Eight new missional ventures in churches and presbyteries have received DREAM Grants from the Presbyterian Mission Agency.
The DREAM (Developmental, Risky, Experimental, Adaptive Mission) Grant is meant to encourage risk-takers who are not afraid to fail in church cultures. Preference for DREAM grants of up to $10,000 was given to ministries within the following synods: Alaska-Northwest, Puerto Rico, the Rocky Mountains and the Southwest
These synods were most impacted by the 2013 closing of the National Mission Partnership Funds, which had supported ministry efforts in the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.).
Recipients of the 2015 DREAM Grants:
Synod of Alaska-Northwest
- Eden, Presbytery of the Inland Northwest ($10,000). Since the empty lot next to Community Presbyterian Church in Wilbur, Washington, was transformed into a community garden in the shape of the Jerusalem cross, worship has become more vital, small groups and Sunday school more active and a youth group has returned. Community Presbyterian Church provided the land and a Lutheran church provided the funding for seeds.
- Verge 2.0, Presbytery of Northwest Coast ($5,000). Organizers plan to create a ministry convocation modeled after the wildly effective TED conference as a way to focus on mission engagement in the Pacific Northwest. It will feature speakers engaged in risk-taking ministries, who will give a presentation of their life in 18 minutes.
Synod of Puerto Rico
- Diakonos ($10,000). In collaboration with congregations and presbyteries, the synod will create a leadership formation initiative for youth and young adults. The project will look for creative ways for potential leaders to serve, with mentors and mentees meeting regularly.
Synod of the Rocky Mountains
- Dinner Church, Presbytery of Plains and Peaks ($10,000). Family of Christ in Greeley, Colorado, celebrated its 40-year anniversary by inviting community members for a meal. Elders, millennials, immigrant families, native Coloradoans, cradle-to-grave Presbyterians and un-churched seekers came because the church has invested heavily in the community through garden and theater ministries and through deepening relationships with immigrant families after a raid took place in their community. The church will host a weekly dinner and worship with the DREAM Grant funding.
- Rocky Mountain Mission, Presbytery of Plains and Peaks ($10,000). Nederland Community Presbyterian Church will develop a summer youth mission program with service projects, curriculum and leadership to help young people reflect on their experiences. A dozen teenagers from two churches who gathered for a weekend mission blitz in March 2014 sparked this ministry. The group refurbished an elderly woman’s cabin, worked on a town park damaged by floods and served in food pantry gardens that serves hundreds of people in the area.
- Yellowstone-Whitworth Rural Ministry, Yellowstone Presbytery ($10,000). This ministry will create an internship program in collaboration with Whitworth University (Spokane, Washington) in rural, remote and small towns across the vast and varied ‘Big Sky’ country. Interns will be in a relationally based model of discipleship, spiritual formation and service in community, learning and practicing adaptive, contextualized ministry both in and through the congregations.
Synod of the Southwest
- Leadership for Rural & Racial Ethnic Ministries; De Cristo, Grand Canyon, Santa Fe and Sierra Blanca presbyteries ($10,000). The ministry will create a Commission for Racial Equality (CRE) training program in Native American and Hispanic communities. Pastors from these communities will team with pastors from urban centers to broaden connectionalism between racial-ethnic churches and churches through constituent presbyteries.
- Jemez FAME, Presbytery of Santa Fe ($10,000). Jemez Springs (New Mexico) Presbyterian Church has served the Jemez Valley for 133 years. After going through New Beginnings, this church of 25 members began to recognize the significant need for an after-school program in the community. While this is a new mission venture, education is in Jemez’s DNA — the church served as the village schoolhouse before public education began.
DREAM Grants will be awarded in the summer and fall of 2015. All 16 synods are encouraged to contact Mission Program Grants associate Tim McCallister for more information.