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Snapshots of Vitality 4

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.

BLUE WATER DISTRICT … The fall God’s Club after-school program at Owendale United Methodist Church focused on “The Fruits of the Spirit.” There were programs for the 30 kids from the community and their family members (and cookies, too). Plans are now being made for the spring session. See more at Owendale UMC.MICHIGAN UMC CAMPING … Rev. George Ayoub, Executive DIrector for Michigan UMC Camping  and Executive Assistant, Pamela Stewart, spread holiday cheer at a Christmas celebration hosted for camping staff. See more at Michigan Area United Methodist Camping.

KALAMAZOO DISTRICT … Watching their flocks by night at Kalamazoo First United Methodist Church. “A Shepherd’s Adventure” was the tale of what guided their feet to the stable. See more at First United Methodist Church of Kalamazoo.

BLUE WATER DISTRICT … The United Methodist Women of Pigeon: First United Methodist Church hosted a Christmas programs at the assisted living and long-term care facilities in the village. They performed a musical Raggedy Ann & Andy skit and encouraged residents to sing-along and play bells. See more at Pigeon First UMC.

SAGINAW BAY DISTRICT … O Christmas Tree, O Christmas Tree! The church family at West Branch First United Methodist Church turned out to hang the greens. Good time had by all. See more at West Branch First UMC.GRAND TRAVERSE DISTRICT … A new quilted wall hanging for Kewadin Indian Mission Church. Thank you artist, Wendy Clark.

DETROIT RENAISSANCE DISTRICT … Farmington: Orchard UMC’s Night of 1000 Blessings was a great event. “After dinner the group tied blankets for children’s hospital, made ornaments for nursing homes, Christmas Caroled at Sunrise, made teacher appreciation bags for Woodcreek, wrote letters to those serving our country, put together cookie platters for civil servants, made Agape bags, made Christmas cards for our intercessory prayer group to send out, tie dyed pillow cases for stockings for Methodist Children’s Home and made chocolate pretzels to sell to raise money for Cass. Great night!”

ANN ARBOR DISTRICT … Crafters teamed up to sew fabric tubes to be filled with beans and given dog faces and ears by disabled Detroit residents who are employed by Cass Community Social Services. A rush of Christmas orders for “draft dogs” found the Rev. Sue Pethoud, Deacon at Cass Community Social Services, enlisting the help of Brighton First UMC. See more at First UMC of Brighton.

HEARTLAND  DISTRICT … Students at Ferris State University find a moment for relaxation during finals week. In addition to the labyrinth, Wesley House offered other stress-relieving spiritual activities.

MICHIGAN CONFERENCE … “O, Congressman, O Congressman … ” Melanie Goldberg, Paul Perez and Tori Booker caroling for the DREAM Act at Rep. David Trott’s office on December 6. See more.

DETROIT RENAISSANCE DISTRICT … The United Methodist Women at Royal Oak First UMC sort and package hand-made scarves, mittens and hats into Gift Bags for distribution by Cass Community Social Services.

KALAMAZOO DISTRICT … The Richard Knapp Fund of Kalamazoo First United Methodist Church supports the Choral Scholars Program. The 2017-2018 scholars perform here with Minister of Music Jacqueline Stilger: Isaac James, Hannah Earl, and Holli June Slamka. See more at Kalamazoo First UMC.HEARTLAND DISTRICT … Talk about spiritual gifts! Parents’ Night Out hosted by First UMC Mt. Pleasant was a lot of fun. See more at First UMC Mt. Pleasant.

DETROIT RENAISSANCE DISTRICT … Motown Mission leaders–Deacon Sarah Alexander (right) and US-2 Lynda Sylvan–visited Albion College to talk about summer mission opportunities in downtown Detroit. See more at Motown Mission.

GRAND TRAVERSE DISTRICT … The Community Christmas Open House hosted by Traverse City: Central UMC gave guests the opportunity to choose a costume and visit the Nativity-themed photo booth. See much more at Central UMC Traverse City.

CROSSROADS DISTRICT … Flushing United Methodist Church recently celebrated 175 years of witness as the oldest church in our town. The  Rev. John Hice, District Superintendent, visited as a circuit rider and preached 19th century style. Birthday cake, games and crafts were shared with the community and the day ended with a potluck. Blessed to be a blessing, the congregation accepted the challenge to do 175 random act of kindness to people outside of the church walls: lunch for strangers, kids made hug bags to give to those in need, and many other amazing things. 

MISSION PARTNERS … United Methodists in Michigan joined with others around the globe to give $677,399 to The Advance on Giving Tuesday. Among recipients was Haitian Artisans for Peace International (HAPI) helping Moms Start Right.


ALBION DISTRICT … ready for the season at Litchfield United Methodist Church. Wake-up calls provided by the rooster on the roof.

CAMPUS MINISTRIES … Wesley House at Ferris State University in Big Rapids houses a Student Food Pantry. The Student Emergency Food Pantry was started by Ferris State University Alumni Olivia Johnson and Wesley House Director Devon Herrell in 2016 and clearly folks are happy about it!

ALBION DISTRICT … Fairies, princesses, super heroes, angels, pirates and more showed up for a great time at Unhaunted Hall hosted by Climax United Methodist Church. Meet them all by clicking here.

ANN ARBOR DISTRICT … Real Life Worship with the kids of Novi United Methodist Church. “The Holy Spirit led us through the song, dance and spirits of the children of the church!” See more at Novi UMC.

ALBION DISTRICT … Marshall United Methodist Church had a rocking month of “Sock-Tober” and collected over 1,000 pairs of men’s, women’s and children’s socks. Pastor Matt West (left) distributed the socks to Battle Creek’s Charitable Union (represented by Amy Robertson, 2nd from left) and SAFE Place  (represented by Teri Pearce, 3rd from left). Also pictured, Daniel Jones, Haven of Rest Executive Director, right. See more at Marshall UMC.

MARQUETTE DISTRICT … The youth of Escanaba 1st UMC painted birdhouses and are selling them to raise funds for their mission project. They plan to help with hurricane relief in the southern U.S. These four are what remains out of the 15, among them “Gordy the Gourd.” See more at Escanaba First UMC ALBION DISTRICT … Bishop David Bard shares the sacrament with the Rev. Pat Brooks. The bishop was present in worship at Hillsdale United Methodist Church on October 1 as the congregation celebrated 175 years of ministry. See much more at Hillsdale First UMC.MARQUETTE DISTRICT … Gwinn United Methodist Church celebrates their Acolyte Squad. “Waytago, lads!” See more at Gwinn UMC.DETROIT RENAISSANCE DISTRICT … The staff of Royal Oak United Methodist Church starts their meeting around the piano. Way to tune up your ministry! See more at Royal Oak UMC.MICHIGAN UNITED METHODIST WOMEN … These seniors just completed their computer course at United Methodist Community House. A special thank you to Jerry Ford of Comprenew and the Law Offices of David L Carrier for partnering to make this possible. All graduates will receive a personal PC for their homes, increasing their ability to help them succeed in a ever increasing technological world. See more at UMCH – United Methodist Community House.

LANSING DISTRICT …  HAPI visits Wacousta UMC. Directors of Haitian Artisans for Peace International, Paul Prevost and Valerie Mossman Celestin (left)   visited this supporting church. Paul came to Michigan from HAPI headquarters in Mizak, Haiti, where the ministry empowers women to lead in their communities.  The t-shirts, “She Persisted,” support maternal healthcare.

MARQUETTE DISTRICT … A beautiful All Saints’ Sunday altar-scape at Marquette Hope UMC. Remembering those who have gone before with candle lighting and Holy Communion. See more at Marquette Hope.DETROIT RENAISSANCE DISTRICT … The Children’s Bell Choir at Orchard United Methodist Church makes joyful noise on November 19. “Orchard was celebrating being the church together as we committed our pledges to God for the coming year. God’s grace and love is more than enough, and we are blessed!” See more at Orchard UMC.MICHIGAN CONFERENCE … Latest License as Local Pastor Class graduated Sunday, Nov 12, 2017 at Okemos Community Church. Disciples transforming the world.

GRAND RAPIDS DISTRICT … WHO had fun at Fall 4 Jesus?? Everyone, that’s who. An awesome event for all ages hosted by Muskegon: Lake Harbor United Methodist Church. See much more at Lake Harbor UMC.

DETROIT RENAISSANCE DISTRICT … Messy Church at Warren 1st UMC was a time to meet new friends. “We sang songs, learned about Ruth from the Bible, made pine cone turkeys, placemats for MCREST, and a scratch-off Christmas ornament.” See more at Warren First UMC.

GRAND RAPIDS DISTRICT … Clark Retirement Community resident, Jean Gorman, hosted a book signing in Clark’s Library. Jean wrote, “The Story of Sam,” about her grandson who was born with a heart condition and was only expected to live ten days. He is 20 years old today. “The book was a labor of love,” Jean said.

DETROIT RENAISSANCE DISTRICT … NOAH Project Detroit points out: “Street Outreach is an essential piece of creating trusting relationships with clients living on the streets. Having items such as hand warmers, socks, gloves, and sandwiches help engage with these individuals. With the temperatures dipping down in the 20’s and 30’s at night, NOAH needs help with the following items: hand warmers; winter hats; gloves; Chap Stick; and blankets. Send to 23 E Adams Detroit, MI 48226 or drop off Mon-Fri 9-5. See more at NOAH Project Detroit.

KALAMAZOO DISTRICT … Holy roller comes to mind as Pastor Mike Tupper reports from Gull Lake UMC: “An example of the intergenerational spirit of the Gull Lake UMC, where a middle school youth is assisting the Trustees in managing our lawn. Thanks Preston for your work. Thanks Ted Dietz and Rob Baker for supervising and including our young persons.”

GRAND TRAVERSE DISTRICT …  “Warm Welcome on a Cold Day for Bishop Bard at the “Meet and Greet” at Keswick UMC. The Bishop learned about the “little white church on the hill.” Keswick UMC is actively involved in Leelanau Christian Neighbors, an ecumenical outreach of 13 churches in Leelanau Co. which runs a food pantry, baby pantry, a Neighborhood Assistance Ministry and a Blessings in a Backpack program in their new facility near Lake Leelanau. Bishop Bard, Grand Traverse District Superintendent Anita Hahn, and District Lay Leader Denny Olin were able to visit the newly purchased facility and see these ministries in action. Small churches in Leelanau Co. are proving they can do much more together than any can do alone. Come back in the warm weather, Bishop Bard, and you’ll see how we work together to minister to an even larger group of kids at our VBS!”

DETROIT RENAISSANCE DISTRICT … Ready to do the Turkey Trot at the Hallelujah Hoedown hosted at Garden City United Methodist Church. See more at Garden City UMC.

SAGINAW BAY DISTRICT … Halloween was a three-generation experience at New Heart United Methodist Church. Their 1st Annual Trunk or Treat was a huge success. See more at New Heart UMC.GRAND RAPIDS DISTRICT … “Leggo my Eggo!” takes on a whole new meaning at Valley UMC. Says Student Ministries DIrector Zach McNees: “Kicked off our Stranger Things series at Unleashed tonight.Talked about Joshua’s ‘Sun Stand Still’prayer in Joshua 10 and played Stranger Flings. Eggo waffle shuffle board!”

BLUE WATER DISTRICT … Celebrity appearance at Lake Orion UMC’s Trunk or Treat. Seeing no candy, we assume Professor Einstein was handing out tricky equations? See more at Lake Orion UMC.

ANN ARBOR DISTRICT … “Drummunity” comes to Saline UMC. “Much joyful noise was made unto the Lord today [October 29] as we learned how to listen, make music, work together, and take care of our neighbors! It was fantastic time of praise and drumming!” See more at Saline United Methodist Church.

KALAMAZOO DISTRICT … “God is our Shepherd and we are His lambs.” That was the message during Children’s Time at Vicksburg UMC with thanks to farmer Gordon Oswalt. See more at Vicksburg UMC.

MARQUETTE DISTRICT … Two young peacemakers from Gwinn United Methodist Church. October 28 was a night of worship, chili and debut of a new music group for youth. See more at Gwinn UMC.

LANSING DISTRICT … University UMC’s youth group, “daring each other to love God and neighbor,” descended on a man’s leaf-filled yard one Sunday afternoon.  He “paid it forward” by raking an elderly neighbor’s yard then his kids invited that neighbor over for cookies. See more at University United Methodist Church – MSU.


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?