Mike Block hired as Director of Missional Engagement
Mike Block has been hired as the Director of Missional Engagement of the Upper New York Conference. This position opening was made possible by a donation from Earlville UMC—their vote to discontinue included donating enough money to the new Upper New York Mission Central Hub to allow it to start operations, which included enough money to cover the salary of a Director for at least two years. Click here to read the full story.
Mike’s primary role will be to equip local church and Conference leaders to be the “hands and feet of Jesus,” providing help and hope to people in times of distress and disaster. He will directly support our Volunteers in Mission and Disaster Response teams and oversee the development and use of the Mission Central Hub.
Mike grew up in a family that was very engaged in mission work and helping communities in need. And he has carried this passion throughout his life. A retired military reservist, Mike speaks of the many times he was able to help countries in need. Much like first responders in disaster, Mike explained, “When countries sought the U.S.’s support during times of war, within 24 hours, we’d be on a plane and on the ground of the country in need, interfacing with civilians, helping them to understand that we were there not to judge them, but to help them.”
Ten years ago, Mike was part of the startup team for Immanuel (Church of the Bells) UMC’s mission trip planning to help with the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. Since then, Mike has helped lead 120 people on 36 similar mission trips, and the team has completed 18,000 hours of labor.
Mike is excited about his new position. He said “It has always felt good to make a difference in one church. I’m thrilled to do it with 867 churches and 65 New Faith Communities. I’m just the beginning. There’s a whole team of people anxious to get involved. I don’t know it all, but I know enough to ask and accomplish any task given to me.”