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UMCRM grants come to Michigan camps

UMCRM gives grant to Wesley Woods

UMCRM distributed $2.5 m in Ministry Impact Grants to 86 projects across the United States. Four of them are located in Michigan: Bayshore, Wesley Woods, Lake Huron, and Urban Methodist Youth Camp.

KAY DEMOSS
Senior Content Editor

The United Methodist Camp & Retreat Ministries Association — UMCRM — received word in February of a $1 million grant to be distributed to camp and retreat ministries across the United States. The gift was intended “to enable individual sites and ministries to take one significant step in the 2022 calendar year toward long-term impact and sustainability.”

Michigan Area United Methodist Camping is among 183 sites affiliated with UMCRM. Administrator Jen Burch spoke for the association noting, “Many in the network do big things with small dollars, creatively stretching shoestring budgets while continuing to innovate to meet the needs of today’s youth, families, church, and communities, maintain and develop historic properties, and support the church’s transformational mission.”

UMCRM received proposals from affiliates totaling $4 million, which meant that only 25% of those projects could be funded by the initial grant. They were, however, able to secure an additional $1.5 m from the granting foundation. This enabled them to say “YES” to more applicants. “Praise the God who multiplies loaves and fishes!” Burch remarked. 

Four Michigan-based affiliates of UMCRM were among 86 projects receiving the ministry impact dollars. They are:

  • Bayshore Camp & Family Ministries; Creation Quest Outdoor Education
  • Lake Huron Retreat Center; Program and Hospitality Manager
  • Urban Methodist Youth Camp; UMYC transportation
  • Wesley Woods Camp & Retreat; RV electrical hook-ups

“We are excited to implement two new projects as a result of the grants received from UMCRM,” said the Rev. David Berkey, Executive Director of Michigan Area United Methodist Camping. “One will allow volunteer work teams to bring their RVs to Wesley Woods by providing four pull-in units with electricity and water there. The other will help fund a new position at Lake Huron Retreat Center to develop spiritual formation programming for adults and young adults, as we bring on staff the Rev. Cora Glass.”

Bay Shore’s Program Director, Matthew Chisholm, talks about the new programming the grant enables. “With ‘Creation Quest Outdoor Education Program,’ we hope to reignite the passion for God’s original calling to mankind; to live in communion with him as we steward and bring holy order to all corners of the created world.” Chisholm adds, “Creation Quest is a journey made together to discover all the wonderful mysteries of God’s creation, from the greatest to the least, and to cultivate them according to his wonderful design.”

The Rev. Audrey Mangum, long involved in the leadership of the Urban Methodist Youth Camp remarked, “The Urban Methodist Youth Camp Program thanks UMCRM for a transportation grant for the purchase of a vehicle. Our camp program provides check-in and transportation from a church in the Detroit Area to a hosting campsite. In past years, the UMY Camp incurred additional transportation costs from visits to area colleges and universities.” Mangum adds that the vehicle supports new collaborative events throughout the year, especially helpful in light of rising fuel costs. 

United Methodist Camp & Retreat Ministries celebrates reaching more people with the love of Christ for a thriving future. These Michigan ministries are grateful to be partners in that mission.

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