BY KATHY CALLAHAN-HOWELL
What did you do last summer? Three young people helped their Free Methodist churches minister with the assistance of funding from the Free Methodist Urban Fellowship(FMUF).
Each summer, FMUF offers summer scholarships for internships that connect Free Methodist churches serving U.S. cities with students who desire to serve and develop as urban leaders. The internships are made possible by institutional and church memberships in the FMUF.
Crossroads FMC of Clifton, N.J., hired Danny DeLaCruz as its summer intern. He was tasked with starting a youth ministry. He established a weekly meeting called The CITYouth, which meets every Friday. The meetings average 20 youth each Friday. Several of the teens have started attending church services regularly for the first time.
The new youth ministry has energized the church. Pastor Willie Kirchhofer is very grateful for DeLaCruz’s service.
“Thank you a great deal for your investment in Danny and in the ministry of Crossroads FMC,” Kirchhofer said to the FMUF. “Your investment and prayers have returned great dividends.”
Kelsey Lehman served the Lansing Central FMC, in Lansing, Mich. She worked with Eve’s Angels, a nonprofit that works with women in sex industries. Lehman also worked alongside the church to assist Nepali refugees and helped revamp the church’s benevolence program.
Lehman felt enthusiastic and empowered by her experience of urban ministry, and has her eyes open for future opportunities.
“Many may assess a church by what they believe it will do for them, but many times, the better assessment to make is how many opportunities a church offers them to serve those within and around it,” she said.
Winton Community FMC, in Cincinnati, Ohio, used its funding to support Jordan Payne, who worked with the church’s summer children’s program. The day camp provided alternative activities including tutoring and sports.
Payne, like DeLaCruz, continues to serve this church on a weekly basis, assisting with a children’s group, helping with Sunday evening programming and serving the children during morning worship.
Consider a gift to FMUF to help sponsor more interns this summer.
Churches and institutions can also join the FMUF for an annual membership fee of $100. These funds go directly to support intern stipends. Checks can be written to Free Methodist Urban Fellowship and mailed to Patrick McNeal, FMUF secretary-treasurer. FMUF is a completely volunteer fellowship network of the Free Methodist Church – USA.