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United Methodist Health Ministry Fund

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Project Name: Healthy Congregations

The United Methodist Health Ministry Fund (Health Fund) is a 33-year-old, $50 million health philanthropy located in Hutchinson, Kansas. Our mission is to improve the health of Kansans through cooperative and strategic philanthropy guided by Christian values. The Health Fund focuses on three strategic areas to accomplish this mission: access to care, early childhood development, and the Healthy Congregations program. Healthy Congregations addresses community health by providing Great Plains United Methodist Church congregations in Kansas and Nebraska with learning experiences, training, and grant opportunities. One such opportunity is the Good Neighbor Experiment (GNE). Created and led by The Neighboring Movement, the GNE is a nine-month-long learning cohort for congregations that gather for three training workshops, implement small group curriculum that connects asset-based community development (ABCD) with time-honored Christian practices, and take actionable steps toward practicing the learned skills of community neighboring. As part of the program, participants identify a project that aligns with ABCD practices and then connect with local resources to accomplish the project goals. Healthy Congregations churches have benefited from using ABCD to expand their discipleship through community engagement, in turn gaining clarity of mission and focus. Since 2017, the Neighboring Movement team has companioned 50 congregations in Kansas, Nebraska, and Texas through this material. Now we aim to expand that reach to 280 congregations over the five-year term, with a capacity for 100 congregations each year by 2026.

Location: Hutchinson, KS
geographic scope: Regional
Contact Information
Contact: Adam Barlow-Thompson