Partner:The UMC, Alaska United Methodist Annual Conference
Describe the need affecting the community.
The average medium household income in Willow is $37,000, with the cost of living 13% above the national average. The cost of living for groceries is 31% above the national average. The average income of those the ministry currently serves is well below this amount, probably $25,000 annually. Over 22% of the residents of Willow live below the US poverty level. Unemployment in Willow is about 7%, which is above the US average. As stated earlier, most jobs are seasonal or part time. Those looking for work have to have reliable transportation, and that is a problem for many individuals living in poverty. Churches in the community are small and under-staffed. Only one other clergy lives in the community, and there is no other full-time clergy. Having a clergy present offers the relational opportunities with members of the community who tend to be suspicious of outsiders.
How will this Advance project help to address the need?
We hope to continue this partnership with the Willow Church and Community Ministry, and to continue providing full-time pastoral leadership in the community.
Describe the primary goal of the project.
The primary goal of this project is to be a mission outpost of the United Methodist Church in Willow, AK, and its surrounding communities, and as Christ's disciples responding to God's love by our witness, stewardship and outreach with and for all persons and creation.
Describe the change you would like to see in the community as a result of this Advance project.
We will be "successful" when gatherings become naturally self-perpetuating and replicating, with a Kingdom-focused DNA that draws other people. Church growth comes out of a natural inclusion of individuals invited into community rather than adding as we can from guests.
Budget and Financial Information
Annual Advance Financial Goal
Local Financial Support
Building Maintenance, Utilities, Mortgage
Pastor Salary, Benefits
Programmatic Expenses, Budgeted Missions