Two Presbytery Grants for Congregational Transformation of $50,000 have been awarded to Eastminster Presbytery in Northeast Ohio; and to five presbyteries in South Carolina (Charleston-Atlantic, Foothills, New Harmony, Providence, and Trinity). These mission program grants from the Evangelism and Church Growth ministry area of the General Assembly Mission Council (GAMC) were awarded by the Mission Development Resource Committee in their latest review cycle for this new grant program, designed to help presbyteries build capacity for continual transformation in their congregations.
Grants for Congregational Transformation recipients receive an initial payment of $30,000. If satisfactory progress has been in the transformative process toward stated goals, a second-year payment of $20,000 will be disbursed. The five S.C. presbyteries will receive $6,000 each the first year, $4,000 in the second year.
Eastminster in the Synod of the Covenant will work with nearly half of the 56 churches in their presbytery on a three year spiritual journey of transformation. The South Carolina presbyteries serve 318 churches in the Synod of South Atlantic. Together they will work on adaptive change to experience, in hope-filled way, transformation that addresses their congregations need for deeply rooted change.
“It’s clear this Mission Development Resources Committee understands the challenge the task of transformation brings,” says Ann Philbrick, associate for Church Growth and Transformation in the GAMC. “I was part of their deliberation. I heard clearly that they understand this is not about throwing money at problems, but about leveraging resources in order to grow the capacity of our congregational AND presbytery leaders to foster vitality in all our churches.”
Eastminster and the five presbyteries in South Carolina join presbyteries in Mid Kentucky, Yukon, Elizabeth, Hudson River, San Joaquin, and Philadelphia that received funding in previous cycles in 2011. North Puget Sound and Chicago presbyteries were part of a pilot program for the grants in the fall of 2010.
“We’re in our first full year of awarding these Presbytery Grants for Congregational Transformation,” says Tim McCallister, associate in Mission Program Grants. “We are learning together how to intentionally move into a new way of being where presbyteries help congregations envision what God is calling them to be for their community and for the Kingdom of God.”