April 04, 2020





April’s Mission of the Month is the offering to be given at the Michigan Annual Conference in May. This special offering is taken at the opening worship service. The total offering is divided between The Methodist Church of Haiti and Bishop Judith Craig’s Children Village in Liberia.

The Haiti donation goes to the Grace Children’s Home that offers hope for children and families suffering from HIV/AIDS and chronic illnesses. It also houses a pediatric clinic.   The Liberia donation goes to the Bishop Judith Craig’s Children’s Village. This home provides basic needs, education, counseling, and healthcare for orphans.   Please consider giving generously. –Beth Clark


 United Methodist Committee on Relief (UMCOR) is March’s Mission of the Month

On UMCOR Sunday, gifts like yours make it possible for UMCOR to use 100% of all other contributions on the projects donors specify, instead of on administrative or fundraising costs. Donations received during this time of special giving serve to cover the costs of doing business so that every designated gift can go 100% to the specific project or disaster.

Compelled by Christ, UMCOR staff work globally to alleviate suffering and advance hope and healing. UMCOR’s work is founded on the belief that positive, sustainable change is best done alongside and in support of communities.

United States disaster relief works with the conference disaster response ministries to provide ­financial assistance, disaster expertise, and connections with nongovernmental organizations, volunteers, experts, local government, and other organizations.

International disaster relief serves as the primary channel for UM assistance. In the short term, UMCOR provides funds to our partners for basic needs to ease human suffering. In the long term, we work with local partners toward recovery and reconstruction.

UMCOR and Global Ministries address the global migration challenges guided by four principles: the right to stay and flourish in one’s country of origin; safe passage for those with no viable alternative but to leave; welcoming and belonging; and support for those returning to their home after deportation.

UMCOR has been rebuilding hope for nearly 80 years, and we thank you for being part of this legacy.

At Trinity UMC, UMCOR will be our Mission of the Month throughout March. A Noisy Offering will be taken on Sunday, March 8. The rest of the month, you can bring your offerings to put in the plates at the back of the church.

(Parts taken from http://www.umcgiving.org/


Thanks for January’s Mission of the Month By Erica Thomas

Good morning, Trinity Iron Mountain UMC! I first must say that I wish I was able to be present with you today. However, I am in fact in the middle of a retreat with Northern Michigan University Wesley Campus Ministry students and the Lutheran and Presbyterian Campus Ministries!

Pastor Geri has shared that this month’s (January’s) Noisy Offering is supporting NMU Wesley, and we’re so grateful for thinking of this ministry and your generosity! While NMU Wesley has been around for more than 80 years, we recently (three years ago now) jumpstarted the ministry. Since then, we have grown organically into a small, yet thriving, community of college students and young adults. We gather every Sunday evening for a home-cooked meal and share a devotion for the week ahead.

A student who joined us last year at this time recently shared her personal spiritual growth and confidence. She recalled her first Sunday night dinner and devotion. It was her first time experiencing a devotion of that nature, one that was deep, as well as relatable. One that spoke to her and allowed her to speak. She walked away that night thinking she would never lead a devotion like that, that she never could. She didn’t believe she had the skills or confidence to lead her peers in a spiritually enriching session.

She came on the spring break mission trip to California, where we were designing and building a low ropes course at a UMC-founded camp. Having only come to one dinner and one other session through NMU Wesley, she had some trepidations about the trip. Social anxiety about whether she could belong and if the group would welcome her.

The trip was a fantastic success, full of laughter, adventures, mishaps, and accomplishments, and as we gathered on the final night before arriving home, during our nightly devotion, she shared she was overwhelmed by her experience the past week. She said she never felt like an outsider and that she was instantly welcomed as she was, as though she belonged with the group. The response from the group was even more uplifting when another student piped up, and with great question in their voice, “Wait, what do you mean, we just met you seven days ago?!” Everyone jumped in, exclaiming their shock to realize they really had essentially just met her a few days prior.

This speaks volumes to the kind of community the students are striving to live in together. Our unofficial motto is “love everyone,” and this was a clear case of them each living that out. And there’s more. This student helped plan this weekend’s retreat and prepared a devotion to share with not just the NMU Wesley crew, but the Lutheran and Presbyterian students and all the leaders and pastors, as well. We worked together to sort out her thoughts and get the devotion organized. She knocked it outside of the park with an engaging story connected to Scripture and wrapped up with two questions to ponder during our God watch time.

At lunch, she shared her trepidation in leading a devotion, thinking back to her first experience of a devotion with NMU Wesley, doubting she could ever do one herself. She proudly shared her revelation she had just after the devotion where she realized she did it! She was excited for the growth she could see in herself and for the year ahead with more opportunities to grow with NMU Wesley Campus Ministry, her faith journey, and beyond!

Another student, a quiet and introverted freshman from a very small town in the UP, shared just before we wrapped up the fall semester that he never really experienced gathering together with his family for meals and just hanging out and talking. While his participation was often withdrawn, this comment was not to be taken lightly. He had been engaging in his own way, observing and taking it all in, even if outwardly he was quite quiet. And he shared that it was a highlight of his week being able to know that this was here and happening on Sunday nights. He continues to come to more and more events and dinners and is finding his own way to connect and be present.

I could go on and on with the ways the students I am privileged to be in ministry with are engaging with their faith journey, searching, sometimes struggling and sometimes surging, but always striving to create a community with love everyone is held high.

We are looking forward to another service trip this spring break. We are headed out to Yakima Valley in Washington State to work on a farm focused on providing for their local community through food, faith, and justice. Nine of us are going at the end of February/beginning of March and appreciate your support through prayer!

Thank you once again for helping support NMU Wesley Campus Ministry! Follow us on Facebook to keep up with our latest antics! God bless!

—Erica Thomas, NMU Wesley Campus Ministry Director (and as you may know me better by, the Camp Michigamme Director)

Bay Cliff Health Camp is February’s  Mission of the Month

The Mission of the Month for February is Bay Cliff Health Camp in Big Bay, Michigan. Bay Cliff is a world for special children between the ages of three and 18, and there you’ll find children laughing and playing, while facing life with wheelchairs, leg braces, and hearing aids. You’ll find children with cardiac problems, diabetes, speech and hearing deficiencies, and other handicaps.

Since its beginning in 1933, Bay Cliff Health Camp has promoted the health, welfare, happiness, and development of the children in the U.P.

All children receive daily therapy while participating in a variety of outdoor activities. Their special needs are met through programs approved by their doctors. These include reading; swimming; and speech, physical, and occupational therapy. College students from around the U.S., as well as other countries, seek employment at the camp to find practical application for the things they have learned in the classroom. And now Bay Cliff has expanded its capabilities for year-round use.

People of the Upper Peninsula continue to make certain that the Bay Cliff tradition lives on. Funding efforts continue throughout the year, from the annual Fourth of July Polka Fest in Ontonagon to the Business and Professional Women’s Club auction at Sault Ste. Marie. The Menominee Kiwanis Club holds a “Run for Bay Cliff.” Other communities hold dances, bake sales, and fairs. Donations come from corporations, trade unions, college fraternities, and private citizens.

This year, again, we would like to join in to help support Bay Cliff Health Camp. Thank you for your support.

Brother’s Keeper Annual Report   By Rev. Geri Hamlen

In 2019, there were $865.50 of donations made to the Brother’s Keeper Fund. Thanks to all of you for your generosity to this special ministry. Those donations, added to the 12/31/18 balance, allowed almost $1,100 in disbursements to people in our community. The most frequent use of the money was for gas or auto related expenses. I always check to see if the vehicle is registered and insured, prior to offering gas vouchers or assistance with vehicle repairs. We all know how necessary it is to have a car in order to hold a job and/or to get to medical appointments.

Other uses of the money included assistance with food, housing, and utility payments. I can rarely provide the full amount needed, but there is a cooperative spirit at work among the other churches and agencies in town, which makes it possible for people to get at least some of the help they need.

Each family can receive assistance from Trinity UMC once a year. If they can pay back the money at any point, the year starts over again. Two people out of the 19 I talked with in 2019 were able to reimburse the church so that the money could be reused by someone else. I keep a spreadsheet with names, date, and needs in order to be consistent in the application of these simple rules.

It is an honor for me to get to know people in the community at these most vulnerable times in their lives. I share the love of God with them and invite them to our Community Meal. I offer them prayers and encouragement that God is bigger and more powerful than any of their problems…even if it doesn’t always feel that way.

The November Mission of the Month and a generous gift from the Engaged Ministry Team is allowing me to start 2020 with more than $600 in the Brother’s Keeper Fund. That will be very helpful during these coldest months of the year. Thank you again for making this ministry possible.

2019 Mission of the Month Offerings

Thank you for your devotion to generosity by giving to these 12 different needs in the community, in the UP, in the USA and in the world.

January- Wednesday night meal $124.56

February- Bay Cliff Health Camp $173.25

March- UMCOR $313.83

April- North Dakota mission trip $78.05

May- Annual Conference Haiti (Grace Children’s & Pediatric Clinic) $114.71 and Liberia $114.71

June- Camp Michigamme Scholarship Fund $223.16

July- Northern Skies District Mission of Year (First UMC, Iron Mountain) $352.32

August- God’s Country Cooperative Parish $145.73

September-Randy Hildebrant (mission personnel working with God’s Country Cooperative Parish)


October- World Communion Special Sunday   $270.65

November- Brothers’ Keeper Fund $382.43

December- Red Bird Mission Community Health Center $97.90

Engaged Ministry Team Partnering with Habitat By Patty Ronan & Heidi Harwell    Feb. 1, 2020
      The Church Council voted for the Engaged Ministry Team’s proposal for working with Habitat for Humanity on a new mission on two projects in 2020. Three people on the Council did not vote because they were members of the Engaged Ministry Team. The other members of the Church Council voted unanimously to move forward with the new mission.
      My hope as Mission Coordinator is that members of the congregation will be optimistic and excited to participate, and join in this new mission. Remember, we are all children of God, and this is a local mission helping people in our community and congregation.
      The Engaged Ministry Team, in the spirit of “sharing God’s love with those who hunger,” is planning to partner with our local Habitat for Humanity organization this year. Our goal is to participate with at least two projects in 2020. We would like to invite you to join us in this important ministry.
      Our local Habitat for Humanity receives applications from community residents who are in need of repairs to their homes. These tasks include installation of wheelchair ramps, window replacements, roofing, and sidewalk repairs, among others. Habitat approves applicants who are appropriate for their program, and may at times offer additional referrals to individuals who may be better served by other programs. These programs include Rural Development, Neighborhood Improvement (NIP), and Access and Mobility (MAP).
      The organization covers volunteers on their Workers’ Compensation insurance. Habitat staff assist people who qualify for these programs with information to apply for them. Habitat recipients receive a hand up, not a hand out. Recipients are expected to financially pay back to the program, which assists the program to remain viable and ensures Habitat can continue to benefit qualifying community members in the future.
      Habitat relies on volunteers to provide labor for the projects, and they can bring their own tools if they have them. Volunteers must be 14 years old or older; there are roles for people of all abilities to participate. Members of the Engaged Ministry Team ask the congregation to please join us in celebrating our spiritual connection with God by serving as the hands and feet of Jesus to help our community members in need. We will have sign-up sheets so members of our Trinity family can discover where they best can support this ministry to our community.

            Light at the Inn Mid-Season Shelter Statistics, November and December 2019
Shelter open dates—November 5 to December 31, 2019 (nine weeks or 63 days).
Minimum number of guests per night—2
Maximum number of guests per night—7
Total male bed nights to date—152
Total female bed-nights to date—74
Number of participating churches—8
Average number of volunteers per overnight shift (14 hours)—11 or 77 per week
Average number of volunteer hours per week (based on five hours per day—385 hours
Donations from the community, churches, and individuals, cash and gift cards—more than $5,000, as of January 13, 2020.
Non-cash donations include new clothing, food items, and new quilts.
   Trinity UMC will host the shelter again during the first week of February and the first week of March. Please contact Cindi Strehlow, (906)221-1094, and/or Kristy Ryan, (906)779-5282, if you are interested in helping or want to know more.

January’s Mission of the Month
is the Wesley Campus Ministry at Northern Michigan University in Marquette.  Who do you call when your car breaks down and needs repairs and you don’t know local garages, or you break up with your significant other, or there’s a death in your family, or you need to see a doctor and you’re at college, hours from home? Wesley Campus Ministry on the campus of NMU, overseen by Erica Thomas, is a great place for young adults to hang out, network, and form life-long friendships. Such havens act as a home away from home for college students where they can gather in fellowship with others who share common spiritual bonds.
      There currently is a drop-in style coffee house hosted at the building with a variety of hours Monday through Friday. Every Sunday, the group shares and prepares a community meal and devotional time. Erica Thomas can be reached at (805)710-4752 or email atvmqthope.com. The Wesley Campus Ministry is housed at 927 W. Fair Ave. in Marquette, close to NMU campus.—Heidi Harwell
                                                                                 Your offerings will be greatly appreciated!
Peace On Earth, Goodwill to All
At Advent we proclaim that God’s light has shone in the darkness, and is not overcome by that darkness, no matter its depth, and that this light will come again and again. At Advent, we tell the story in Luke of one whose birth was greeted with the proclamation, “Peace on earth, goodwill toward all.”
Live in the light. Work for peace. Embody goodwill. Do justice. Love kindness. We may need to wait from time to time to determine how best to do justice, how most adequately to embody kindness, but then we hear the question, “What are you waiting for?”
      I hope you have a blessed Advent and Christmas. May God’s light in Jesus warm you within and surround you without. May you be blessed, and may you bless others. One way I hope you seek to love kindness and be a blessing is through contributing to this year’s bishop’s Advent offering which will again be dedicated to disaster relief, here in Michigan, in the United States, and throughout the world. Thank you for considering a gift to this special effort.
      Blessed Advent. Joyous Christmas. Thank you.
David A. Bard
Presiding Bishop David Alan Bard
Give online at MichiganUMC.org or via check, please add “Bishop’s Advent Appeal” in the memo line.

December’s Mission of the Month is Red Bird Mission in Henderson, Kentucky. This mission has been doing ministry in rural Appalachia since 1921. The Red Bird Mission provides a Christian K-12 school and a community health center that has created opportunities for low-income, underinsured, and uninsured people in this remote rural area. The mission creates opportunities for better lives through Christ-centered service in the Red Bird Missionary Conference.
In the past, we have supported this mission through collecting Campbell Soup labels (this is no longer done there) and sending several mission teams to work helping the people.
Please consider giving generously to this very worthy mission. –Beth Clark

October’s Mission of the Month is the World Communion Special Offering through The United Methodist Church.
      The World Communion Scholarship Program of The United Methodist Church supports United Methodist students and students who relate directly to the General Board of Global Ministries mission partners, so that they may carry out their master’s or doctoral studies at universities or seminaries.
      For example, consider Ofelia Duldulao. The World Communion scholarship made it possible for Ofelia to finish graduate studies uninterrupted, instead of needing to take time off to earn money. A teacher by profession, Duldulao attends University of the Philippines in Quezon City, preparing for a master’s degree in environmental education, a passion of Duldulao, an environmental activist. She has a B.S. in biology, as well as a degree in secondary education.
      The scholarship, she said, has been an inspiration. “I am constantly reminded of the opportunity and the trust given to us scholars,” she said. “The support comes from people, from churches, believing we will serve the people through God’s ministries.
      The scholarship also allows her to be active in the church and community while attending school. She is able to serve as a speaker and educator for various campaigns in Nueva Vizcaya, helping to solve identified problems and training leaders in speaking, teaching, and community-organizing skills.
      Duldulao recently returned from Africa University in Zimbabwe, where she attended an Environmental Scholars Gathering with seven other Global Ministries-funded environmental studies and related scholars. They explored creation-care ministry and environmental programs to offer local churches around the globe.
      “I believe God provided me with this opportunity of being a scholar of Global Ministries to work in church and the community,” she said, “to be part of the church’s work and to lead church members to help in the community work.” Please give to this Mission of the Month!
Learning Session Highlights By Patty Ronan
      The Learning Session hosted on September 14 by Trinity’s Mission Team was informative and interesting. The two speakers, Pastor Mike Flowers (Spirit Lake, North Dakota) and Executive Director Nancy Pellegrini (Habitat for Humanity, Kingsford, Michigan) spoke of “ministry with” people in their communities.
      Pastor Flowers shared his experience working with the Dakota Native Americans. To my surprise, it was how he did it. He and his wife Libby didn’t go into the community handing out Bibles, or knocking on doors, or telling the people if you don’t believe that Jesus died for your sins and is the Lord, you are going to Hell. No, they listened and learned from the people by not carrying a Bible, attended basketball games, funerals, tribal events, and ways respectfully. They continued to do this for 18 months until slowly, people started asking questions. The people shared their stories. This was only the beginning of “ministry with” the Dakota Native Americans.
      Pastor Flowers spoke of Generational Trauma, passed down from generation to generation, through stories telling of the atrocities committed by Christian immigrants from other countries across the great waters. These Christians thought the Indians had no belief in God or Jesus. Of course, they were wrong. The Indians have a deep spirituality, but back then it didn’t matter.
      This model of Generational Trauma is still occurring today in many places in the world, including here in America. Muslims, Jews, immigrants of all nations coming to America legally or illegally are experiencing something similar. Hearing about this made me see more clearly, and it isn’t pretty or easy for me to take an honest look at my beliefs.
      Nancy Pellegrini spoke of what Habitat for Humanity is involved in doing in our communities. They have built 19 new homes, provided ramps to people in need, replaced windows, sidewalks, and done other repairs to homes. People need to meet a financial need, and they pay Habitat for Humanity back according to what they can afford monthly, volunteer in the office so many hours, or help as a volunteer helping others repair their homes. They pay only for the material, and the volunteers are from Habitat for Humanity, people who volunteer just to help their fellow man, businesses, churches, and others.
      Nancy has resources to help people, and if she can’t, as Director of Habitat for Humanity, she can refer the person to the right place. Just in the last year, 19 new homes were built, windows, doors, sidewalks, ramps, repairs to homes, and much more was completed.
      “Ministry with” people can be accomplished in a variety of ways, not just by congregations, but neighbors, businesses, and organizations. The Learning Session taught us that it can be accomplished.
Remember, we are all children of God!

The September 12 Feeding America Distribution Went Well! It was a gray day, but praise God, the rain held off! Thank you to all those who volunteered to help with unloading the truck and distributing the food. There was lots of warmth and interaction between volunteers and guests.

The number of households served was 303 (708 individuals). One-hundred-ten of those individuals were senior citizens, 198 were children, and 50 were veterans. This was a big increase from the June distribution: 251 households (578 individuals), 122 seniors, 102 children, and only 28 veterans. The word must be getting out—especially to families with children and veterans.

We celebrate all the volunteers who took time to participate. We at Trinity are developing a wonderful partnership with the people at the Cornerstone Community Church, who are deeply involved with the planning and legwork of this valuable ministry in our community. It is a beautiful thing when we can make friends in Christ with other communities of faith!

Car Care Clinic, Saturday, September 14 at Grace UMC in Norway. If you’d like to volunteer to help, call John Dedo at (906)282-4693. Come for a couple of hours or all day. It’s fun! This event is sponsored by United Men in Ministry.
September’s Mission of the Month   By Patty Ronan
      Last month, the Mission of the Month was God's Country Cooperative Parish in Newberry, Michigan, CCMM #3044, which hosts VIM mission teams in the summer to do home repairs and improvements in our communities, and coordinate food and clothing distribution.
      Part of becoming an Engage MI congregation requires Trinity UMC to give money to at least one designated UMC Mission person. Randy Hildebrant, Advance #982961 Church & Community Worker, assigned to God's Country Cooperative Parish, Newberry, Michigan, was chosen by our Mission Team to be September’s Mission of the Month.
      Randy has served 13 years as a Church and Community Worker serving the Rural Revitalization Project of Elktown District in Nebraska Conference, and the Jubilee Project, an Appalachian Ministry based in Sneedville, Tennessee in Houston Annual Conference. He is committed to ‘ministry with’ projects helping God's children grow in faith, self-esteem, and hope in their lives.
      I spoke briefly with Randy on the phone, and one of his statements was, quote: “I do enjoy preaching when I can, but I love hands-on missionary work.”  He is married and has two children in college.
Please give to September’s Mission of the Month.

Light at the Inn Statistics, 2018 – 2019 Season
        Here are the statistics for the past shelter season. Granted, these are only numbers, but behind these numbers are the lives of our guests. Thank you so much for making this winter season easier for them.
· The shelter was open for 21 weeks or 147 nights, November 4, 2018 to March 31, 2019
· The shelter was occupied all 147 nights – a minimum of five guests, maximum of 14
· Total individual guests: 33 - four males, nine females. Six of these were veterans.
· Total bed-nights: 891 (number of guests per night, times the number of nights)
· Average age: 17 guests were 18 to 40 years; 16 guests were 40 years or older
· Length of stay per guest ranged from one night to 75 nights
· Twenty-one guests stayed more than one week; 13 guests stayed more than one month
· Eleven of our guests were able to secure their own apartments. One gentleman returned to his own home
· Five guests chose to move to the Abundant Life Mission in Menominee, Michigan, either during the season or at the close
        Host Churches: Our Saviour’s Lutheran, Trinity United Methodist, Redemption Hill, First Covenant of Iron Mountain, Norway Covenant, St. Mary/St. Barbara of Norway, and Bethany Lutheran/Grace United Methodist of Norway.