Snapshots of Vitality

CROSSROADS DISTRICT … If I had a hammer … I'd use it on Take it to the Streets Saturday in Flint. There was lots of activity at the community garden hosted by Asbury UMC on May 19. See more on Facebook: Asbury Church.

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!

MARQUETTE DISTRICT … Lighting up for Pentecost worship at Gwinn United Methodist Church … confirmation and two spontaneous baptisms. The Spirit is alive up north! See more at Gwinn United Methodist Church.

CROSSROADS DISTRICT … The Youth Group from Flint: Bethel United Methodist Church is looking for Noah at Myers Lake Campground. See more at Flint Bethel UMC.

 

DETROIT RENAISSANCE … Sonya Luna (right) Michigan Conference Missionary for Hispanic/Latino Ministry shares in the sewing ministry hosted by Detroit: Centro Familiar Cristiano United Methodist Church. See more at Cfcumc Detroit.

DETROIT RENAISSANCE DISTRICT … Nelson and Son get their Pentecost on at Royal Oak: First United Methodist Church where it was Dresscode: Red on May 20. See more at Royal Oak: First UMC.

MICHIGAN MINISTRIES … Final meeting of the West Michigan Board of Ordained Ministry celebrated “good friends and God’s spirit in our midst.” Current chair, Rev. Sherri Swanson (left) with past chair, Rev. Lynn Pier-Fitzgerald.

 DETROIT RENAISSANCE … Luca asked for donations to Cass Community Social Services for her birthday! Her family and friends helped her fill a van full! Happy birthday and thank you Luca! See more at Cass Community Social Services.

GRAND TRAVERSE DISTRICT … Anne Soles, Conference Lay Leader and member of Centenary United Methodist Church in Pentwater, displays the certificate that the Michigan Area United Methodist Church Historical Society presented Centenary for 162 years of ministry and service!

BLUE WATER DISTRICT … May 6 was Confirmation Sunday at Armada UMC. “A blessed day in the life of the church.” Rev. Elizabeth Hill, Blue Water D.S., assisted the Rev. Curtis Clarke in the service, confirming 11 youth and receiving three adults into membership. See more at Armada United Methodist Church.

LANSING DISTRICT … The Children’s Choir sings, “Lord, I Light your Name on High,” on Music Sunday at Okemos Community Church. See more at Okemos Community Church.

DETROIT RENAISSANCE … Earn-A-Bike is in full swing at NOAH Project in Detroit. Earn-A-Bike teaches bicycle maintenance and repair for NOAH clients, and at the end of the course, each participant earns their very own bike. See more at NOAH Project Detroit.GRAND RAPIDS DISTRICT … Rev. John Boley and Rev. Tim Tuthill preside at the Lord’s Table on May 8 at Grand Rapids: First United Methodist Church.

PHOTO OPP … “And I will make you fishers of … bluegills! Rev. Duane Miller celebrates the first catch of the spring.MICHIGAN MINISTRIES … After five years as site attorney at the JFON office in Southeast MI, Melanie Goldberg (left) is passing the “M” on to Migladys Bermudez. Migladys has been involved with JFON for the last five years as well as intern and assistant site attorney. She now comes on as the full-time site attorney position. See more at Justice For Our Neighbors Southeastern Michigan.  CONNECTIONAL MINISTRY … Students and instructros in the UM Native American Course of Study School (NACOS) gathered at the Spirit Lake Ministry Center on the Spirit Lake Reservation of the Dakota Nation in North Dakota for their Spring 2018 classes. Two students and one instructor (The Rev. Dr. Jerry DeVine) were from Michigan. Photo by Rev. Fred Shaw, current Director of NACOS. See more information about this important ministry.

GRAND RAPIDS DISTRICT … It’s Tulip 🌷 Time in Holland, Michigan. Glenn Wagner (r) is helping serve buses of tourists meals along with an army of Holland: First UMC volunteers with proceeds to support missions. Says Glenn, “Pastor Brad Bartelmay looks better in his Dutch stuff than I do in my hair net. If only I had hair to net!”ARBOR DISTRICT … Wesley Foundation at the University of Michigan looks back on another amazing year in campus ministry. Read more at UMC on Campus.

ANN ARBOR DISTRICT … Everything was in the pink at the First Annual Flamingle at Lincoln Community United Methodist Church. Hosted by the Monday Morning Women’s Bible Study, the Saturday afternoon Flamingle was a chance for “ladies to come and mingle with other ladies” for fun, food and entertainment. See more at Lincoln Community UMC.

MICHIGAN UMCamping … Spring cleanup time at Sycamore cabin at Wesley Woods Camp. Thank you Vicksburg United Methodist Church!

MICHIGAN CONFERENCE DEACONS … A pastoral call at the local Dinosaur Park. A little sight-seeing for  the Rev. Greg Lawton, a Michigan Deacon, who is currently serving as Associate Dean of Students at LCC International University in Klaipeda, Lithuania.

ALBION DISTRICT … The Children and Youth Choirs of Jackson: First United Methodist Church perform the musical, “The Rock Slinger and his Greatest Hit” to a full house at the 11 am worship service on Sunday, April. 29. See more at First UMC Jackson.DETROIT RENAISSANCE DISTRICT … A community opera, Noah’s Flood at performed at Royal Oak: First United Methodist church on April 29. “A musical celebration of hope and diversity.” See more at Royal Oak First UMC.

 

ANN ARBOR DISTRICT … The Chelsea Sun Times News recently reported on the “Material Girls” who meet at Chelsea: First United Methodist Church. The group makes wonderful, creative crafts, with all proceeds given to charity. $10,000 donated to Faith In Action last year.  Read more here.

KALAMAZOO DISTRICT … Pastor John Fisher and others from Oshtemo United Methodist Church participate in the Kalamazoo Valley CROP Walk. See more at Oshtemo UMC..DETROIT RENAISSANCE DISTRICT … Farmington: Nardin Park Ringers getting ready for the final concert at the Grand Hotel on Mackinac Island. Ring on! See more at Nardin Park UMC.

ANN ARBOR DISTRICT … The Rev. Bob Roth, Wesley Foundation at University of Michigan, is retiring. He says goodbye to the children of Ann Arbor: First United Methodist Church during his final time of leading children’s moment.

GRAND TRAVERSE DISTRICT … Unified Parish present at the organizing of the Northern Waters District in Gaylord on April 22. (Williamsburg, Fife Lake. East Boardman and South Boardman. See more at Williamsburg UMC.

HEARTLAND DISTRICT … The Revs. Jeff Regan and Diane Gordon presen Kaitlyn McDonald the Mary Elizabeth and Everett B. Sproul Scholarship at Mt. Pleasant First UMC.


DETROIT RENAISSANCE DISTRICT … Youth of Grosse Point United Methodist Church spent the night baking bread to raise money for a bakery in Jeremie. “Rumors are afloat that they sang ‘Jesus loaves me, this I know, for the Bible tells me so’ while baking 30 loaves for sale!” See more at Jeremie Haiti Project.

GRAND RAPIDS DISTRICT … Prayer Quilt ministry at Muskegon Central. Quilts are blessed during worship and then are taken to coffee hour where everyone has a chance to tie a knot with love for the recipient of the caring creation. See more at Muskegon Central UMC.

ANN ARBOR DISTRICT … Superintendent Mark Spaw was on hand for Consecration Sunday at Howell First United Methodist Church. See more about the renovation at Howell First UMC.

DETROIT RENAISSANCE DISTRICT … The Rev. Dr. Jill Hardt Zundel, pastor of Detroit: Central, preaches at Detroit: Metropolitan United Methodist Church on April 22. The altar is decorated for United Methodist Women Sunday.

GRAND TRAVERSE DISTRICT … Heading to Gaylord First UMC for our first organizational meeting for District 2. See more at Grand Traverse District (soon to be Northern Waters District of The Michigan Conference). 

ANN ARBOR DISTRICT … Rev. Merlin Pratt, pastor of Lincoln Community United Methodist Church, interprets what Paul was talking about in 1 Corinthians 4:10.KALAMAZOO DISTRICT … Rev. Lisa Batten (center back), Director of the Wesley Foundation of Kalamazoo, brings five potential seminarians to Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary in Evanston, IL for a visitation and tour of the seminary.

MICHIGAN MINISTRIES … Justice For Our Neighbors – Michigan’s Traverse City location stood in prayer and solidarity with the immigrant brothers and sisters in their community facing deportation. They were led by Pastor Chris Lane from Central United Methodist Church, Pastor Jose Lopez from the Presbyterian Church, and Pastor Jody Betten from New Waves UCC in prayer, quiet reflection, and candle lighting. See more at Justice For Our Neighbors – Michigan.

KALAMAZOO DISTRICT … Who says committees can’t be fun?? Pastor Joe Shaler brings some humor to the mission team at Otsego United Methodist Church. See more at Otsego UMC.KALAMAZOO DISTRICT … Early April Plainwell 1st United Methodist Church had a volunteer in mission group in Tarboro, North Carolina. The “Sand Slinger Team” handled tons of sand on the work site. See much more at Plainwell First UMC.

GRAND RAPIDS DISTRICT … Good Friday at Grand Rapids: Trinity UMC. Participants are led in an experience of the labyrinth by Deaconess Anne Hillman. See more at Trinity UMC Grand Rapids.

MARQUETTE DISTRICT … Celebrating new life head on! Easter hats at Marquette Hope. See more at Marquette Hope.

ANN ARBOR DISTRICT … Ypsilanti: St. Matthew’s UMC celebrated the baptism of nine children on Easter (all from one family). The congregation also rejoiced with the reception of five new members. Christ is alive in Michigan! See more at St. Matthew’s UMCThe Sonrise Service at Warren First United Methodist Church was led by the congregation’s youth. Worship leaders included a friendly dinosaur. See more at Warren First UMC.GRAND RAPIDS DISTRICT … Amazing volunteers created the new community play structure at Lowell First United Methodist Church. “Praying for the children and families who spend time here recharging and unwinding.” See more at Lowell United Methodist Church.

KALAMAZOO DISTRICT … Christ arose and so did a rainbow arch of balloons at Stevensville United Methodist Church on April 1. See more at Stevensville UMC.

ANN ARBOR DISTRICT … The Soup & Chili Cook Off at Howell First UMC supports the youth and their summer mission trip. This years Soup Champion, Mary Lou Hilton, made many people happy with her delicious Cheese Burger Soup. See more at Howell First UMC.

GRAND RAPIDS DISTRICT … A music report from Caledonia United Methodist Church: “This little guy wanted a front row seat with the choir. When they finished he even clapped in appreciation of a great job!”

GRAND RAPIDS DISTRICT … Planning is underway for Student TakeOver Sunday at Valley Church Allendale. Says Zach McNees, Student Ministries Director, “I seriously cannot wait to see their ideas come to life and God working in them and through them! He is so good!”MICHIGAN CONFERENCE … US-2s serving in Michigan participated in the Wesley Statewide 2018 at Central Michigan University in Mt. Pleasant. L-r Lynda Sylvain (Motown Mission), Isaac Dunn (NOAH Project) and Grace Okerson (NOAH Project).HEARTLAND DISTRICT … Baptized on Easter … an ancient tradition continues at Pompeii United Methodist Church. See more at Pompeii UMC.

DETROIT RENAISSANCE DISTRICT … Let us make PIZZA together. All ages become chefs on family night at Centro Familiar Cristiano UMC Detroit. See much more on CFCUMC Detroit.DETROIT RENAISSANCE DISTRICT … A regular volunteer at NOAH Project Detroit celebrated his 14th birthday by inviting a few friends to come with him to serve lunch and birthday cupcakes to NOAH clients. See more at NOAH Project Detroit.
CROSSROADS DISTRICT … On April 1, Resurrection Sunday, Flint: Court Street UMC opened “Ken’s Place,” a special room for special people. Ken’s Place gives young people with sensory processing issues a safe place in the church, and it allows their families to fully participate in worship. Pictured are Rev. Jeremy Peter’s and Pastor Christy Miller-Black.Taking time to smell the flowers on Easter morning at Grand Rapids First United Methodist Church. See much more on Facebook: First United Methodist Church.HEARTLAND DISTRICT … The youth of the United Church of Ovid declare Jesus Christ the victor over sin and death. See more at United Church of Ovid.DETROIT RENAISSANCE DISTRICT … Rabbit ears ruled on March 31 at Jaycee Park in Berkley. Berkley First’s second annual Easter Egg Hunt was a delight for all. See more at Berkley First.

MICHIGAN UNITED METHODIST CAMPING …  We say goodbye to Ryan Culby and wife Marieke, who have been showing guests the love of Christ at Lake Michigan and Albright camps since January 2017. Ryan says, “These are sacred grounds where Christian hospitality has been and will continue to be number one. My family and I have accepted a wonderful opportunity to serve elsewhere and we thank you for your blessings and well wishes.”

DETROIT RENAISSANCE DISTRICT … Pastor Patty Gandarilla shares the Lord’s Table on Maundy Thursday at Centro Familiar Cristiano UMC. See more at CFCUMC Detroit.

DETROIT RENAISSANCE DISTRICT … Holy Week hospitality. On March 25th Flat Rock: First United Methodist Church got ready for guests from Christnet, a Christian-based rotating homeless shelter. Flat Rock and other downriver churches feed and shelter up to 30 guests for a week. See more at Flat Rock First UMC.

LANSING DISTRICT … After church on Palm Sunday at University United Methodist Church MSU, members delivered Easter sacks of food containing a ham and all the fixings. See more at University UMC MSU.

NOAH Project Detroit hosted Bowls of Hope. Soup luncheon with the opportunity to purchase a bowl hand-painted bowl by an Art & Soul artists, $15 each. Those interested in purchasing a bowl may message NOAH Project Detroit on Facebook.GRAND RAPIDS DISTRICT … CrossWind Community was at Lakes Brewing Company on March 20 for Beer & Hymns. Gospel favorites, fun and fellowship. See more at CrossWind Community.

BLUE WATER DISTRICT … Pastor Pat Robbins and Karen A. serving communion outside Yale United Methodist Church while others served communion and shared the morning message inside. See more at Yale United Methodist Church.

KALAMAZOO DISTRICT … The Girl Scouts and Boy Scouts of Otsego United Methodist Church thank the congregation for the effort that raised $960 in food for the Christian Neighbors Food Pantry.

DETROIT RENAISSANCE DISTRICT … Let the children come … to the Fish Dinners at Royal Oak First UMC. This little disciple rates the meal 5 stars. See more at Royal Oak First UMC.

SAGINAW BAY DISTRICT … Getting ready for Easter at West Branch United Methodist Church Spring Gap 2018. See much more at West Branch First United Methodist Church.

MARQUETTE DISTRICT … Congratulations to Ian Galbreath, for earning his Webelos, “God and Family” achievement. He was recognized at our Marquette Hope First Campus on March 25. He explained how his family is like a pizza.

GRAND RAPIDS DISTRICT … Two Michigan United Methodists out of many, many more who participated in the March for Our Lives on Saturday, March 24. Laura Witkowski (left) and Dave Wiltse (right) were among 4,000 gathered in downtown Grand Rapids.

GRAND RAPIDS DISTRICT … On Sunday, March 18 seventeen young people from the Covenant Discipleship/Confirmation program visited Clark Retirement Community. Glenys Nellist reports: “They introduced themselves, and they played their violas, and their violins, and the piano, and the bass, and they sang, and talked and listened to the residents there, and gave out their cheery carnations and the cards they’d made the week before.” See more at Trinity United Methodist Church of Grand Rapids Michigan.

DETROIT RENAISSANCE DISTRICT … Mini-Olympics was held at Farmington: Orchard United Methodist Church on March 17. Everyone a champion. See much more at Orchard United Methodist Church.

MICHIGAN-LIBERIA COVENANT … The Rev. Dr. Charles Boayue (2nd from left) is in his home country of Liberia to attend the Annual Conference session held at historic Mount Scott UMC, Harper City, Liberia, March 12-18.. Charles, Superintendent of the Renaissance District,  returns Michigan to help organize the new District 9.

HEARTLAND DISTRICT … Scout Sunday at Farwell United Methodist Church. Pastor Martin Cobb and congregation honored Webeblos and a Girl Scout with P.R.A.Y. Awards. See much more at Farwell United Methodist Church.

DETROIT RENAISSANCE … Detroit: Conant Avenue UMC’s Arts and Crafts program is underway Fridays, 5-7pm through April 13, 2018. Part of Conant’s youth program, students from University of Michigan (7 Mile Arts Program) instruct youth 5 to 18 in creative arts projects. ANN ARBOR DISTRICT … It’s off to the races in the nursery at South Lyon United Methodist Church. Hi, ho Silver, away!

GRAND RAPIDS DISTRICT … A wrinkle in time at Muskegon: Central United Methodist Church. Guest preachers, Revs. Bill and Mona Dye team-deliver a message,  “Time of Comfort” as part of the Lenten sermon series, “Take Time in the Wilderness.”

CROSSROADS DISTRICT … Flint: Bethel members make a difference. Congratulations to Alma Hopson for receiving the Church Women United’s Human Rights Award for her dedication to Education and Children.

MARQUETTE DISTRICT … Meet Penelope , the newest member of the God’s Country Cooperative Parish family. She was found in a box someone set to GCCP. Now she is now traveling through the Parish.
See more at God’s Country Cooperative Parish.GRAND TRAVERSE DISTRICT … Pentwater: Centenary Sunday School decorates cupcakes and enjoys boxes of grape juice as they learn about the miraculous wedding at Cana. See more at Centenary UMC.

GRAND RAPIDS UMW … Spring Fling on March 17 welcomed special guests Corrie Ten Boom, Florence Nightingale, Fanny Crosby, and Mother Teresa. See more on Facebook/Grand Rapids District United Methodist Women. See more at Grand Rapids District United Methodist Women.CROSSROADS DISTRICT … Mason George is Flint: Court Street’s newest Eagle Scout. Mason’s Eagle Project was the creation of “Ken’s Place,” a special room for special people. Ken’s Place gives young people with sensory processing issues a safe place in the church, and it allows their families to fully participate in worship. See more on Facebook/Court Street UMC.HEARTLAND DISTRICT … Staplers ready for action. Big Rapids Wesley is in Slidell, Louisiana March 2-11. Making a difference with the Epworth Project. See much more at Big Rapids Wesley House.

DETROIT RENAISSANCE DISTRICT … The Boston College mission team is at Detroit Central United Methodist Church this week. During break they played soccer with Ded Rranxburgaj (yellow jersey). “He was thrilled!” says Central’s pastor, Jill Zundel. Ded and his family took  sanctuary in the church on January 16, when he was threatened with deportation to Albania.

GRAND RAPIDS DISTRICT … Sky high for God. March 5 was Day 1 of service for Valley Allendale’s team of college students on spring break. Working through SOS Memphis on fascia, drip edge, and shingles. Says Zach McNees,”I’m so thankful for each of our team members who are ready to join in what God is already doing here!”  See more.

DETROIT RENAISSANCE DISTRICT … Students on spring break deployed by Motown Mission are at NOAH Project, helping volunteer and leaning about homelessness. See more at NOAH Project.LANSING DISTRICT … Go Green! Go Pink!  Bill Chu proclaims it Tutu Tuesday at MSU Wesley.ANN ARBOR DISTRICT : Saline UMC Homefront had a great time on February 26 as families made Empty Tomb Gardens and received information on intentional spiritual activities to use during this Lenten season. See much more on Facebook: Saline First United Methodist Church. See more at Saline First UMC.GRAND RAPIDS DISTRICT … Crafting at Clark. “On pretty much any given day you can find these two in one of our Arts & Crafts rooms sewing away. Clay has taught countless people how to sew throughout the years and Ruth regularly donates her items to people and fundraisers in our community. See more at Clark Retirement Community.

DETROIT RENAISSANCE DISTRICT … On February 25 the youth group of Royal Oak: First UMC talked about the events in Parkland Florida and what can be done in the schools and the churches to make the world a more kind and safe place. Then they made some posters to send to the students of Stoneman Douglas High School to let them know of their care. See more at Royal Oak First UMC.MICHIGAN UNITED METHODIST CAMPING …  Do you want to wear a snowman? Much fun was had at the God’s Treasures Winter Weekend at Lake Huron Retreat Center. See more at Lake Huron Retreat Center.

GRAND TRAVERSE AND CROSSROADS DISTRICTS … In February 2018 the Junior and Senior High Youth Groups from Swartz Creek UMC (Crossroads District) traveled to Mosaic Church (Grand Traverse District) to spend two separate weekends in worship, service, fellowship, and fun. The Rev. Jeremy Wicks (right) led the groups in several workshop sessions, with a focus on the theme “All Things New”, and Mosaic Church team member Donna Heddins provided several prayer “experientials” for both groups of teens.  As an act of service the youth and adults helped to clear out basement storage spaces, which was much appreciated by the team at Mosaic. Upon conclusion of the Senior High weekend, Mosaic Church was presented with a gift card for $600, as a thank you and in support of their mission, to be used for the purchase of materials to build a new stage for the worship space.

ANN ARBOR DISTRICT … February 24 was a great day for visioning at South Lyon: First United Methodist Church. Mission-Driven folks had plenty of sticky inspirations to share. All left spirit-filled and energized. See more at South Lyon: First UMC.

GRAND RAPIDS DISTRICT … Pastor Brad Kalajainen reports from Cornerstone Church: “Over 30 baptisms today including these Confirmation students and many children. About 400 people came to support. Some sprinkled. Some immersed. All blessed.

DETROIT RENAISSANCE DISTRICT … Laptops in the pews. The Grand Opening of the Redford Brightmoor Initiative Computer lab took place February 24. RBI is offering this new program for the whole community. Redford Brightmoor Initiative is a Spotlight program of The Detroit Conference. P.S. They are looking for volunteers. See more at Redford Brightmoor Initiative.

CROSSROADS DISTRICT … Highway to Heaven?!? Grand Blanc youth on the journey toward Confirmation. See more at Grand Blanc UMC.

LANSING DISTRICT … A special Green and White moment. Wesley Foundation at Michigan State University enjoying the student section with Sparty at the women’s basketball game on February 21. See more at Wesley Foundation at MSU.

MARQUETTE DISTRICT … Good neighbors from Marquette Hope UMC volunteered at the Aid Station to pass out snacks, drinks and encouragement at the 2018 Polar Roll bike race. See more at Marquette Hope.

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.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 Lake Orion UMC.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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