Peace With Justice Grants Available to North Georgia United Methodists

11/29/2018

 Photo: One Community United event in Rome, Georgia

Each year, churches across the United Methodist Connection take up a special offering for Peace with Justice Sunday. Traditionally observed on the Sunday after Pentecost, the Peace with Justice offering helps individuals and local congregations do more than we could do individually by supporting the peace efforts of the United Methodist Church as a whole as well as their local conference. Unlike other special offerings, half of the money collected for this offering by churches in the North Georgia Conference goes to the larger UMC through the General Board of Church and Society, but half stays right here in North Georgia to support ministries and projects which are working locally to promote peace with justice.
 
One of the ways we use those funds is through a Peace with Justice grant program. Individual churches can apply for grants of up to $2,000 to help initiate or enable a new justice ministry for a church, advocate peace with justice issues or ministries that serve in that capacity. We especially look for projects that work to addresses cultural, economic, social and environmental justice issues by identifying the root cause of injustice and creating the ministries and advocacy components for working toward ending injustice.
 
Last year, we awarded grants to three unique programs that work on different scales to bring justice to their communities. Through Roswell United Methodist Church and the Children’s Development Academy’s Reach, Teach, Love program, funds were made available to help low-income students attend preschool, providing relief for their parents as well as working to break the cycle of poverty and bolster self-sufficiency.
 
The youth group at Calhoun First UMC also worked with students. Calhoun has a high poverty rate and a high rate of non-native English speakers. These populations often struggle to provide appropriate books for their children, but increased literacy is a key to helping kids overcome the effects of poverty. The Calhoun UMC Book Blessings program purchases and distributes books to families who might otherwise not have access. Youth minister Missy Hathcox reports, “Book Blessings is going great so far. We have given out over 500 hundred books to date and have plans to expand into the local schools. Currently we are delivering them to after school programs within Gordon County. We plan to work with our students who are considered homeless and who receive free tutoring within the school system.”
 
Peace with Justice funds also helped support a partnership between Rome First UMC, Metropolitan UMC, and Trinity UMC in Rome to host their third community-wide Hearts United Gathering (HUG) event. These events seek Peace through Justice and racial reconciliation by promoting conversations and opportunities for community bridge building. [See the November 12, 2018 re:Vision article for more info]. The speaker for this year’s event was Rev. Eric Manning, Senior Pastor of Emanuel AME Church in Charleston, South Carolina – the site of a deadly shooting of nine church members by a white supremacist in June 2015.

“The annual HUG event has served as a major source of inspiration and guidance to all those who support One Community United. It has served to educate the public about our mission and to help garner the support of local leaders. We are thankful for the support of the North Georgia United Methodist Conference and the Peace with Justice Committee in their decision to join the existing partnership with Metropolitan, Trinity and Rome First to help fund and support the ongoing work of seeking Peace through Justice and racial reconciliation by promoting conversations and opportunities for community bridge building that One Community United seeks to foster and build," said ​Rev. Robert Brown.  
 
Does your church have a Peace with Justice ministry that needs financial support to get started? Applications for Peace with Justice grants are now being accepted!

Please visit https://www.ngumc.org/peacewithjustice for details and application. The application deadline has been extended to December 31, 2018.
 


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