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Spending summer with God

Summer fun with flowers

Summer is just around the corner, always a time of engagement for Michigan United Methodists of all ages. Here are some opportunities for learning and serving.

Senior Content Editor

Ready for summer? The summer is ready for you! Ministry has never shut down in Michigan during the months of June, July, and August. And even though the pandemic continues to shape how traditional ministries will happen, disciples will be made, and communities will be transformed.

Long-standing church summer programs may take new forms and you have help in navigating the changes. Conference staff are providing three things to help you get ready for the summer of 2020. There is information about the status of ministries and missions you’ve come to know and love. And there are ideas about how to create a plan that safely engages the children, youth, and adults in your congregation. Finally, there are resources to help you work that plan. All of these things are collected on the 2021 Summer Opportunities webpage.

Here’s a peek at ways to connect, have fun, learn, and serve this summer.


  • Vacation Bible School: Visit the Michigan Conference Children’s Ministry Vacation Bible School Tool Box for recommendations and resources or contact Kathy Pittenger, Children’s Ministry Initiatives Coordinator.
  • Take-Home Boxes and Sunday School for families: A resource with 6 playlists of ways to practice kindness and playfulness this summer. A downloadable pdf and digital playlists are both available to use and share. The resource is great for take-home summer boxes, Sunday School, and more!
Watermelon in the summer
~ Adobe stock photo


  • Freedom School Positions: Rooted in the Mississippi Freedom Summer project of 1964, the CDF Freedom Schools program is a six-week summer literacy and cultural enrichment program designed to serve children and youth in grades K–12. The CDF Freedom Schools program enhances children’s motivation to read and makes them feel good about learning. 2021 Sites in Bethel UMC, Flint and Second Grace, Detroit. ENGAGE CCMM#3049.


Follow the links below to learn about summer opportunities at Michigan Area UM Camping, UM-affiliated camps, and the Bay View Association in Michigan:


  • Find tips on the Summer Opportunities page on how your congregation can plan a mission team experience that is virus-safe and low-risk. 

Motown Mission states: “Love is a verb! An action word. We can always love our neighbors!” Motown Mission connected volunteers from Birmingham First UMC with Rippling Hope for a great day of service last August. ~ Facebook/Motown Mission

Summer opportunities arranged by Motown Mission
Motown Mission states: “Love is a verb! An action word. We can always love our neighbors!” Motown Mission connected volunteers from Birmingham First UMC with Rippling Hope for a great day of service last August. ~ Facebook/Motown Mission


The Hispanic Youth Leadership Academy (HYLA) serves Hispanic United Methodist youth and young adults. Its main purpose is to identify, recruit, and facilitate the leadership development processes of high school and college students. HYLA consists of a three-year curriculum program that covers and focuses on a variety of topics each year. Hispanic Youth Leadership Academy will take place online via Zoom in Michigan June 23-26, 2021. For more information about HYLA check on the website or contact Sonya Luna.


Over the past year, Latinx Ministries of the Michigan Conference of the United Methodist Church has hosted 2 Latinx’t Webinar Series on the following topics: Spiritual, Mental, and Community Health in order to build community and raise awareness for Latinx young adults.  

The theme of the 2021 series is “Addressing Racism.” You can find more information about these series on the Latinx’t Facebook page


In 2021, Mission u will examine anxiety, the culture of violence that impacts children in and out of schools, and how we as God’s people can deepen our moral witness and respond faithfully. Download the flyer.

Available now: Finding Peace in an Anxious World, edited by Erin James-Brown

Two virtual sessions coming soon:

  1. July 9-10, 2021 – Virtual: Pushout: The Criminalization of Black Girls in Schools by Monique Morris (free)
  2. August 13-14, 2021 – Virtual: Bearing Witness in the Kin-dom: Living Into the Church’s Moral Witness Through Radical Discipleship by Darryl W. Stephens (free)

Two days in-person, October 18-19, 2021 – Mission u of the North, Gaylord UMC; $70. Learn more and register here.

Last Updated on January 31, 2024

The Michigan Conference