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Ministry Impact Grants Awarded: Celebrating Funded Projects

23 Mar 2022 10:30 PM | Jen Burch (Administrator)

In mid-February, the UMCRM Association received word that it was granted one million dollars from an anonymous family foundation to distribute to United Methodist Camps & Retreat Ministries in the U.S. The goal of the gift was to enable individual sites and ministries to take one significant step in the 2022 calendar year toward long-term impact and sustainability. What a joy to be invited to invest in a thriving future for camping and retreats in the United Methodist tradition! As nonprofit organizations, many of the 183 UM-affiliated sites in our network do big things with small dollars, creatively stretching shoestring budgets while continuing to innovate to meet the needs of today’s youth, families, church, and communities, maintain and develop historic properties, and support the church’s transformational mission. As camps and retreats rally to return from Covid shutdowns, minister with a changing church, and provide sacred places of renewal in challenging times, it is rare to be invited to dream big and imagine what might be possible for our ministries’ future. The 2022 Ministry Impact Grant was just that invitation. 

When it was announced that UMCRM had secured the grant of $1,000,000, our members responded with enthusiasm, submitting proposals totaling $4,000,000! The review team realized that meant that only 25% of the projects could be funded. Faced with the prospect of saying “no'' to the majority of applicants, the grantors were moved by the vision and hope represented in those proposals. The compelling and wide-ranging requests received from United Methodist Camp & Retreat Ministries from across the country provided a window into the vast reach of our sites and programs and the untapped potential for impact. We serve a God of abundance, a Christ who served multitudes with simple loaves and fishes. Hope, vision and generosity of spirit are contagious. The UMCRM Association’s advocacy provided inspiration and context for the ministry impact that might be accomplished through offering more “yes”es. In the process, we were able to secure an additional $1,500,000, more than doubling the original gift, for a total of $2.5M from the granting foundation! The UMCRM Association is thrilled to distribute the grant funds in the coming weeks to the projects listed below. Collectively, United Methodist Camp & Retreat Ministries will broaden our impact in reaching more people with the love of Christ for a thriving future. Praise to the God who multiplies loaves and fishes. May we be worthy stewards of the great gifts entrusted to us. Stay tuned in the coming months as projects are completed and together we celebrate all that these ministries have been able to build and accomplish.

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