Funding supports existing communities and helps start new ones
June 18, 2019
The Presbyterian Mission Agency recently approved 12 Mission Programs Grants for a diverse range of new worshiping communities.
The PMA’s Mission Development Resources Committee announced three $25,000 Growth Grants, given to new worshiping communities that are growing a viable, sustainable, PC(USA)-related community; three Investment Grants, given to worshiping communities making progress at living into their mission and ministry; and six Seed Grants to help new worshiping communities get started.
The 12 communities are listed below in alphabetical order, followed by the presbytery and synod they belong to:
Growth Grants ($25,000 each)
- Blank Slate (Lehigh, Trinity) holds spiritual formation gatherings for “nones” and “dones” — those who have little or no experience with churches or who have left the church—in Emmaus, Pennsylvania. Several diverse small groups meet on a regular basis; the groups include intergenerational women, the musically inclined and divorced people.
- CentraLatinx (Plains and Peaks, Rocky Mountains) continues to adapt, grow and respond to the needs and challenges facing a diverse Hispanic/Latino community in Longmont, Colorado. The group has extended its outreach to those who have lived in the area for some time and to new immigrants. It’s started a home Bible study with new families and offers bilingual worship services and Sunday school classes for children.
- Centro Familiar Cristiano (Greater Atlanta, South Atlantic) serves immigrants in Alpharetta, Georgia. Some came from Puerto Rico and Florida after Hurricanes Irma and Maria in 2017. Others, from around the world, have children in college in the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program. Yet parents feel threatened that immigration officers will send them back to their home countries. Average worship attendance and participation has doubled in the last year.
Investment Grants ($25,000 each)
Eucharist of the Beloved (San Fernando, Southern California and Hawaii) in Old Town Pasadena, California, worships in a local pub and at two organizations that serve homeless people, former gang members and formerly incarcerated men and women. Eucharist of the Beloved has invited Northland Village Church in Los Angeles to partner in this ministry of building community, serving meals and helping form disciples.
Mission Presbiteriana Emanuel (Long Island, Northeast) began after Hurricane Sandy, when the Presbyterian Church of the Moriches recognized how many Spanish-speaking (now bilingual) residents lived nearby. Most were Roman Catholic or Pentecostal or had no religious background — but when invited began to meet in the church manse living room. Now, because of threats — many in the community are undocumented — they worship in the church sanctuary.
- Watertown Multi-Ethnic Community (Northern New York, Northeast) started as a Filipino community in the Rev. Sarah Lee’s home. The worshiping community now rents church space for worship and a meal on Sunday morning. More than 50 people joined the community for its one-year anniversary celebration. Many had never heard the gospel, either in their home country or in the U.S.
Seed Grants ($7,500 each)
- Casa de Dios Roca de Jacob (San Francisco, Pacific) is responding to the physical and spiritual needs of the Spanish-speaking community in Concord, California.
- Circles of Faith (Hudson River, Northeast) is reaching out to people who have felt disenfranchised from their prior congregations and are looking for healing and a welcoming place to worship inclusively in Pleasantville, New York.
- Collaborative Dinners (San Joaquin, Pacific) has quarterly gatherings where eight to 10 people, most of whom have never met before, come together to share a meal, conversation and an inspirational experience in Fresno, California.
- Ferncliff Forest Church (Arkansas, Trinity) worships outdoors at Ferncliff Camp and Conference Center in Little Rock, Arkansas, with those who long for a connection to both Christ and creation.
- Utmost Athletes (Cascades, Pacific) works with student athletes in Vancouver, Washington, in a disciple-making athletic training program that shifts the focus from “me” and self-success to a meaningful community.
- The Well (Evening Prayer) (Philadelphia, Trinity) is an overnight shelterfor women experiencing homelessness in Ardmore, Pennsylvania. The Well serves up to 12 women at a time. The women gather for evening prayer at Christ’s Presbyterian Church in Philadelphia.
Mission Program Grants are made available through the Racial Equity & Women’s Intercultural Ministries of the Presbyterian Mission Agency. The grants support new worshiping communities’ and mid councils’ work to transform existing churches.
Paul Seebeck, Mission Communications Strategist, Presbyterian Mission Agency
Today’s Focus: Mission Program Grants
Let us join in prayer for:
PC(USA) Agencies’ Staff
Let us pray:
God, how grateful we are for the creative presence of your Spirit. Continue to breathe life into all of us, sending us into our neighborhoods and communities in service, so that the world you love might praise your name. Amen.