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NCJ bishops lead the way in mission

Bishops assembling Rice Meal Bags

Bishops from the North Central Jurisdiction recently experienced the work done by ministry partner Midwest Mission by participating in hands-on mission projects.

Communications Manager, Midwest Mission

On September 20, 2023, North Central Jurisdiction (NCJ) Bishops, Assistants to the Bishops, and Directors of Connectional Ministries joined Midwest Mission in the joy of serving during the College of Bishops meeting.

Those in attendance modeled a missional mindset as they joined together during their meeting and served with Midwest Mission to participate in hands-on mission projects.

Midwest Mission’s Executive Director, Chantel Corrie, and her team shared ways the local church can engage through simple mission opportunities to reinvigorate their congregations while making a global and local impact. The churches in our nation are getting more and more polarized. Serving brings people together and reminds them that we are called to love first and serve one another.

Each person packed nutritious Rice Meal Bags, assembled Student Kits and Personal Dignity Kits, and wove sleeping mats using recycled plastic grocery bags. The group was able to fellowship with one another as they worked and began to dream up ways these mission opportunities could be used with their local churches and conferences.

Within two hours, 153 Student Kits and 107 Personal Dignity Kits were assembled, ½ of a sleeping mat was woven together, and 600 Rice Meal Bags were packed that will feed 3,600 people.

Bishops packing Rice Meal Bags for hunger relief
Iowa Bishop Kennetha Bigham-Tsai (second from right) teamed up with other bishops and conference staff to pack Rice Meal Bags during the recent activity hosted by Midwest Mission. ~ photo courtesy Midwest Mission

In 2019, the NCJ gave Midwest Mission a $60,000 Mission Grant to expand the off-site mission opportunities, much like this event the College of Bishops participated in.

“What we do is send tangible resources to make an intangible difference in people’s lives,” Corrie said. “And on the other side of that, we are also providing a tangible mission experience, a tangible faith experience, to make that intangible difference in the lives of the people serving. We’ve really embraced that, which birthed that grant opportunity in 2019.”

In 2019, Midwest Mission had 10 off-site Rice Meal Packs. As of September, Midwest Mission had booked 79 Rice Meal Packs so far in 2023. The monetary blessing from the North Central Jurisdiction continues to abound as more and more people are experiencing the joy that comes from serving with their congregation, and more and more people worldwide are receiving items they desperately need.

Midwest Mission is grateful for the opportunity to speak with the Bishops and serve alongside them and their teams in meeting the needs of people in crisis around the world.

Group photo of bishops and staff
Bishops and conference staff from the annual conferences within the North Central Jurisdiction of The United Methodist Church participated in hands-on mission during their recent College of Bishops meeting. ~ photo courtesy Midwest Mission

Midwest Mission is a nonprofit started in March 2000 by Jack Travelstead, a United Methodist pastor who believed in serving people who need help.

Midwest Mission shows God’s love in a practical way by sending tangible resources to those in need to make an intangible difference in their lives through hope and empowerment. In times of crisis, disaster relief, health, education, and micro-business supplies are given freely through trusted partner nonprofits.

On top of the other kits and resources they send out, Midwest Mission is one of seven cooperating depots in the United Methodist Committee on Relief (UMCOR) relief supply network. Midwest Mission is not funded or run by UMCOR but receives, assembles, and stores UMCOR kits and disburses them upon request during disasters in the United States. Midwest Mission is funded 91% by donations. For every $1 spent in 2022, $7.85 of supplies were shipped. In 2022, Midwest Mission sent $7.99 million of humanitarian aid in 299 domestic and 48 international shipments.

Last Updated on October 9, 2023

The Michigan Conference