Fresh Expressions grants were recently awarded to Aldersgate United Methodist Church in Slidell, Bethany UMC in New Orleans, Chatham UMC, Raymond UMC in Jennings and Winan UMC in Franklinton.
Fresh Expressions is a grant program offered through the Conference Board of Discipleship that provides grants of up to $500 available to local churches to use in seeding new ministries. The winning projects were designed to support of the Mission, Vision and Core Values
of the Louisiana Annual Conference.
Aldersgate UMC (New Orleans District) will use the funds to support their Barnabas Ministry. This program will help and encourage others, especially those who are, or have been homeless. The volunteers in this ministry will act at Barnabas, providing a faithful, encouraging companion to those who need support.
With assistance from the grant, Bethany UMC (New Orleans District) will create Cafe Bethany, offering a quiet space with free Wi-Fi, beverages and occasional treats on Tuesdays and Thursdays. An alternative to a coffee house, the church hopes to draw in area residents with this inviting space.
Chatham UMC (Monroe District) will be offering swimming afternoons and evenings to neighborhood children through the Splash, Play and Pray ministry. The Chatham community does not have any kind of water activity programs for children during after school hours and in the summer months, so the church will help fill that need. Life guards will be on duty and Bible study will be offered.
Raymond UMC (Lake Charles District) will use the grant to support their Raymond's Kids Club. This ministry will provide elementary children in the community with fun activities, Bible lessons, service opportunities, fellowship and a meal.
With help from the grant, Winan UMC (New Orleans District) will offer Broad Expressions Through Art and Crafts in the form of monthly workshops for children and young people from ages four to 20. The workshops will allow the participants opportunities to gain meaningful experiences through art, crafts and outdoor field trips.