District Missions


Native American Elders Program (NAEP)

The Pa Wa Ting - Native American Elders Program (NAEP) is an outreach program to support Native American Elders and their families in the Grand Rapids area and beyond. NAEP provides healthy meals, health screenings, information, referrals, pastoral care, counseling, social connection, transportation, and more.

NAEP meets weekly at Grand Rapids: Northlawn UMC during the program year. Grand Rapids: First UMC recently began a weekly meal delivery program for shut-ins who cannot attend the weekly meal support program in person — read more HERE

The United Methodist Church celebrates Native American Ministries each year with a special Sunday offering, and this offering supports ministries like Pawating Native American Elders Program at Northlawn UMC. Click HERE to read about the 2023 Native American Ministries celebration. 

NAEP is supported through Western Waters District Ministry Shares and direct gifts. The NAEP Program Director is Rhonda Loonsfoot.

Read GR

ReadGR, an affiliate of Reading is Fundamental (RIF), launched in 2017 when a local school district cut the RIF program from all of their schools including all RIF staff. Parents, educators, and book lovers from all around the greater Grand Rapids area rallied to continue this program. ReadGR is supported through Western Waters District Ministry Shares and direct gifts.  ReadGR is thrilled to partner with local congregations and businesses to bring the love of reading to at-risk students in various charter schools along with Godfrey Lee, Godwin Heights, Kentwood, and Northview Public School districts. The Executive Director of ReadGR is Becca Walsh Wolfe. Visit StorytimeGR to learn more: https://www.storytimegr.org/

Click to read this 2021 update ⇒ ReadGR Distributed 45,000 Books in 2021

If you or your church wishes to make a direct donation to either NAEP or ReadGR, please click the PayPal - "Donate" - link above.


Western Waters District