LITTLE ROCK, ARK. (May 20, 2020) – Standing in front of a large shipment of newly purchased personal protective equipment, Bishop Gary Mueller and Methodist Foundation for Arkansas President and CEO J. Wayne Clark announced a grant that will allow all 635 churches across the Arkansas Conference to gather together safely once again.

This is the first grant that the Methodist Foundation has ever presented that affects every local church in the Conference.

Rev. J. Wayne Clark, President and CEO of the Methodist Foundation for Arkansas

Rev. Wayne Clark shared, “I am grateful the Methodist Foundation for Arkansas can help every United Methodist church in Arkansas get back to a healthy environment to worship. With the standards in place for every church to provide facemasks and hand sanitizer before they open for in-person worship, finding these supplies can be challenging,” stated Rev. WayClark.

Clark added, “A special thank you goes out to the Arkansas Conference who will purchase and distribute these supplies to all the churches. Our Methodist forefathers and foremothers who deeply loved the church, have made it possible for the Foundation to ‘pay it forward.’”

This grant will provide local churches with the necessary equipment to keep everyone safe during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. Hand sanitizer, cleaning supplies and face masks will be distributed to all 635 United Methodist Churches in Arkansas over the next few weeks.

Bishop Gary Mueller of the Arkansas Conference 

Bishop Gary Mueller, who is on the Governor’s Economic Recovery Task Force shared how thankful he is for these grants.

“We are doing everything we can do to equip our local churches to open their doors for in-person events when the timing is right. We have provided our own guidance tools that reflect the guidelines from the CDC, Governor Hutchinson’s office and the Arkansas Department for Health. Without this grant from the Methodist Foundation for Arkansas, many of our churches would not be able to secure the appropriate supplies needed to open their doors. We are extremely grateful.”

200,000 Reasons Receives $10,000 Grant 

In addition, the Methodist Foundation for Arkansas has announced the awarding of a $10,000 grant to 200,000 Reasons, the Arkansas Conference initiative to end childhood hunger in the state.

Through this grant, 200,000 Reasons is offering grants of up to $1,000 for food and meal distribution ministries that are finding a greater demand for food during the pandemic. In addition, the grant award can be used to provide safety items to clients of a UMC feeding ministry, including masks, supplies to make masks, hand sanitizer, and/or other disinfectant items as well as print resources about COVID-19 and safety measures.

To apply for the grant, visit https://arumc.wufoo.com/forms/feeding-ministries-response-to-covid19-grants/. The deadline for grant applications is May 31. Additional questions can be sent to Mary Lewis Dassinger, Project Coordinator of 200,000 Reasons at mdassinger@arumc.org.

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The Arkansas Conference of the United Methodist Church is one of the 54 annual conferences that make up the United Methodist Church in the United States. Founded in 2003, the Conference, as part of the South Central Jurisdiction of the United Methodist Church, is responsible for coordinating more than 600 United Methodist churches and over 300 clergy throughout Arkansas to fulfill its trajectory “to make disciples of Jesus Christ, who make disciples equipped and sent to transform lives, communities and the world.” The Conference also supports a number of United Methodist-affiliated ministries in the state of Arkansas. For more information, visit arumc.org.