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Commerce UMC passes on sweet recipe

Men making Christmas candy at a church

The United Methodist Men’s group at Commerce UMC makes Christmas candy as a fundraiser for mission, and other congregations are following suit.

Michigan Conference Communications

Scott Leonard is in sales for a global automotive supplier. He and his wife make their home in White Lake, MI, and have been faithful members of the Commerce United Methodist Church for the past 28 years. Commerce UMC is located in Oakland County, northwest of Detroit. Scott serves as president of the congregation’s United Methodist Men. This group meets monthly at the church on a Saturday morning to encourage faith, grow in fellowship, and engage in Christian service.

In 2013, the Commerce United Methodist Men (UMM) heard from friends at the Grand Blanc United Methodist Church in Genesee County about a successful all-church fundraiser to make and sell Christmas candy in support of Christian mission projects. Leonard shared that the Grand Blanc church enlisted help from across their congregation and spent three days making candy to raise funds.

Making Christmas candy
Making Christmas candy takes skill and planning, and the United Methodist Men’s group from Commerce UMC has perfected the art. ~ photo courtesy Tom Fournier

The Commerce UMM met with representatives from Grand Blanc UMC to find out more about the project. They were impressed by what they learned and affirmed that making and selling chocolate Christmas candy is a great way to grow fellowship among the makers and win friends through happy customers. They also learned how the proceeds could be used to further Christian witness in support of worthy mission projects. The Commerce UMM decided to adopt the project and make Christmas candy for sale to support mission efforts through their local church.

According to Leonard, “While our wives are out doing Christmas shopping on the day after Thanksgiving each year, our Methodist Men get together in the church kitchen beginning at 7 am to make nine different varieties of milk and dark chocolate candy.”

The chocolates are wrapped in half-pound and one-pound boxes, primarily sold by pre-orders through the church. The price this year for the half-pound boxes was $7 and $13 for a one-pound box. Some extra boxes are made for sale at Commerce’s United Women in Faith Christmas market. This year, the United Methodist Men were able to sell 250 half-pound boxes and 115 one-pound boxes of chocolate.

Leonard continued, “We are usually done with our production and leaving the church between 3:30 and 4:00 pm on Friday. The sale nets about $2,100 each year, distributed primarily in support of mission projects.”

Men serving at a local church
The United Methodist Men meet once a month to grow faith, enjoy fellowship, and serve the community in a variety of ways. For the Christmas holiday, they make candy as a fundraiser for mission. ~ photo courtesy Tom Fournier

Past recipients of Commerce UMM’s generosity have been organizations like local food banks, Anchored Hope Outreach, which assists victims of sex trafficking, Compassion International, and the East Michigan chapter of Mobility Worldwide. (Click here to read a previous MIconnect article on Mobility Worldwide.) Al Young, a member of Commerce UMM, also actively supports this volunteer effort to make mobility carts for persons with disabilities around the world. Men from Commerce UMM volunteer with Young throughout the year to help make the carts.

Leonard is also pleased that three additional United Methodist congregations nearby have adopted this program of making and selling Christmas candy to support Christian mission after learning about the project from Commerce UMC: Goodrich, Clarkston, and Fenton UMCs. Good ideas are worth sharing, and this is a sweet idea for strengthening mission for Christ and deepening our connectional bonds as United Methodists.

Churches wishing to learn more about this project are welcome to contact Scott Leonard at [email protected].

Last Updated on January 8, 2024

The Michigan Conference