Piedmont Grace UMC has been praying about a way to reach out to the community, especially the young families. “We have a fantastic space to work with in our own church facility, and we have persons in our church who are able to assist,” said Rev. Karl Kroger, Piedmont Grace UMC .
Through prayerful discussion of additional ways to reach out to young families and meet community needs, Piedmont Grace UMC has launched of a new after-school program. The program happens once a week on Tuesdays and is led by Michelle Kroger and other volunteers of the congregation.
“Beyond connecting with parents and children, and seeking to be a blessing to our neighbors, our aim is to provide a safe and fun environment for 30-40 children to learn, play and connect with Jesus. We believe our after-school program will also serve as a launch pad for discipleship--enabling next steps such as participation in worship, church camp, and youth group,” said Pastor Karl.
Through the connection with a bus driver, a member of the congregation, the church partnered with the bus company for the school district and the local elementary school to provide transportation of children directly from school to the church.
Here is what some of the volunteers and church members are saying about the program:
Our After School Program has been an enriching experience for children and adults!
We are so thankful to God for the children who have been entrusted to us and for the friends and family of Grace serving in our new After School Program!
After much dreaming, praying, and planning, our church launched an after school program on Thank you Jesus!
Photos courtesy of Piedmont Grace UMC. Photo: volunteers with servant hearts are the core of the program's success.
Piedmont Grace UMC is a recipient of a Breakthrough Ministry grant. The Breakthrough Ministry—Church school partnership grants that were awarded in August 2017 include:
• Bismarck Legacy — A partnership with local schools to reach out to children and families in your community. The goal is to support staff and students at the middle school and elementary school one block from the church. Legacy will start by providing a thank you meal for staff and students and providing rides, through a taxi service, for students without rides.
• Center — Impact Student Ministry: The church has not had a youth group for several years. The hope is to invite all youth in the community to get involved in outreach ministry activities.
• Kenmare ReNew — ReNew Kidz: The grant will be seed money to provide tuition assistance so that families who cannot afford to send kids to the afterschool program will be able to do so.
• Piedmont Grace—Afterschool program: Funding to begin an afterschool program for elementary students at Grace UMC.
Breakthrough ministry grants are offered to churches and related organizations from the Dakotas United Methodist Foundation and Dakotas Conference of the United Methodist Church. Grants will be awarded quarterly. The 2017 Kids Count Miracle Offering was collected in Bismarck in June to help fund Breakthrough ministry grants that focus on church and school partnerships. Grants are awarded quarterly. Applications are due on January 31, April 30, July 31 and October 31 each year. Photo: Michelle Kroger leading after school program.
Click here for a grant application.
Technology grants will be available to local churches in the future
In our ever-changing world, it's vital that churches have the resources – the technology – to share their story and the love of Jesus with members and first-time visitors, as well as those we haven't yet met. Technology and new media can create a two-way street for sharing our faith, but they have to be up to the task.
Please consider a gift this Christmas to help our local churches find a clearer voice through technology improvements.
More information on this exciting opportunity is coming soon from our Dakotas United Methodist Foundation director, Sheri Meister.