Grants will help churches show hospitality


Churches that want to enhance or expand their welcoming and hospitality ministry during Advent can apply for Welcoming Seed Grants from the conference Communications Commission.

In preparation for the upcoming holiday season, the commission wants to award up to $500 in seed money to a church in each of the conference’s 11 districts. The grants are intended to assist churches located in “under-served” areas in creating a welcoming atmosphere.

Earlier this year, seed grants were awarded for the back-to-school season. The grants support The United

Methodist Church’s welcoming and hospitality campaign. The well-known theme of the campaign is “Open hearts. Open minds. Open doors.” National television ads carrying the message air three seasons a year: Lent, back-to school and Advent, when many churches traditionally have their greatest number of guests.

  • Churches that receive the seed money are encouraged to be creative in how they enhance or expand their welcoming and hospitality efforts. Past seed grant projects have included:
  • Creating a “welcome center” at the entrance of the church
  • Printing door hangers and flyers to distribute around the area inviting the community to the church’s seasonal services and activities
  • Hosting a special dinner or other event for the community
  • Installing an attractive new church sign so that newcomers will know the name of the church, service times, pastor’s name, etc.
  • Making care packages to pass out to school children, homeless persons and families in the area with information about the church’s ministries tucked inside

To be considered for a grant, a church must be located in an “under-served” area such as an isolated rural area, urban transitional area or economically disadvantaged area; must be committed to living out the “open hearts, open minds, open doors” theme, welcoming all who come; and want to enhance or expand its welcoming and hospitality ministry.

Seed grants must be used during the 2007 Advent period.

Application deadline is Nov. 15. Applications are available from the conference and district offices. For more information, contact Gwen Green, conference communications director, at or 601-354-0515.