LITTLE ROCK, ARK. (Aug. 26, 2016) – The United Methodist Foundation of Arkansas recently announced a total of $5,015 in grants to support the 2016 Youth Ministry Cohort and the Equip youth ministry training event Sept. 10.
“Providing accessible, affordable one-day training for youth ministry workers and making it possible for five churches to take a deep dive into a six-month youth ministry training cohort both fall in line with our United Methodist Foundation grants goals of supporting Conference leadership and training,” said Jim Argue Jr., UMFA President and CEO.
For the first time in 2016 five churches – Grace Community Church, Fort Smith; Lakewood UMC, North Little Rock; St Paul UMC, El Dorado; First UMC, West Memphis; and White Hall UMC; – will participate in this training and mentoring project led by veteran youth workers. Without the UMFA grant, it would have cost each church $1,200 to participate; but the grant makes the participation in the cohort affordable for churches of all sizes.
“Our goal with the cohort is to provide the tools and resources that allow churches to have a consistent, sustainable youth program,” said Michelle Moore, Youth & Young Adult Ministry Coordinator. “We ask that from each church the youth leader, pastor and three other congregation members participate in this six-month program.”
Equip, which started four years ago with only 25 attendees, this year expects to have 75 participants. “It is training for youth workers by youth workers to enhance youth ministries and help create family ministries for churches throughout the Conference,” said Moore. The grant from UMFA allows the Conference to keep the cost of the attending workshop down so that all churches have the ability to participate and some churches can send more than one person as needed.
The United Methodist Foundation of Arkansas manages $140 million in endowment funds and other charitable assets that benefit local churches and other United Methodist ministries. UMFA is one of the largest United Methodist Foundations in the country. Founded in 1963, UMFA is responsible for over 750 funds that support United Methodist ministries.