Overview

The Motown Mission Experience is an urban work mission destination in Detroit, MI for Christian youth, college, and adult groups interested in economic disaster recovery work in the name of Jesus Christ.  Deeply rooted in Wesleyan Theology, Motown Mission began as a United Methodist organization and continues to maintain the connection to the contemporary UMC's commitment to grace, mission, and service as a means for individual and communal transformation.

Participant Fees

  • For $300/person, and a $95 group registration fee:
    • Live at historic Metropolitan UMC with meals provided
    • Participate in great evening activities including worship, music, small group conversations, connection with Detroit residents, recreational activities outside with one another, and one day during the week is the "Evening in the City." This evening includes a larger event such as Detroit Tigers baseball game or other cultural event, live concerts by local musicians, and great speakers from around Detroit. 
    • Work at project sites from 9am-4pm (with one half work day to leave enough time for the "Evening in the City" and time to grab dinner on your own).
    • T-shirt for each participant

Accommodations

Motown Mission accommodations for large groups in the summertime are at Metropolitan UMC in the New Center Area of Detroit. We use a number of Sunday School rooms there as dormitories. We have access to about 70 bunk-beds, and space to accommodate an additional 50-60 participants with air mattresses and cots. Participants who would like to bring their own air mattresses or cots are invited to do so. Guys and girls are placed in separate classrooms and we try to accommodate each group to have their own sleeping quarters. Showers are in the basement by the gymnasium and are individual stalls. All meals are included in the $300/person cost (Sunday Dinner - through Saturday breakfast) except dinner on your half work day. Lunches are made and bagged in the mornings and taken to the work sites, and dinners are cooked and provided by Motown Mission staff and/or volunteers from supporting churches.

For smaller groups during the school year, accommodations are at Motown Mission's Foundry House, an apartment building at 1449 Webb Avenue with beds, dining, and gathering space for up to 15.

 

Work Projects

All groups will be engaged in economic disaster recovery work projects. Motown Mission partners with home repair agencies in the Joy-Southfield, Brightmoor, and Wyoming-Plymouth neighborhoods of Detroit, MI. These partners prepare lists of work projects, home owners, and other volunteers that we partner with for work projects. Other partner organizations include feeding and greening ministries like the NOAH Project, Michigan Urban Farming Initiative, and more.  Motown Mission works with each group to match your skill level and interests with appropriate projects.  More intensive home repair/construction projects are reserved for older or more experienced groups.

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Evening Activities

Each evening of your Motown Mission Experience, the Motown Staff help you prepare and lead worship and devotionals to reflect on your day of service work. Evening gathering times include music, discussion, history of the city, community activities such as frisbee, Faygo floats, and a special speaker from the neighborhood to speak about their life and faith journey. Evening activities have a goal of connecting participants to God and one another. Each week the Motown Staff work with you to organize and evening out for a cultural event, like a Tiger's baseball game or visit to one of Detroit's museums.  All these help participants understand that this work that they do is happening in an active community of people whom God loves and who have much to share with visitors.

History

The Motown Mission Experience began in 2005 as a one week trip for Middle School students from Birmingham First UMC.  Since then it has grown under the umbrella of the Young Leaders Initiative and with ongoing support from the United Methodist Union of Greater Detroit and individual donors.  As of Summer 2016 Motown Mission has welcomed over 3,500 young people to Detroit, Michigan and has put over $2 Million worth of volunteer hours and monetary contributions in this city!

Theology

As a United Methodist related organization Motown Mission seeks to connect young people to Wesleyan principles of faith in God, and service as a means of grace. So, each week we create opportunities for teams to help the people in the city (social holiness) fight poverty and other effects of the economic crisis.  Then, with moments of prayer and reflection we help teams explore how God is changing lives and transforming hearts (personal holiness).  Motown Mission welcomes participants from any and all Christian traditions interested in doing no harm, learning how to do good, and practicing staying in love with God.

Impact

Over the years Motown Mission has helped over 3,500 participants from 200 churches offer 95,000 hours of volunteer work to the people of the City of Detroit.  In total the value of this time and material now add up to over $2 Million worth of service to this city in the name of Jesus Christ. 

Volunteer Hours & Money to Projects

Combined value of $2 Million over 11 years.