Building a New Ministry through a Grant and a Partnership

November 10, 2019

Recognizing that youth disciples are vital to the future of the church, leaders at Alida Upland Cooperative Parish, a United Methodist congregation, began making plans to partner with another local church for children’s ministry. To help make their vision possible, they applied for a Children and Youth Pathways for Discipleship Grant to help with the transportation cost.

Alida, a small country church near Junction City, desired to strengthen its outreach to the children and youth in its congregation and surrounding area. Knowing that another, rural United Methodist Church had an excellent AWANA program already in place, Alida desired to partner together for a year with the intention of starting an AWANA program in their local church the following year.

With the partner church being 25 miles away, Alida knew they would need to provide transportation. A generous church member from the congregation donated a van to pick students up each week and a Pathways for Discipleship Grant from the Kansas Area United Methodist Foundation helps cover the cost of transportation. 

“We are just so thankful for the financial help,” Pastor Maria Foerschler said. “We have lofty goals, but with God ‘All things are possible!”

The partnership began at the beginning of the school year and each week, on average, Alida takes ten students to participate in AWANA. Through the AWANA club, students are learning to memorize scripture and share in a time of worship.

“Thanks to the grant, the kids are really going to town on their scripture memorization,” Pastor Maria Foerschler said. “When children can memorize scripture, they tend to keep it in their hearts forever.”

The Pathways for Discipleship grant allowed Alida to kick-start their AWANA program. After the year of partnership, the leaders envision making a lasting difference in their community through having an AWANA program in their local church, thus eliminating the need for transportation.

Pathways for Discipleship Grants are made possible through generous gifts from across our network. Gifts, large and small, can be made on a one-time or reoccurring basis, or as an estate gift. To support the Pathways for Discipleship Grant Ministry to help churches, like Alida, expand their ministries visit our website, or contact the Foundation Office at or 620-664-9623.

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