ATLANTA – United Methodist churches in the U.S. will have the opportunity to help immigrants, migrants and refugees living in their local communities again in 2024. The United Methodist Committee on Relief’s (UMCOR) Mustard Seed Migration Grant program, now in its fourth year, provides congregations with up to $2,000 for a one-time, community-based service project.
“As Jesus shares 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 Global Ministries and UMCOR. “Since the start of the program, we have seen United Methodist churches learn more about immigrants, migrants and refugees in their communities and address their needs through these grants. The ‘seed’ of welcoming strangers has been planted in new and unique ways in congregations around the country.”
Applications will be reviewed on a rolling basis throughout the year and up to 100 churches will be awarded a grant on a first-come first-serve basis. Churches that have completed a Mustard Seed project in the past are welcome to reapply. Monies will be dispersed within four weeks of application approval and the project must be completed within six months.
“Mustard Seed Migration Grants provide an opportunity for local churches to learn more about and have a greater impact on ministry with refugees, immigrants and migrants,” said the Rev. Jack Amick, director of Global Migration for UMCOR.
Examples of projects completed by United Methodist churches in 2023 include:
- Chatsworth West United Methodist Church in California opened its doors to migrants traveling through the area as a welcoming stop along the route to their final destination. The congregation provided resources like shelter, food and water, hygiene supplies and clothing, and transportation assistance.
- Wesley United Methodist Church in Bloomington, Illinois, offered emergency assistance to Venezuelan families in the McLean County area to support their resettlement and help them to avoid common financial crises associated with starting a new life in a new place.
- St. Matthew’s United Methodist Church in Annandale, Virginia, located in Fairfax County, welcomes the highest number of immigrants in the state of Virginia each year. A large percentage of this population are disadvantaged families with school age children. For the new school year, the church ensured that students had the necessary tools to succeed by providing backpacks filled with school supplies.
For the full list of 2023 recipients, click HERE.
To learn more about the program requirements and to apply online, visit HERE.
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About the United Methodist Committee on Relief (UMCOR)
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 United Methodist 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 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. Learn more about Global Ministries by visiting https://umcmission.org/or by following www.facebook.com/GlobalMinistries and Twitter.com/UMCmission.