Global Ministries Awards Grants to United Methodist Churches in Washington, D.C., to Aid Local Refugees and Migrants
Mustard Seed Migration Grants Continue 80-Year Tradition of Welcoming the Stranger
By Mary Lou Greenwood Boice
Director of Communications, Global Ministries
Three local United Methodist churches in Washington, D.C., will be able to provide more help to refugees and migrants living in their local community, 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 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 now assist refugees, asylum seekers, undocumented persons and migrants of all types in their own cities and towns.
Local churches in Washington, D.C., receiving the grants are:
- Capitol Hill UMC - 421 Seward Square S.E., Washington, DC 20003 -- Will use funds to support Kids Supply Drive and Play Day, where Capitol Hill UMC will collect children’s supplies for refugee families, culminating in a distribution and field day for refugee and community families at a local park.
- Emory Fellowship UMC - 6100 Georgia Ave. N.W., Washington, DC 20011 -- Will use funds to support 50 Families 50 Blessings Along the Way, which provides school supplies, uniforms, food and various immigration assistance to 50 migrant families connected to their local elementary school, Brightwood Educational Campus.
- Jones Memorial UMC - 4626 G St. S.E., Washington, DC 20019 -- Will use funds as seed money to start a creative English as a Second Language (ESL) Ministry for refugees and migrants.
“Education plays a major role in the lives of refugees and migrants,” said Bishop LaTrelle Easterling, presiding bishop of the Baltimore-Washington Annual Conference. “The Board of Global Ministries through UMCOR will enable these United Methodist churches in our area to support people of all ages as they pursue educational goals that equip them for life in a new land.”
“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.”
For 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.