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Training and resource grants for laity

The Michigan Conference Board of Laity is offering grants of up to $500 for training and resources for laypersons. Apply by October 1, 2023.

Conference Lay Leader, Michigan Conference

Board of Laity Training and Resource Grant recipients (top to bottom): Sycamore Creek Church, Harper Woods: Redeemer UMC, Kalamazoo: First UMC, and Clinton UMC. ~ photos courtesy Board of Laity

Empowering laity in ministry. Providing support for the ministry of the laity. These are some of the purposes of the Michigan Conference Board of Laity (BOL). One way the BOL supports laity in ministry is by offering grants of up to $500 for training and resources not able to be funded by local church budgets. The BOL has been pleased to provide these mini-grants to laypersons, faith communities, and ministries that answer God’s call to serve in new ways. Might a BOL mini-grant empower and enable a laity-led ministry in your community? Here are a few faith stories of previous grant recipients:

    • Sycamore Creek Church’s ministry through Communities Organizing for Racial Equality (CORE) Workshops received support last year through a ministry grant. During their Vision Day, people shared reflections on the difference CORE has made in their lives
      • “Anti-racism is a focus in the church. There’s a different sense of empowerment to speak up or respond. CORE is not just a 1- or 2-week thing.”
      • “This has created a safe space and has aided in cross-cultural conversations. This is one of the first spaces where I don’t have to be two people and code-switch.”
      • “CORE has helped me live multi-culturally and follow the lead of Black people.”
    • Harper Woods: Redeemer UMC used their ministry grant to improve their social media and overall presence in their community. Online Advent programs such as Exploring Advent with Callianne and Nico explained Advent and Christmas traditions to Facebook and website followers. Redeemer Reads offered the reading of a Christmas-themed story to 50 to 100 people each day. Online Advent crafts were shared each week. God’s faithfulness and assurance were evident in the almost four-fold increase in followers during the weeks of Advent.
    • Receiving a mini-grant can be a big deal! Kalamazoo: First UMC’s The Big Deal Weekend in 2022 was partially supported by a BOL grant. The Big Deal Weekend emphasized how faith identities directly intersect with anti-racist work. Storytellers spoke on their journeys of faith and anti-racism. Participants used devotional times to reflect on their privilege and ways to practice anti-racism in a faith setting. Seeing how vital Anti-Bias/Anti-Racist (ABAR) work is to fellowship in Christ, storytelling, racial healing circles, and anti-racism education were hopes for continued work.
    • A mini-grant allowed Clinton UMC to offer a 30-week Bible study to nearly twenty women from the community in all stages of life. They shared this reflection as part of their grant experience: “This group allows us to open our minds and hearts and experience God’s graces. We have been blown away by God’s faithfulness as this group has fostered new friendships, offering assurance that God has called us to one another through this ministry.”

The Board of Laity invites laypersons affiliated with faith communities and ministries in the Michigan Conference of The United Methodist Church to apply for a mini-grant by October 1, 2023. Applications must be completed and submitted by a layperson, and a layperson, faith community, or ministry may receive a grant of up to $500. The BOL Training and Resource Grant application link and suggestions for grant usage may be found by clicking the link below. The Board of Laity looks forward to supporting and empowering laypersons in ministry as they reach out to their communities in faithful service!

Last Updated on August 24, 2023

The Michigan Conference