Methodist church gets grant to encourage attendanceA new effort to encourage church attendance has garnered the First United Methodist Church in Mitchell a $90,000 grant.
By: Anna Jauhola, The Daily Republic
A new effort to encourage church attendance has garnered the First United Methodist Church in Mitchell a $90,000 grant.
“We were ecstatic, we celebrated,” said the Rev. Brandon Vetter, DWU campus pastor. “They saw something happening here that seemed to be something both God and the people were behind.”
The grant is for Fusion, a monthly contemporary church service offered by First United Methodist in conjunction with the campus ministry at Methodist-affiliated DWU. Vetter has helped lead the way since the program kicked off in September.
“The idea is to connect with folks without a church background — college students, families with teenagers, folks with the First United Methodist downtown and others who don’t have a church home,” Vetter said.
The grant is from the Dakotas Annual Conference of the United Methodist Church, which covers both North and South Dakota.
The money will allow the church to hire a person to help Vetter with the Fusion program. It is a three-year grant, starting in January 2013.
In the meantime, Vetter said support for the Fusion program has been so strong, many are willing to help fund the position until the grant funding is available. The church wants to get the position implemented as soon as possible, and $13,000 is needed to fill that gap.
Vetter and others are still in the process of defining the job description and title, which is currently director of young adult ministries. The person they hire would work with youth both at DWU through the campus ministries office and at First United Methodist Church in downtown Mitchell.
Fusion has averaged about 100 people at each monthly service. In February, 126 people attended, Vetter said.
He hopes to increase the program’s frequency from once per month to weekly services by this September.