Ethnic Local Church and Human Relations Day Grants Application Deadline is Jan. 10

November 19, 2008

WASHINGTON, D.C. - January 10, 2009 is the deadline to apply for either an Ethnic Local Church or Human Relations Day grant from the United Methodist General Board of Church and Society (GBCS).

The Ethnic Local Church Grant program is to strengthen ethnic local churches through education, advocacy, or leadership training and development as they engage in social justice.

The Human Relations Day Grant is to support ministries that respond to non-violent young offenders through education, advocacy, or leadership training and development.

Both grants are awarded through two funding cycles: January 10, 2009 is the deadline for March funding; August 10, 2009 for October. Grant decisions are made by GBCS’s Board of Directors at its spring and fall meetings.

To qualify for either grant, applicants must be: a United Methodist local church, district, annual conference, or other affiliated group/organization; or an ecumenical group/organization working with and through at least one United Methodist agency or organization, whose program affects at least one United Methodist local church.

Ethnic Local Church Grants
Ethnic Local Church Grant recipients must be programs initiated by or developed in partnership with one or more United Methodist ethnic local churches. Racial/ethnic persons shall be the majority of those served by the program.

The project must focus on needs identified by ethnic local churches as they address one or more chronic social problems or concerns, such as housing, employment, health care, human rights, education, the environment, and racism.

All applicants must have a supervisory board composed of a majority of ethnic persons that shall make all policy decisions.

Human Relations Day Grants
Human Relation Day Grant funds are raised through The United Methodist Church’s Human Relations Day Special Sunday each year. Human Relations Day is the Sunday immediately following the observance of Martin Luther King, Jr.'s birthday. The observance will be January 18 next year.

The United Methodist Book of Discipline describes Human Relations Day as a call to the Church to recognize the right of all God's children to realize their potential as human beings in relationship with each other. The Special Sunday supports the Youth Offender Rehabilitation Program.

To be considered for a Human Relations Day Grant, a project must be initiated by or developed in partnership with a United Methodist church. The project must focus on needs of non-violent juvenile youth offenders as they address one or more chronic social problems or concerns, such as housing, employment, health care, human rights, education, the environment, and racism.

Applicants must have a supervisory board consisting of a majority of members of The United Methodist Church that shall make all policy decisions.

Both Ethnic Local Church and Human Relations Day funding requests will be considered on their own merits with no required minimum or maximum amount. Intent of the grants programs is to provide start-up money. Therefore, priority goes to first-time applicants. All funding from GBCS must be used for programmatic components and not for salaries, purchase of equipment, purely administrative costs, and direct delivery of services or building construction.

Priority consideration shall be given to programs that are part of a Comprehensive Plan of an Annual Conference.

Grant applications can be obtained at www.umc-gbcs.org/GBCSGrants or from Marvlyn Scott, mscott@umc-gbcs.org or (202) 488-5643.

For more information, contact The Rev. Neal Christie, Assistant General Secretary, GBCS Education and Leadership Formation, nchristie@umc-gbcs.org or (202) 488-5611.

GBCS is one of four international general program boards of The United Methodist Church. The board’s primary areas of ministry are Advocacy, Education and Leadership Formation, United Nations and International Affairs, and resourcing these areas for the denomination. It has offices on Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C., and at the Church Center at the United Nations in New York City.