April 1, 2021 | ATLANTA
For release: IMMEDIATE
Dan Curran for Global Ministries/UMCOR
Mary Lou Greenwood Boice
Director of Communications, Global Ministries
Churches across the United States will be able to help refugees and migrants living in their local communities thanks to a new grant program from the United Methodist Committee on Relief (UMCOR). Open to United Methodist churches in the United States, the “Mustard Seed Migration Grants” continue the agency’s 80-year tradition of helping refugees, immigrants and migrants seeking to build a new life.
The Mustard Seed Migration Grants, inspired by the well-known parable about growth, will provide 50 congregations with up to $2,000 in funding to support one-time, community-based service projects. Churches will have the opportunity to assist refugees, asylum seekers, undocumented persons and migrants of all types in their own cities and towns.
“As Jesus described in his parable, small mustard seeds have the potential to grow into something pervasive that spreads throughout a field,” said Roland Fernandes, general secretary of United Methodist Global Ministries and UMCOR. “Our hope is that, by learning more about migrants in local communities and addressing their needs through these Mustard Seed Migration Grants, the ‘seed’ of welcoming strangers will be planted in new ways in congregations around the country.”
“The new Mustard Seed Migration Grant program can help local churches live into a new understanding of the kingdom of God as they actively engage in caring for the most vulnerable in their midst,” said the Rev. Jack Amick, director of global migration for UMCOR. “It is a fitting continuation of our history since UMCOR was founded 80 years ago to help migrants forced to relocate due to World War II.”
Eligible applicants will be local United Methodist churches located in the United States. Because only 50 grants will be awarded, this is a competitive process, and not all applicants will receive grants. Completed applications are due by Sunday, May 16, 2021. Grant recipients will receive an award notification on June 1, 2021. Approved grant activities may begin as early as June 15 and end as late as December 15. Grant recipients must submit a final report upon completion of their project.
About UMCOR and the General Board of Global Ministries of The United Methodist Church
Founded in 1940, the United Methodist Committee on Relief (UMCOR) is the global humanitarian relief and development agency of The United Methodist Church. A part of UM Global Ministries, UMCOR works in more than 80 countries worldwide, including the United States and its territories. The agency’s mission, grounded in the teachings of Jesus, is to alleviate human suffering with open hearts and minds to all people. Working in the areas of disaster response and recovery, sustainable development, and migration, UMCOR responds to natural or civil disasters that are interruptions of such magnitude that they overwhelm a community’s ability to recover on its own.