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The PC(USA)’s Mission Development Resources Committee announces the final Mission Program Grants for 2022

For the year, $1.6 million in grants has gone to 93 worshiping communities

by Paul Seebeck | Presbyterian News Service

Affirming Youth Ministries provides online programming for LGBQIA+ youth and those who love them. It’s among the most recent organizations to receive a 1001 New Worshiping Communities grant. (Contributed photo)

LOUISVILLE — In its final 1001 New Worshiping Community grant cycle for 2022 and on behalf of the Presbyterian Mission Agency, the Mission Development Resources Committee approved 17 Mission Program Grants to NWCs.  Each recipient is listed below, followed by the presbytery and synod they belong to and a brief description of their ministry.

 SEED GRANTS: $10,000 helps start NWCs, support the first year of ministry

  • Affirming Youth Ministries (Seattle, Alaska-Northwest) provides online programming for LGBTQIA+ youth and those that love them to a thriving and growing community from literally all over the world.
  • Leader Sandra Garcia of Amistad Multi-Cultural English Ministry (White Water Valley, Lincoln Trails) engages neighbors who have given up on church in Fort Wayne, Indiana.
  • Fresno Faith & Justice Movement (San Joaquin, Pacific) is being launched by NWC Woven Community to explore the intersection of faith and activism in Fresno, California.
  • Fresno Punjabi Fellowship (San Joaquin, Pacific) began as a house church of immigrants from India and Pakistan. Now this community of 20 is reaching out to Sikh, Hindu and Muslim seekers in Fresno, California.

La Iglesia del Pueblo is a sister church of Freedom Church of the Poor. Both have their roots in the Kairos Center. The Rev. Liz Theoharis, pictured on the left, directs the Kairos Center and co-founded The Poor People’s Campaign. (Contributed photo)

  • La Iglesia del Pueblo (New York City, Northeast Synod). People from Venezuela, Brazil and Ecuador, as well as religious and activist leaders from across the U.S., read Scripture together in the program Reading the Bible with the Poor Cohort, and then work for the marginalized.
  • Rainmakers (Heartland, Mid-America) explores the intersections of media with mission, storytelling and community formation. Mirroring an artist collective, it will provide opportunity for both media and meaning-making among those who gather.
  • United Campus Christian Fellowship (Lake Michigan, Covenant) is a multi-denominational open, inclusive and affirming campus ministry and NWC in Grand Rapids, Michigan.

INVESTMENT GRANTS: $30,000 supports NWCs after their first year of ministry

  • Artisan Church (Western North Carolina, Mid-Atlantic) had as many as 50 participants attend worship at its storefront space in Lincolnton, North Carolina. In partnership with a local art gallery, Artisan curated its own art gallery and has displayed six exhibitions.
  • El Buen Pastor Hispanic Ministry (Greater Atlanta, South Atlantic) worships with nearly 50 immigrants from nine countries, including Brazil, Bolivia, Paraguay, Mexico, Guatemala, Peru and Venezuela.
  • First Progressive Church in Los Angeles (Pacific, Southern California & Hawaii) brought food to those who could not make it to its host church’s weekly food pantry. What has emerged is a group of people exploring their spirituality and the inclusive gospel in Koreatown and beyond.
  • Freedom Church of the Poor (New York City, Northeast) is made up of many activist leaders and organizations across the country, including the Poor People’s Campaign. Freedom uses the methodology of “Reading the Bible with the Poor,” then works for the access of resources for all.
  • Harbor Online Community (Pittsburgh, Trinity) worships online with a growing community of ex-evangelicals who don’t have progressive Christian communities in their geographical area.
  • La Esperanza Presbyterian Church (Greater Atlanta, South Atlantic) is in community with those who have had to migrate or flee from their countries, including the Venezuelan and Latin American migrants in diaspora.

Red Clay Abbey is a monastic community in Casper, Wyoming, that provides people with Sabbath rest. (Contributed photo)

  • Red Clay Abbey (Wyoming, Rocky Mountains) is a new monastic community in Casper, Wyoming. It provides people with Sabbath rest and opportunities to live more fully aligned lives.

GROWTH GRANTS: $30,000 supports NWCs after the first 30 months of ministry

Growing Neighbors uses “farmyard gardens” in the Spokane, Washington, area to address food insecurity. (Contributed photo)

  • Growing Neighbors (Inland Northwest, Alaska-Northwest) uses “farmyard” gardens all over the Spokane, Washington area to address food insecurity in the Inland Northwest.
  • Missio Dei Community, (Tampa Bay, South Atlantic) worships with and serves the ignored, forgotten and vulnerable in St. Petersburg, Florida. Missio’s concern for those who are unhoused has made the community a leader in responding to systemic injustices and meeting short-term needs.
  • While seeing the spiritual transformation of participants in the community, WAYS – Liminal Health and Fitness (Greater Atlanta, South Atlantic) provided free training to 150 refugee youth in Clarkston, Georgia.

In 2022, the Mission Program Grants program issued $1.6 million to support:

  • 36 NWCs getting started
  • 23 NWCs after their first year of ministry
  • 17 NWCs after their third year of ministry
  • 17 Health Insurance Grants to leaders of NWCs

Be sure to apply for the Sam and Helen R. Walton Award by February 3, 2023.  Applications for a possible one-time financial award of up to $50,000, which will be decided on March 9, can be found here.

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