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Snapshots of Vitality

Kids with crowns

See Christ in the hands and faces of  Michigan United Methodists celebrating their vitality on Facebook.  Send us your snapshots!

This MIconnect feature showcases congregations who are using Facebook effectively. 

Is your church using Social Media to enhance your nurture and outreach? United Methodist Communications has resources to help you get started or to do better. Click here for more. MIconnect checks Facebook for signs of vibrancy but we can’t find them all. Do you have a photo to feature in Snapshots of Vitality? Please send it, along with a brief caption, to News Editor Kay DeMoss. Thank you.

Two women smiling

MICHIGAN MINISTRIES … Attorney Migladys Bermudez with a young friend. Justice For Our Neighbors – Metro Detroit hosts coffee hour at Beverly Hills UMC to thank them for the office space and hospitality they show JFON every day. “After two years, we can say this is becoming a fun tradition.” See more at Justice For Our Neighbors Metro Detroit Michigan

Working on a mailing

GREATER DETROIT DISTRICT … Flat Rock UMC lends a hand at NOAH Project in Detroit. Some weeks you help serve lunch. Other weeks you help with the mail. It’s all a blessing. See more at First United Methodist Church of Flat Rock

VIM team with children

GREATER SOUTHWEST DISTRICT … Battle Creek Chapel Hill UMC sent a VIM Team to Guatemala in January. “Lots of hard work happening in the school, building a new medical clinic and on a home site for a school family.” See more at Chapel Hill UMC Battle Creek.

Pastor with children

CENTRAL BAY DISTRICT … Pastor Scott Sherrill talks with the children of Vassar First UMC. “When so many choices, take a deep breath and pray.” See more at Vassar First UMC

Girl with balloons

CENTRAL BAY DISTRICT … “Such a blessed night!” as Rose City Trinity UMC hosted their first Family Fun Night of “Joy”! (Just Older youth!). An evening of fun and laughs for all ages. See more at Trinity United Methodist Church

Parents and children

MIDWEST DISTRICT … Welcome to the new Kingdom Kids Prayground at Temple United Methodist Church in Muskegon Heights.

Camp Directors

MICHIGAN UM CAMPING … Camp Directors Dana, from Lake Michigan Camp & Retreat, and Nicole, from Wesley Woods Camp & Retreat, began the search for their 2020 summer staff at Western Michigan University.

Children with snack

NORTHERN WATERS DISTRICT … The children at Ossineke UMC learn “to love with enthusiasm, not complacent like robots. Love each other fully!” See more at Ossineke United Methodist Church.

Pastor with children

EAST WINDS DISTRICT … Growing in the Light. Pastor Julie teaches the young disciples of Melvin UMC about the Transfiguration of Jesus. See more at Melvin United Methodist Church

Women with choir robe

MIDWEST DISTRICT … Restoration Community UMC, — a new Congolese church start on the Midwest District has an outstanding 25-member choir. They are in need of 10 or more red choir robes. The church is currently housed at Wyoming: Wesley Park UMC. Pastor Banza Mukalay’s daughter, Grace, and retired UM clergy, Rev. Marcia Elders, display the type and color of the choir robe needed. Please contact Liz Bode in the Midwest District Office with questions.

Man with Free Gas sign

MID-MICHIGAN DISTRICT … Staff and volunteers from Sycamore Creek Church offered Ash Wednesday $5 gas give away. “As always, God provided cold snowy weather to humble us,” says Pastor Tom Arthur. “We gave out $300 of our own money from our Christmas offering and $100 of Marathon’s money!”

Women on Ash Wednesday

NORTHERN SKIES DISTRICT … The Lenten journey begins in the U.P. Ashes to Go … in the Snow! See more at Marquette Hope.


EAST WINDS DISTRICT … Welcoming another young disciple into the family of God at Flint Court Street United Methodist Church. “Baptisms are the best!” Says Pastor Jeremy Peters.

People with cake

MICHIGAN MINISTRY PARTNERS … Rev. David Nellist, Kirstin Karoub, and Dearborn First UMC celebrate ten years of offering legal clinics to immigrants partnering with JFON. See more at Justice For Our Neighbors-Metro Detroit Michigan.

Woman giving away coffee

MID-MICHIGAN DISTRICT … On a cold, 17-degree morning, the pastor and two laywomen braved it and handed out coffee and donuts to their neighbors, the Red Cedar Elementary school parents as they brought their kids into school. See more at University United Methodist Church-MSU

Women in the snow

MICHIGAN UM CAMPING … Fun in the snow at the High School Winter Retreat at Lake Michigan Camp and Retreat. See more at Lake Michigan Camp & Retreat.

Chili supper

NORTHERN SKIES DISTRICT … Superintendent Scott Harmon visits Northern Michigan University Wesley Fellowship young people for dinner. They are planning for a spring break mission trip to the Yakama Valley. “Great young people passionate about living out God’s vision for a new world.” See more at Northern Skies District.

man with cupcakes

MICHIGAN UM CAMPING … guess what holiday it is?? Bible lesson, fun games and a sweet snack make up the morning at Winter Weekend at Lake Huron Retreat Center. See more at Lake Huron Retreat Center

woman pouring tea

MICHIGAN MINISTRy PARTNERS … Residents of United Methodist Retirement Communities enjoyed a lovely Teacup and Teapot event earlier this month. See more at United Methodist Retirement Communities.

packing food

EAST WINDS DISTRICT … Swartz Creek United Methodist Church packed beans and rice to total 10,000 meals for children in Haiti. See more at East Winds District.

Bears in Pews

GREATER SOUTHWEST DISTRICT … Kalamazoo First UMC announces, “Our Prayer Bears have heard the Word read and taught, prayers read, and songs of praise sung. They have been anointed with hugs and prayers so that you can gift them to someone who needs solace and comfort.” See more at First UMC of Kalamazoo.

Wellness Clinic

MICHIGAN MINISTRY PARTNERS … Volunteer nurses in the Marback Wellness Center of NOAH Project monitor ongoing health concerns, assist with wound cleaning, help get prescriptions and over-the-counter medication, and provide many other needed medical services. If you are or know a current or retired medical professional interested in community health, contact Community Center Coordinator Matt at [email protected] for ways to help!

Women with certificates

GREATER DETROIT DISTRICT … Five star United Methodist Woman and part of a Five Star Unit at Metropolitan United Methodist Church. L-r: Vice-President Elizabeth Anne Rice, Jeanette Harris, Secretary-Treasurer Kris Miranne, and President Mary Floyd. More at Metropolitan United Methodist Women

Women at Spelling Bee

NORTHERN SKIES DISTRICT … Marquette Hope Spelling Bees having fun and raising money at the third annual fund-raiser for the local library. See more at Marquette Hope.

Taylorie Bailey

MICHIGAN UNITED METHODIST WOMEN … Michigan UMW was well represented at Leadership Development Days in St. Louis. “Amazing women. Our own Taylorie Bailey spoke Sunday morning.” 

Two women in sanctuary

GREATER SOUTHWEST DISTRICT … On Sunday, January 19, Battle Creek First UMC welcomed Kimberly Holley, Executive Director of the Sojourner Truth Institute, housed at the church. It was in recognition of Sojourner Truth Sunday. See more at First United Methodist Church Battle Creek.

Man and girl

GREATER SOUTHWEST DISTRICT … “It’s always heartwarming to see the many generations in our church enjoying time together. Regardless of age, we all have valuable lessons we can teach and learn.” See more at Plainwell United Methodist Church.

Women with snowman

MICHIGAN MINISTRIES … Do you want to build a snowman?? Clergy Spouses said yes. Tubing was also a hit at the Winter Retreat hosted at Cran-Hill Ranch

women with quilts

MICHIGAN CAMPING … Members of the Quilt Guild of Metro Detroit made 55 laundry bags for the God’s Treasures Camp summer program at Lake Huron Retreat Center. Each camper will receive one for their personal use. “We thank this talented group for their gifts to our campers. They will be put to good use this summer!” See more at Lake Huron Retreat Center.

Pastor and children

NORTHERN WATERS DISTRICT … Children of Ossineke United Methodist Church join Pastor Mike Kelley for a time of their own. See more at Ossineke United Methodist Church.

pastor blesses women

EAST WINDS DISTRICT … Pastor Joel Walther prays over Communion Circuit Riders, members of Goodrich UMC who are helping the pastor to extend God’s table to shut-ins and others unable to join the congregation for Communion on Sunday. See more at Goodrich UMC.

Women with sewing machines
EAST WINDS DISTRICT … United Methodist Women of Linden UMC are working hard, making school bags for the Midwest Mission Distribution Center. See more at Linden United Methodist Church.

Dearborn JFON Clinic

MICHIGAN MINISTRIES … January 23, 2020 marks the tenth anniversary of JFON legal clinics hosted at Dearborn First United Methodist Church. Since 2010 Dearborn has offered a monthly legal clinic. “Together with the congregation, volunteers, pastors, staff and friends, we are committed to working hard to change lives and welcome our neighbors with caring hospitality.” See more at Justice For Our Neighbors Metro Detroit.

Community Ministries

MIDWEST DISTRICT … “Fun night at the Community Ministries Program hosted by Grand Rapids Trinity UMC with “Science with Mrs. Sue.” The students built a gummy bear wave machine that was not only interesting but delicious! Children also got a chance to play in the gym. See more at Trinity United Methodist Church Grand Rapids.

Youth choir

GREATER DETROIT DISTRICT … Senior Pastor Rev. B. Kevin Smalls preaches on the topic, “There Isn’t Enough,” while the young people of Hope United Methodist Church in Southfield provide the music. See more at Hope United Methodist Church Southfield.

Men with quilts

MID-MICHIGAN DISTRICT … Pastor Hillary Thurston-Cox reports January 19 was a “Great Sunday celebrating our veterans, who inspire me with their sacrifices.” 

Women at Humane Society

NORTHERN WATERS DISTRICT … January 18 was Serve Saturday for Traverse City Central UMC. Eleven volunteers helped out at Cherryland Humane Socity. See more at Central UMC Traverse City.

Women witnessing

MICHIGAN MINISTRIES … Justice For Our Neighbors – Michigan was represented in the Women’s March held in Traverse City on January 18. See more at Justice For Our Neighbors – Michigan.

Making dough

GREATER DETROIT DISTRICT … All in for pasty making. The Music Guild of Royal Oak First UMC helped the youth make pasties to raise funds for Choir Camp. See more at Royal Oak First UMC.Elvis at Clark

MICHIGAN MINISTRIES … The King lives! At Clark Retirement Community! Elvis sighting Clark during the January Birthday Celebration. “He treated residents to a few hits. We’re ‘all shook up! Special thanks to Liam Doyle for making the day so special. See more at Clark Retirement Community.

Leaders in cafe

MICHIGAN MINISTRIES … Seventeen Children’s Ministry Leaders from across Michigan are attending the Children’s Pastors Conference in Orlando, FL  January 14-16. Please keep the group in your prayers.

Leadership Board

NORTHERN SKIES DISTRICT … Thank you to the beautiful people who stepped up for service on the new Leadership Board of Marquette Hope UMC. They met  for the first time on January 14. Grateful for leaders who are willing to lead into the future. See more at Marquette Hope.

Drum Major Pearl

GREATER DETROIT DISTRICT … Congratulations to Pearl Lewis, Detroit: Scott Memorial UMC, for her recognition as an MKL Drum Major for Justice Award Recipient.  See more at Scott Memorial UMC.


HERITAGE DISTRICT … The elves of Adrian First UMC put on their warm coats and helped staff a Red Kettle for The Salvation Army. See more at First UMC of Adrian.

Center Park Praise Band

GREATER SOUTHWEST DISTRICT … “What can you do to have a God-centered perspective?” Center Park’s Praise Band lights things up for Jesus during Epiphany worship. See more at Center Park UMC.

Gladstone and son

GREATER DETROIT DISTRICT … The 2020 Drum Major for Justice Award for clergy was presented to the Rev. Carl Gladstone, a deacon now serving at Dearborn First UMC. He received the award on January 10, 2020 during the 26th Annual Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Celebration sponsored by the Greater Detroit District.  Those receiving the Drum Major Award have demonstrated a commitment to the values of the Rev. Dr. King toward building a “Great World House.” See more Greater Detroit District.

Band playing

MICHIGAN MINISTRIES … The concert and dinner to support the South Flint Soup Kitchen was a great success. Thanks to Uncommon Grace and Grand Blanc United Methodist Church for coming together to nourish the community. See more at South Flint Soup Kitchen

Communion Table

MIDWEST DISTRICT … How do you know it’s Epiphany Sunday? The Communion bread is shaped like stars.  See Muskegon Central United Methodist Church.

Advent wreath

GREATER DETROIT DISTRICT … Ready to light the Christ Candle at TroyHope Ministry on Christmas Eve. Happy Birthday, Jesus. See more at TroyHope Ministry.

Christmas Pageant

GREATER SOUTHWEST DISTRICT … The children delighted the congregation of Bronson United Methodist Church with their retelling of the Christmas story. See more at Bronson UMC.

Guess the box

CENTRAL BAY DISTRICT … Bingo, The Tower of Trivia, Facepainting, and much more delighted young and old at Vassar First UMC’s New Year’s Eve Fest. See more at Vassar First United Methodist Church.

Living Nativity

CENTRAL BAY DISTRICT … Emmanuel wore plaid. This sweet baby boy spent his first Christmas as part of the Living Nativity at Cass City UMC. See more at Cass City United Methodist Church.

Capes from tees

NORTHERN WATERS … “What’s YOUR super power?” series at Mosaic Church concluded with everyone making a cape. See more at Mosaic Church — Traverse City.

boy on chart

GREATER SOUTHWEST … Children of Plainwell United Methodist Church are learning the Lord’s Prayer by walking the maze. See More at Plainwell UMC.

Cabinet Retreat 2020 at Lake Huron

MICHIGAN CONFERENCE … Lake Huron Retreat Center hosts the 2020 Michigan Conference Cabinet retreat. L-r standing: Rev. John Kasper (incoming Central Bay); Rev. Dr. Jerome DeVine (Mid-Michigan); Rev. Jodie Flessner (Northern Waters); Rev. John Hice (East Winds); Rev. Dwayne Bagley (Greater Southwest); Rev. Dr. Charles Boayue (Greater Detroit); Rev. Dirk Elliott (Congregational Vibrancy); Rev. Dr. Margie Crawford (Midwest); and Rev. Scott Harmon (Northern Skies). L-r seated: Rev. John Boley (Clergy Assistant); Rev. Elizabeth Hill (Heritage outgoing); Bishop David Bard; Rev. LuAnn Rourke (Heritage incoming); and Rev. Jeffrey Maxwell (Central Bay interim).

Christmas pageant

GREATER DETROIT DISTRICT … Is there room at the inn? “Let me check my computer.” See more of the Christmas story by the Impact Kids of DownRiver UMC.

Christmas pagaent

GREATER SOUTHWEST DISTRICT … The youth of Kalamazoo First United Methodist Church take the congregation back in time during the 2019 Christmas Pageant. See more at First United Methodist Church of Kalamazoo

Angels at Frankenmuth

CENTRAL BAY DISTRICT … A heavenly high-five at Frankenmuth United Methodist Church. See more of their Christmas celebration at Frankenmuth UMC.

Santa in Holland

MIDWEST DISTRICT … Look who showed up at the Refresh ministry of Holland First United Methodist Church. See more at Refresh: Hygiene and Hope.

Last Updated on November 1, 2023

The Michigan Conference