Michigan churches are in ministry with partners in their neighborhoods and around the world. Were you an EngageMI congregation in 2021? Reports are due January 10, 2022.
ALICE FLEMING TOWNLEY
Ministry Consultant — Courage, Compassion & Resiliency
Our United Methodist connection empowers us to partner with God and one another in making a difference for good. Through our Michigan Conference EngageMI program, we are in ministry together, across our districts, conference, nation, and the world. Together we respond to disaster; nurture young people through camps and campus ministry; offer food, water, and shelter; welcome immigrants; partner with leaders in Haiti and Liberia; support mission personnel; and so much more.
We seek to be in ministry ‘with’ in contrast to ministry ‘to.’ Ministry ‘with’ is grounded in Jesus’ practices and our Wesleyan heritage. We seek not only to meet immediate needs, but also to foster mutual relationships, engage in shared leadership, and develop long-term solutions. EngageMI encourages congregations to offer financial support and to also study systemic causes of inequity and ways to address these. It invites churches to get involved with transformative people and projects. We can all give, act, and learn in life-changing ways.
Read about our EngageMI ministry partners online, or in the booklet. An EngageMI paper booklet was distributed last fall and a new one will be ready for Annual Conference in June of 2022.
To become an EngageMI Congregation, please share how you gave, learned, and acted last year by submitting a report by January 10, 2022 to [email protected]. Please send all funds, except for District Projects, to the Conference Treasurer. Send funds for District Projects directly to the project.
In the ‘Give’ section of the report, share how your church has supported missions across the connection:
Step 1: 100% of Ministry Shares
- At least one Conference Project or Conference Special Sunday
- At least one District Project
- At least one USA General Advance Project
- Red Bird Mission Project
- One of the listed Special Sundays
- At least one International General Advance Project or Special Sunday
- At least one Haiti General Advance Project
- At least one Liberia General Advance Project
- Give to at least one UMCOR General Advance Project or UMCOR Sunday
And don’t forget to include stories of what you learned and what you did in 2021.
Here are highlights from one of our 2020 EngageMI churches, West Bloomfield United Methodist Church. Reported by Mission Chair Jo Anna Risk. West Bloomfield is a church of 150 members, pastored by the Rev. Monica William.
2020 started out like other years with the Mission Committee meeting early and planning our year of learning, giving, and acting. We soon discovered with the onset of COVID-19 and the closure of our church in early March, that things would be different. But, at the same time, the missions committee was meeting by phone and zoom we decided to keep on track with our EngageMI plans. With God’s help, all planned mission programs were supported in 2020.
- Diana Brumfield, relating to West Bloomfield and Northville UMCs, has partnered with a UMC missionary in Liberia, Helen Robert-Evans, to develop a program to support the needs there. Diana is a photographer and created a calendar the church sold to raise money. The villagers decided how the funds are used, and in the past, the money has been used to provide safe drinking water for the villages, made repairs to an orphanage, and funded teacher salaries. She taped a video that was shown to the congregation at the beginning of worship.
- When the racial unrest and protests occurred, our pastor, the Rev. Monica William, placed a supportive message on our church sign. She preached messages of love and justice and continues to do so. WBUMC participated with the community-wide effort to support justice and displayed signs with quotes from Martin Luther King, Jr. in front of the church as well as by the parsonage.
- We have supported the NOAH Project in Detroit for several years. Our church supports them financially and we also make sandwiches for their bag lunch program at least twice a year. The local scout troop has helped with this. Members of the congregation made masks for the clients and others helped with preparations in the health clinic.
Thank you West Bloomfield UMC, for inspiring us with your report!
Thank you all for the ways you give, learn, and act. We look forward to reading how you all have been engaged in 2021.