LOUISVILLE (PNS) Funding through mission program grants by the Presbyterian Mission Agency supports a diverse range of needs and people through ministries being created in new worshiping communities across the country.
Highlights and recipients of the grant funding include the following categories:
- One $25,000 Growth Grant recipient, given to worshiping communities who have the ultimate goal of growing a viable, sustainable, Christ-centered, and PC(USA)-related community.
- Seven $25,000 Investment Grant recipients, given to those making progress at living into Starting New Worshiping Communities – A Discernment Process.
- Nineteen $7,500 Seed Grant recipients given to those creating new worshiping communities, as start-up funding.
GROWTH GRANTS ($25,000)
- Level Ground a creative, artistic community in Presbytery of Santa Barbara, Southern California, began in 2013 focusing on reaching the marginalized—those who felt estranged from their community and from God. By creating communal space for dialogue about faith, gender and sexuality through arts— reconciliation, relationship and community building happened. Level Ground has offered their experiences in places like Denver, Nashville, and across California—in hopes that others might replicate this mission in their own cities and context.
INVESTMENT GRANTS ($25,000)
- Hope Christian Ministry, began in Presbytery of Minnesota Valley in 2012, as a ministry to the Anuak people—new immigrants, asylum seekers, and refugees from the South Sudan and Ethiopia who were a growing part of their neighborhoods and communities. Hope began their ministry by encouraging Anuak youth to learn the Anuak language as way of connecting to their family’s faith—and assisting Anuak adults with English. Hope leader Owar Ojha Ojulu is looking to expand their mission efforts to Anuak living in Sioux Falls area, which is 60 miles from Worthington and located in Presbytery of South Dakota.
- Ministerio Agape began an active jail and hospital ministry, in a growing Hispanic area in East Texas in 2014. This community of 40 has strong financial support from both First Presbyterian Church in Mount Pleasant and Grace Presbytery.
- Misión Presbiteriana Hispana in Raeford, North Carolina has grown from a community of seven to over 40 since beginning its ministry in June in 2014. Recently 12 members of the Hispanic community were welcomed into the membership of its partner congregation Galatia Presbyterian Church in Presbytery of Coastal Carolina. This agreement allows people who are baptized to become members of the PC(USA)—until Misión seeks to become a chartered congregation.
- Presbyterian Church of the Redeemer a Ghanaian worshiping community in Houston has grown from 35 to 50 adults, and from 20 to 27 children since moving into a permanent storefront worship space. An existing congregation that had reached the end of its life cycle transitioned their storefront lease to the Ghanaian community in September 2015, leaving some funds to cover a portion of their rent. The Presbytery of New Covenant augmented the amount to cover remaining rental lease, which ends in 2016.
- Presbyterian Church Shekinah Fellowship is a worshiping community ministering to Portuguese speaking new immigrants in Lowell, Massachusetts in Presbytery of Northern New England. Led by church planter, the Rev. Paulo Lima, the Shekinah Fellowship has weekly Bible study and prayer, and worship. Lima, who also started new worshiping communities in Nashua, Manchester and Brockton, trains those who have been newly baptized in these communities at the Shekinah Bible School every Monday.
- Resurrection Church in Presbytery of Santa Barbara is a church plant of Coastal Community Church in Grover Beach, California. Resurrection began in 2014 as an outreach ministry to those who normally wouldn’t attend church. Currently they meet to study scripture and share a meal with the new people they are meeting, as they work with those on the margins. Recently, Resurrection baptized 12 people, including an ex-convict and his family.
- The Table in Presbytery of Wyoming in Casper began in 2014 out of the practice of sharing monthly common meals. Now they gather weekly to listen, to practice hospitality and compassion, and act in ways that bring peace to their city. Watch Video.
Seed Grant recipients ($7,500 each) are listed below, followed by their Presbytery and location:
- Andrionack Church Without Walls, Albany, North Creek, NY
- A-Tribe, Mission, Austin, TX
- Bacliff Missional Community, New Covenant, Houston
- Beer Church Watsonville, Pacific, San Jose, CA
- C.A.F.E. Para el Alma Hispanic Outreach Ministry, New Brunswick, Trenton, NJ
- Communitas, Inland Northwest, Spokane, WA
- The Coop, San Fernando, Glendale, CA
- Eucharist of the Beloved, San Fernando, San Gabriel, CA
- Farm Church, New Hope, Durham, NC
- Glenwood Life Table, Long Island, Landing, NY
- Kirk of Holly Springs, New Hope, Apex, NC
- Korean Church of Boston English Ministry, Boston, Brookline, MA
- Myanmar Christian Fellowship, Denver, Aurora, CO
- Puntas Presbyterian Church, Northwest in Synod of Puerto Rico, Rincon, PR
- Sacramento United Campus Ministry, Sacramento
- Sweaty Sheep Ministries, San Jose, Santa Cruz, CA
- To Be Determined NWC, Charlotte, Mt. Holly, NC
- UKirk at WCU, Western North Carolina, Bryson City, NC
- Vietnamese Presbyterian Fellowship, Denver, CO
by Paul Seebeck