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“I give you a new commandment, that you love one another.” — John 13:34

Office Of Theology and Worship receives Lilly Endowment grants

The Office of Theology and Worship of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) has been selected to receive two grants, totaling over $2.9 million from the Indianapolis-based Lilly Endowment Inc.

Re-Forming Ministry, a new Theology and Worship initiative to join pastors, seminary faculty, and church officials in shared, collaborative theological work, will receive $1,966, 683 as part of the Endowment's national program called Sustaining Pastoral Excellence. The grant will make possible five years of intensive theological work by several groups, each consisting of pastors, professors, and church officials.

The Company of New Pastors, an initiative that will broaden and deepen Theology and Worship's transition to ministry program Excellence From the Start, will receive $940,481 as part of the Endowment's national program called Transition-into-Ministry. The grant will enable the creation of a churchwide system of vocational mentoring groups, beginning during seminary and carrying through the first four years of pastoral ministry.

Joseph Small, Congregational Ministries Division Associate Director for Theology and Worship/Spiritual Formation, noted that, "The Endowment's support will enable the Office of Theology and Worship to expand and deepen its efforts to encourage the recovery of pastors' deeply theological vocational identity. Both Re-Forming Ministry and the Company of New Pastors endeavor to overcome the fragmentation of ministry and to bring intellectual, spiritual, and vocational inquiry together in new patterns of collegiality."

Said Craig Dykstra, Endowment vice president for religion: "The Endowment's current religion grantmaking revolves around two major and interlocking considerations: identifying, nurturing, and educating a talented new generation of pastors and, second, recognizing and supporting the excellent pastors we have. Not surprisingly, we know that healthy, engaged, thoughtful, dedicated ministers go hand in hand with healthy, vibrant, and effective congregations."


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