor UMC.MICHIGAN CAMPING … John Olari from Milford UMC shares the Sunday morning message with the children at Myers Lake Campground. See more at Michigan Area United Methodist Camping 

HEARTLAND DISTRICT … Ferris State Wesley House was present for Get Acquainted Day on the quad. Says Director Devon Herrell, “Proud of these students and their hard work on behalf of Wesley House! We’ve had a busy week already, serving 25 students at the food pantry in the last three days.”

HEARTLAND DISTRICT …Happiness is going back to school with a new backpack. Mt. Pleasant: First United Methodist Church held a Back-to-School Carnival, giving away 30 backpacks, over 100 spiral note pads, some 200 glue sticks, 75 pairs of scissors, markers, colored pencils, crayons, and more! “So happy to see so many smiling faces!” See more at First United Methodist Church of Mt. Pleasant.

MARQUETTE DISTRICT … The United Methodist Women of Rockland hosted their 6th annual High Tea Party, August 21. Their 30 guests heard a program, “Mother Goose,” and viewed the solar eclipse. “It was an exciting time sharing comments together about the Maker of our World.”

GRAND TRAVERSE DISTRICT … Disciples of all ages are catching the spirit this summer at Kewadin United Methodist Church. And that’s one very special Church Mouse! See more at Kewadin UMC.

DETROIT RENAISSANCE DISTRICT … On August 23 NOAH Project in Detroit graduated six people from their Cooking Matters Class. During this 5-week course our participants learned about nutrition, cooking healthy on a budget, and even got to shop for groceries together. Thanks to Gleaners Food Bank for hosting another successful Cooking Matters class. See more at NOAH Project Detroit.

MICHIGAN CAMPING … August 21st was a fun and colorful time at Cedar Chase Golf Club in Cedar Springs. The 2017 Annual Camp Classic Golf Scramble benefitted Lake Michigan Camp and Retreat Center. See more at Lake Michigan Camp and Retreat Center.

GRAND TRAVERSE DISTRICT … A quiet moment in Mancelona on August 16 when Mancelona UMC hosted Yoga Around the Labyrinth. The theme was kindness and participants contemplated what kindness means and how to spread kindness throughout the world. See more at Mancelona UMC.MICHIGAN CAMPING … Volunteers in Mission came all the way from Kansas to help with facility improvements at Lake Michigan Camp and Retreat Center. Thank you to the Sunflower United Methodists! See more at Michigan Area United Methodist Camping.

MARQUETTE DISTRICT … Pastor Ron Fike visited the cub scouts of Gwinn Pack 333 at Camp Hiawatha during the 50th Anniversary camp out. They prayed in the outdoor chapel near the lake. See more at Gwinn UMC.   

GRAND RAPIDS DISTRICT … Valley Church went to the Grand Haven Conference Grounds to “welcome eight people into the Beloved family of Christ through their next step of Baptism. It was a great turnout of support and excitement as they declared, ‘I won’t go back!’ Easily one of the best parts of our seven years of life as a church! Go God.” GRAND RAPIDS DISTRICT …KALAMAZOO DISTRICT … Serving on behalf of the Bread of Life. Volunteers at Vicksburg United Methodist Church sponsor a Loaves and Fishes food give-away. See more at Vicksburg UMC.

GLOBAL CONNECTIONS … Mbwizu Ndjungu (right) is, along with her husband, serving in Cameroon as a General Board of Global Ministries missionary. Michigan congregations support them in their work. Here. Mbwizu reads the Health Report at the 2017 Cameroon Annual Conference.

MARQUETTE DISTRICT … Looking for God at Marquette Hope UMC. Camp Out Vacation Bible School is underway, “Getting s’more of Jesus.” See more at Marquette Hope UMC.

KALAMAZOO DISTRICT … Otsego UMC celebrates 175 years of ministry and witness. “Rock painting at the picnic. The kids (and youth) got creative with their rocks. The rocks that were left for me to hide will get a clear coat and a label on the back that says ‘OUMC 175!’ I will hide them around town so be on the lookout! See more at Otsego UMC.
BLUE WATER DISTRICT … Last month 14 youth and five adults from the Blue Water District, led by District Superintendent Rev. Elizabeth Hill, spent a week of service alongside the project partners at the Motown Mission Experience. Motown Mission is an urban work mission destination in Detroit, MI for Christian youth, college, and adult groups interested in economic disaster recovery work in the name of Jesus Christ.  Deeply rooted in Wesleyan Theology, Motown Mission began as a United Methodist organization and continues to maintain the connection to the contemporary UMC’s commitment to grace, mission, and service as a means for individual and communal transformation. The two work teams, representing four churches in the district, worked side by side with N.O.A.H Project, Rippling Hope, Global Mission Fellows, Arts and Scraps, North End Neighbors Block Club, and Resource Community Development Corporation.

GRAND RAPIDS DISTRICT … The pool is being repainted at Clark Retirement Community so the Wellness Director got creative with a different stress management activity. Residents made kites! “We were waiting for a windy day as they do, in fact, fly. The discussion led to various ways to deal with stress in a positive way. The residents shared their life experiences and what works for them in times of high stress.” See more at Clark Retirement Community.CROSSROADS DISTRICT … Freedom Summer at Flint: Bethel UMC. The church hosted a Children’s Defense Fund Freedom School. Young scholars worked hard in the intensive literacy program, built up their identities as change agents in the community, and expanded their minds. See more at Bethel United Methodist Church


GRAND RAPIDS DISTRICT … What’s happening in the choir loft of Grand Rapids: Trinity UMC?? It’s part of three action-packed days of Community Ministries Summer Program. See more at Trinity UMC Grand Rapids.

CROSSROADS DISTRICT … Waterford: Central UMC partners with their local elementary school. They recently hosted their annual Ice Cream Social and Book Exchange with almost 100 kids in attendance. See more at Waterford Central UMC.

GRAND RAPIDS DISTRICT … GRAND RAPIDS DISTRICT … Family Camp for La Nueva Esperanza UMC took place at Albright Park. “Fun, excitement, companionship, lots of food, devotion, games and beautiful shared experiences. Thank God for this opportunity to be in communion with him, in the family.”
DETROIT RENAISSANCE … Pastor Jeff Nelson reports that, “One of my favorite Ministries at Royal Oak First United Methodist Church is our Shawl Ministry. A group of dedicated women meet to create items that show Christ’s love … crosses and homemade wash clothes that will go to support our friends at Redford Brightmoor Initiative. See more at Redford Brightmoor Initiative.
ANN ARBOR DISTRICT … We don’t have to wonder what Lincoln Community UMC is doing for Vacation Bible School. Hero Central is underway and Pastor Merlin Pratt is out of his phone booth and in action. See more at Lincoln Community UMC.

MICHIGAN UMCAMPING … Another great week of food, drama, games and friendship at God’s Treasures Camp at Lake Huron Retreat Center. See more at Lake Huron Retreat Center.

GRAND RAPIDS DISTRICT … God’s Family is on the grow at Caledonia United Methodist Church. Pastor Jodi Flessner baptizes another Disciple in Training. See more at Caledonia UMC.

DETROIT RENAISSANCE DISTRICT … Flat Prophet went to the Ohio State Fair with Nardin Park UMC members John and Nancy Gingrich. Flat Prophet is accompanying people through their weekly activities during the sermon series, Major Voices from the Minor Prophets. See more at Nardin Park UMC.

GRAND TRAVERSE DISTRICT … Pastor Jean Bivens Smith of Lake City United Methodist Church was installed as a minister in the Lutheran Church on July 9th, 2017. She now shepherds St. John’s Lutheran Church in Lake City in addition to the United Methodist Church. This venture has the blessings of both Bishop David Bard and Bishop Craig A. Satterlee of the North West Lower Michigan Synod of Evangelical Lutheran Church of America. See more at Lake City UMC.

HEARTLAND DISTRICT … The Holy Spirit ignites the Vacation Bible School at Mt. Pleasant First United Methodist Church. See more at Mt. Pleasant 1st UMC.

MICHIGAN AREA CAMPING … Horsing around at Camp Kinawind. Packs, Paddles and Saddles is an opportunity to explore God’s creation through backpacking, canoeing, kayaking, horseback riding and two intense nights in tents. See more at Camp Kinawind.GRAND RAPIDS DISTRICT … The Muskegon: Lake Harbor youth group recently went to Minnesota on a mission trip. See more of their time at Leech Lake Reservation at Lake Harbor Youth Group.BLUE WATER DISTRICT … Young people from Blue Water District workin’ in the D. Cleaning up the neighborhood in Detroit with Motown Mission . “What a great bunch of youth!’ says District Superintendent Elizabeth Hill.

HEARTLAND DISTRICT … Rockin’ VBS at Farwell United Methodist Church. Stone craft was only a small part of the fun. See more at Farwell United Methodist Church.

GRAND TRAVERSE DISTRICT … Clowning in the woods with Brethren: Epworth UMC . Vacation Bible School 2017, “Son World Adventure Park,” was a huge Success. See more at Epworth UMC.SAGSSAGINAW BAY DISTRICT … Digging holes can be a holy activity. Youth from New Heart United Methodist Church traveled to Loveland, CO for a Group Mission experience. See more at New Heart UMC.DETROIT CONFERENCE … Rev. Paul Perez (center) meets Lynda Sylvain and Grace Okerson during their training in Atlanta. The women are  two new Global Mission Fellows/US-2s who will serve in Detroit at Motown Mission and The NOAH Project. Welcome, Lynda and Grace!

DETROIT RENAISSANCE DISTRICT … Detroit Renaissance District … Cass Community Social Services asks, “You think YOU’RE tired!?!” Over the years volunteers have gone on “tire hunts” through the city of Detroit that have netted 90,000 tires. The rubber is repurposed into mud mats, sandals, and keychains. See more at Cass Community Social Services.

GRAND TRAVERSE DISTRICT … This young disciple from Old Mission Peninsula UMC happened to mention that he needed pop cans for VBS while he was at the doctor’s office. They hooked him right up! See more at Old Mission Peninsula UMC.

GRAND RAPIDS DISTRICT … Ravenna UMC has a brand new Coffee Bar and this sign “says it all!” See more at Ravenna United Methodist Church.

DETROIT RENAISSANCE DISTRICT … Taking the plunge for Jesus at Farmington First UMC. Customers at the Dunk Tank got a chance to dunk Mayor Bill Galvin, Pastor Anthony Hood and other good sports. Proceeds benefit the Warner mansion and church building. See more at Farmington First UMC.

DETROIT RENAISSANCE DISTRICT … US-2 Chelsea Williams (center) will be leaving her assignment at NOAH Project in Detroit in September. The Bag Lunch Program has run smoothly under her leadership. Godspeed, Chelsea. See more at NOAH Project.

DETROIT RENAISSANCE DISTRICT … Motown Mission is saying goodbye to Kayla Flannery. A US-2, Flannery came to the Detroit Conference two years ago and first served at the Northwest Detroit Flood Recovery Project. Her term is now up and she will be returning home to Arizona. Good work, Kayla! See more at Motown Mission.

SAGINAW BAY DISTRICT … Frankenmuth UMC is gearing up for the 18th annual Fishin’ for Mission Auction that features a silent auction, light meal, and live auction. All monies raised are donated to local and worldwide mission projects such as the Frankenmuth Special Kids in Action, Saginaw Rescue Mission, East Side Soup Kitchen, Youth Mission Trips, and Haiti Hot Lunch program.

DETROIT RENAISSANCE DISTRICT … Nardin Park UMC partnered with Centro Familiar Christano UMC in a shoe ministry. Nardin Park Church and its Vacation Bible School provided funds to purchase 83 new pairs of tennis shoes for the children and the VBS kids provided all kinds of new, fun, socks. Staff and volunteers washed each of the children’s feet, put new socks and shoes on them and to prayed for each of them. See more at Nardin Park UMC.
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.

MICHIGAN VISITS IOWA … Mark Doyal, (left) Michigan’s Director of Communications, recently was in Iowa on business. Time for a friendly reunion in Iowa City with Bishop Deb and Brad Kiesey. All send Michigan their love. 

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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