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Human Relations Day realizes King’s dream

Memorial for Martin Luther King, Jr.

PART C: Giving on Human Relations Day, set for Sunday, January 14, helps build King’s vision of beloved community and supports churches like Grand Rapids: Vietnamese UMC.

Human Relations Day is a denomination-wide Special Sunday that celebrates and raises awareness about the strength of human relationships. A special offering is received the Sunday before Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s birthday and contributes to building his vision of “the beloved community.” Dr. King showed us that our response to God’s call can be a powerful force for transformation throughout our society.

Last year, Grand Rapids: Vietnamese UMC received a United Methodist Voluntary Services grant from Global Ministries. Made possible by financial gifts given on Human Relations Day, the grant equipped the congregation to offer a series of six art and music performances as part of a cultural community event program.

The official date set to celebrate Human Relations Day is January 14, 2024, but churches are encouraged to celebrate on a date that is convenient for them.

How to give: Churches and individuals wishing to give financially 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: Human Relations Sunday Offering. Individual donations can also be made online at UMC.org/SSGive.

How to promote: Click here to download various worship and promotional resources in four languages: English, French, Korean, and Spanish.

The offering from Human Relations Day funds ministry throughout the United Methodist connection. ~ image courtesy ResourceUMC

One of six churchwide Special Sundays with offerings in The United Methodist Church, Human Relations Day calls United Methodists to recognize the right of all God’s children to realize their potential as human beings in relationship with one another. The special offering benefits neighborhood ministries through community developers, community advocacy through United Methodist Voluntary Services, and work with at-risk teens through the Youth Offender Rehabilitation Program.

Last year, generosity from United Methodist congregations and individuals (through November 2023) delivered $273,514 towards these ministries:

    • 57 percent of the funds received support community developer programs that strive to build, maintain, promote, and strengthen racial-ethnic minority congregations through local United Methodist congregations. Community developers engage depending on a community’s needs. Learn more about the program here.
    • 33 percent of the funds received support United Methodist Voluntary Services, which serves as a resource to congregations, volunteer-based groups, and programs that challenge unjust political, social, and economic systems that threaten the livelihoods of people. Learn more about the grants offered here.
    • 10 percent of the funds received support rehabilitation programs. These programs work to strengthen youth empowerment programs that provide positive avenues for youth participation in their communities through churches, mentoring programs, and boys/girls clubs. Learn more about the grants offered here.

For over half a century, United Methodists have observed this churchwide Special Sunday in recognition of the message Jesus demonstrated during his life: All of God’s children are important.

One of the wonderful aspects of The United Methodist Church is that we can do so much more together than we ever could do on our own. Our gifts are part of building “the beloved community.”

More Resources for Human Relations Day

Read more stories about the impact we are making with our gifts.

Use the resources designed specifically to celebrate Human Relations Day (available in multiple languages).

Explore and share the Did You Know? resources to learn more about this Special Sunday.

The Michigan Conference