A dozen 1001 New Worshiping Communities awarded Mission Program Grants

Eight communities will receive $7,500 each, while four get $25K each

by Paul Seebeck | Presbyterian News Service

Casa Brasil, a new worshiping community in Presbytery of Greater Atlanta, recently held its first worship service. Casa Brasil’s services are held in Portuguese. (Photo by Rafael Vina)

 

LOUISVILLE — The Presbyterian Mission Agency approved 12 Mission Program Grants to worshiping communities during its latest grant cycle. Among them are eight $7,500 seed grants to help an assortment of 1001 new worshiping communities get started in various presbyteries across the country.

During its June meeting, the PMA’s Mission Development Resources Committee also announced the approval of two $25,000 investment grants given to worshiping communities living into their mission and ministry  and two $25,000 growth grants to “1001” communities growing into a viable Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) related community.

The new worshiping community grant recipients are listed below, followed by their presbytery and synod:

The Bellingham, Wash., worshiping community works with and learns from people experiencing homelessness. (Photo by Jessie Bloss)

Seed grants

  • The Backyard (Northeast Georgia, South Atlantic), which serves the Laotian community in Cornelia, recently baptized a mother and daughter, which moved everyone who was present at the river baptism.
  • Bellingham NWC (Northwest Coast, Alaska-Northwest) works with and learns from people who are either homeless or in recovery from homelessness, as well as special needs youth. As they cultivate space where they can encounter Jesus together, they are learning how to do church in new ways.
  • Casa Brasil (Greater Atlanta, South Atlantic) is made up of the Brazilian Portuguese speaking members of “1001” community On The Way who have a desire to worship in their own language.
  • Centro Cristiano Agua Viva of Hanford (San Joaquin, Pacific) serves 15 Spanish-speaking families in Central California. The startup money will be used to help with growing worship and evangelism needs, including worship equipment, Bibles, advertising and educational materials.
  • The Germantown Community (National Capital, Mid-Atlantic) is made up of families who have not previously been involved in organized religion in Germantown. To integrate Scripture and life experience, the families currently meet at both social service events and in fellowship gatherings.
  • King’s Cross, (Shepherds & Lapsley, Living Waters) a campus ministry in Birmingham, Ala., wants to reach out to young adults of minority groups and care for foreign students who are experiencing a sense of exile from their homeland.
  • Light Street Church (Baltimore, Mid-Atlantic) continues to grow its diverse ministry in South Baltimore. Of the 50 people who worship regularly at Light Street, 25 percent are people of color and 25 percent identify as LGBQ+.
  • Rock Eternal Presbyterian Arabic Church (Middle Tennessee, Living Waters) in Nashville, Tenn., has 10 families and 12 children, most of whom are recent immigrants from Arabic-speaking countries. Over 40 are currently worshiping, and several adults, including women, are emerging as leaders.

Investment grants

  • Coastland Commons (Seattle, Alaska-Northwest) started in 2014 using a Kickstarter campaign to fund a church house primarily for the Seattle’s artistic community. Obtaining a seed grant in 2017, it’s now ready to hire staff.
  • Andrews PC – New Port Richey (Tampa Bay, South Atlantic) has developed an established identity in its economically depressed New Port Richey neighborhood. Nearly 70 people come over the course of a week for Sunday worship, Wednesday night youth fellowship and Thursday night college ministry. At a recent membership orientation, three of the six participants were unchurched and unbaptized.

Growth grants

  • Jubilee International Fellowship (New Hope, Mid-Atlantic) is a multi-cultural ministry in Wake Forest, N.C., that recently baptized four new Christians, including two former atheist college students. The community is approximately 30 percent white, 30 percent Asian, 15 Hispanic, 15 percent North African and Middle Eastern, and 10 percent Jamaican and Dominican Republic.
  • Umoja Presbyterian Church (Olympia, Alaska-Northwest) was chartered with 62 members as a PC(USA) congregation in May 2018 in Tacoma, Wash. A year later membership stands at 125, with 20 more people interested in joining. Attendance among children is also growing, thanks to the addition of a recent Christian education leader and active youth group.

Mission Program Grants are made available through the Racial Equity & Women’s Intercultural Ministries of the Presbyterian Mission Agency. The grants support the transforming work of new worshiping communities and mid councils.

In 2012, the 220th General Assembly of the PC(USA) declared a commitment to a churchwide movement resulting in the creation of 1001 worshiping communities over the next 10 years.

 


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