District News

Get Ready for Advent and Christmas with These Resources

The MI Conference has several options to assist with Advent and Christmas at your church.  You’ll find liturgy for lighting Advent Candles, information for a Blue Christmas Prayer Service, family Christmas Eve services and ideas, a Christmas Day service and much more. 

Check it out here: https://michiganumc.org/online-worship/advent-resources/

Ensure your church website information is current so folks can find your church online by clicking here: https://michiganumc.org/online-church-by-city/


2023 Lay Equalization Member to Annual Conference Information

Apply now to be a lay equalization member to the 2023 Michigan Annual Conference slated for June 2-4. The Heritage District can fill 21 positions (up 3 positions from last year).  Initial deadline for submitting an application is December 9 with final selection notification happening by January 20, 2023.   Would like to especially encourage youth (12-17) and young adults (18-30) to apply.  If you have questions, reach out to your Heritage District lay leader John Seppanen at: [email protected]

Download the application:
Word doc >>>
Pdf >>>

Complete application entirely on-line here.  Completing the online application allows electronic approval from your pastor. 

Proud to be UMC

Many have commented about information received from the Global Methodist Church and Wesley Covenant Association regarding the future of the United Methodist Church but were looking for something from the UMC perspective.  Videos produced by Adam Hamilton and the Church of the Resurrection may be helpful in that regard. 

Rev. Hamilton writes:

This series of videos offers a different perspective and is intended to help churches and individuals seeking to discern whether to leave The United Methodist Church. My aim was to be gracious, but to also speak clearly to what I see as misinformation.
Topics cover: who we are as United Methodists, how we read the Bible, our commitment to and faith in Christ and the historic essentials of the Christian faith, our love of scripture while also believing it is important to rightly interpret scripture, our denominational divisions of human sexuality, and the future of the UMC. 

Read more >>>

Ways to Promote Readers to Leaders Campaign

Raising at least $600 to fund scholarships for children in Michigan and Liberia is doable thanks to these resources created for the Readers to Leaders campaign.

Churches are invited to visit this web page containing resources to help churches promote and get involved in the Readers to Leaders fundraising campaign, which is raising money for scholarships to help send children to United Methodist-affiliated schools in Michigan and Liberia.

Read more >>>

Financial Assistance, Connectional Grants and Youth Ministry Grants Available

The Heritage District Finance Committee, under the leadership of District Superintendent Rev. LuAnn Rourke, uses district ministry shares to offer financial assistance and grants.  For questions or assistance contact Rick Gorham at [email protected].  Submit completed forms to Rick Gorham via postal mail: Rick Gorham, 13539 S. Rainbow Drive, Gregory, MI  48137, or email [email protected].

Application for Financial Assistance >>>
Application for Connectional Church Grant >>>

Heritage District Youth Ministry Discipleship Grants

The Heritage District Leadership Team offers grants as an opportunity to re-imagine youth ministry in local churches within the district. Each church may receive one grant of up to $300. Grants may be used for supplies, postage to send faith formation materials home, digital curriculum, Lent/Easter/Summer programming, etc. that support or enhance creative faith formation. Contact Rev. Mary Hagley [email protected] for more information.  Apply here: https://forms.gle/yWSDBW2Qg2fg323A9

These grants are different from the Michigan Conference Discipleship Grants, which are still available here: https://michiganumc.org/resources/childrens-ministry-tool-box/

MI Conference and Heritage District Ministry Shares

Announcing 2023 Ministry Shares >>>

Your Heritage District Ministry shares support two key areas.  The majority goes back to the local churches through grants and support of programs for youth, leadership and lay servant ministries.  The remaining portion funds expenses necessary to maintain essential items in the district:  treasurer, updating e-news and Facebook plus support for other district-wide initiatives.

2022 Heritage District Ministry Shares

Download the PDF >>>

2022 Michigan Conference Ministry Shares

Download the PDF >>>

Standing in Solidarity with Asbury UMC

The  Anti-Bias Anti-Racism Working Group of The Michigan Conference stands in solidarity with Asbury United Methodist Church in Washington, DC, following the vandalism of their “Black Lives Matter” sign.

On December 12, 2020, Asbury United Methodist Church in Washington, DC, had its “Black Lives Matter” sign and display vandalized after a day of demonstrations. This sign was taken from the property of Asbury United Methodist Church. Similar signs were also taken from two other congregations in Washington, DC: Luther Place Lutheran Church and Metropolitan African Methodist Episcopal Church. We lament this horrific assault on the people of Asbury as well as the entire faith community.

Read more >>>

Advent Resources for Churches & Families

Below is a collective list of ideas activities for Heritage District churches/families to celebrate Advent and Christmas

Ideas and Activities

  • Centerpiece or ornament that each person in the congregation receives as a visual connection to the theme for the season (“home for the holidays” “angels among us” “hope is born”)
  • Delivering candy canes with messages of hope/ love/ peace/ joy
  • Decorating the outside of the church instead of the inside
  • “Living Nativity” with different scenes in the driveways of church members – a sort of road rally or scavenger hunt
  • Hand-delivered front porch drop boxes with craft items to assemble, or pre-packaged food items
  • Drive-in Christmas Eve candlelight service (using battery operated candles)
  • Families / individuals video record themselves singing carols and uploaded to Facebook page
  • Send Christmas Cards
  • Use Sermon by Phone app to record sermons or worship services for those who cannot connect online
  • Encourage youth / young adults to host Netflix watch parties
  • Provide open Zoom “coffee hour” or “office hour” for people to drop in and have conversation
  • Prepare devotional guides for use at home or in small groups
  • Purchase Faithful Families for Advent & Christmas by Traci Smith. To purchase use link below:


If purchasing multiple books check bulk discounts available at Chalice Press.


*Suggestions from the Faithful Families Christmas Book

  • November 29 Advent Chain page 8
  • December 6 Jesus’ Family Tree page 47 (cost is $3)

    Luke Genealogy family tree: https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/The-Genealogy-of-Jesus-in-  pictures-According-to-Matthew-1-4752935?gclid=CjwKCAjwoc_8BRAcEiwAzJevtZ5_SNhNZDLmtWjLxH71lcVn3Fixh1qpRRYGab8uy5jYIcBRk3Fb8hoCxpQQAvD_BwE

Print out and cut up cards.

  • December 13 Homemade Christmas Gifts page 36
  • December 20 Christmas Card Prayers page 26
  • December 21 Longest Night Prayer with Candle page 72
  • December 24 Christmas Eve Candle page 78

Candles available from Dollar Tree:  https://www.dollartree.com/glass-jar-candles-8/167532

Use the Michigan Conference Family Friendly Christmas Eve Service

  • December 25 – January 5 12 Days of Family Time page 86

Fill out the 12 Days of Family Connection, let each member of your family choose at least one activity.   Click here


More resources at the Michigan Conference Website


*Resources for Faithful Families Christmas Book gathered by Rev. Mary Hagley

at Dixboro UMC.  If you have questions email at [email protected].

Redeeming the Season

Uncertain times present an opportunity for “redeeming the season,” says Bishop David Bard. He adds, “Redeeming the season remembers that we are involved in a long work.”


Michigan Area

A favorite Bible study method for me involves comparing various English translations and renditions of a passage of Scripture. Doing so reminds me that the Scriptures we read were not originally written in English, that language is complex and translation a creative activity, and that language is rich with nuance so that exploring various shades of meaning opens these texts to me in wonderfully new ways.

Read more >>>

Make Change Part of Your Church DNA

The REACH Summit on Oct. 24 is the beginning of a year-long relationship of ongoing support through a REACH Network Group or coaching. Serious about change? Register now.


Computers need them. So do smartphones. Churches do, too. Updates help people and operating systems boost functionality without slowing down. That’s how the Rev. Andy Lee of Commerce United Methodist Church describes the REACH Movement, which includes the upcoming REACH Summit.

The REACH Movement was launched to help churches grow and multiply in a rapidly changing world.

Read more >>>

Heritage District