The Center for Courage & Renewal will use its Circle of Trust® approach to help pastoral leaders develop and nurture the collegial relationships vital to thriving in ministry and sustaining the work of faithfulness. We will create and convene five communities of practice made up of twenty-five early career clergy and six to eight seasoned clergy and trained facilitators each. These communities will gather for three, multiple-day retreats and monthly, small group peer learning calls over the course of a year-long program. To sustain this project, the Center will incorporate the project into its operating budget and seek funding through partnerships, grants, individual donations, and project revenue.
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Missio Seminary, an inter/multidenominational, evangelical school, seeks a five-year grant for partial funding of its Program for Urban Leaders and Pastors in Transition (PULPIT); an effort to support pastors serving urban congregations in the Philadelphia metropolitan region, and help them negotiate various key professional transitions at different stages of their ministerial careers. The program will bring pastors together as peer colleagues to develop healthy support systems for each other, encourage them to attend to their own health and wellness, and equip them to address challenges faced by urban churches. In addition, this endeavor will help the pastors develop flourishing relationships with other pastors that cross racial, ethnic and socioeconomic boundaries, and encourage them to help their congregations bridge these divides. To sustain the program, Missio Seminary will incorporate programmatic components into its operating budget and its doctor of ministry degree program.
Orthodox Church in America (OCA), a denomination of more than 700 Eastern Orthodox churches across North America, seeks a five-year grant for partial support for its Thriving in Ministry Initiative 2018 program, an effort to strengthen the leadership practices of OCA clergy and equip them to be joyful, creative and thriving pastoral leaders for the parish communities they serve. Based on a successful pilot program started in the Diocese of Eastern Pennsylvania in 2015, OCA will establish facilitated clergy peer learning groups throughout the United States. Trained facilitators will guide priests through regular discussions around self-care, spiritual growth, vocational joy and leadership. Clergy spouses will meet with trained facilitators as well. To sustain this program, OCA will charge participants a fee and will ask each diocese to support their participating priests.
The Episcopal Diocese of Spokane, affiliated with the Episcopal Church, requests five-year grant to support its Flourishing Pastors: A Wholistic Systems Approach program, an effort that seeks to provide for the flourishing of newly ordained clergy serving in rural, small congregations in the diocese. The program will provide individual mentors for all newly ordained clergy and those new to the diocese, host monthly regional clergy groups for spiritual formation and support, organize diocesan clergy retreats and conferences to sharpen leadership skills, encourage and support spiritual direction and coaching for clergy, and conduct regular leadership development programs for teams of parish clergy and lay leaders. To sustain this effort, the diocese will incorporate the program into its operating budget and raise funds from new donors.
Catawba College, affiliated with the United Church of Christ, requests a five-year grant to support its Catawba Clergy Network program to provide opportunities for rest, reflection, resources, and relationships for local and alumni/ae clergy. The Catawba Clergy Network will identify and focus on specific contexts of ministry within our network, beginning with part time or bivocational ministers and clergy in their first call. These pastors sharing similar contexts will be formed into cohorts. Local and alumni/ae clergy will be invited to Catawba Clergy Days to interact with Catawba faculty, students, and other community leaders for conversation, continuing education, networking, and reflection. The Catawba Clergy Network will also award small grants to pastors to support innovation and specific ministry needs.
Grove City College, a Christian liberal arts and sciences college in western Pennsylvania, seeks a five-year grant for its Project on Rural Ministry (PRM). This effort will convene pastors who minister in denominationally diverse but geographically and demographically similar contexts to receive and share accrued wisdom concerning the practice of ministry in rural settings. The PRM will form three cohorts of 10 pastors each who serve rural and small town congregations in the Agricultural, Rust Belt, and Appalachian regions served by the college. Key program activities include: an opening and closing conference for combined cohorts; participation in a virtual network with clergy peers; regional single-cohort meetings; customized single-church site visits by consultants specializing in social work, entrepreneurship, and Christian ministry; and the provision of student interns and service learners who will respond to pastors’ requests for more concentrated resources based on their communities’ needs. To sustain this work, Grove City College will seek to establish and extend the work of the PRM by funding an ongoing Ministry Institute to foster engagement between college, church, and community. Project details may be reviewed at www.ruralministry.org.