A Church in Mission


One year ago in May, Snow United Methodist Church voted to discontinue as a congregation.  At the same time, Genesis United Methodist Church was in financial crisis, due to nearly $10,000 in monthly obligations related to its mortgage and expenses at its location in the Watermark Center near Cascade Road.  By July 23, due to the generous gift of Snow UMC members, Genesis was located at the former Snow location on the eastern edge of Cascade Township, and the two congregations were united at the new location.


More than 300 persons look to our congregation as their church family, with more than 200 members and about 100 constituents.  Today we are a strong, vital congregation focused on spiritual growth and justice for all persons.  I have been proud to be your pastor for nearly 22 months.


For obvious reasons, we have focused a lot on ourselves in the last 2 years.  However, a church that turns inward is not a true church.  Churches are vital only if they are focused outward, reaching out in mission to others, as well as taking care of the needs of their own congregation.


Our first mission obligation, as a United Methodist Church, is Ministry Shares, our responsibility to join with other United Methodists in our conference and world to meet human need. We have paid small amounts on our ministry shares each year, but with the future of our congregation in jeopardy in the last year, we have not done our share. It remains a priority to do better in paying ministry shares.


Last fall, we made a clear decision to reach out in mission, even though we were having trouble meeting our church budget.  I am glad to report the extra giving that you have given since then.


September – Hurricane Relief – $1,401

October – Flat River Outreach Ministries – $249

November – Grand Rapids Metro Ministry – $35 – Ministry Shares $56.15

December -Ministry Shares – $1,363 – United Methodist Community House $350

January – Circles – $168 – Flat River Outreach Ministries – $164.87

February – Medical Expenses for Terah Bishop – $1,375

March – Refugee Fund – $1,502

April – Flat River Outreach Ministries $228


To help our own ministries you have given (so far) about $2,000 to our Genesis Garden project during May.


Thanks for going the second mile with your giving.  Our mission co-chairs, Sheri Dewald and Denny Smith, will keep us aware of mission needs in the months to come.  We need volunteer hours as well as financial gifts.


During June, your extra mission gifts will help fund Faith Works, in which we will do home repairs and other local needs later this summer, in conjunction with the United Methodist Church in Lowell.


In July, your extra mission gifts will help to fund future youth and adult mission trips.


Thanks for your generosity, as well as your regular gifts to our church budget, which make possible our move to a full-time pastor July 1.  I’m proud to have been pastor of such a caring, outreaching and inclusive congregation.


Pastor John Ross