Due to the recent outbreak of COVID-19 in Arkansas, many churches around the state are now considering postponing worship gatherings and moving to an online or limited in-person format to continue worshiping together and sharing the message of Jesus Christ.
The Methodist Foundation for Arkansas has generously granted more than $30,000 in funds to Arkansas United Methodist Churches with the intention of keeping congregations connected during the outbreak.
The funds provided by the Methodist Foundation for Arkansas will be distributed by the ARUMC Center for Communication on a case-by-case basis.
Funds will be specifically used to help churches with video equipment purchases, software subscriptions, mileage funding for in-person pastoral visits, and paper and postage grants. Guidelines to apply for these grants can be found below:
1) 100 churches will receive 6 months of the video conferencing/calling platform Zoom to safely connect them online for meetings and other group functions. The Rev. Michelle Morris and Jacob Turner will be providing ongoing training on this platform.
2) 25 churches will receive a MEVO 4D video camera that offers live-streaming and production through a smartphone or other device. The churches receiving this equipment and training must meet the following requirements:
– Active church Facebook account
– Event/service camera operator already identified
– Must be in a broadband-rich geographic location
3) 100 local pastors will receive mileage grants to support their one-on-one visits at the homes of older members who are most vulnerable to illness to keep them better connected to their church. Priority will be given to those pastors who serve rural or two-point charges.
4) 20 churches will be awarded paper and postage grants to better connect with their congregations in poor broadband areas. This will encourage more communication through printed newsletters. Priority will be given to rural churches.
- Your church must average 200 people or fewer on Sundays.
- You must submit why your church needs the specific grant/grants.
- You must submit the plan for how you plan to utilize the grant/grants for the benefit of connection to a broader audience.
- For the live-streaming video equipment grants, you must submit proof for the specific requirements.
Please submit application information to firstname.lastname@example.org by April 1, 2020.