Cascadia District Micro-Grants: New Places for New People

At the 2018 Annual Conference Session in Boise, Idaho, District Superintendent Tim Overton-Harris gave a check for $500 to each congregation and ministry setting in the Cascadia District.  These micro-grants, funded by the Cascadia District Church Extension Society, are meant to challenge and support churches to create new places for new people.  

As with any grant, there are expectations, stipulations, and reports!  Here they are:

The church or ministry setting may accept or not accept the grant.  Grants may be combined with another group.

If the grant is accepted:

  1. The money will be used for doing something new, something the church or ministry setting is not already doing.
  2. The money will be used to do something which will target people not already an active part of your faith community
  3. The money will be used to do something that could serve as a gateway into deeper involvement in your faith community
  4. You will evaluate the project and what you have learned from it.

If the grant is not accepted:

  1. You will return the $500 to the Cascadia District Extension Society no later than December 31, 2018.

Timelines and reports:

  1. Give an update on your plans to DS Tim Overton-Harris by your 2018 annual  fall charge conference.  See guidelines for this report here.
  2. Submit your written proposal for the use of funds or a written explanation of why your congregation did not accept the grant to DS Tim Overton-Harris by December 31, 2018 
  3. Submit an update on your project to DS Tim Overton-Harris by May 15, 2019
  4. Complete your project, do an evaluation and make a report at your 2019 annual fall charge conference.

What has been done?  (Click on each listing for an expanded story about the project)  Projects will be added weekly!  Come back and check for more inspiration!

  • Open Door Churches - United Methodists of Salem-Keizer - used their funds to establish relationships with students at Chemawa Indian School in Salem by helping sew Red Shawls to raise awareness about missing and murdered indigenous women, and hold workshop classes on healthy relationships.  
  • Wilsonville UMC - used their funds to put on 2 community dinners, partnering with local high school students
  • Mountain Home UMC - used their funds to create a rest stop for bicyclists on the top of their mountain.
  • Sherwood UMC - used their funds to work with community partners to offer a free community dinner once a week.
  • McMinnville Cooperative Ministries is using their funds to develop their website and make it more engaging and relationship-building.
  • Tualatin UMC is using their funds to support their involvement with Family Promise of Tualatin Valley
  • McCabe Chapel is developing a new sign that tells both the history of their classic chapel in the countryside and lets people know that it still houses a vital Christian congregation.
  • ​​Woodburn UMC used their grant money to help a local childcare center with security.  
  • West Salem UMC used their grant money to create a sign which reflects all the program that use their building.
  • Astoria First UMC used their funds as seed money to respond to the needs of people without homes in their community.  
  • Oregon City First UMC presented a Funday School for children and youth who do not regularly attend Sunday worship.
  • Sheridan UMC  and Yamhill UMC are using their funds to build small free libraries outside their churches.
  • Silverton UMC has created a community garden in partnership with others in their community.
  • Stayton First UMC passed out shopping bags with a message to create conversations around stewardship of the Earth.
  • Bend FUMC is creating videos of members telling their stories - as a way to stay in touch as they experience growth in total membership.