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Council of Bishops announces 2019 recipients of the Local Initiative Grant


For Immediate Release
September 25, 2018

WASHINGTON, D. C. - The Council of Bishops is pleased to announce the 2019 recipients of the Local Initiative Grant for the projects within annual conferences designed to strengthen ecumenical and/or interreligious relationships of The United Methodist Church.

The recipients are:
Rev. Karen Graham, the CUIR Chairperson for the East Ohio Annual Conference. The project is being referred to as “Faith and Fact Cards” and will seek to create an easy-to-use resource for local congregations to teach them about the ecumenical and interreligious ministries of The United Methodist Church. 

Mother Mwaidi Kingombe Jolie, a United Methodist member of the “Church of Christ in Congo” in the Democratic Republic of Congo. This group is made up of women from various denominations who share the mission of bringing women together to work toward peace in their war-torn context. Their project will be to gather together women in eastern Congo for a time of training and conversation around peace in their country among different faith communions. They will also create a radio program that will seek to do the same thing. 

Rev. Nancy Walton, pastor of Trinity United Methodist Church in the Western North Carolina Annual Conference. The church’s project is to host “Abraham Jam,” whose purpose is to demonstrate peace and harmony among Jews, Christians and Muslims. The event is scheduled to take place November 11 in Asheville, North Carolina, with the hope of attracting 350 people from these three religious communities. They also hope the event becomes a catalyst to begin a new interfaith group in that area.

The recipients will each receive $1000 for their project.

For more information, contact Rev. Dr.  Jean Hawxhurst at


Media Contact: Rev. Dr. Maidstone Mulenga
Director of Communications – Council of Bishops
The United Methodist Church