Celebrating Mission Grants


Free Community Supper Columbia Valley United Methodist Church
By Tamica Smith Jeuitt, Senior Communications Specialist 
Photo right: Families lined up to enter the fellowship hall at Columbia Valley United Methodist Church for the third Thursday supper.   
Since September 2011, Columbia Valley United Methodist Church in Columbia, Mississippi has been serving supper to anyone in the community who needs nourishing. The meals are free and served on the third Thursday of each month. Eighty-seven people were fed at the first meal. The most recent dinner reported 275 guests, according to the church lay leader, Bonnie Dillon. Many of the patrons are elderly, homeless and low income residents.They can carry-out their dinner, but volunteers strongly encourage them to eat-in and fellowship. This allows church members to get to know them and offer spiritual nourishment. Dillon has recorded several testimonies of visitors and volunteers about the mission.
"What a community we are blessed to witness each month. Every month the kids are feeling more confident and comfortable in our church," said one volunteer worker. 
"I have lived in Columbia a long time and have never been inside this church -- I wanted to see what it was all about," said a first-time guest to the supper.
Another patron replied, "Godspeed for all the work the crew does to make this ministry possible."  
Local churches of the Mississippi Annual Confer the Mississippi Conference Connectional Ministries Mission Grants. Columbia Valley has been awarded the annual grant a few times.
"I believe that The United Methodist Church offers a compelling purpose for people of God to live transformed lives that abundantly reflect God's grace and love. This mission grant is helping us change lives and serve people, said Dillon, who is grateful for the Mississippi Conference.  
Click here to view pictures from the third Thursday suppers at Columbia Valley UMC.  
About Mission Grants
The Mississippi Conference Connectional Ministries Mission Grants are matching grants available to United Methodist churches and United Methodist sponsored or related agencies in Mississippi.  Grants range from $500 to $2,500 per project, with one award of up to $10,000. They are awarded to form spiritual leaders, new places for new people, connections through existing congregations and engagement in ministry with the poor; therefore, living out the four Core Values of The POWER of We.
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The POWER of We funded in part by your apportioned mission shares.