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Snapshots of Vitality

Hand washing at Orchard UMC

See Christ in the hands and faces of Michigan United Methodists who share their faith on the pages of Facebook.

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 lots of resources to help you get started or to do better. Click here for more. MIconnect checks Facebook for signs of vitality 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!

Community dinner held at Holland First UMC
MIDWEST DISTRICT … Holland First UMC hosted a Community Kitchen Christmas Party inviting the homeless and people of low-income to enjoy a hot and hearty Christmas meal. Bingo (for clothing, household items, holiday decorations, and other items) ensured that no one left empty handed.

Carolers in downtown St. Joseph, Michigan
GREATER SOUTHWEST DISTRICT … St. Joseph First UMC participated in the city’s “Live from Downtown” display early December. They were listed as Gallery on the Alley/St Joe First. “And they sang their hearts out on such a cold night!” See more at St. Joe First UMC.

Woman drawing on the wall at Clark Community
MICHIGAN MINISTRIES … Residents and staff of Clark Retirement Community accept the invitation to express their inner artist by coloring constructions walls at Clark’s Franklin street location. See more at Clark Retirement Community.

Shepherds at Christmas Program at Lincoln Community UMC
HERITAGE DISTRICT … Ypsilanti: Lincoln Community UMC hosted One Starry Night. “We experienced anew the Village of Bethlehem and a wonderful time of fellowship following.” See more at Lincoln Community UMC.

Pastor in nativity sweater
MID-MICHIGAN DISTRICT … Don we now our holy apparel … the Rev. Hillary Thurston-Cox, pastor of Wacousta Community Church, models her Christmas sweater.
Daughter wears father's stole
GREATER SOUTHWEST DISTRICT … Rev. Julie Kline, Associate Pastor Kalamazoo: First United Methodist Church, received an awesome gift from her friend Deb Search-Willoughby. Julie explains: “Deb took my Dad’s robe and transformed it into a robe just right for me. My dad was an earth steward long before it was popular. He would have loved this art of recycling!” The late Rev. Ken Kline served churches and campus ministries in the West Michigan Conference.

Motown Mission at the Christmas Market
GREATER DETROIT MICHIGAN … Motown Mission participated in First UMC of Northville’s Christmas Market, “by providing what we do best… hospitality!” See more at Motown Mission.

Woman making pasties
NORTHERN SKIES DISTRICT … “Pastie Lady” Virginia Bell on the job at Paradise United Methodist Church. Roll that dough, Virginia! 

Children celebrating at Supper House in Muskegon Heights
CONFERENCE MINISTRIES … Supper House threw a Christmas Party and 400 people came. Located in Muskegon Heights, Supper House has served meals to their neighbors five nights a week for 20 years. Super House is a Six Lanes of the Advance project. See more at Supper House Muskegon.

Kids trim the tree at Kewadin Indian Mission
NORTHERN WATERS DISTRICT … The children of Kewadin Indian Mission help trim the tree for Christmas as the Son looks down and the sun shines in. See more at Kewadin Indian Mission.

Students handing out snacks during finals week at GVSU.
MIDWEST DISTRICT … Sharing love during finals week. Valley Church sent out “an a amazing team to hand out over 350 bags to random students studying. The reactions and connections were HUGE!” Reported by Zach McNees.

Children's pageant at Newberry UMC
NORTHERN SKIES DISTRICT … Fun for all ages at the Newberry UMC Christmas program. See more at God’s Country Cooperative Parish.

Children's Christmas Pageant
MID-MICHIGAN DISTRICT … The kids of Sycamore Creek Church did an awesome job with their Christmas play, “Star Light! Star Bright!” See more at Sycamore Creek – South Lansing.

Two Wesley U of M students at Habitat Build

HERITAGE DISTRICT …  “We have a 19 degree start to our Habitat for Humanity workday, yet we feel our hearts strangely warmed.” See more at Wesley Foundation at the University of Michigan

Van load of blankets going to Midwest Distribution Center

MID-MICHIGAN DISTRICT … A van-load of 250 blankets leaves East Lansing: University UMC for Midwest Mission Distribution Center in Illinois to aid the residents of Trinidad after massive flooding. See more at University UMC- MSU

Center Park UMC youth distributed goods to the homeless

GREATER SOUTHWEST DISTRICT … The Youth Community Outreach Team of Center Park UMC delivered care packets, blankets, clothes and sleeping bags to the homeless in Kalamazoo. See more at Center Park UMC.

Children prograying the birth of Jesus
GREATER SOUTHWEST DISTRICT … Rev. Mike Tupper reports from Gull Lake UMC: “We had an amazing Advent Event last Sunday. Over 25 children and youth met with their Church Family Partner adults doing many activities including dressing up in the Nativity Creche.” 

Mission Fair at Grand Rapids First UMC
MIDWEST DISTRICT … “A Different Kind of Christmas Fair” was hosted at Grand Rapids First UMC on November 25. Participants learned about opportunities for alternative giving. Here Valerie Mossman Celestin shares about the work of HAPI (Haitian Artisans for Peace International). See more at First United Methodist Church

Band at NOAH Project celebration
MICHIGAN MINISTRIES … The NOAH Project Detroit offered good music and good food at its Annual Harvest Concert. See more at NOAH Project Detroit.

children in a pretend cardboard boat
MIDWEST DISTRICT … They “rowed the boat ashore” at the Lowell Untied Methodist PreSchool. “Hallelujah!” See more at Lowell United Methodist Church.  

Boy delivering gifts

GREATER DETROIT DISTRICT … “This little elf helped deliver 50 stockings to the Methodist Children’s home.” Stuffing the stockings was part of Farmington: Orchard United Methodist Church’s, “Night of 1,000 Blessings.” See more at Orchard United Methodist Church.

Kalamazoo Free Store at Sunnyside UMC
GREATER SOUTHWEST DISTRICT … Emily Burns (front left) is a Global Mission Fellow assigned for service at Sunnyside United Methodist Church in Kalamazoo. Emily celebrates the volunteers who work at the Free Store hosted at the church. See more at Free Store of Kalamazoo.

Brigthon UMW supports girl scout
HERITAGE DISTRICT … “Darla Miller, representing the Abigail Circle (United Methodist Women, Whitmore Lake Campus of Brighton UMC) awarded a check to Katie of Girl Scout Troop 76376 in South Lyon. Katie is working toward a merit badge by collecting nightgowns and blankets for Mid Michigan Hospice.” 

Seymour Lake
EAST WINDS DISTRICT … Seymour Lake United Methodist Church explored the tradition of the sukkah on November 18. See more at Seymour Lake UMC.

Tree trimming at Warren First UMC
GREATER DETROIT DISTRICT … Many hands were at work during worship to prepare Warren First for Advent. “The service opened with music by bell and sanctuary choirs. Then a lesson on what the decorations represent; each described by scripture and history. Then the decoration was placed in the sanctuary as a song was sung. We even got the garland up in just one song! Yay us!” See more at Warren First UMC.

Volunteers work on Thanksgiving Baskets at Birmingham 1st UMC
GREATER DETROIT DISTRICT … A “potato train” moves food for packing into Thanksgiving Bags. Birmingham First UMC donated over 120 turkeys, bags of potatoes, pumpkin and sweet potato pies and bags of “trimmings” for the Redford Brightmoor Initiative. See more at Birmingham First UMC.

Kitchen at McMillan UMC cooking Hunters' Dinner.

NORTHERN SKIES DISTRICT … D.S. Scott Harmon was present at McMillan United Methodist Church on November 14th for their 77th Annual Hunters Supper.  “The community was lined up out the door to enjoy the hearty meal. Good food, good company, and amazing hardworking people! Way to go McMillan!!” See more at Northern Skies District

Girl serving Thanksgiving dinner at Cass Community Social Services

GREATER DETROIT DISTRICT … Happy Thanksgiving to the volunteers and guests at Cass Community Social Services. See more at Cass Community Social Services.

Asti White, Global Mission Fellow, with musicians at Kalamazoo Wesley
MICHIGAN MINISTRIES … Global Mission Fellow, Asti White, (foreground) says, “I am serving in collegiate ministry here at Western Michigan University. Did you catch that? I am back in college!” Asti is walking with students who are exploring their faith at the Kalamazoo Wesley Foundation. Learn more at GMF

Small boy playing keyboardNORTHERN SKIES DISTRICT … An aspiring Music Man. The newest band member at the Connection Center of Marquette Hope United Methodist Church.

Woman will car full of frozen turkeys
CENTRAL BAY DISTRICT … Volunteers from Auburn United Methodist Church assist with food distribution for Thanksgiving dinners in their community.


Ellen Zienert with shepherd in Bethlehem
MICHIGAN DISCIPLES … Rev. Ellen Zienert, retired pastor Michigan Conference, has a special experience in Bethlehem. The good shepherd in this photo is Abed. His sheep’s name is Rosa. “He calls his own sheep by name and leads them out.” (John 10: 3) Ellen is in the Holy Land on tour with Bishop Bard and 148 others November 12-21, 2018.

Selling Christmas wreaths for mission in Haiti
NORTHERN WATERS DISTRICT … ’tis the season to be jolly for mission. Traverse Bay UMC is selling wreaths to benefit Haiti, where they have a long-term commitment and many deep friendships. See more at Traverse Bay UMC

Bishop Bard and others remembering baptism in the River Jordan
MICHIGAN LEADERS … Down by the riverside. Michigan disciples join Bishop David Bard in the Jordan River to remember their baptism. The Michigan Conference prays for the Bishop and all who travel with him. Safe travel, new understandings, and awesome inspiration.

Women of Battle Creek Chapel Hill UMC enjoy a Saturday retreat

GREATER SOUTHWEST DISTRICT … “Growing Through A Day of Spiritual Exploration for Women” was held October 13 at Battle Creek: Chapel Hill UMC. A time for worship, connection, laughter, creativity, and inspiration. See more at Chapel Hill UMC Battle Creek.

Laundry for the homeless

GREATER DETROIT DISTRICT … The Wild Washing Women of Flat Rock UMC. ChristNet equipment moves from church to church. The NightTime shelter program brought guests to Flat Rock church the week of  October 29. Weekly total : 201 safe beds provided and 603 meals served. See more at First UMC of Flatrock.

All Saints Day altar Essexville: St. Luke's UMC

CENTRAL BAY DISTRICT … A beautiful All Saints Day table set for Holy Communion in the sanctuary of Essexville: St. Luke’s United Methodist Church. See more at St. Luke’s UMC Essexville.

Woman painting for Habitat for Humanity

EAST WINDS DISTRICT … Members of Port Huron First United Methodist Church responded to a mission oportunity in their neighborhood. Three volunteers went to work at the Blue Water Habitat for Humanity build. See more at Port Huron First UMC.

Acolytes at Eaton Rapids UMC on All Saints Sunday
MID-MICHIGAN DISTRICT … Acolytes at Eaton Rapids 1st United Methodist Church serve at the altar on All Saints Sunday. Remembering those gone home to glory. See more at First UMC Eaton Rapids.

Baking pies at Frankenmuth UMC
CENTRAL BAY DISTRICT … Nothing says lovin’ like something from the oven! Pie bakers busy at Frankenmuth UMC. The fundraiser will benefit their kitchen ministry. See more at Frankenmuth UMC.

Pastor Cloud Pyo
NORTHERN WATERS DISTRICT … Observing Pastor Appreciation Month. Thankful for their leader, Pastor Cloud Pyo, the Boyne City and Boyne Falls UMC congregations pulled together to present him with a beautiful stole. See more at Boyne City/Boyne Falls UMC.

Acolyte holding up Bible

HERITAGE DISTRICT …  A young saint of South Lyon United Methodist Church is the first acolyte to carry the new Bible in worship alongside Pastor Mary McInnes. 

All Saints Heart Tree

MIDWEST DISTRICT … Georgetown United Methodist Church observes All Saints Sunday with a heart tree covered with names of loved ones remembered the congregation.

Rev. Devon Herrell at Big Rapids Wesley House

MIDWEST DISTRICT … The Rev. Devon Herrell, Big Rapids Wesley Director, participates in a Vigil for Victims of Hate Crimes in Pittsburgh and Jeffersontown. See more at Big Rapids Wesley House.

Trunk or Treat at Okemos Community Church

MID-MICHIGAN DISTRICT … Okemos Community Church defied the weather and moved their Trunk or Treat indoors. A sweet time had by all. See much more at Okemos Community Church.


Pastor Mona Dye meets neighbors

MIDWEST DISTRICT … Along came a spider and sat down on Pastor Mona Dye as she welcomed 300 guests to the Harvest Fest hosted by Wolf Lake UMC. See much more of the fun at Wolf Lake UMC.Pastor Gwinn UMC as King David for Halloween
NORTHERN SKIES DISTRICT … King David, a.k.a. Pastor Ron Fike, invited Halloween treat-seekers to enjoy the warmth of the church with hot chili, frosted brownies and popcorn. Over 500 walked through the doors of Gwinn United Methodist Church in one hour!

Trick or Treat at Crystal Springs Camp

MICHIGAN UM CAMPING …  Everyone from The Incredibles to The Flintstones visited Crystal Springs last Sunday! The camp, near Dowagiac, invited the  surrounding community — super heroes, princesses, cowboys and more — to their annual Trick or Treat. See more at Crystal Springs Camp and Retreat Center.

2018 Kresge Award

GREATER DETROIT DISTRICT … Rosemary Piatt, longest active member of Detroit Metropolitan United Methodist Church, was honored with the 2018 Kresge Award. “Rosemary is a true example of a Christian servant, a qualification which Mr. Kresge wished to honor. She has given her time, talents and treasures throughout her life to Metropolitan and the community.” 

Youth Group Davison UMC

EAST WINDS DISTRICT … As October draws to a close, youth enjoy a Harvest Party at Davison United Methodist Church. See more at Davison UMC.

Pasties made at Skandia UMC
NORTHERN SKIES DISTRICT … Whoa! Grab the gravy! Grab the ketchup! That’s one impressive pile of pasties turned out by Marquette Hope’s Skandia Campus for their annual sale. “Like a well oiled machine, another 1,000 pasties produced and sent to good homes.” See more at Marquette Hope.

Chaplain Jan Johnson blessing theray animals
Chaplain Jan Johnson, a Local Pastor of The Michigan Conference, serves at Mercy Health Partners. She recently presided at the first annual Blessing of the Therapy Animals held at Hackley Campus Chapel in Muskegon. See more of this celebration of the feast day of St. Francis of Assisi, patron saint of animals and earth, at Mercy Health.

Detroit Pub Theology
MICHIGAN MINISTRIES … Detroit Pub Theology: Dearborn Edition at Ford’s Garage. Students and young adults engaged tough questions about Job and intercessory prayer with Rev. David Nellist and crew from Dearborn: First UMC. See more at Motor City Wesley.

Trunk or Treat

GREATER SOUTHWEST DISTRICT … Rev. T-rex is ready to greet the Trunk-or-Treaters who arrive at Schoolcraft United Methodist Church on October 31. See more at Schoolcraft UMC.

Receiving Bible from Laurium UMC
NORTHERN SKIES DISTRICT … At the October 20, 2018 Charge Conference of the Munising and Trenary churches, Trenary embers received an altar Bible given by the former Laurium UMC. In April, after 120 years of ministry in the Keweenaw, Laurium closed but their gift to the greater ministry of the district lives on.

Northern Waters Carnival

NORTHERN WATERS DISTRICT … All creatures — great and small, wise and wonderful — were welcome at Kingsley UMC for the carnival gathering of the SW Community Connexion Hub. See more at Northern Waters District.

Food for the hungry
HERITAGE DISTRICT …  South Lyon First UMC had a “harvest gathering” as part of their Extravagant Generosity stewardship campaign. They collected fresh and canned fruits and vegetables for Active Faith, a local community service agency. Active Faith delivered the food to over 80 families in the community. See more at South Lyon First UMC.

Cub Scouts with food truck

NORTHERN SKIES DISTRICT … Cub Scout pack 333 of Gwinn collected 85 bags of groceries to help feed hungry families. Rev Ron Fike of Gwinn United Methodist church is the Cub Scout sponsor/chartered organization representative. Good job scouts and parents for doing “your best!”

Pumpkin painting at Crystal Springs

MICHIGAN UM CAMPING …  October 14 was Spooky Art Day at Crystal Springs Camp and Retreat Center. See more pumpkin painting at Crystal Springs Camp and Retreat Center.

Cooks prepare soup supper at Gull Lake UMC

GREATER SOUTHWEST DISTRICT … The Kitchen Crew at Gull Lake UMC gets ready for the Wednesday Free Soup Supper. Hospitality with a smile. See more at Gull Lake UMC.

Youth drawing poster

GREATER SOUTHWEST DISTRICT … The youth of Coldwater UMC, created posters for the Coldwater Halloween Parade. Find out how God is like candy corn at Coldwater United Methodist Church.

Youth support CROP Walk

EAST WINDS DISTRICT … Port Huron First hikes for hunger at the 2018 Blue Water Area CROP Walk. See more faces of hunger fighters at Port Huron First UMC.

Youth attending Central Bay District Conference

CENTRAL BAY DISTRICT … “When your youth are really cool, they give up a Saturday to be at District Conference!” See more at Central Bay District.

Woman and chillld make totebags
HERITAGE DISTRICT … Ypsilanti: First UMC hosted a CROP Walk Sew-In Day. A great intergenerational experience making school bags for Church World Service.

Pastor giving apple dumplings to school teacher

GREATER SOUTHWEST DISTRICT … The Apple Dumpling Gang of Otsego United Methodist Church recently shared treats with school staff members in their community. Pastor Joe Shaler delivered apple dumplings to the teachers and staff at Starr elementary school in Plainwell. A way to say thank you for teaching our children. See more at Otsego UMC.

Pumpkin painting

GREATER SOUTHWEST DISTRICT … Jesus meets the Great Pumpkin. Fun for all ages at the St. Joseph United Methodist Church Harvest Festival at Five Pines Ministries. See more at St. Joe First UMC.

Scouts building picnic tables

GREATER DETROIT DISTRICT … Boy Scouts of America Troop 1104, Dearborn First UMC,  worked together on Candidate Ian Paison’s Eagle project; new picnic tables as well as benches for the gazebo in the church’s Memorial Garden. See more at Dearborn First UMC.

D.S. Scott Harmon

NORTHERN SKIES DISTRICT … Superintendent Scott Harmon was laughing with Jesus at Escanaba Central UMC’s charge conference on September 29. Joy in Central’s Vital Church Initiative work. See more at Escanaba Central UMC.

Pastors attending Kalamazoo First United Methodist Church

GREATER SOUTHWEST DISTRICT …  On October 7 Kalamazoo First UMC took time in worship to recognize the 24 clergy who are part of the congregation, both serving and retired. Together they represent 819 years of service in pastoral ministry! See more at First UMC Kalamazoo.

Bishop David Bard and Rev. Jennifer Jue at the Michigan Area Asian American Ministry Event

MICHIGAN MINISTRIES … Bishop David Bard and Rev. Jennifer Jue were among the leadership for the Asian American Leadership Event held October 8. See much more at Michigan Area Asian American Ministry.

Man and girl serving Communion
MIDWEST DISTRICT … The children of Aldersgate United Methodist Church in Grand Rapids help serve at the Lord’s Table on World Communion Sunday. See more at Aldersgate UMC Grand Rapids.

Pizza served at Bath Community Dinner Service MID-MICHIGAN DISTRICT … Bath and Gunnisonville United Methodist churches are hosting fall previews of a new experience launching in January 2019. There were 107 in attendance at the first preview of pizza and worship in the sanctuary. Support and funding contributed by Michigan Conference Office of Congregational Vibrancy. See more at Bath United Methodist Church and Gunnisonville United Methodist Church.

View from the middle of the Mackinaw BridgeMICHIGAN AREA CAMPING … A bridge walker’s eye-view of the Straits of Mackinac. Shared by participants of the 2018 Camp Kinawind Bridge Walk Family Camp. See more at Camp Kinawind.

Woman learning to knitCENTRAL BAY DISTRICT … West Branch UMC is beginning a new prayer shawl ministry.  The twice-a-month activity includes lessons in knitting and crocheting. See more at West Branch First UMC

Church staff works through power outageGREATER DETROIT DISTRICT … A light shines in the darkness and the darkness does not overcome it! Nardin Park staff living by John 1:5 and getting the word out during a recent power outage.

Pastor blows dust off Bible.
GREATER DETROIT DISTRICT … September 30 worship at Detroit: Central United Methodist Church. Pastor Jill Hardt Zundel encourages members of the congregation to blow the dust off their Bibles.

Fellowship Evening at Gaylord UMC
NORTHERN WATERS DISTRICT … Getting their ducks in a row??? North East Connexion enjoyed a night of fun, laughter and fellowship hosted at Gaylord UMC. Gaylord youth worked the dinner! Ferris Wesley judged the pies. See more at Northern Waters District.

Snapshot of Vitality -- Stevensville UMCGREATER SOUTHWEST DISTRICT … Pastor David Hills and the staff of Stevensville UMC had a great time beating the clock at Puzzlemental in St. Joseph. See more at Stevensville UMC.

Teri Rice prepares for Central District Conference

CENTRAL BAY DISTRICT … It’s in the bag! Teri Rice, District Administrative Assistant, is ready for District Conference held in Midland October 6. “See All the People” is an initiative of Discipleship Ministries. See more at Central Bay District.

Seymour Lake UMC members walk for hunger

EAST WINDS DISTRICT … Way to go Team Seymour Lake UMC!  CROP Walk completed though rain threatened and a chill was in the air. Two-legged and four-legged walkers raised money to fight hunger. See more at Seymour Lake UMC.

Family Fun Night at Marble Memorial UMCHERITAGE DISTRICT … Church and community come together on Third-Thursday nights in Milan. Marble Memorial UMC’s Kid Zone promises fun for all on the church lawn. See more at Marble Memorial UMC.

Meal served to Native American Seniors in Grand Rapids

MIDWEST DISTRICT … The Anishnabe Native American Elders Lunch Program kicked off September 25, hosted at Grand Rapids: Northlawn UMC. Metro Ministry is looking for volunteers to help prepare, serve and clean-up the meal once a month (Tuesday or Thursday, 9am – 1:30pm). Contact Holly Downer if you can help. See contact information at Pawating Megedwin Kikaajik – Grand Rapids Anishnabe Senior Lunches.

Work team fixing a home in KentuckyGREATER SOUTHWEST DISTRICT … A work team from Edwardsburg Hope UMC is in Kentucky. Their work at Red Bird Mission includes installing windows and building decks and porches. See more at Hope of Edwardsburg

Serving a meal at Troy Big Beaver UMC

GREATER DETROIT DISTRICT … Troy: Big Beaver United Methodists host SOS (South Oakland Shelter). Guests enjoyed hospitality Sept. 16-23. “It is an honor to be able to team with such a wonderful organization and meet/host new people.” See more at Big Beaver UMC.

Messy Church at Warren 1st UMCGREATER DETROIT DISTRICT …The boat afloat on the Sea of Galilee made its way through the wind and the waves to Messy Church at Warren: First United Methodist Church. See more at Warren First UMC.

Snapshot of Vitality -- Lexington UMC
EAST WINDS DISTRICT … Pastor Susan Youmans and the people of Lexington United Methodist Church celebrate the start of another year of Sunday School on September 16. ~ See more at Lexington UMC.

Woman serving Mexican food

MIDWEST DISTRICT … Celebrating Mexico during Hispanic Heritage Month at La Nueva Esperanza UMC in Grand Rapids. See more at La Nueva Esperanza UMC.

Man helping woman into church

EAST WINDS DISTRICT … Exercising spiritual gifts at Clio: Bethany UMC … the gift of compassion. A parking lot greeter assists a member into the building for worship. See more at Clio Bethany United Methodist.

Rev. Paul Webster blessed by Zambian Annual ConferenceMISSIONARY NEWS … Bishop Kasop Owan blesses the Rev. Paul Webster at the Zambia Annual Conference. This is a  departing blessing for Paul who leaves his assignment at Mujila Falls Agricutural Centre to begin a three-year term as a “Mission Advocate” for Agricultural Missionaries of the General Board of Global Ministries. Paul says, “It is hard to leave my friends and project of many years, but I know I am leaving it in capable hands and some of my skills can be passed on to others. I will be leaving Zambia after the 15th of October and be living at my farm in Western Wisconsin.”

Women crafting book bags for school

NORTHERN WATERS DISTRICT … The United Methodist Women of Mancelona UMC participate in a work bee to create book bags for needy children and prepare homemade winter scarves and hats (created by the Knit Chicks) for donations to needy folks this winter. See more at Mancelona UMC.

Snapshot of Vitality -- Wesley Park UMC

MIDWEST DISTRICT …  Pastor Dean Prentiss celebrates reception of new members at Wesley Park UMC on September 16. He says, “Mae reminded us that life is to be lived fully. She is 91 and was baptized today. What an amazing group of people joining Wesley Park this morning!

Snapshot of Vitality -- Harbor Springs UMC

NORTHERN WATERS DISTRICT … No separation of sheep and goats in Harbor Springs. Pastor Susan Thorpe Hitts presides at the Blessing of the Pets in the Harbor Springs UMC parking lot on September 16. “We welcomed 20 dogs, one Amazonian Parrot, a chinchilla, and a goat.” See more at Alanson and Harbor Springs UMCs

Snapshot of Vitality ... Royal Oak 1st UMC
GREATER DETROIT DISTRICT … Royal Oak First’s men’s team took first place at the 13th Annual Cass Community Golf Scramble. It was a great event to raise funds to support Cass Community’s mission. See more at Royal Oak First UMC.

Snapshot of Vitality ... Union City United Methodist Church

GREATER SOUTHWEST DISTRICT … The congregation is not hiding their light under a bushel as Union City UMC launches its new contemporary worship service. See more at Union City United Methodist Church.

Snapshot of Vitality -- Kalamazoo 1st UMC

GREATER SOUTHWEST DISTRICT … Pick-up basketball continues on Wednesday evenings in the parking lot of Kalamazoo 1st UMC through the end of Sept. A great way to be in ministry with people in the neighborhood. See more at First United Methodist Church of Kalamazoo.

Snapshots of Vitality -- Cass Community Green Industries

GREATER DETROIT DISTRICT … 17 tons of shredded paper are headed to the paper mill thanks to Cass Community Green Industries. See more at Cass Community Social Services.

Snapshot of Vitality -- Sutton Sunshine UMC

CENTRAL BAY DISTRICT … During worship on September 9 at Sutton-Sunshine UMC, 175 preemie gowns, 10 receiving blankets, 10 isolet covers and some quilts were blessed for use by neighbors. Items were donated to the Natal Intensive Care Unit at Covenant Hospital in Saginaw. Twenty-one women participated in the sewing, including several from Cass City and Frankenmuth UMCs and others.

Snapshot of Vitality -- Coldwater

GREATER SOUTHWEST DISTRICT … Five volunteers traveled from Coldwater, Michigan to Midwest Mission Distribution Center in Chathan, IL last week. One of their tasks was to fill the Cleaning Buckets that are much in demand at disaster sites across the U.S. See more at Coldwater UMC.

Snapshot of Vitality -- New Heart UMC

CENTRAL BAY DISTRICT … Fresh haircuts were just one facet of the Back-to-School Kick Off hosted by New Heart United Methodist Church.  See more at New Heart UMC.

Snapshot of Vitality -- Nardin Park UMC

GREATER DETROIT DISTRICT …  A little polish and a lot of TLC. The hand bells get ready for another season of ringing at Nardin Park UMC in Farmington. See more at Nardin Park UMC .

Snapshot of Vitality--Flint: Court Street

EAST WINDS DISTRICT … All eyes are on the baby being baptized by Revs Jeremy Peters and Christy Miller-Black. Flint: Court Street welcomes another young disciple. 

Valley Church prepares care packages for students

MIDWEST DISTRICT … Volunteers stayed after worship at Valley Church Allendale on September 2 to prepare over 2,200 packs of Ramen to hand out Grand Valley State University students. “Pray that these can be used to help connect students in community to help them live for God, for People, for a Change!” See more at Valley Church Allendale.

Farwell UMC float in Labor Day Parade

CENTRAL BAY DISTRICT … Labor Day witness. Parade theme was “Summer Fun” and “Hooked on Jesus” was awarded best decorated float in the Farwell Parade on September 3. Good job Farwell United Methodists! See more at Farwell UMC.

Snapshot of Vitality - Holly Calvary UMC

EAST WINDS DISTRICT … A traditional Mexican yarn craft — Ojo de Dios (Eye of God) — engages VBS participants at Holly: Calvary United Methodist Church. See much more at Holly Calvary UMC

Snapshot of Vitality - GR First

MIDWEST DISTRICT … Cooling off at the Neighborhood Picnic hosted in downtown Grand Rapids by First United Methodist Church. See much more at First United Methodist Church.

Snapshot of Vitality - Engadine UMC

NORTHERN SKIES DISTRICT … That foil dinner is a work of art! Confirmation class of Engadine and Newberry UMCs is rockin’ on the shores of Lake Superior. See more at God’s Country Cooperative Parish.

Snapshot of Vitality - Wagarville

CENTRAL BAY DISTRICT … Wagarville United Methodist Church helped fund and distribute food to neighbors in need. Over 200 boxes filled and shared. See more at Wagarville Community UMC.

Snapshot of Vitality - CMU WesleyMICHIGAN CAMPUS MINISTRIES … Hot dog! Good food and good company at the Sunday dinners in Mt. Pleasant! Jake and other therapy dogs showed up for fellowship and chow at CMU Wesley. See more at Wesley at CMU.

Snapshot of Vitality - Sturgis UMC

GREATER SOUTWEST DISTRICT … Fifteen volunteers from Sturgis: First UMC recently traveled to Trevor, Wisconsin on behalf of The United Methodist Committee on Relief to help repair homes ravaged by floods a few years ago. They also did landscaping, worked at the local church and daycare center, and helped at the Community Center garden. Many people have participated in every such trip over the last eight years and keep coming back because it gives them such joy to spread God’s love and care for His people. Many report they really appreciate getting to know the families they are assisting, and hearing their stories, triumphs and frustrations. Pastor Jeanne Garza concluded, “The mission trip offers individuals the opportunity to be the hands and feet of Christ. The time has a lasting impact on those being served as well as those who are serving. Lives are changed and that affects the way the local church embraces ministry with others.”  Shared by Jessica Walsworth.

Woman repairing bicycle

MICHIGAN MINISTRIES … The Earn-A-Bike Program is back in full swing at NOAH Project in Detroit. Clients learn to fix different parts of the bike as well as how to follow the rules of the road, and most importantly keep the bike for their personal use. Have a bike? Drop it off at NOAH Project Monday-Thursday from 9 a.m. – 4 p.m. and Friday 9 a.m. – 2 p.m. NOAH Project is located at Detroit: Central UMC. See more.

Snapshot of Vitality - Mt. Pleasant 1stUMCCENTRAL BAY DISTRICT … The great outdoors comes to the sanctuary of Mt. Pleasant 1st UMC. VBS kids and youth led worship on August 4 sharing their experience of Rolling River Rampage. See more.

Snapshot of Vitality - Grand Rapids Trinity UMC

MIDWEST DISTRICT … A new sign in the churchyard of Grand Rapids: Trinity UMC. Trinity hast supported Scouting for 100 years. Both President Ford and Astronaut Roger B. Chaffee are distinguished alums. 

Snapshot of Vitality - Montague

GREATER DETROIT DISTRICT … Volunteers are working overtime to help get ready for the Tiny Home Progressive Dinner Tour August 30-September 2. Helping hands on August 25 came from Birmingham First UMC Youth Group and the Cranbrook Football Team. Click to learn more about the tour.

Snapshot of Vitality - Montague UMC
MIDWEST DISTRICT … Pastor Mike Riegler teaches about Baptism. “We learned. We loved. We served.” Montague United Methodist Church just completed their 2nd Annual VBS Family Camp-Out. See much more at Montague Methodist

Snapshot of Vitality - Big Rapids Wesley House

MICHIGAN MINISTRIES … That’s not a dollhouse. It’s an awesome “little pantry” for the Big Rapids Wesley House.  Gordon Mallet (blue shirt), one of Pastor Devon Herrell’s parishioners,  built it and it is now located in the University Center. It is stocked and ready to feed hungry students. “Take what you need and give what you can See more at Big Rapids Wesley House.

Snapshot of Vitality - Cass Community UMC

GREATER DETROIT DISTRICT … Was he remembering his baptism at the time?? Rev. Jon Reynolds took a turn in the dunk tank at the recent Cass Community UMC picnic. “All three ministers took turns in the dunk tank and together they raised $292 for the 2019 Cass Liberia mission team.” See more at Cass Community UMC.

Snapshot of Vitality - Grand Rapids Trinity UMCMIDWEST DISTRICT … An artist with HAPI (Haitian Artisans for Peace International) demonstrates her craft for Grand Rapids: Trinity United Methodist Church member Carol Hillman. See much more of Trinity’s recent trip to Haiti at Trinity UMC Grand Rapids

Lake Louise Camp and Retreat CenterNORTHERN WATERS DISTRICT … Rev. Anita Hahn, Superintendent of the Northern Waters District, keeps her eye on the ball during a game at “As We Are 2018” camp at Lake Louise.

Clark Retirement Community Groundbreaking August 2018

MICHIGAN INSTITUTIONS … August 15 marked the groundbreaking at Clark Retirement Community of 22 brand new independent living apartments at the Franklin Campus. See more at Clark Retirement Community.

Snapshots of Vitality - Eaton Rapids UMC

MID-MICHIGAN DISTRICT … Eaton Rapids First UMC enjoys family time at Lakeview Camp. Campfire, tie-dye, devotions and a good time had by all. See more at First United Methodist Church Eaton Rapids.

Snapshot of Vitality--Ferndale UMC

GREATER DETROIT DISTRICT … On the anniversary of the violence in Charlottesville, Ferndale 1st United Methodist Church invited the community to share love on a day where the nation remembered the hate. See more at Greater Detroit District.

Crystal Springs Camp Staff at Old Rugged Cross site

MICHIGAN UMCAMPING … As Crystal Springs Camp transitions between Camp season and Retreat season, their staff hit the road for a few days of service around the community. They spent one afternoon at The Old Rugged Cross Garden between Niles and Dowagiac. The crew stained bridges, power washed brick sidewalks, and trimmed bushes. While they were at it, they cleaned the rain gutters at Pokagon United Methodist Church which is located across the street. See more at Crystal Springs Camp & Retreat Center.

Snapshot of Vitality - Justice For Our Neighbors SEMI
MICHIGAN MINISTRY … Supporting Justice For Our Neighbors is a family affair. While their mom, Kirstin Hutala Karoub, coordinates clinic activities, Nora and Charlotte prepare materials for men in detention.

Snapshot of Vitality - Trinity Community Ministries

MIDWEST DISTRICT … Trinity Community Ministries went fishing with a few of the older Community Ministries youth. Says director Matt Witkowski, “We caught a few fish, asked lots of questions and enjoyed our time together on the water. ” See more at Community Ministries Program.

Snapshot of Vitality - Marquette Hope


NORTHERN SKIES DISTRICT … Igloos under construction at Marquette Hope’s Connection Center. Getting ready for “Polar Blast” Vacation Bible School where “Jesus’ Love is Cool.” See more at Marquette Hope.

Snapshot of Vitality South Lyon 1st UMC

HERITAGE DISTRICT … Flat Prophet Habakkuk helps South Lyon UMC member, Jason Plaunt, call bingo at South Lyon Senior Care. See more at South Lyon UMC.

Snapshot of Vitality Birmingham 1st UMC

GREATER DETROIT DISTRICT … Redford Brightmoor Initiative was blessed to have 45 members of the Christians Summer Mission Team from Birmingham First UMC spend a day picking up trash, painting boards, preparing an abandoned lot for boarding up, helping organize the Free Store, and working in the community garden. See more at Redford Brightmoor Initiative.

Snapshot of Vitality Camp Kinawind

MICHIGAN UMCAMPING … Ever tried to eat a meal with only a whisk or a measuring spoon or flapjack turner? Take a look at Wacky Utensil Meal at Camp Kinawind. Keep that pinky extended! See more at Camp Kinawind.

Snapshot of Vitality Motown Mission

GREATER DETROIT DISTRICT … Each Tuesday the summer staffers of Motown Mission visit a new place with the opportunity to hear from a Church leader. A favorite was visiting with Mark Doyal to hear how he became the Michigan Conference Director of Communications. See more at Motown Mission.

Snapshot of Vitality Traverse City Central

NORTHERN WATERS DISTRICT … Pastor Chris Lane assists in the blessing of the animals during Traverse City: Central UMC Church in the Park. See more at Central UMC Traverse City.

Snapshot of Vitality Kalamazoo First UMC

GREATER SOUTHWEST DISTRICT … Emerging Worship at Kalamazoo: First UMC. “Oh, Sweet Wildflower” theme share by Pastor Dan Duncan with children. “Generous God, thank you for the gifts you bestow upon us daily. Make us aware of each blessing that comes our way and create in us the constant desire to be a blessing to others.” See more at First United Methodist Church of Kalamazoo.

Snapshot of Vitality: God's Country Cooperative Parish

NORTHERN SKIES DISTRICT … Woodcutting 101 at God’s Country Cooperative Parish. GCCP hosts mission teams from all over Michigan and beyond to assist in sharing God’s love with their hands and feet in minor home repairs. God’s love is also shared through a variety of outreach ministries in the seven GCCP communities in the eastern Upper Peninsula. See more at God’s Country Cooperative Parish.

Snapshot of Vitality: Jonesville UMC VBS 2018

HERITAGE DISTRICT … Flying with the Lord at Jonesville United Methodist Church’s Vacation Bible School. See much more at Jonesville UMC.

Snapshot of Vitality-Sanford UMC

CENTRAL BAY DISTRICT … CENTRAL BAY DISTRICT … July 1 was a day of celebration for Sanford United Methodist Church and their pastor. The Rev. Lisa Cook began her 22nd year in ministry with a baptism in Sanford Lake. See more on Facebook/ Sanford MI UMC.

GREATER SOUTHWEST DISTRICT … Kid’s Adventure Program at Kalamazoo First UMC. Parachute & Bible Study time with two Mission Interns, Jake and Janea. Reported by Paul Perez.

NORTHERN WATERS DISTRICT … VBS fun at Epworth UMC in Brethren, MI. “Beach Bash theme was a blast!” See more at Epworth UMC.

NORTHERN SKIES DISTRICT … On the road with Jesus. Lilliana Bowling driving accompanied by her sister Raina Bowling and friend Alaina Mahler. Representing Skandia Campus of Marquette: Hope United Methodist Church in Skandia Days Parade.

EAST WINDS DISTRICT … Again this summer Flint: Bethel United Methodist Church is hosting a Children’s Defense Fund Freedom School. July 23rd was Social Action Day. Young scholars and interns spent the morning talking to participants of Bethel’s Community Resource Center about voter registration. Reported on Facebook by Paul Perez.

GREATER DETROIT DISTRICT … Cass Community Social Services gave a solar presentation at the Assumption School in St. Clair Shores. These two students turned on the lights! See more at Cass Community Social Services.

HERITAGE DISTRICT … Hanging out with Ronald. Dexter UMC Home groups like to study/pray together, do-life together and SERVE together. The Pinckney Area Home group recently served meals to the folks at the Ronald McDonald House.

GREATER SOUTHWEST DISTRICT … Not every Volunteer in Mission Team has super heroes in the kitchen. Vicksburg United Methodist Church does. The team is in Parksley, Virginia painting, serving meals, studying the Bible, learning about social issues and sharing faith with new friends. See much more at Vicksburg UMC.

HERITAGE DISTRICT … Rev. Tom Zimmerman and staff at Saline First United Methodist Church accepting the Wayne C. Barrett Stewardship Leader Award. See more at United Methodist Foundation of Michigan.

GREATER DETROIT DISTRICT … Detroit: Metropolitan UMC takes it to the streets to spread the gospel outside the church’s walls. In response to a summer sermon series, Andrea Apel, Choir Director, took Metropolitan’s music to Eastern Market. Jeanette Harris reports: “Shoppers scrambling to get the best price on organic fruits and vegetables, flowers and fresh bakery goods, had their spirits lifted by music. Strains of ‘Lift Every Voice and Sing’ and Leonard Cohen’s, ‘Hallelujah,’ rose above the din of Detroit’s busiest farmers’ market. There were no bucket tips. Instead shoppers were given tips on the ministries offered at Metropolitan. As they slowed down to listen, shoppers were reminded that Metropolitan’s doors are open and there’s a place for them.” Left-right: Matt Miller, Denzel Donald, Ciera Williams, and Andrea Apel. See more at Metropolitan United Methodist Church.

NORTHERN WATERS DISTRICT … Combined effort of Lake City United Methodist Church and St. John Lutheran Church delivered 185 cases of water to Flint. Rev. Jean Smith pastors both congregations.

GREATER DETROIT DISTRICT … Summers are a busy time at NOAH project in Detroit. Birmingham First’s 4th-5th grade youth group serves at the Bag Lunch Program. See more at NOAH Project Detroit.

GREATER DETROIT DISTRICT … Detroit: Conant Avenue UMC took a trip to Petersburg, Kentucky to visit the Noah’s Ark and Creation Museum June 13-15.
NORTHERN WATERS DISTRICT … Three up-north congregations — Mancelona, Alba and Northport — came together on June 24 to “celebrate our diversity and our alikeness.” Hosted at Mancelona, the congregation welcomed Pastor Terry Wildman and his wife Darlene from Northport Indian UMC. Together they shared a duet, Rain Song. “A wonderful sermon and soulful songs filled the sanctuary as together we worshiped our God.” See more at Mancelona United Methodist Church.

MIDWEST DISTRICT … A royal appearance at Wolf Lake United Methodist Church Bible School. See more scenes from Babylon at Wolf Lake UMCNORTHERN SKIES DISTRICT … Grab your kerchief and mosey to Vacation Bible School. It’s a Barnyard RoundUp at Gwinn United Methodist Church. See more at Gwinn UMC.

GREATER SOUTHWESTERN DISTRICT … Youth from Otsego United Methodist Church travelled to New York City to be in ministry at A House on Beekman. “We were able to experience a small part of the Lord’s work in rejuvenating the South Bronx and reach a hand across to our brothers and sisters in Christ in NYC!” See more at Otsego UMC.

CENTRAL BAY DISTRICT … Disciples from Mt. Pleasant First UMC are in Illinois serving at Midwest Mission Distribution Center. Packing kits, making desks, and loving Jesus. See more at First United Methodist Church of Mt. Pleasant.NORTHERN WATERS DISTRICT … Northport Indian Mission UMC participates in the Cherry Festival Powwow in Traverse City. See more at Northport Indian Mission UMC.
GREATER DETROIT DISTRICT … The Rev. Jon Reynolds and family serve Communion at Cass Community United Methodist Church where he now serves as the Associate Pastor. See more at Cass Community UMC.

NORTHERN WATERS DISTRICT … 1740: John Wesley announces “Free Grace” … 2018: Kate Hitts announces “Free Popsicles” during Harbor Springs 4th of July festivities. “Both are a blessing!” says Pastor Susan Thorpe Hitts.

GREATER DETROIT DISTRICT … A young musician at Centro Familiar Cristiano UMC in Detroit is a living example of Proverbs 22:6 … “Start children off on the way they should go, and even when they are old they will not turn from it.” See more at CFCUMC Detroit.

MIDWEST DISTRICT … Montague United Methodist Church had a float in the 4th of July Parade inviting neighbors to get S’more of Jesus! See more at Montague Methodist.

GREATER DETROIT DISTRICT … The Rev. Dirk Elliott, Michigan Conference Director of Congregational Vibrancy, reports: “Blessed to be in worship this evening (July 8) at the Vietnamese UM Fellowship in Detroit with Pastor Nhan Duc Nguyen.

CENTRAL BAY DISTRICT … Essexville UMC travels back in time to Rome for Vacation Bible School. Apostle Eric Stone enacts a scene from “Paul and the Underground Church.” See more at St. Luke’s United Methodist Church of Essexville.

NORTHERN SKIES DISTRICT …  Marquette Hope members, young and old, enjoyed Teddy Bear Camp at Camp Michigamme. Pastors Chris and Kristi share communion in the great outdoors. See more at Marquette Hope and Camp Michigamme.

MICHIGAN MINISTRIES … The Rev. Wayne Barrett, on behalf of the United Methodist Foundation of Michigan, presented a $10,000 scholarship to Susan Thorpe Hitts, pastor of Alanson and Harbor Springs, during worship at Harbor Springs UMC on July 1. “I am ever so grateful to the United Methodist Foundation of Michigan for this amazing blessing!” Hitts said.

EAST WINDS DISTRICT … ARM 2018 (Adult Righteous Mission) was held the week of June 18th at Clarkston UMC. ARM had projects at both CUMC and Hope Warming Center in Pontiac. See more at Clarkston UMC.

HERITAGE DISTRICT … Jackson First UMC Youth travels to the Northern Skies District to share Christ’s love at God’s Country Cooperative Parish. See more at God’s Country Cooperative Parish.MICHIGAN UM CAMPING … Zorb Night at Crystal Springs Camp Near Dowagiac. New knocker balls used for a game of musical rings. See this and more fun times at Crystal Springs.

MICHIGAN MISSION & MINISTRY … US-2 Isaac Dunn finishes two years of service at NOAH Project Detroit. NOAH Executive Director Amy Brown wishes him well in the next chapter of his ife and ministry. Isaac is moving to Denver, CO to pursue a Master’s of Divinity. See more at NOAH Project Detroit.
GRAND RAPIDS DISTRICT … L-r: Ransom Leppink, Board Chair of the Michigan United Methodist Foundation, presenting the Wayne C. Barrett Steward Leader Award at Valley Church (Allendale). Accepting the award are Zach McNees,Student Ministries, and Matt Bistayi, Lead Pastor. HERITAGE DISTRICT … Members of South Lyon UMC are being accompanied by Flat Prophet Amos this summer. Flat Prophet just crossed the Mighty Mackinac Bridge. He is now a Yooper! Follow Flat Prophet’s travels on Facebook at South Lyon First United Methodist Church.

SAGINAW BAY DISTRICT …   “One Day One Street” is underway in Saginaw. “One Street is a local mission project which serves the Saginaw community by improving the quality of life for the residents through neighborhood revitalization efforts. We believe the church is commanded to ‘love our neighbors as ourselves’ and called to demonstrate God’s love in our communities.” See much more at OWOS.

MARQUETTE DISTRICT … Beneath the cross of Jesus under a heavenly blue sky at God’s Country Cooperative Parish. The cross was erected at GCCP’s new building, a refurbished school on the south side of Newberry. See more at God’s Country Cooperative Parish.

GRAND RAPIDS DISTRICT … On the sea with Jesus at Grand Rapids: Trinity Vacation Bible School, “Shipwrecked.” “No matter what, Jesus rescues!”

MICHIGAN CONFERENCE … Kirby just moved from Battle Creek to New Baltimore. He expresses the state of every parsonage family caught in the middle of changing appointments. Says Dog Dad, Brian Steele, “We’re all moved in. All is well. This is how we’re feeling.

GRAND RAPIDS DISTRICT … The Youth Group at Byron Center United Methodist Church planned, organized, and implemented this steer for the Byron Center Chamber of Commerce’s annual campaign Steer In To Byron Center Event. Creative and colorful community witness.

DETROIT RENAISSANCE DISTRICT … The Rev. Paul Perez was present at Detroit: Metropolitan UMC on June 10 to announce the 2018 recipients of the Centennial Scholarship Fund. Himself a previous recipient, the Michigan Conference Associate Director for Mission and Ministry reminded scholars that they must relate their heads to their hearts. Rev. Perez went on to say that today’s issues demand this relationship to create the empathy that is necessary to emulate the heart of Christ. The scholarship fund was created in 1985 and $1.2 million have been awarded to Methodist students around the globe since then. The fund is endowed by members and friends of Metropolitan UMC. On October 1, 2018, scholarship applications for 2019 will be on Metropolitan’s website: “Education is a Methodist obsession,” said the late Rev. Dr. William K. Quick upon launching the effort.

GRAND RAPIDS DISTRICT … Michigan welcomes the Rev. Steve Manskar to Grand Rapids: Trinity United Methodist Church. A clergyman from Minnesota, he comes to The Michigan Conference from the staff of Discipleship Ministries. Wesley had his horse. Steve has his bike. “Do all the good you can … pedaling as fast as ever you can!?”
GRAND RAPIDS DISTRICT … On May 20 over 35 couples from Valley Church got together to say “We Still Do” at the Little Red Barn in Nunica! Delicious dinner, fun dancing, some games, and cake were enjoyed as well as a powerful message on working continuously on our marriages from Pastor Matt Bistayi. See more at Valley Church Allendale.

ANN ARBOR DISTRICT … Ten families from Novi United Methodist Church pitched their tents in the churchyard last week for the First Annual Family Campout. A great time was had by all. See much more at Novi United Methodist Church.
SAGINAW BAY DISTRICT … Ranger Scott Sherrill, pastor of Vassar: First UMC, has his VBS hat on getting ready for Sonrise National Park Vacation Bible School. See more at Vassar First UMC.

GRAND RAPIDS DISTRICT … Grand Haven: Church of the Dunes asked for 80 VBS sponsors and got 160. See more at United Methodist Church of the Dunes.

SAGINAW BAY DISTRICT … Pastor Tony Tomasino welcomes six new members to God’s Kingdom and Caro United Methodist Church. See more at Caro UMC.

GRAND TRAVERSE DISTRICT … Pastor Melanie Young is ready to labor in the Garden of the Lord. Pentwater Centenary UMC says goodbye as she moves to Ovid United Church. See more at Centenary UMC.

SAGINAW BAY DISTRICT … The Bavarian Fest Kinder Parade was a little soggy on June 10, but Super Hero kids and grown-ups from Frankenmuth United Methodist Church, picked up their sign and braved the elements to witness for God in their hometown. See more at Frankenmuth UMC.CROSSROADS DISTRICT … Surprise volunteer at the Help Center. Niko Goodrum from the Detroit Tigers helped pass out water at Flint: Bethel United Methodist Church on June 11. See more at Flint Water Crisis: United Methodist Response.
KALAMAZOO DISTRICT … You can’t get a good Christian woman down. This brave soul made it to her seat in the pew at Otsego United Methodist Church on June 10. Jesus loves you! See more at Otsego UMC.

DETROIT RENAISSANCE DISTRICT … “Take Out Church” starts with a pizza box. Nardin Park UMC explains: “Summer is almost here… and if you are traveling then why not take some church with you? “Take Out Church” is a 10″ pizza box with activities for your family to use at home or traveling. Each piece inside the box helps deepen our spirituality and offers guidance in the practice of our faith, in times of quite, in times of laughter and fun! Even when we are outside the walls of the church, we are still members of the family of God.” See more at Nardin Park UMC.

CROSSROADS DISTRICT … a student made some new friends during Clean and Green Day at the community garden. See more at Flint: Asbury UMC.

GRAND RAPIDS DISTRICT … Grand Rapids First takes the sacrament to the sidewalk.  Rev. Tim Tuthill shares Communion and Community. See more at First UMC Grand Rapids.

CONGREGATIONAL VIBRANCY … Rev. Dirk Elliott (left) and Bishop David Bard (right) bless those leaders involved in starting new churches around the new Michigan Conference. L-r: Rev. Lindsey Hall, Associate pastor Birmingham: First UMC and spouse of the Rev. Jon Reynolds, Associate Cass Community UMC/Midtown Detroit; Rev. Banza Mukalay, Grand Rapids: Restoration UMC; and Revs John K. Ilunga Ngoi and Gertrude M. Mukalay, Detroit: Africa Diaspora UMC.
SAGINAW BAY … Rev. Carl Gladstone, staff for Discipleship Ministries Young People’s Ministries, and Bridget Nelson, Coordinator of Youth Ministry Development for the Michigan Conference, introduce Izzy Nowak. Active at Pinconning UMC, Izzy will be attending the Global Young People’s Convocation in Johannesburg, South Africa July 18-22, 2018.MICHIGAN DISTRICTS …Nine Superintendents of new Michigan Conference districts pick up the baton and are ready to race. L-r: Rev. Dr. Charles Boayue (Greater Detroit); Rev. Elizabeth Hill (Heritage); Rev. Dwayne Bagley (Greater Southwest); Rev. John Hice (East Winds); Rev. Dr. Jerome DeVine (Mid-Michigan); Rev. Margie Crawford (Midwest); Rev. David Kim (Central Bay); Rev. Anita Hahn (Northern Waters); and Rev. Scott Harmon (Northern Skies).
CROSSROADS DISTRICT … A congregation supports their pastor. The bus from Flint to Traverse City was on the road June 3. Passengers prayed for those worshiping at Court Street while they travelled to attend worship at Annual Conference  to celebrate the ordination of the Rev. Christy Miller Black. See more at Court Street UMC.

GRAND TRAVERSE DISTRICT … Native American congregations welcomed Annual Conference goers for dinner on Friday evening. Those who traveled to Charlevoix enjoyed drumming and dancing at Greensky Hill Indian United Methodist Church.

MICHIGAN MINISTRIES … Outgoing Board of Ordained Ministry Chair, the Rev. Sherri Swanson, is congratulated by the Rev. John Boley (left) and Bishop David Bard. Sherri received the Lynn Grimes Spirit Award on Saturday during a Celebration of the Journey of Ministry.

LANSING DISTRICT … During his introduction as Lansing (soon to be Mid-Michigan) District Superintendent, the Rev. Dr. Jerome DeVine helped conference members re-enact a gospel story on the Sea of Galilee. The “vintage oar” was then given to Bishop Bard.MICHIGAN UM CAMPING … Members of Annual Conference gather at the “firebowl” at Saturday evening’s Camp Ministries Dinner. Diners learned that United Methodist sites hosted 22,000 participants in 2017.