Snapshots of Vitality

BLUE WATER DISTRICT: Lake Orion UMC volunteers came together for "Bibs for Babies on February 3. They sewed 25 bibs and prepped 20 more to be donated to those in need. See more at Facebook/Lake Orion UMC.

See Christ in the faces of Michigan United Methodists who share their faith on the pages of Facebook.

Facebook’s evolution since 2004 has grown to encompass millions of users worldwide,” says Tricia Brown. She continues, “There is no reason not to maximize its popularity for your church. But to keep Facebook fun and effective, it takes consistency and effort. Devote a little time to giving your Facebook page a facelift on a regular basis.” Click here for her Facebook Facelift suggestions reported by United Methodist Communications.

Congregations around Michigan are reaching out and telling their stories on the pages of Facebook. It’s not just about “Likes.” It’s about shining Christ’s Light and sharing God’s love. Do you have a Snapshot of Vitality that shows your church making disciples and transforming the world? Send it, along with a brief description, to Editor Kay DeMoss. Thank you!

DETROIT RENAISSANCE DISTRICT … Sock it to NOAH Project! Throughout December, for every pair of socks their customers bought, Maggie’s Organics donated a pair to homeless individuals for a total of 4,500 pairs. NOAH partnered with several Detroit organizations to make sure as many homeless Detroiters as possible benefitted from this generosity!

ALBION DISTRICT … The final Albion District Conference was held February 10 at the Marshall United Methodist Church. A  ‘Celebration of the Albion District’ service was held in the sanctuary, that included some singing, some praying, a message by Rev. Faith Fowler, and District Superintendent Dale Miller at the keyboard. See more at Albion District UMC.

DETROIT RENAISSANCE DISTRICT … Black History Month speaker at Detroit: Central UMC, Crystal Bernard,  shares a message, “Igniting the Future.”

HEARTLAND DISTRICT … Big Rapids Wesley House hosted a cake auction on February 18 to fund their spring mission trip to Slidell, Louisiana. This is one of the tasty treats provided by Kingsley UMC. See more at Big Rapids Wesley House.

GRAND RAPIDS DISTRICT … The Confirmation Class at Grand Rapids: Trinity UMC engages the ways of John Wesley. “February 18 Covenant Discipleship meeting with a group of amazing young people, all of whom have been called into Jesus’ life.”

DETROIT RENAISSANCE DISTRICT … Pastor Patty Gandarilla has started a new sewing ministry for Hispanic and Latina women. Three groups are currently creating, learning, and enjoying supportive fellowship. See more at CFCUMC Detroit.

GRAND RAPIDS DISTRICT … Muskegon Central UMC is ready to “Take Time in the Wilderness” for Lent 2018.

GRAND RAPIDS DISTRICT … Pastor Mike Riegler, Montague UMC says: “This past Sunday I preached a sermon based on the United Methodist images on my favorite stole, which was made for me by Kathy Perkins. It went over very well.”SOUTHEASTERN MICHIGAN UMVIM … Pastor Doug Vernon is in Costa Rica along with a Volunteer in Mission Team. On February 12 he gathered dried palm leaves near the worksite to burn to ash for Wednesday’s Ash Wednesday service. Members traveled to Central America from Ann Arbor: First, Westside and Northville UMC. See more at Costa Rica SE Michigan VIM.ANN ARBOR DISTRICT … Staff meeting at Dexter UMC began with Jeopardy on the book of Romans! Tim “Trebek” Broyles’ Final Jeopardy question: “What you will answer when God asks, ‘Why should I welcome you into my heaven?'”

GRAND TRAVERSE DISTRICT … Who says s’mores are just for summer?? You can enjoy ’em in the snow. Big Rapids: 3rd Ave Winter Blast was great fun, with help from Ferris Wesley students.

GRAND RAPIDS DISTRICT … What an amazing morning of baptism at Valley Church on February 11. “We value Next Steps at Valley Church. Today we celebrated the next step of Baptism. What an honor to be a part of their big day as they ‘fall back’ into the waters to follow and trust Jesus!” See more at Valley Church-Allendale.

GRAND TRAVERSE DISTRICT … Superintendent Anita Hahn reports from Traverse City: Central UMC on February 11: “Celebrating our child like faith and three teams headed to Haiti in the coming months!!”

KALAMAZOO DISTRICT … (L-r) Revs. Joe Shaler (Otsego UMC) and Mike Tupper (Gull Lake UMC) really got into District Superintendent Dwayne Bagley’s discussion of the book “Canoeing the Mountains” this week (thanks to some Camp Sunday props). See more at Kalamazoo District UMC.

DETROIT RENAISSANCE DISTRICT … New stained glass at Rochester Hills: St. Luke’s UMC. “It will add to the beauty of the front of the church and inspire passerby folks to feel invited to join us.” See more at St. Luke’s of Rochester.

KALAMAZOO DISTRICT … Going for the gold at Otsego UMC. The Faith Travelers Elementary Sunday School Group had a great time at our Olympics celebration on February 4 … a sleeping bag sack race, a “snowball” toss, and some torch popcorn.”Remember to shine your light like a torch this week for God. Light up someone’s heart with His love! Go for the gold. Go for God! See more at Otsego UMC.

MARQUETTE DISTRICT … A new praise band, “Messes and Mercies,” debuts at Gwinn United Methodist Church on February 4th. See more at Gwinn UMC.
DETROIT RENAISSANCE DISTRICT … Pastor Willie F. Smith and all God’s people at Conant Avenue UMC praise the Lord and support the Standing in the Red Zone Intercepting Human Traffickers movement sponsored by the United Methodist Women. GRAND RAPIDS DISTRICT … A boyhood troop of a president and an astronaut celebrates 100 years. On February 4, 2018 Grand Rapids: Trinity UMC remembered President Gerald R. Ford, Roger B. Chaffee, and the 1,300 other worthy scouts who have been part of Troop 15/215. Scoutmaster Rick Sprague received the Cross & Flame Award conferred by the General Commission of United Methodist Men. The oldest in Michigan, Troop 215 now has 67 youngsters active in the program.

ALBION DISTRICT … Camp Executive Director George Ayoub visited Jackson First UMC on January 28 to celebrate camping. Hundreds in the congregation have been blessed over the past 40 years at the Church Family Camp held in Pentwater. Ayoub was presented a check for $10,000 for capital improvements at Lake Michigan Camp and Retreat Center.DETROIT RENAISSANCE DISTRICT … On January 25, 2018 Rev. Rodney Gasaway (center), Deacon at Livonia: Newburg UMC, was honored for his work at Joy-Southfield CDC in the City of Detroit. He received a Certificate of Appreciation from the Detroit Mayor’s office, a Testimonial Resolution from the Detroit City Council, a special tribute from the State of Michigan House of Representatives, and recognition from the Wayne County Commissioner. He also recently received a Community Service Award from the Common Word Alliance, a Clergy Interfaith Organization for his work in ecumenical and interfaith work in Southeast Michigan. Rodney serves as the Chairperson for the Committee of Christian Unity and Interreligious Relationships of the Detroit Conference.

GRAND RAPIDS DISTRICT … Young Adults at Grand Rapids: First UMC had a blast playing BINGO with their neighbors. See more at First UMC Grand Rapids.

MICHIGAN UM CAMPING … Time out at January staff meeting to celebrate the first anniversary as a new corporation. “It has been a prayer-filled year, and we thank God for being ever-present as we move forward. Knowing that our mission is to make disciples of Jesus Christ through outdoor and retreat ministries has kept the wind in our sails.” See more at Michigan Area United Methodist Camping. KALAMAZOO DISTRICT … The United Methodisti Women of Allegan UMC are standing in the Red Zone to Intercept Human Trafficking. See more at Kalamazoo District UMW.

MARQUETTE DISTRICT … A beautiful new wall hanging for the Skandia campus of Marquette Hope United Methodist Church. The hanging bracket is a piece of the old organ. See more at Marquette Hope.

SAGINAW BAY DISTRICT … Rev. Scott Sherrill gets in on the action as families make “cars” to get ready for the next Faith, Food and Fun Night. Much more at Vassar First UMC.

KALAMAZOO DISTRICT … Pastor Mike Tupper helps with cookie decorating during a Church Family Partners event that paired adults with young people. Hosted by the Intergenerational Team at Gull Lake United Methodist Church. GRAND TRAVERSE DISTRICT … There’s new “Central Wear” at Traverse City: Central UMC. Kids model tees and hats that encourage, “All the good you can, By all the means you can, In all the places you can” … with a smile!

ALBION DISTRICT … On January 7th at Battle Creek: Chapel Hill UMC, Pastor Chad Parmalee and others bless new Associate Pastor, Janet Wilson. She said, “It was an incredible, meaningful morning that touched my heart deeply. A waypoint on the journey of faith… shared in the community that nurtured a spark and grew the flame.” See more at Chapel Hill UMC Battle Creek.

MICHIGAN MINISTRY … Team members from Justice For Our Neighbors Traverse City attended the TC Women’s March over the weekend. See more at JFON West Michigan.

BLUE WATER DISTRICT … Two retired teachers active at Lexington UMC have forged a partnership with Meyer Elementary school. Ten church volunteers provide tutoring, coordinated with teachers and administrators. Says Pastor David Gladstone: “Every Wednesday afternoon the students are walked across M-25 to the church. It is quite a sight to see volunteers with stop”signs holding up traffic so that the students can cross safely.” Weekend backpacks with food for students are provided. The UMW will cook breakfast for the teachers of the school during an upcoming in-service training day. GRAND TRAVERSE DISTRICT … O, come let us adore him. Manton UMC’s Night in Bethlehem included a photo-booth opportunity. These children were among many who came to the manger. See more at Manton UMC.

MISSION MOMENT … Report from the New Life Center in northern Zambia. “A man from Kapiri received a PET today. It took him and his helper two days to get here. They were very happy to receive this gift as it will change both their lives. The friend has been carrying him on his back for a long time. They are both now free to move where they need. We sent them off with a prayerand they left with thanksgiving!” Many Michigan congregations support the work of missionaries Delbert and Sandy Groves.

GRAND RAPIDS DISTRICT … Matt Witkowski, Director of Community Ministries at Grand Rapids: Trinity UMC is on hand for mini Olympic Games. The evening started with students picking a country out of a bowl and continued with sports like cotton ball shot-put, one handed water squeeze, mini marshmallows basketball, straw javaline toss, paper plate discuss toss and one handed marble pick up. See much more at Trinity UMC.

ANN ARBOR DISTRICT … Sarah Stukey, Super Scientist” arrived on the scene for the new Cross Training workshop at Saline UMC. With a focus on the story of, “David: God’s Chosen King,” 2nd -4th graders learned that sometimes God has UNEXPECTED things in mind; God looks deeper to see what is in our hearts, just like he did with David. See more at Saline First UMC.  

BLUE WATER DISTRICT … It was a hot time at Lake Orion UMC when the church gathered for the Chili Cook-Off. Food, fellowship and friendly competition as chefs vied for the coveted Golden Chili Trophy. See much more at Lake Orion UMC.

CROSSROADS DISTRICT … Faith @ The Movies continues at Flint: Court Street UMC. A trip to the theater mid-week and then themed worship on Sunday. Pastor Jeremy Peters preaches January 14th as “The Greatest Showman.” “Trailer” for Sunday announced: “We live in a time when people think of churches as museums filled with stuffy people and old furniture. Wouldn’t it be wonderful if people came to think of churches as God’s circus? Wouldn’t it be wonderful if people saw a steeple and said, ‘I know what that is! That’s the place where you get to be part of a family, no matter what you look like, no matter where you come from!’?” See more at Court Street UMC.KALAMAZOO DISTRICT –The light is shining in the darkness at Kalamazoo First United Methodist Church. Joyous celebrations of the past two weeks include the shredding of the mortgage. ~Facebook/Keith MummaGRAND RAPIDS DISTRICT … These descendants of John Wesley celebrate unity and diversity in the city of Muskegon. The pastors and their congregations regularly worship together. L-r: Rev. Orea Peterson, Jr. (John Wesley African Methodist Episcopal Zion); Rev. Anita McCants (Phillip Chapel African Methodist Episcopal Church); Rev. Jennifer Wheeler (Crestwood United Methodist Church; Rev. Jeff Bowman (Temple United Methodist Church); at piano Rev. Jeremy Williams (Community United Methodist Church in North Muskegon. ~Facebook photoDETROIT RENAISSANCE DISTRICT … “May the Force be with you!” “And also with you!” Royal Oak First is the “Star Wars Church.” Much more, including Pastor Jeff (Obi Wan) Nelson’s sermon can be found at Royal Oak FUMC.

GRAND RAPIDS DISTRICT … Grand Rapids First hosts “Christmas Eve Breakfast” again in 2017, an annual brunch for all their neighbors. Warm Christmas gifts in addition to the good food. See much more at First United Methodist Church.

CROSSROADS DISTRICT … Youth of Fenton UMC are living out John Wesley’s, “Do all the good you can,” in front of the local Walmart. ~see more at Fenton UMC.

DETROIT RENAISSANCE DISTRICT … Happy Noon Year from Berkley UMC. Families made the countdown to 2018 with hats, noisemakers, games and snacks from 11:30 am to 1:00 pm on Sunday, December 31. See more at Berkley First.

GRAND RAPIDS DISTRICT … Disability Awareness Night at the Community Ministries Program. “Tonight we explored what challenges people with disabilities face on a daily basis and how they adapt and overcome them.” See more at Trinity Community Ministries.

YOUTH MINISTRIES NETWORK … Youth Worker Network is underway for 2018! Fourteen people from 10 churches gathered at DeWitt: Redeemer UMC on January 9. New participants are still welcome at the next meeting February 13 in Lansing, 10 am to 2 pm. Click to register.

JEREMIE PROJECT … How do you celebrate New Year’s Day in Haiti? You go to the beach and build a Sand Man! Jeremie Project members just returned from 11 days on the island. Read and see much more about their awesome trip here.

ANN ARBOR DISTRICT … Dexter UMC’s 20Something Men welcome the New Year. Says Pastor Matt Hook, “Lovin’ Sunday nights and What God reaches me through this 20something Men’s Group. Celebrating a whole year of meeting together, starting off great into 2018.”

   BLUE WATER DISTRICT … 2017 – 2018 marks the forth school year Lexington United Methodist Church has partnered with nearby Meyer Elementary School to provide weekly after school tutoring for students in the 1st through the 8th grades. Participation has grown from three students taking advantage of the program during the first year to an enrollment of 20 students this season.  DETROIT RENAISSANCE DISTRICT … US-2 Grace Okerson serves at the NOAH Project. She is excited about the coffee urn recently donated to the ministry. NOAH has a Wish List on Amazon, that makes it easy for supporters to make contributions of much-needed items of all kinds. See more at NOAH Project.

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