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Snapshots of Vitality 2019 – Jan thru May

Young Adult Missionaries serving Michigan

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.

Anita Hahn with two children

NORTHERN WATERS DISTRICT … Two young disciples wish District Superintendent Anita Hahn well as she prepares to say goodbye after eight years in leadership with Northern Waters (Grand Traverse) districts. See more at Northern Waters District.

Sand Hill Cranes at Judson Collins

MICHIGAN AREA CAMPING … The wonders of creation! Early Birds at Judson Collins Center. This Sand Hill Crane family was spotted on the grounds. Join the naming contest at Judson Collins Center.

Woman at sewing machine

GREATER SOUTHWEST DISTRICT … St. Joe First UMC traveled to Midwest Mission Distribution Center early May and had an amazing time serving God. They “packed meal packages with new missionary friends, helped put together clean up buckets being shipped to Dearborn, Michigan to aid in flood cleanup (2,500 buckets!), sorted linen and even learned how to drive a pallet jack!” See more at St. Joe First UMC.

Women in poodle skirts
MIDWEST DISTRICT … The Annual Holy Humor Sunday at East Nelson UMC featured a 50s Sock Hop. Be there or be square. Poodle skirts, dungarees, classic cars and icecream. See more at East Nelson UMC.

Men working on a bench

HERITAGE DISTRICT … South Lyon First UMC sent a team to the U.P. to help build benches for God’s Country Cooperative Parish. Great job by our team who worked in the U.P. this weekend making benches for God’s Country Co-Operative Parish! Each bench will raise $250 for GCCP! See more at South Lyon First UMC.

Volunteers at a Habitat for Humanity site

NORTHERN WATERS DISTRICT … May Super Serve Saturday found volunteers from Traverse City: Central UMC active a numerous sites, including the Habitat for Humanity Build. See more at Central United Methodist Church Traverse City.

Youth lead worship.

MIDWEST DISTRICT … Youth of Grand Rapids: First UMC lead worship on May 20. “Watch the Giants Fall” based on Psalm 27:1, Matthew 6:25-27, and 1 Samuel 17:37-50. See much more at First United Methodist Church.

Communion Service with confirmands

CENTRAL BAY DISTRICT … Confirmands help serve Communion at Frankenmuth UMC. Four young disciples commit their prayers, presence, gifts, service and witness.  See more at Frankenmuth United Methodist Church.

Children with rhythm instruments

EAST WINDS DISTRICT … Linden UMC donated school supplies and receiving blankets to the Midwest Mission Distribution Center. Many school supplies were purchased by the money collected by our kids during their Joy of Jesus band performances. Along with the school supplies, the women of UMW made and donated 36 receiving blankets for families in need. See more at Linden United Methodist Church.

Woman talking outdoors

HERITAGE DISTRICT … Superintendent Rev. Elizabeth Hill shared her camping history with those gathered at Judson Collins Center for the District Goes to Camp work day last weekend. “She reminded us during worship that Jesus modeled for us the need to retreat and reconnect with God. He did so many times throughout his ministry. Our Michigan Area United Methodist Camps are sacred spaces where God will meet you and renew your strength.” See more at Michigan Area United Methodist Camping.

People measuring food

EAST WINDS DISTRICT …  70 from East Winds District Mission Zone #4 gave their Saturday morning to prepare 10,000 meal packets for Children Against Hunger. Superintendent John Hice thanks Pastor Tara Sutton, Mission Zone Facilitator, for her vision and leadership. See more at East Winds District.

Woman selling art work

MICHIGAN MINISTRIES … NOAH Project Detroit held their annual Art & Soul sale Mother’s Day weekend.  Art & Soul is a program held Thursdays at the NOAH Project that gives their clients a creative outlet. They sale provides an opportunity for them to sell their creations. See more at NOAH Project Detroit.

Women sorting groceries

MICHIGAN MINISTRIES … Last weekend the United States Postal Service did a food drive. What happened to the bag of groceries you set out by your mailbox. It went to places like Mission For Area People. Volunteers from Muskegon: Central United Methodist Church are sorting the goods that the USPS gifted MAP. See more at Muskegon Central United Methodist Church.

Woman distributing potatoes

EAST WINDS DISTRICT … Many hands make light work and serve many neighbors. Bethel United Methodist Church is the site of one of three Help Centers in the city of Flint, distributing water, nutritious food, and personal care products. Volunteers from Mott College helped with the give-away on May 13. See more at Flint Bethel UMC.

Blood Drive at Crystal Falls UMC

NORTHERN SKIES DISTRICT … Reported by Pastor Vicky Prewitt: “On May 10, 2019, Crystal Falls Christ United Methodist Church again teamed up with the American Red Cross and the Forest Park High School to hold a blood drive. Students manned the registration table and signed up donors. This effort is part of the Red Cross Leaders Save Lives Scholarship, giving the student skills in leadership while helping them to earn scholarship money. By the end of the day, 23 donors stopped by, donating 18 units of whole blood, and 4 units of power red cells. Each unit of blood saves three lives, so it turned out to be a wonderful day for life!” Learn more about this congregation.

UMW 150th Party

UNITED METHODIST WOMEN … It’s a party! United Methodist Women from Wagarville UMC visited Clare UMW to celebrate the 150th anniversary of United Methodist Women. Great food, fun, and a program featuring Linda Darrow, President Michigan UMW.

Otsego 5th graders with Pastor Joe Shaler

GREATER SOUTHWEST DISTRICT … Otsego UMC celebrated their annual 5th grade Communion on May 5. “A time to celebrate and recognize our 5th graders who are finishing elementary Sunday school this year and will be moving on to Middle School Sunday school and youth group … Can’t wait to watch these students continue to learn and grow in their faith and shine their lights for Jesus!” See more at Otsego United Methodist Church.

Pastor and wife in parsonage front yard

MIDWEST DISTRICT … Zach and Sarah McNees have moved to serve a new appointment in Grand Rapids. They were surprised to find 50+ pinwheels planted in the parsonage lawn with this explanation: “The colorful pinwheel shower of flowers in your yard symbolizes not only our warm welcome but our current and ongoing prayers. Each pinwheel flower represents an individual member of our congregation that held the pinwheel flower and prayed prayers for the two of you, your ministry together, and our time of ministry together on the corner of Northlawn and Fuller!” What an awesome welcome.

Young adult missionaries at retreat

MICHIGAN MINISTRIES …There are five young adult missionaries (US-2s/Global Mission Fellows) serving in Michigan. They recently spent  fun Spring Retreat Day at District5Trampoline Park in Lansing. Left-right front —  Asti White (Kalamazoo Wesley), Lynda Sylvain (Motown Mission), Jinnia Siironen (NOAH Project), Grace Okerson (NOAH Project), and Emily Burns (Kalamazoo: Sunnyside UMC); back — Amy Brown (Director NOAH Project), Paul Perez (Michigan Conference Associate Director for Mission and Ministry), Sarah Alexander (Director  Motown Mission), Jess Davenport (Director Kalamazoo Wesley), and Lisa Batten (Michigan Conference Coordinator of Young Adult Initiatives. 

Man building cupboard

MID-MICHIGAN DISTRICT … Tiny Pantry under construction at Lansing: Asbury UMC. When the cement set on May 7, the congregation started filling the community cupboard, “So that people can take what they need, we should leave what we can.” See more at Asbury UMC – Lansing Michigan.

Faith Fowler with volunteer crew

GREATER DETROIT DISTRICT … Rev. Faith Fowler talks with AT&T volunteers who worked May 10 in Taylor Park (some of it in rain). They installed a special cedar fence with colored glass and benches in the memorial garden, moving mountains of dirt, planting 80 Alberta Dwarf Spruce trees, cutting grass, setting poles for solar lighting…. Cass Community Social Services is very grateful. See more at Cass Community Social Services.

Man with two goats

MICHIGAN MINISTRIES … A mama goat and her kid have arrived on campus as partners in animal-assisted therapy. Now Kevin Roach, CEO of Methodist Children’s Home Society, explains who’s boss. See more at Methodist Children’s Home Society.

Man and Dog

GREATER SOUTHWEST DISTRICT … Pastors and Canines for CROP. Rev. John Fisher, Oshtemo UMC, and Sophia get ready to pound the pavement for hunger relief. 

Women serve communion.

NORTHERN WATERS DISTRICT … Pastor Susan Thorpe Hitts says, “There is something special about serving communion with my teen daughter.” See more at Alanson and Harbor Springs UMCs. 

Front of the sanctuary at Flat Rock UMC

GREATER DETROIT DISTRICT … Lent and Easter at Flat Rock UMC witnessed caterpillars, morphing into chrysalises, then transforming into butterflies.  See more at First United Methodist Church of Flat Rock.

Children portraying Easter story

EAST WINDS DISTRICT … In Faithville, Sunday morning for young people at Swartz Creek UMC,  children told the Easter Story through living pictures (and a little green screen magic). See more at United Methodist Church of Swartz Creek.

Boy hunting Easter eggs

CENTRAL BAY DISTRICT … Tip-toeing through the tulips in Saginaw. New Heart UMC’s Easter Egg Hunt was fun for all ages. See more at New Heart United Methodist Church.

Man, woman and dog moving to Big Rapids.

MICHIGAN MINISTRIES … Wesley House at Ferris State University welcomes new director Kim Bos. Moving to Big Rapids with Wil and Maybelle, Kim starts ministry as campus pastor on July 1. She says: “I could not be more excited to be part of that legacy of the United Methodist Church being a place that values and empowers young people, is passionate about justice and unity, is a safe place to come home to, and continues to build the kingdom of God now.”  Read more at Big Rapids Wesley House.  

Children playing in church sanctuary

CENTRAL BAY DISTRICT … Children learn to share in this space in the sanctuary of Freeland United Methodist Church. They use the Legos to act out what they hear and experience during worship. See more at Freeland UMC.

Youth raise funds for hunger

GREATER SOUTHWEST DISTRICT …April 28th was a beautiful day in Kalamazoo for a Crop Walk. Kalamazoo First UMC walkers and the Youth Tribe raised $1,860. See more at First United Methodist Church of Kalamazoo.

Men cutting wood.

MICHIGAN UNITED METHODIST CAMPING … Volunteer lumberjacks work during spring clean-up at Lakeview United Methodist Camp. Summer’s coming! See more at Lakeview Campground.

Scout Troop at DeWitt REdeemer UMC

MID-MICHIGAN DISTRICT … Feeding His sheep. DeWitt Pack 502 just finished an amazing food drive. 1085 pounds of food collected for the hungry. Good work! See more at Redeemer Church – DeWitt Campus.

Men and boys eating.

GREATER SOUTHWEST DISTRICT … Guys of all ages gather at Otsego United Methodist Church for a “Men of Commitment: Faith, Family and Community” meeting. The speaker on April 27 was Chaplain Gary Bronson, Anger and Drug Abuse Counselor. See more at Otsego UMC.

Human Pyramid

MICHIGAN MINISTRIES … At Journey to the Table, the only pyramids we’re tri-ing to make are systems of support, empowering one another to reach new heights, full of the Holy Spirit. Top–U.S. 2 Missionary Emily Burns; Middle–Rev. Bill Chu MSU Wesley and Rev. Jess Davenport Kalamazoo Wesley; Bottom–Rev. Charlie Farnum CMU Wesley, intern Sarah DeHaan, and seminary student Paul Reissmann.

Woman mulching garden

GREATER SOUTHWEST DISTRICT … On the grow at Sunnyside United Methodist Church in Kalamazoo April 22rd was Mulch Day in the community garden. See more at Sunnyside UMC.

Two pastors at Food Truck

MIDWEST DISTRICT … Two downtown Muskegon pastors, Mark Miller (left) and Duane Bennett, are on hand as 160 people receive food thanks to the partnership of two churches, Muskegon Central United Methodist Church and Mt. Zion Church of God in Christ. See more at Muskegon Central UMC.

Baptism of boy

MIDWEST DISTRICT … The Spirit comes down on a new disciple at Wolf Lake UMC. Pastor Mona Dye celebrates Easter Sunday baptisms at Wolf Lake United Methodist Church. 

Softball team

MID-MICHIGAN DISTRICT … It must be spring! East Lansing: University UMC’s co-ed softball team is preparing to take to the field. Play ball! See more at University UMC — MSU

Children and parents with rhythm sticks

GREATER DETROIT DISTRICT … A-Rum-Pa-Pa-Pum! Parent-Toddler Music Time at Royal Oak First United Methodist Church. See more at Royal Oak First UMC.

Children and pastor with palm fronds

NORTHERN SKIES DISTRICT … “Waving the branch of a palm tree high in my hand!” Palm Sunday at Marquette Hope … reliving one of the stories of Jesus. See more at Marquette Hope.

Lego structure of Bible story

CENTRAL BAY DISTRICT … Check out the detailed scenes the youth Sunday School class at Homer United Methodist Church created last weekend out of LEGOs! Each of the four scenes depicts a different story from the Bible; can you guess which ones?  See more at Homer UMC.

kids fixing meal

HERITAGE DISTRICT … Chelsea First UMC’s 3rd-5th graders had a sleepover at church. Friday night they made a meal for 100 people and Saturday morning a smaller group went to the Jackson Interfaith Shelter to serve lunch. Fun and service all in one event! See more at Chelsea First UMC.

Bible characters come to VBS

GREATER SOUTHWEST DISTRICT … Two special guests came to the spring break Vacation Bible School held at Bronson United Methodist Church. See much more at Bronson UMC.

Cross made of crosses

GREATER DETROIT DISTRICT … Their “Messy Church” made a cross to share with the congregation at Clawson United Methodist Church. See more at Clawson UMC.

Youth shopping

CENTRAL BAY DISTRICT … Freeland UMC turns out to fill Spring Break Basket blessings. On Sunday, the youth group took donations and went shopping. On Wednesday the Gather & Gab met and packed 30 boxes to be given to families in the school district. On March 21 boxes were delivered to the Elementary School. See more at Freeland UMC.

Pastor and girls with chicken

NORTHERN WATERS DISTRICT … Kingsley UMC celebrates the grand opening of Crossroads Farm for 6th-8th graders on Sunday night. Games, awesome worship, and a great message, “Who is Jesus- a lunatic, a liar or our LORD? Jesus is our Lord. See more at Kingsley UMC.

Sign over sanctuary door

NORTHERN SKIES DISTRICT … Never underestimate the value of a good meat pie! Over the open doorway into the sanctuary at Calumet United Methodist Church. See more at Calumet UMC.

Man receiving certificate

MIDWEST DISTRICT … Members of La Nueva Esperanza congratulated by Jodi Pratt (left) and Suzanne McKenzie Hewitt.  “Today they received their certificate for completion of training in ministries of services of the laity … Go ahead in the Lord always!” See more at La Nueva Esperanza UMC

Man with horse mask on

MID-MICHIGAN DISTRICT … Pastor Pete Crawford, Juddville UMC, “likes to dress the part” for his children’s sermons. Right out of the horse’s mouth on April Fool’s Day 2019. See more at Juddville United Methodist Church.

Road cleaning crew

HERITAGE DISTRICT … The “Trash Masters” of Ypsilanti: St. Matthew’s UMC have begun the four-mile 2019 Grove Road Cleanup. See more at St. Matthew’s UMC.

Woman with large fish

MICHIGAN AREA UM CAMPING … And I will make you fishers of … pike. Care takers of the Pike Pond at Lakeview Campground measuring the Pike for the Department of Natural Resources. See more at Lakeview Campground.

Pastor and members at gala dinner

EAST WINDS DISTRICT … Rev. Dr. Joy Moore and parishioners enjoy the Martin Luther King Jr. Tribute Dinner 2019 at Flint: Bethel UMC. See more at Flint Bethel United Methodist Church

Girl with JFON attorney

MICHIGAN MINISTRIES … The Metro Detroit Site of Justice For Our Neighbors Michigan (JFON) hosted a coffee hour at the Beverly Hills UMC on March 24 to thank them for their hospitality. Beverly Hills provides JFON comfortable, free office space. See more at Justice For Our Neighbors Michigan

Sunday School class with hearts

NORTHERN WATERS DISTRICT … Messy Church at Ossineke was all about Noah and renewal … wave bottles and rainbows. See more at Ossineke UMC.

Pancake machine at work

MID-MICHIGAN DISTRICT … Okemos Community Church kicked off the Lenten season with a “40 Stacks for 40 Acts pancake brunch. See more about the 40 Acts of Generosity for Lent.

Congregation blesses work team going to Cuba

MIDWEST DISTRICT … Join Grand Rapids First United Methodist Church in blessing these volunteers in mission. The team left March 30 to travel to their sister
church in Herradura, Cuba. They will return April 6 after spending time supporting and encouraging the Herradura congregation in their ministry. Please keep our mission team in your prayers. See more at First United Methodist Church.

Scouts in Haiti

ENGAGEMI … Haitian Artisans for Peace International (HAPI) partnered with a district scout group a year ago. Local young people were trained to lead a Mizak troupe shown here taking their scout pledge. HAPI Artisans made the uniforms. See more at Haitian Artisans for Peace International.

children rolling dough for pretzels

CENTRAL BAY DISTRICT … Makin’, bakin’ and eatin’ pretzels at Vassar First UMC. A Lenten custom. See more at Vassar First UMC.

People making bread

NORTHERN WATERS DISTRICT … Neighbors from various churches gather at Grant UMC. “Getting to know each other and dreaming about what using our God given gifts and resources might accomplish, together.” Six loaves of bread were made and baked.  See more at Northern Waters District.

Two women in toy car


CENTRAL BAY DISTRICT … Tina Karnath, Children’s Ministries Resource Coordinator, is behind the wheel  and District Admin Terri Rice is riding along in the automobile toward good times with Roar VBS. ~ See more Central Bay District.

Woman and girl with cake.

NORTHERN WATERS DISTRICT … Another congregation celebrates the 150th birthday of the United Methodist Women with a party and women leading in worship. Looking to the next generations of UMW. See more at Michigan United Methodist Women.

Women standing in front of wall of flags

MICHIGAN MINISTRIES … West Michigan Justice For Our Neighbors (JFON) thanks volunteers for a successful clinic held March 21 in Grand Rapids. “We couldn’t do this work without your help!” ~ See more Justice For Our Neighbors West Michigan.


Making baskets for needy

EAST WINDS DISTRICT … Lake Orion UMC participates in making Resurrection Baskets. The Resurrection Baskets are filled with comfort items, snacks, gifts, and candy “to bless the receiver with encouragement and God’s love.” Volunteers will give away the baskets on the streets of Detroit sometime before Easter.  See more at Lake Orion UMC.


Man on bike goes for HeBrews Coffee

CENTRAL BAY DISTRICT … A big thumbs up to HeBrews Coffee Shop! New Heart UMC invites all to stop in for a free coffee and treat every Wednesday betweem 10-12:30. See more at New Heart UMC.

Teens on a basketball court.

MICHIGAN MINISTRIES … More March Madness!! Did you know that the Methodist Children’s Home Society had a basketball team. Yes, they do! Meet the MCHS Hawks. See more at Methodist Children’s Home Society.

Man making pancakes

NORTHERN WATERS DISTRICT … A PHAT Tuesday (Pretty Hot And Tasty) thumbs up from the kitchen of Grayling: Michelson Memorial UMC. Proceeds from the dinner supported the youth group. See more at Michelson Memorial UMC.

Woman wearing prayer shawl
GREATER SOUTHWEST DISTRICT … This prayer shawl brings a big smile to a beloved member of the Otsego UMC family.

Students working on roof for Habitat

MICHIGAN MINISTRIES … Wesley at WMU spent spring break in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida volunteering with Habitat for Humanity in a Collegiate Challenge. “t has been a phenomenal time of roofing homes and learning from outstanding volunteer leaders, and support staff with the HFH of Broward all the while building in community and deepening our relationships with one another,” says team member Asti White.

College students lead worship in Allendale

MIDWEST DISTRICT … Valley Church – Allendale loves and values college students. On March 17 the “College Life Students led worship, preached, served and brought the thunder! Thanks for sharing your hearts and powerful faith in Jesus. For God. For People. For a Change.” ~ See more at Valley Church – Allendale.

Girl at sales table.

EAST WINDS DISTRICT … Delaney sold hair ties to support the Raise the Roof project at Grand Blanc UMC. She raised over $1,100 and got to staple her own shingle. See more at Grand Blanc UMC.

Women with cake

NORTHERN WATERS DISTRICT … Empire United Methodist Church celebrates the 150th birthday of the United Methodist Women.

Cabinet at Shrove Tuesday at East Lansing University UMC

MID-MICHIGAN DISTRICT … Bishop Spotting on the Mid-Michigan District. Bishop Bard and some District Superintendents were seen celebrating Shrove Tuesday with University UMC in East Lansing. The youth were in the kitchen serving up pancakes; donations support their work trip. One young member (to Bishop’s right) got the chance to get her questions answered about recent decisions in St. Louis.

Young person helping clean up hurricane damage

MIDWEST DISTRICT … Bulldog power at work in Florida. The Big Rapids Wesley House is in Panama City doing clean-up from Hurricane Michael, that hit the Florida panhandle in October 2018. These Ferris State students are spending their break helping others. See much more at Big Rapids Wesley House.

Children in their pray space during worship

CENTRAL BAY DISTRICT … Freeland UMC has created a kids’ space in their sanctuary. “For anyone who thinks they don’t listen when they are tinkering…that is far from the case! Today during prayer time they all stopped together and prayed. During communion they stopped and went back to their parents to participate in the sacrament with their families. See more at Freeland UMC.

Feeding the hungry at Cass Community Social Services

HERITAGE DISTRICT … Members from Milford United Methodist Church were at Cass Community Social Services on March 8 to prepare and serve a delicious hot meal for those in need. See more at Milford UMC.

Cake auction supports camp scholarships

MID-MICHIGAN DISTRICT … Sycamore Creek/Potterville  holds an annual cake auction that sends kids from the congregation and community to camp. Summer is coming!!

NMU student balancing rocks


NORTHERN SKIES DISTRICT … Restoring some balance to life on spring break. Students from Northern Michigan University Wesley Campus Ministry/Marquette Hope left the snowy Upper Peninsula for a time of work and play in California. “Dear God, Thank you for the beauty of your creation. We enjoyed it to the fullest today as we worked inside and out around camp, basking in the sun.” See more at NMU Wesley Campus Ministry.

Volunteer at NOAH Project with small boy.

MICHIGAN MINISTRIES … NOAH Project thanks Boston College Appalachia Volunteers who served in the kitchen and interacted with clients . “We are happy that we can always be a place that brings awareness to and breaks stigmas about the homeless.” See more at NOAH Project.

Boy with ashes on his forehead

MIDWEST DISTRICT … Rev. Sherri Swanson, pastor of Georgetown United Methodist Church reports: “Sharing the Imposition of Ashes a day later with the sweetest little fellow who really wanted a cross on his forehead, like his family members received last night. Oh, that we were all so eager to display the cross to the world!

Youth singing at Temple UMC in Muskegon Heights

MICHIGAN MINISTRIES … Pathfinders is a Step 2 Conference Ministry in EngageMI 2019. The Pathfinders Choir is made up of youth ages 7-21 who perform in the greater Muskegon area. This year their annual musical workshop, hosted at Temple UMC in Muskegon Heights, was held on Feb 23 with a focus on black history. See more at Pathfinders of Muskegon.

Quilts in Chelsea Chapel
MICHIGAN MINISTRIES … Chelsea Retirement Community residents shared a wealth of memories when 77 quilts were on display at the Chelsea Retirement Chapel. See more at United Methodist Retirement Communities.

Snowman made of toilet paper

GREATER SOUTHWEST DISTRICT … Do you want to make a snowman?? Family fun night at St. Joe First UMC had some winter fun of the non-frosty variety. See more at St. Joe First UMC.

Mission Day speakers Jackie and Terry Euper
MID-MICHIGAN DISTRICT … Holt United Methodist Church held their Mission Sunday on February 17. They were blessed with a visit by Jackie and Terry Euper, shown here with Margaret Brown. Over $1,100 was raised to help missions in Liberia.

Young winners of Chili Cook out
GREATER SOUTHWEST DISTRICT … The Sixth Annual Chili & Soup Cook-Off was held on February 17 at Kalamazoo: First UMC. A tasty team effort and successful fundraiser for the church’s works of service. See more at First United Methodist Church of Kalamazoo.

Buffalo Soldiers motorcycle group visits Conant Avenue church.
GREATER DETROIT DISTRICT … In conjunction with Black History Month, the Buffalo Soldiers visited Detroit: Conant Avenue UMC on February 17.  They told the story of how the name originated and the role the Buffalo Soldiers played in shaping African American History. These contemporary Buffalo Soldiers are a motorcycle group that volunteers doing community projects in the city of Detroit. See more at Conant Ave United Methodist Church.

Girl making candy
MIDWEST DISTRICT … On February 13 the Youth Group at Wolf Lake: UMC talked about the “ Sweetness of Gods Love in a Salty World.” Then they made homemade chocolate covered caramels, cherries, pretzels, marshmallows and valentine snacks for church home-bound members. See more at Wolf Lake UMC.

Making homemade noodles
GREATER SOUTHWEST DISTRICT … A unique fund raiser by the “Fallen Angels” of Centreville: UMC. The men’s group came together just before Christmas to make fresh pasta to raise money for the church’s general kitchen fund and for some good bonding and fellowship. See more at Centreville UMC.

Pastors shoveling snow
GREATER DETROIT DISTRICT … On a snowy February 12 Birmingham: First UMC demonstrated, “Open Doors, Warm Hands, Open Hearts,” thanks to the efforts of Pastor Shawn Lewis-Lakin, Pastor Lindsay Hall, and Pastor Dan Hart. See more at Birmingham First.

Prayer Circle of Central Bay Mission Team to Philippines
CENTRAL BAY DISTRICT … The Mission Team (Maddie Meyer, Rev. Rob Richards, Rev. Carmen Cook and District Superintendent David Kim)  from the Central Bay District has arrived in the Philippines. “He said to them, ‘Go into all the world and preach the gospel to all creation.'” See more at Central Bay District.

Girls making valentines
GREATER SOUTHWEST DISTRICT … Every month the elementary Faith Travelers Sunday School kids at Otsego: UMC have a “Service Sunday.” In February the children made Valentine centerpieces and placemats for Stanford Lodge Senior Living Center. “These kids enjoyed creating a gift made with love to share the light and love of Jesus in our community! ” See more at Otsego UMC.

Pastor Becky Morrison gets devoured by a shark
MIDWEST DISTRICT … Pastor Rebecca Morrison joins in the fun at the Cake Auction hosted at Big Rapids: First UMC on February 10. The event theme was, “Flip Flops, Palm Trees, and Love.” Proceeds support the 27 Wesley House folks headed to Panama City, Florida to do hurricane relief over spring break.

Women in tubes sledding
MICHIGAN CONFERENCE … The Michigan Clergy Spouse Association held its first Winter Retreat this month. The weekend was filled with laughter, relationship building, and renewal. There was also time for outdoor sports, crafting, reading, relaxing, and talking about the highs and lows that can come with being a clergy spouse. Next gathering  will be a meal at Annual Conference. Learn at or contact  

Woman organizing food for flood victims
MID-MICHIGAN DISTRICT … Last week ice jams caused flooding in Portland. On Saturday, February 9 Pastor Tish Bowman was contacted by the Senior Citizen Center. They needed help in moving the Community Food Bank from their flooded basement to a safer location. Members of Portland UMC answered the call and worked alongside the Fire Department to move the groceries to the church. Together! Portland strong! See more at Portland United Methodist Church.

Young woman doing crafts at camp
MICHIGAN UM CAMPING … Young people enjoy camp as much in the snow and ice as they do in the sun and sand! See more polar camping photos of fun at Lake Michigan Camp.

Youth lead worship at Bellaire UMC

NORTHERN WATERS DISTRICT … District Youth lead worship at Bellaire United Methodist Church on Sunday, February 10. Bringing the warmth of God’s love to a cold winter morning.

Child dressing as a Deacon
Central Bay District … February 8 was “Dress As A Hero Day” at school. Maelyn Miller Black, daughter of Kristy and Jantz, attended class as a deacon. She has good role models. Mom is a pastor at Flint: Court Street UMC and Dad is the Director of Music Ministries and Organist at Midland: First UMC.

Children at art class
GREATER DETROIT DISTRICT … Detroit: Conant Avenue United Methodist Church has an ongoing Arts and craft program for youth and young adults 5 to 17 years old. Affiliated with the 7 Mile Arts ad program, young artists meet every Friday from 5pm to 7pm with University of Michigan students. The program is open to all.

East Winds Clergy training
EAST WINDS DISTRICT … A Clergy Retreat was held at Lake Huron Retreat Center with worship, fellowship, food and a VIM report from the recent East Winds District mission trip to Puerto Rico. See more at East Winds District.

Snapshots of Vitality, Michigan UMW
MICHIGAN UMW … On February 2nd, the Michigan Conference United Methodist Women took time out of from their Leadership Development Days to celebrate the 150th birthday of the United Methodist Women. See more at Michigan United Methodist Women.

Rev. Devon Herrell works with interns
MICHIGAN MINISTRIES … Rev. Devon Herrell (upper right), Director Big Rapids Wesley House, enjoys a training day with interns. “Especially grateful for moments like this. I am blessed beyond what I deserve. Have you listened to a young adult lately?”


Child with handmade cross

CENTRAL BAY DISTRICT … Tuesday Night Kids at Vassar United Methodist Church is a time for fellowship and fun and sharing the love of Jesus. See more at Vassar UMC.

Bulletin Cover with children's art

CENTRAL BAY DISTRICT … Port Huron First UMC’s bulletin covers feature children’s art. “If you want to walk on water, you’ve got to fight that sinking feeling. Jenna knows, you just keep your eyes on Jesus!” See more at Port Huron First UMC.

Snow Shoveling elderly of Kalamazoo 1st UMC

GREATER SOUTHWEST DISTRICT … A snowy night in Kalamazoo. Volunteers from First United Methodist Church Family Foundations go out and shovel at the homes of elder members of the congregations. See more at First United Methodist Church of Kalamazoo.

Chili Cook Off at Lake Orion UMC

EAST WINDS DISTRICT … Lake Orion UMC held their 4th Annual Chili Cook-Off 4th on January 27. The free-will offering will fund their Monday Community Meal.
See more at Lake Orion UMC.


Women delivering goodies to US Postal Service
GREATER DETROIT DISTRICT … Flat Rock UMC took treats (bagels, donuts, coffee, and hot chocolate) to the postal carriers before they start their routes on an icy January day! Braving the elements to spread the love of Christ in our community! See more at Flat Rock UMC.

Kent City UMC on VIM trip in Belize
MIDWEST DISTRICT …  A team from Kent City: Chapel Hill went on a mid-January mission trip to Belize to work and fellowship at the Wesley Upper School. Lots of great witness and photos at Kent City Chapel Hill UMC

Women making blankets
CENTRAL BAY DISTRICT … The Bag Ladies of Frankenmuth UMC are on a mission to keep things warm and cozy. They are completing their first blanket for 2019 using scraps from the 173 pair of flannel pj’s they crafted for Christmas gifts. See more at Frankenmuth UMC.

Women supporting mission at South Lyon UMC
HERITAGE DISTRICT … Euchre Tournament Fundraiser at South Lyon UMC was a huge success! Two youth mission trips will be blessed as 36 people enjoyed a meal and played eight games of euchre. “These two beautiful souls were our winners! Laura (l) was our first place winner and Carol enjoyed playing but scored the least points of the night. See more at South Lyon UMC.

Girls holding a blanket for Project Linus
MID-MICHIGAN DISTRICT … The Project Linus event at Wacousta Community UMC “created endless smiles and 29 blankets. Thanks to all the blanketeers who attended.” The blankets will now be going to traumatized children through Project Linus – Greater Lansing Area. See more at Wacousta Community United Methodist Church

Sunday School of Wyandotte First fills Police Appreciation Bags
GREATER DETROIT DISTRICT … Wyandotte: First UMC shared a Sunday School lesson on “Blessed are the Peacemakers” and filled “Police Appreciation Bags.” The bags were delivered to the Wyandotte Police Department – Michigan, who then shouted out on Facebook: “Today is Law Enforcement Appreciation Day. We would not have even known had the Sunday School kids at the Wyandotte First United Methodist Church not surprised us. They brought in goodie bags for every employee. The bags are loaded with some candy and even a police action figure. Thanks KIDS!” See more at Wyandotte First.

Ark built by member of Gull Lake UMC

GREATER SOUTHWEST DISTRICT … During November and December Gull Lake UMC highlighted the mission of Heifer International. This ark was built to biblical scale by a member and served as the centerpiece of Heifer messaging. Children enjoyed playing with plastic animals on the ark.  Many purchased animals as holiday gifts and the congregation raised $6,702 which exceeded their $5,000 goal. Heifer International triple-matched that sum! Gull Lake UMC will loan the ark for similar fundraising. Call 269-629-5137.

The Bridge Ministries at Hartford announces ESL classes
GREATER SOUTHWEST DISTRICT … Pastor Ryan Wenburg and friends share an invitation to English as a Second Language (ESL) classes at The Bridge at Hartford UMC. See more at The Bridge.

Working at Motown Mission
MICHIGAN MINISTRIES … Volunteers from Birmingham: First UMC and Brighton: First served alongside Detroiters for the MLK weekend at Motown Mission. See more at Motown Mission

Wild Game Dinner in Norway, MI
NORTHERN SKIES DISTRICT … The moose-eye view of the 10th Annual Wild Game Dinner at Norway:Grace UMC. Over 225 came out on January 18 to see the exceptional mounts, enjoying bear quesadillas, catfish chowder, wild boar meatballs, salmon spread, pulled turkey sandwiches, and wild blueberry turnovers. An inspirational message followed and the event closed with door prizes. See more at Northern Skies District.

Carmen Ziegler shares about Haiti

GREATER DETROIT DISTRICT … Carmen Ziegler was on hand sharing about ministries with Haiti at the recent meeting of Detroit Metropolitan United Methodist Women. See more at Metropolitan United Methodist Women.

VIM team in Puerto Rico

EAST WINDS DISTRICT … Rev. John Hice and Wayne Bank are leading a seven-member Volunteer in Mission (VIM) team in Puerto Rico January 17-24. Story to follow but look for reporting at East Winds District.

Camp Promotion at St. Paul's UMC
GREATER DETROIT DISTRICT … Pastor Erin Fitzgerald invited Michigan Area United Methodist Camping to Rochester: St. Paul’s UMC. Here she introduces a future camper to the delights of a campfire. See more at Michigan Area United Methodist Camping.

Boy Scouts reading Bible
NORTHERN SKIES DISTRICT … Cub Scouts reading Christmas Scripture at Gwinn United Methodist Church. Then at Wednesday night meeting, “They testified as to what they are thankful for and prayed for their den leader. This is what we’ve been praying for Church!” See more at Gwinn United Methodist Church.

Acolytes at Flint: Court Street UMC
EAST WINDS DISTRICT … First there was Faith at the Movies viewing Spiderman: into the Spider-verse. Then Flint: Court Street UMC featured spiderwebs, Spider-Man masks, and even Spider People as acolytes on January 13.

Child with lighted candle
NORTHERN SKIES DISTRICT … The light shines in the darkness. A new year begins at God’s Country Cooperative Parish. See more at God’s Country Cooperative Parish.

Christmas pageant at TroyHope Ministry

GREATER DETROIT DISTRICT … The Wise Men followed the star all the way to TroyHope Ministry. See more about Christmas Eve in the congregation at TroyHope Ministry.

Cooking at Lake Huron Retreat Center
MICHIGAN UM CAMPING … Good eating at Lake Huron Retreat Center. Newburg United Methodist Church started the 2019 retreat season with an overnight experience, enjoying bananas foster for dessert and rich fellowship around the table.  See more on Facebook

Father Abraham visits Messy Church at Lincoln Community UMC
HERITAGE DISTRICT … Father Abraham visited Messy Church at Lincoln Community UMC. Messy Church, explains Pastor Merlin Pratt, “is a family oriented time to encounter Jesus in an informal setting. We share meals together as families, enjoy music, crafts and story telling.” See more at Lincoln Community UMC.

Sunday School Children at Frankenmuth MI

CENTRAL BAY DISTRICT … Sunday School kids of Frankenmuth United Methodist Church created some fantastic Christmas murals. See more at Frankenmuth UMC

Bell Choir at Holly: Calvary UMC

EAST WINDS DISTRICT … “Let Us Break Bread Together.” The Bell Choir of Holly Calvary UMC rings in the New Year. See more at Holly Calvary UMC.

Tiny Home build at Cass Community Social Services

GREATER DETROIT DISTRICT … Rochester: St. Paul’s UMC raised over $47,000 to build a Tiny Home with Cass Community Social Services. Framing is now complete. See more at St. Paul’s UMC.

Volunteers from Lansing: Asbury UMC at Greater Lansing Food Bank

MID-MICHIGAN DISTRICT … Volunteers from Lansing: Asbury United Methodist Church help out at the Greater Lansing Food Bank. See more at Asbury UMC.

Girl decorating Kids Food Basket bag

MIDWEST DISTRICT … The kids of Community United Methodist Church in North Muskegon are talking about compassion and generosity and doing a hands-on service project. One Sunday they decorated brown bags for Kids Food Basket. See more at Community UMC.

Bishop Bard at Dexter UMC
HERITAGE DISTRICT … Bishop David Bard was at Dexter United Methodist Church on January 11 for the Grand Opening of their new multi-purpose room. The event celebrated the completion of a four-year project. See more at Dexter UMC.AT&T worked all day in Taylor Park (some of it in rain) installing a special cedar fence with colored glass and benches in the memorial garden, moving mountains of dirt, planting 80 Alberta Dwarf Spruce trees, cutting grass, setting poles for solar lighting…. We are very grateful.