UMCOR awards grants to help United Methodist churches aid local refugees and migrants in their communities
Mustard Seed Migration Grants continue 80-Year tradition of welcoming the stranger.
Churches across the United States will be able to help refugees and migrants living in their local communities thanks to new grants from the United Methodist Committee on Relief (UMCOR). The “Mustard Seed Migration Grants” awarded to United Methodist churches in the United States continue the agency’s 80-year tradition of helping refugees, immigrants and migrants seeking to build new lives.
The Mustard Seed Migration Grants, inspired by the well-known parable about faith and growth, are providing 33 congregations in 20 states and 20 annual conferences with up to $2,000 to support one-time, community-based service projects. These churches will 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.”
“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. “UMCOR, and those who contribute to it every year, are excited to support these churches caring for the most vulnerable in their midst.”
Local United Methodist churches receiving the new grants, include:
- Provincetown UMC of Provincetown, Mass., and its Welcome to School program, providing migrant children with school supplies.
- Burnt Hills UMC of Burnt Hills, N.Y., and its Bicycles for Refugees program, providing transportation to refugee families for employment, shopping and general transportation.
- Jones Memorial UMC of Washington, D.C., and its English as a Second Language school, providing free Basic Level ESL classes and snacks for refugees and migrants in the community.
- St. Paul UMC of Frankfort, Ky., and its Loving our Neighbors program will host guest speakers in a series to increase awareness about immigrants in their community and provide food, rent, utilities, clothing, medical care or school supplies to immigrant families in need.
- First UMC of Charlotte, N.C., and its Migrant Assistance Project, providing food kits to farmworkers.
- Casa De Dios Gateway of Heaven in Pensacola, Fla., and its Agape Home program, providing food and housing vouchers to refugees, immigrants and migrants.
- El Principe de Paz UMC of Del Rio, Texas, and its Compassion and Mercy Ministry program, meeting the immediate spiritual and physical needs of refugee families coming through Del Rio at the Val Verde Border Humanitarian Coalition.
For more a full list of Mustard Seed Migration grant recipients visit https://umcmission.org/migration/mustardseed.
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. Learn more about Global Ministries by visiting www.umcmission.org or by following: www.facebook.com/GlobalMinistries and Twitter.com/UMCmission.