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Overview & FAQ

United Methodist Communications’ Rethink Church initiative now offers event grants for media and marketing to United Methodist church clusters (three or more United Methodist Churches or entities, like a Wesley Foundation), districts, and conferences who plan to engage with their community in outreach ministry events. 

NOTE: As of Summer 2015, we are now extending the grant program to include large-scale events held by a single church or two-church partnerships!

Rethink Church Community Events encourage The people of The United Methodist Church to affect change in their local communities by supporting qualifying events with some or all of the following:

  • An event promotion kit
  • Media planning, purchase, placement, design and customization
  • Event planning resources and assistance, including our Event Planning Workbook
  • Event website template with online registration
  • Public relations tips and strategies

Rethink Church Community Events are as unique and diverse as the people who organize them, but there are several basic elements that should be incorporated into a successful event experience. The composition of the event day will:

  • Reflect an opportunity for training specific to welcoming the community
  • Be a sustainable service project that meets the needs of the community
  • Have a celebration/reflection component

United Methodist Communications is very excited to help churches to reach out to communities in need, proving what we say we believe with what we do and that church can happen anywhere!


What is the Rethink Church Community Events program?
The program is a Rethink Church initiative that will offer partnership grants on a first-come, first-served basis to United Methodist Church clusters (three or more UM churches or UM entities, i.e. a Wesley Foundation, etc.), districts and conferences who will engage alongside their community in outreach ministry. NOTE: As of Summer 2015, we are now extending the grant program to include large-scale events held by a single church or two-church partnerships!

What is a Rethink Church Event?
A Rethink Church  Event is an outreach event that makes a difference in your community by serving, assisting, and engaging church and community volunteers to create a lasting impact in your area. Internal church programs, e.g. fundraisers, VBS, or the launch of a new study group, do not qualify. Below are criteria that can help you move forward with your community event.

A Rethink Church Community Event should strive to:

  • Create a community event that affects positive change
  • Cluster with other United Methodist churches in your area to have a larger impact, if possible
  • Engage and participate with community volunteers
  • Generate a higher visibility for your churches and your missions
  • Create an opportunity for witness and invitation to the unchurched
  • Build a reputation that is easily recognized
  • Establish a sustainable community ministry

What is a church cluster?  
A church cluster is a partnership of no less than three (3) United Methodist Churches in any area, combining their efforts, volunteers, and resources to promote and sustain Rethink Church events and other outreach ministries in their community. A cluster could include other United Methodist entities, like a Wesley Foundation or other group. A United Methodist District or Conference may also come together as a large cluster for an event. 

Can a single church or two-partner church event apply?
Yes! As of Summer 2015, the grant program is being extended to allow single churches or two-church partnerships to apply for a grant if their large-scale event qualifies through the Survey. (Survey is not available when the grants are full)

How can we get involved with Community Events?
Begin to outline your event plans and identify all churches or districts involved. Take the following Survey to see if your event qualifies for assistance. If your event qualifies for a grant, you will receive an email with instructions on how to proceed to the online application process. (Survey is not available when the grants are full)

When can we apply? What are the application deadlines?
The application process continues year round. Applications will be accepted on a first-come, first-served basis and funds will be distributed on a case-by-case basis until all available funds have been exhausted. Your application must be submitted no less than three months prior to your proposed event date.

How many times can we apply each year for a Rethink Church Community Event grant? Any Conference, District, Church or Church Cluster may submit one application per calendar year.

How much money can we be awarded to support our Rethink Church event?
UMCom will provide funds for media and marketing based upon your application, media costs in your area and available funds.

What criteria must be met to qualify for Community Event funds?
See Selection Criteria tab on the Rethink Church Community Events web page.

Who can we contact for assistance?

Rethink Church Grants and Resources Team:
Rev. Ashleigh Joyner, Pam Buck, Wanda Jackson and Sara Perez

Phone Toll-Free: 877-281-6535

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