The Maker's Place is a new mission initiative of United Methodists in Greater New Jersey. We're working to open a new neighborhood center in Trenton. By connecting neighbors with neighbors, and by listening and responding to the dreams and aspirations of people living in poverty, we can empower all people to make more of their lives and communities.
In 2018, GNJ appointed Rev. Michael Reed to coordinate this new ministry in Trenton. Michael hopes to develop this initiative into GNJ's next Hope Center.
The Maker's Place is focused on expressing the wide welcome of God through initiatives centered around food and families. Already, the Maker's Place has partnered with Trenton congregations and a local elementary school to distribute warm clothing for the winter to residents in Trenton. Students who attended IGNITE youth conference in Wildwood helped booster this effort by providing hats and gloves for the Maker's Place to give away.
One in three moms struggle to provide enough diapers for their babies. The Maker's Place organized a Diaper Drive during Advent. United Methodist churches in Trenton and central New Jersey partnered to collect more than 87,000 diapers for low-income families with infants in the capital city.
The Diaper Drive and the community celebrations are part of a larger effort to address infant mortality. Mercer County has one of the highest infant mortality rates in the State of New Jersey, measured in part by factors related to poverty. Area congregations that participated in the Diaper Drive Challenge can come alongside children and families, and support a new United Methodist mission and ministry in central New Jersey.
In 2019, the Maker's Place is partnering with Trenton-area churches to host birthday parties for infants and their extended families. The diapers will be distributed at these community birthday parties. The parties will celebrate one year olds and their families. Every child in diapers who attends will receive diapers. These 'First Birthday Parties' will be sponsored by the Maker's Place in partnership with the Children's Home Society of New Jersey, along with other congregations and community partners. While celebrating important milestones for children, the parties will also provide resources to reduce Trenton's high infant mortality rate.
Greater New Jersey AC website
One of seven apportioned giving opportunities of The United Methodist Church, the World Service Fund is the financial lifeline to a long list of Christian mission and ministry throughout the denomination. Through the Four Areas of Focus churches are Engaging in ministry with the poor with their communities in ways that are transformative.