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.
Esperanza is launching Renovación Pastoral (Pastoral Renewal) a program funded by the Lilly Endowment. Esperanza is a faith-based nonprofit organization driven by the biblical mandate to “serve the least of these.” We strengthen our Hispanic community through education, housing and economic development, immigration legal services, job training and advocacy. Renovación Pastoral supports new pastors in their first years of service to the Latino communities of Philadelphia, Allentown, Bethlehem, Lancaster, and Reading. Through Renovación Pastoral we offer these pastors a sacred space to be affirmed, to learn, and to be nurtured through mentoring that is focused on both spiritual and practical matters. Esperanza connects pastors in their first years of ministry with active and retired long-term pastors who have demonstrated longevity and success in local ministry, helping the younger pastors to transition successfully into congregational leadership, while building a pastoral legacy for the well-seasoned religious leaders of the Latino communities of Southeastern Pennsylvania.
The Universal Fellowship of Metropolitan Communities Churches (MCC) requests a five-year grant for its Thriving in Ministry program. Seeking to break down the isolation experienced by many pastors in the denomination, this program aims to recruit, empower, and support clergy from diverse communities and theological traditions in forming a national ministerial network for mutual peer-support. The program will focus on pastors who are in the midst of a professional transition and pair them with wise pastor-mentors. The pastors will participate in a series of retreats to explore together practices of pastoral leadership and deepen their relationships with each other. To sustain this effort, MCC will ask participants to contribute to offer the program to future participants, incorporate costs into the operating budget and raise funds from donors.