Action item from the Presbyterian Mission Agency board meeting, November 19, 2015
Recommendation: That the Presbyterian Mission Agency Board Executive Committee approve the following applicants as the First-cycle 2015 DREAM Grant recipients. These applicants were selected and recommended by the DREAM Team members at their September 17, 2015 meeting to receive a one-time grant of up to $10,000.
Background: In September 2009, the Presbyterian Mission Agency Board (then known as the General Assembly Mission Council), formally acted to end the program known as National (Domestic) Mission Partnership Funding (NMPF) at the end of 2013. This action was taken with the knowledge that the funding stream for the program was rapidly declining and was no longer sustainable.
However, $500,000 in residual funds remained from the NMPF program that the GAMC determined to utilize. Therefore, the GAMC funded an initiative called the Developmental, Research, Experimental, Adaptive Mission (DREAM) Fund, which was to begin in 2014. These monies were earmarked for use in consonance with the original, historic principles of the NMPF, which are outlined in the instructions.
Since the Partnership Funds had originally been allocated to four synods – Alaska-Northwest, Boriquén En Puerto Rico, Rocky Mountains, and Southwest – it was recommended that the DREAM Fund should be utilized to continue funding work in those synods.
The DREAM Fund Committee met in 2014, the first year of the program, and made eight awards. The committee then decided to open up the process to all 16 synods of the denomination as they had made possible the funding stream through the years.
The committee encourages proposals from mid councils that wish to inspire and support, but not limited to, the following types of new and creative ministry ventures:
- Rural, remote, or urban churches that are establishing ministries that will enable them to better accomplish mission in an appropriate context;
- Ministries that are charged with reaching, loving and teaching college age or young adults so that they may be lifelong followers of Jesus Christ;
- Congregations that are effectively becoming more multi-ethnic in character;
- Ministries with Racial/Ethnic and New Immigrant populations that are thriving and wish to accomplish even more;
- Emerging leadership models for mid councils that create safe space for innovation.
Utilizing the above guidelines, the following 7 grants were approved for a total of $66,000 by the committee.
Agafilm, Pacific Presbytery, Synod of Southern California and Hawaii – $6,000
Agafilm is an initiative dedicated to foster a greater a sense of Koinonia between the members of the community of Christ. Agafilm will achieve this by inviting members of any congregation in the local area, and also inviting film critics, journalists, and bloggers to share in the breaking of bread and to watch a film together. While it sounds quite simple to host a dinner and a movie at a church for fellowship, Agafilm means to delve deeper in these films, providing a new kind of space for both movie-lovers, and lovers of Christ.
Creation Lab, Chicago Presbytery, Synod of Lincoln Trails – $10,000
The creation Lab is an arts and creativity incubator with a focus on faith and Church vitality. It is meant to be an experiment in collaboration, in sharing space, tools and resources, and in cultivating both the courage and the imagination to try new and creative things in the life of the Church.
Hands and Hear Respite Care, Florida Presbytery, Synod of Southern California and Hawaii – $10,000
Caregivers are persons that provide a substantial amount of unpaid care for a relative, a friend or other adult individual with care and/or support needs. Respite care provides short breaks for caregivers and the people for whom they care, helping them find the balance between caring for others and caring for themselves. This new initiative will be a half-day once a week adult day care program in conjunction with an existing faith community ministry, Caregiver Support group.
Neighborhood Hubs, Denver Presbytery, Synod of Rocky Mountains – $10,000
In our society that is increasingly uncivil and un-neighborly, Columbine United Church (CUC) believe that God is calling us to create bridges across the distant and anonymous spaces and places we inhabit and occupy. We believe that God is calling us to expand our reach, our touch, and our connections. We believe the neighborhoods, schools, workplaces and recreation circles our members occupy are the very spaces where God gives our people the ministry of reconciliation (2 Corinthians 5:18), and that the first step of this ministry is the act of reestablishing ourselves as neighbors, or what we call “neighboring.
La Nueva Iglesia En La Calle Bard/New Church on Bard, Presbytery of Santa Barbara, Synod of Southern California and Hawaii – $10,000
The dream initiative “La Nueva Iglesia En La Calle Bard” or “The New Church on Bard” is the result of the collaboration of Westminster Church and Word of Life Church which both share a church campus at 755 Bard Road in Port Hueneme, California. Previous to Easter Sunday, 2015 the two churches had been worshipping separately on two different church campuses. However, since Easter 2015 the two congregations have been worshipping together every Sunday morning and have been conducting joint mid-week Christian Education nights.
SFTS – CRE Training, Glacier Presbytery, Synod of Rocky Mountains – $10,000
In Glacier Presbytery, we have had Commissioned Ruling Elders (CREs) who have served in congregations with varying degrees of success and failure. In order to empower people for a successful ministry they need to be better prepared. Our CRE training has been outsourced through a variety of providers including online classes, Montana Association of Churches and from a Presbyterian affiliated college. The training has been spotty in many areas. We decided to develop an effective and rigorous training to provide excellent continuing education. We determined that a related seminary would best provide the expertise and staffing needed to pursue this dream. We want a hands-on experience for our CRE candidates allowing them the opportunity to learn and to make relationships with colleagues.
Twin Cities Houses of Hospitality, Twin Cities Presbytery, Synod of Lakes and Prairies – $10,000
The Twin Cities Houses of Hospitality is an intentional community for young adults who are engaged in a year of service with AmeriCorps, Teach for America, and other service organizations. The young people live together, share meals, provide service to the broader community, and explore their personal spiritual development and vocational discernment. Twin Cities Houses of Hospitality provides living spaces at below market rents, as well as program support that nurtures the connections between a life of faith, service, justice and vocation.