BAMBERG—Mount Carmel United Methodist Church was awarded $3,000 from the South Carolina United Methodist Church’s Ethnic Local Church Concerns to improve its technology and security initiatives.
“The grant has enhanced the mission and ministry of Mount Carmel,” said the Rev. Albert Shuler, pastor of Mount Carmel UMC. “We feel that the church can continue to move forward with its mission. We are also thankful to the South Carolina Annual Conference for providing such funding to bring Mount Carmel into the 21st century.
“I am grateful for those in leadership and their willingness to receive this with much appreciation knowing that we are not in this alone.”
Grant funds were secured to improve the church’s communication and engagement with its members and community through Sunday worship service, weekly Bible study and ministry activities. Specifically, funds supported technology purchases such as a desktop computer installed with Microsoft Office 365, a printer, Zoom license and internet and landline services. This has allowed the pastor and leadership team to seamlessly connect with members who are unable to participate in church services, meetings and activities because of health reasons, COVID-19 restrictions or residing outside the local area.
Mount Carmel continues to work toward maintaining a safe sanctuary and worship service for its members and visitors. Therefore, the awarding of the ELCC grant was timely in the church’s efforts to upgrade and expand its security operations by installing a state-of-the-art alarm system and camera doorbell.
“The security upgrades have provided a sense of peace and comfort during worship, Bible study and other church activities,” said Trustee Chair Chris Ottley. “We are now comfortable with ensuring a safe and welcoming presence for everyone without feeling a sense of fear or anxiety.”
The project addressed several of the church’s concerns as it continues to grow and expand its ministry work throughout the local community and beyond. The awarding of these funds included protection of the church’s assets, safety of its members and visitors, connection to the membership and community, access to leadership development training and educational opportunities for the pastor and members and ability to offer special services, programs and activities using virtual platforms.
April Dobson, program director, said she is grateful Mount Carmel received the grant.
“Mount Carmel needed the items purchased from the grant, and we are very appreciative to be awarded this funding opportunity,” Dobson said. “By acquiring these items, it gives parishioners a sense of safety and satisfaction knowing that we can move forward in this technological world.”
The ELCC mission is to establish priorities in the areas that address local church concerns. As a result of this mission, ELCC commitment to local churches assisted Mount Carmel with accomplishing its project goals to develop new modes communication; increase safety; institute electronic forms of church functions and education; and develop and increase relationships between members and the community.