United Methodist Communications offers a number of grants to local churches. These grants provide far more than monetary assistance by focusing instead on providing congregations with individual guidance and hand-picked resources. Three North Georgia United Methodist churches have been selected as grant recipients in 2015.
The Vine in Flowery Branch received the New Church Start Grant in preparation of their launch date on August 9, 2015. Since about 2009, this grant for new plants has provided churches with a training course of their choice and guidance on the best media outlets for their ministry.
As part of the agreement, Vine team members attended a training course in Nashville called Your Church Website: Rethinking Your New Front Door. Having completed the course, they have now begun to assess their media approach, with the help of UMCom and Rethink Church, to advertise their launch.
In order to apply, the church must have reached PATH-1 eligibility and be in its first 3 years of operation. A new church strategy must be submitted, and the church team must commit to following up throughout the year. The church must also utilize the UMC Brand, including the cross and flame logo, and slogan “Open Hearts. Open Minds. Open Doors.”
While new churches can only use this grant once, Ashleigh Joyner, Director of Resources for UMCom says, “Once they are more established, we hope they will move on to another one of our grants.”
Clarkston UMC was awarded a new grant, the Digital Advertising Grant, in June. This grant focuses on calling new people into church during three major seasons: advent, Easter, and school.
UMCom will set up a digital banner ad that will appear in ad space across the internet, particularly in areas surrounding the Clarkston community. The ad invites viewers to church, and by clicking the banner they will be directed to Clarkston UMC’s website.
Canon UMC in the Athens-Elberton District just received word July 30 that they, too, have been selected to receive a digital advertising grant.
In order to receive this grant, the church must have a clean, friendly, and updated website that clearly labels the church as United Methodist. Rethink Church wants congregations to express their pride in being a United Methodist Church, and to use that while inviting new people in.
Another grant from UMCom is the Community Event Grant. For nine years, this grant has accepted proposals for, usually, one-time events at local churches that benefit the surrounding community.
Past grant-awarded events have been, Imagine No Malaria runs and Stop Hunger Now food packaging events.
Depending on their needs, churches can receive help with radio ads, t-shirts, and other promotional items. UMCom can also set up a registration website especially for their event and teach them how to manage it themselves.
“These grants enable us to reach more churches across a larger area,” says Wanda Jackson, Rethink Church Community Events Coordinator.
UMCom and Rethink Church offer other valuable resources outside of these grants. Churches can request free door hangers, back to school cards, and advent cards. They can also receive help with worship bulletins and slides. Customizable 15 second video ads for Facebook, worship, and even television are available as well.
Please, visit the United Methodist Communications website to learn more about valuable resources and opportunities.