WASHINGTON, D.C. — Aug. 10 is the deadline to apply for an Ethnic Local Church Grant from the United Methodist General Board of Church & Society (GBCS). The grants are to strengthen ethnic minority local churches through education, advocacy or leadership development as they engage in social justice.

GBCS has distributed nearly $800,000 to ethnic minority ministries in the past four years.

To qualify for grant consideration, applicants must be either:

  • a United Methodist local church, district, annual conference, racial/ethnic caucus, or other affiliated ethnic group/organization; or
  • an ecumenical group/organization working with and through at least one United Methodist agency or organization whose program has an impact on at least one United Methodist ethnic minority local church.

Two funding periods are available for consideration: Jan. 10 is the deadline for the spring cycle; Aug. 10 is the deadline for the fall.

The Grants Committee of GBCS’s Board of Directors makes grant recommendations to the full board for approval.

Chronic social problems

Grant recipients must be programs initiated by or developed in partnership with one or more United Methodist ethnic minority local churches. Racial/ethnic persons shall be the majority of those served by the program.

The program must focus on needs identified by ethnic local churches as they address one or more chronic social problems or concerns, such as housing, employment, health care, human rights, education, the environment and racism. The Social Principles of The United Methodist Church contained in its Book of Discipline, (¶¶s 160-165) can provide more information on the denomination’s social-justice positions.

All applicants must have a supervisory board consisting of a majority of ethnic-minority persons that shall make all policy decisions.

Each funding request will be considered on its own merits with no required minimum or maximum amount. 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 grants program is to provide start-up money. Therefore, priority goes to first-time applicants.

Priority consideration shall be given to programs that are part of a Comprehensive Plan of an Annual Conference.

For more information, contact the Rev. Neal Christie (nchristie@umc-gbcs.org), GBCS assistant general secretary, Education & Leadership Formation, at (202) 488-5611 or download the application at Ethnic Local Church Grants.

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.

Contact Info

Wayne Rhodes
Director of Communications
General Board of Church & Society
The United Methodist Church
(202) 488-5630 / wrhodes@umc-gbcs.org

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