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Michigan receives $204,000 UMCOR grant

Checkbooks and wall plaques. For years those items were symbolic of the Detroit and West Michigan conferences' relationship with the United Methodist Committee on Relief. Thousands of generous United Methodists around the state would write checks for every appeal issued by UMCOR. Then at every session of Annual Conference, a representative from the General Board of Global Ministries would stand alongside the bishop and conference treasurer, to present a plaque that commemorated exceptional giving during the year just past. "We're running out of wall space for all these plaques!" was a common quip. That kind of exceptional mission stewardship is indeed worth celebrating!

Your gifts on UMCOR Sunday helps lay the foundation for the United Methodist Committee on Relief (UMCOR) to share God's love with communities everywhere.

UMCOR Case Manager Anne Wortley, assists a Midland homeowner affected by the 2017 floods in mid-Michigan. Anne and her colleague, Katie Vokal, helped 105 families in their recovery.  Photo/Mark Doyal.

In 2014 something new began to happen between The Michigan Area and UMCOR. Surely, strong giving continued on the part of congregations, and there were more plaques, as well. But perhaps the new symbol of the relationship between The Michigan Conference and UMCOR is the Case Manager.

First, there was epic flooding in Northwest Detroit in 2014. An UMCOR grant of $600,000 enabled the Rev. Becky Wilson and her team to assist residents in their recovery. In the early part of 2016, another UMCOR grant of $75,000 allowed the Crossroads District to hire, first, Peter Plum, and then, Greg Timmons to lead the United Methodist response to the Flint Water Crisis.

In 2017 UMCOR provided $190,000 to support two Case Managers and their service to families affected by flooding in Midland; their work is wrapping up now. Four more Case Managers are currently at work in Michigan. Mano a Mano con Puerto Rico (Hand in Hand with Puerto Rico) has assisted those who fled to Michigan after Hurricane Maria. A $100,000 UMCOR grant funded the work of those two Case Managers, based out of Detroit and Grand Rapids.

Two Case Managers have just arrived in an office in Hancock, Michigan to begin a twelve-month effort to coordinate response for those suffering from the Fathers' Day flood in the Keweenaw Peninsula. The Copper Country Flood Recovery is possible thanks to a $100,000 grant from UMCOR. The math … almost $1.1 million total over four years.

Because of the effective disaster response provided by these various projects of the last four years, the United Methodist Committee on Relief has granted $204,700 to The Michigan Conference. The two-year funding will employ a full-time coordinator for disaster recovery ministries in Michigan.

Kay Demoss, Senior Content Editor, Michigan Annual Conference

One of six churchwide Special Sundays with offerings of The United Methodist Church, UMCOR Sunday calls United Methodists to share the goodness of life with those who hurt. Your gifts to UMCOR Sunday lay the foundation for the United Methodist Committee on Relief (UMCOR) to share God's love with communities everywhere. The special offering underwrites UMCOR's "costs of doing business." This helps UMCOR to keep the promise that 100 percent of any gift to a specific UMCOR project will go toward that project, not administrative costs.

When you give generously on UMCOR Sunday, you make a difference in the lives of people who hurt. Give now.

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