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Spotlight on United Methodist Faith Stories

 

These inspirational stories describe United Methodists who are using their gifts and their faith to make a difference in the world.

Do you know a child, age 12 and younger, who is doing something extraordinary in your church or community? We are planning to feature these amazing United Methodist kids on our United Methodist Church Facebook page this summer.

To submit a nominee, please send a few sentences about the child, along with a photo, if possible. If your conference has already published a story or post about this child, please send the link to the story. Providing parent/guardian information will also be helpful.

Please send nominations to presscenter@umcom.org. We will contact you before featuring your nominee; multiple nominations are encouraged!

The Rev. Bob Deich leads the Early Response Team for the Louisiana Conference of The United Methodist Church. Video image by Todd Rossnagel, Louisiana Conference.

A Personal Call: United Methodist Early Response Team

A Louisiana responder describes serving others after disaster hits. “I can’t stop it now, but I can come along beside people.” View

Members of the South Carolina's Helicopter Aquatic Rescue Team perform rescue operations in Port Arthur, Texas during the flooding caused by Hurricane Harvey. Photo by SC National Guard. Public Domain.

Recalling the flood of human kindness after Katrina

Plano pastor says hosting storm survivors changed his church. “Our DNA has been altered by those who came and taught us to love God by loving our neighbor.” Read More

Rachel Ritchie plays on the inclusive playground that she raised 100,000 dollars to build.

Child’s Dream Inspires Inclusive Playground

A young United Methodist church member wanted to create a play place where all children are welcome. And she raised all the funds to make it a reality. View

Lindsay Stanfield sold lemonade, cookies, jewelry and other items to help homeless people and people with cancer. Photo by Diane Degnan, United Methodist Communications.

Eight-year-old spends summer helping those in need

The young United Methodist sold lemonade, cookies, jewelry and other items in her front yard, with proceeds going to help homeless people and people with cancer. View

Bishop Hee-Soo Jung serves in the Wisconsin Episcopal Area. File photo by United Methodist Communications.

Roots of Faith in Korea: A United Methodist Bishop’s Journey

Bishop Hee-Soo Jung grew up on a small island with a view of North Korea. He credits U.S. missionaries and a kind neighbor for his conversion to Christianity. View

Joe Mykos volunteers at McEachern (Ga.) UMC with the Car Care Ministry. Image courtesy of McEachern United Methodist Church.

United Methodist Mechanics Fix Cars for Free

Volunteers give away an average of 30 cars each year and fix vehicles for those in need. Those physical repairs often heal broken spirits too. View

The sign at Pennington United Methodist Church in Nashville, Tenn., proclaims a message of hope. File photo by Raymond Landry.

The United Methodist Church: More than a name

Learn how our church's name was chosen. “If you leave the name ‘United’ off you’re leaving off both a significant piece and powerful part of who we are.” Read More

Silja Bijnagte organized volunteers to plant gardens to provide fresh vegetables for a food bank near her home in Minneapolis, MN. She attends Lake Harriet United Methodist Church. Image courtesy of the Bijnagte family

11-Year-Old Plants Food Pantry Garden

A dream of providing fresh vegetables for hungry neighbors became a reality for Silja Bijnagte and her United Methodist church. View

Patty and Eddie Gill founded the United Methodist Motorcycle Association, based in Oklahoma. Video image by Reed Galin, United Methodist Communications.

United Methodist Motorcycle 'Gang'

Bikers are modern circuit riders, reaching out on the road. "A lot of people are dying just to be asked to come back to church." View

Caroline Gowan runs a ministry called Loads of Love. Her church, Bonaire United Methodist, provides money and volunteers to help wash, sort and fold alongside recipients.

Teen Washes Loads of Love

Caroline Gowan is a United Methodist student who started a ministry to clean clothes. Every wash cycle, done for free, takes a load off working families. View

James and Jacob Cogman, United Methodist scholarship recipients, plan to follow their mother into ministry. Photo courtesy of the Cogman family.

Twins Follow Mom into Ministry

Meet a mom and a United Methodist pastor who inspired her sons to follow their calls too. “Watching her has really helped me grow.” View

Methodists Ann and Anna Jarvis are credited with creating Mother's Day in the U.S. Courtesy: Historic St. George's UMC.

Mothers of U.S. Mother’s Day were West Virginia Methodists

Ann Jarvis had the idea and her daughter Anna led a campaign in the early 1900s to have Mother's Day recognized as a national holiday. Read More

Image portray Susanna Wesley, mother of the founders of Methodism. Courtesy of General Commission on Archives and History.

Susanna Wesley: Mother of Methodism

John and Charles Wesley's mom was a strong woman of faith. “The differences she made have lived on because of the sons that she raised.” View

Methodist deaconess Kathryn Maurer is seen in a 1935 photograph. Courtesy of California State Library.

Kathryn Maurer: Methodist Angel Welcomed Immigrants

Meet a deaconess whose kindness and dedication to those seeking a new life made headlines in her day. View

Jenny and Elise Bonsky received capes from Kids Capes of Courage and Northampton United Methodist in Ohio. Photo by Gwen Kisker.

Kids’ Capes of Courage

Sewing ministry shares the superpower of love with those in need. "It is The United Methodist Church wrapping themselves around these children." View

The Rev. James Lawson (left) joins Martin Luther King and Ralph Jackson at a March 1968 press conference. Photo used with permission from the SCLC of California.

James Lawson: Reflections on Life, Nonviolence, Civil Rights, MLK

The United Methodist pastor's parents told him “there’s a better way” than violence to resolve conflict. Those words would shape James Lawson’s life, leadership and ministry. View

The Rev. Gilbert Caldwell poses with his wife Grace, and sons Dale and Paul in front of Bryantville United Methodist Church.

Gilbert Caldwell: Voice for Justice and Human Rights

The retired United Methodist pastor reflects on how his relationship with MLK and involvement in the civil rights movement shaped his life and ministry. View

The Rev. Ralph Abernathy and his family march with the Rev. and Mrs. Martin Luther King on march from Selma to Montgomery in 1965. Courtesy: Abernathy Family/Wikimedia Commons.

Eyewitness to Selma: Faith Leaders’ Stand for Civil Rights

“Many people cannot understand the depth of patriotism of Martin King and other civil rights heroes and heroines." Pastor recalls historic effort for voting rights. View

A billboard features 95-year-old United Methodist Shirley Bachelder. Image courtesy of Shirley Bachelder.

95-Year-Old Billboard Star’s Message: Love

Meet the billboard poster gal who reminded a city to love one another. United Methodist Shirley Bachelder helps us count our blessings. View

Rev. Rebecca Rutter gives a tour of the 98 sq ft tiny house she built. Video image by United Methodist Communications.

Living Sermon: Pastor Builds Tiny House

United Methodist pastor and mom of three learned carpentry and crafted a 98-square-foot green, dream home. Take a tour. View