The bright future of GAP Ministries at West BranchFirst United Methodist Church is always changing and growing to fit our community’s spiritual’s needs. Our G.A.P. Ministries stands for “God’s Awesome People’s Ministries”. Under our umbrella of G.A.P., we offer multiple opportunities for spiritual and physical growth for seekers to come to know God. These include:
GAP Onsite Kids Camps
We offer year-round learning and caring opportunities with a 6-week summer session, and one week kids camp at Christmas and Spring breaks for campers in 1st through 6th grades. Our G.A.P. Summer Kids Camp can provide care for up to 100 kids with an average attendance of 48 kids daily. Children are engaged every day in Bible lessons, science and craft activities as well as a variety of special programming. We are a closed feeding site partnering with our local school district’s summer feeding program; in addition, we provide the children with 3 additional snacks daily.
Our program consists of collaborations with various private and governmental organizations to help make coping skills and literacy training available to local residents. These same partner organizations provide opportunities for field trips for the participating campers. All of our programming is provided free of charge thanks to the goodwill of our sponsors, the hard work of our volunteers, the generosity of our congregation, the occasional community grant monies, donations, and the financial support of our Central Bay District and the Michigan Conference of the United Methodist Church.
Virtual GAP Kids Camps
Due to COVID19, we converted our onsite camping experience into a virtual one this past year. We provided participating families with an activity box containing a newsletter with printed directions and the necessary supplies for the following week’s program. Our Summer Mission Interns then created short videos and published them online to our
YouTube channel. Families can access our posted programs on Facebook for the Bible lessons, participate in the science and craft projects and find directions for making the homemade snacks. In the short span of 29 days, our 2020 Summer Mission Interns created and posted 37 Bible Stories, and 16 crafts, science, and snack videos. These videos are available for you to watch and enjoy. Virtual programming is ongoing. Keep an eye on our Facebook page for additional information.
Find us on Facebook @GAPHeroes or on our YouTube channel at “God’s Awesome People’s Ministries”.
Parking Lot Ministry
Our Parking Lot Ministry offers families in line for food truck distributions an opportunity to use their waiting time to explore God’s message with packets of Sunday school type materials. Volunteers produce, package and distribute the packets directly to the cars as the families wait for their food boxes. Any child who returns a completed page at a following food drop receives a treat bag as a reward. This Parking Lot Ministry adds a personal connection between the church and those who have come to utilize the food distribution program. It has been warmly received by those taking part.
We offer a hot dog and drink to people who drive through our parking lot on Halloween night from 4 – 8 p.m. All food items are donated by area businesses and church parishioners for our event. The food is then prepared by church volunteers and distributed to participating community members as they wait in their cars.
Grab-n-Go began in 2015, where we served 550 people, our numbers grow every year. In 2020, despite the pandemic, we served over 1,100 people.
Join us and become a GAP Hero!
The bright future of GAP Ministries at West Branch First United Methodist Church is always changing and growing to fit our community’s needs. We welcome donations of supplies, funding, as well as volunteers. We would love to have you join us as we work together to spread God’s love and bounty. To see our work in action, visit our GAP Ministries Facebook page @GAPHeroes.
Inquiries can be sent to Linda Hall, Director at firstname.lastname@example.org
Tough times or not, monetary or in-kind donations are always appreciated! You can mail a check or find us at https://westbranchfumc.org/make-donation/ . Use our “Donate Now” button and put in a note in the memo to request your donation towards our wonderful “GAP Kids Camp” & Ministries. Thank you in advance!
Make check out to: West Branch First United Methodist Church,
memo: GAP Kids Program
and mail it directly to us at: 2490 W. State Road, West Branch, MI 48661.
Thank you, in advance, very much!
Linda L. Hall, B.S.W. GAP Kids Site & Staff Director