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Give in this season of love

Ministries receiving money from Advent offering

Bishop David Bard’s Advent offering will support two Michigan Conference-initiated ministries: Readers to Leaders and After the Storm.

Michigan Conference Communications

In his Advent message, Bishop David Bard encourages each United Methodist congregation in the Michigan Conference to support two amazing programs by giving in response to his annual appeal: Readers to Leaders and After the Storm. Click to watch his video message. Here are updates from ministry leaders and several important reasons to keep pressing on to meet the goals that have been set.

Readers to Leaders and After the Storm are successful collaborative outreach efforts of the Michigan Conference that are making a significant impact. They are excellent examples of what we can accomplish together. May your faithful response to Bishop Bard’s appeal be our way of collectively honoring the birth of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ through giving and service.

How to give: Congregations and individuals wishing to give can send a check, payable to the Michigan Conference, to the Conference Treasurer, 1161 East Clark Road, Suite 212, DeWitt, MI 48820. Write this phrase in the memo line: Advent Offering. Donations can also be given online by using this secure PayPal link.

Readers to Leaders

By giving to the Readers to Leaders campaign, churches in the Michigan Conference help students and United Methodist educational facilities in Liberia’s most disadvantaged areas. Your financial support helps provide clean water, science and technology labs, and fully functional restrooms for the Anderson, Gbloryee, Janice Lee Mclain, and Sanniquellie United Methodist schools.

Churches also support our Michigan Conference Children’s Defense Fund Freedom Schools. These are safe, fun spaces for summer reading programs hosted within United Methodist churches across the state. The unique highlights of this program include culturally uplifting messages, community engagement, mission projects, emotional intelligence awareness, and exposure to the arts.

Readers to Leaders co-leader Lisa Batten shares an update:

Readers to Leaders has reached 70% of its goal. The appeal began as a conversation in 2019 to bring to the 2020 Annual Conference. The 2022 Annual Conference overwhelmingly approved it. Every church was asked to give $600. Churches have responded with gifts of less than $600 and more than $600. We would call it a success if all our Michigan Conference churches participated, and we need an additional 215 churches to give to do that. We encourage those churches that have not yet made their gift to do so by May 15, 2024, for the gift to be included in the annual conference report on Readers to Leaders.

Readers to Leaders co-leader Rev. Jon Reynolds reports:

I am incredibly thankful for the support of churches across Michigan. Together, we have raised over $270,000 for missions. Earlier this fall, we sent a check for $30,000 from the Readers to Leaders funds to provide scholarship money for 100 kids to go to school in Liberia. These dollars will help make sure that teachers and school staff get paid and will have a significant impact on improving the lives of people in the communities that these schools serve.

After the Storm

After the Storm specializes in recovery efforts following natural catastrophes. With laser-like focus, a wide range of volunteers and skilled experts assist one household at a time, walking them through the recovery and rebuilding process. When emergency crews are done and immediate crisis efforts cease, the tasks of After the Storm case workers continue.

The Michigan Conference launched this non-profit after realizing that one of the greatest unmet needs after disastrous events is ongoing, long-term support. After the Storm emerged in direct response to the devastating floods across Metro Detroit in 2021.

This collaborative effort helps individual families to get past seemingly insurmountable hurdles and cut through the red tape, as well as connect them with our community partners who can provide much-needed resources. They also assist with utilities, furnishings, and aid for many other vital needs. Some of the workers and volunteers who are most involved are people who have been previously helped by After the Storm themselves.

After the Storm Executive Director Nancy Money explains that crucial needs remain:

We continue to work and serve the people in Metro Detroit still recovering from the June 2021 flooding. We have served over 1,800 families who would have otherwise been living in mold and without heat or hot water. Unfortunately, there are still over 1,000 open cases. Roughly 150 represent families occupying homes with mold, which can only be helped once that problem is rectified. Thankfully, we have developed strong relationships with excellent community partners. For example, DTE is willing to supply replacement furnaces for each of those families. However, that work cannot begin until we deal with the mold that first must be removed. Your funds are urgently needed for us to move forward. Remediating that mold costs $8,000 per house. Until we raise those funds, we are at a standstill, and each of these families will continue to live exposed to toxic mold. It has already been 2½ years. These dollars are so important for us to do what we must so that our community partners can begin their vital work.

Last Updated on December 20, 2023

The Michigan Conference