WASHINGTON, D.C. — Jan. 10 is the deadline to apply for a Human Relations Day Grant from the United Methodist General Board of Church & Society (GBCS). The grants are to support ministries that respond to non-violent young offenders through education, advocacy or leadership training and development.

Grant funds are raised through The United Methodist Church’s Human Relations Day Special Sunday each year. Special Sundays are an opportunity for United Methodist churches to celebrate the denomination’s connectional work. This day of social action and raising awareness supports the Youth Offender Rehabilitation Program.

Human Relations Day happens the Sunday immediately following the observance of Martin Luther King Jr.’s birthday: Jan. 18 next year. The United Methodist Book of Discipline describes Human Relations Day as a call to “the Church to recognize the right of all God’s children in realizing their potential as human beings in relationship with each other.”

GBCS, which receives 10% of Special Sunday offering, distributed $63,020 to four ministries this year.

To qualify for a Human Relations Day grant, the applicant must be either:

  • a United Methodist local church, district, annual conference or other affiliated group/organization; or
  • an ecumenical group/organization working with and through at least one United Methodist agency or organization, whose program affects at least one United Methodist local church.

2 funding cycles

Grants are awarded on two funding cycles. Jan. 10 is the deadline for spring funding; Aug. 10 for fall. Grant decisions are made by GBCS’s Board of Directors at the spring and fall meetings.

To be considered for funding, a project must be initiated by or developed in partnership with a United Methodist church. The project must focus on needs of non-violent juvenile youth offenders as they address one or more chronic social problems or concerns, such as housing, employment, health care, human rights, education, the environment and racism.

Applicants must have a supervisory board consisting of a majority of members of The United Methodist Church that shall make all policy decisions.

All funding from GBCS must be used for programmatic components and not for salaries, purchase of equipment, purely administrative costs, and direct delivery of services or building construction.

Start-up money

Intent of the grant is to provide start-up money.

Grant applications are available at Human Relations Day Grant, or by contacting Marvlyn Scott(mscott@umc-gbcs.org), in the office of Education & Leadership Formation, (202) 488-5643.

For more information, contact the Rev. Neal Christie (nchristie@umc-gbcs.org), assistant general secretary, Education & Leadership Formation, (202) 488-5611.

The General Board of Church & Society is one of four international general program boards of The United Methodist Church. Prime responsibility of the board is to seek implementation of the Social Principles and other policy statements on Christian social concerns of the General Conference, the denomination’s highest policy-making body. The board’s primary areas of ministry are Advocacy, Education & Leadership Formation, United Nations & International Affairs, and resourcing these areas for the denomination. It has offices on Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C., and at the Church Center for the United Nations in New York City.

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