From the Episcopal Church’s Office of Public Affairs:
The Episcopal Church Executive Council announced the recipients of the Constable Fund Grants, totaling $535,000, for the 2013 grant cycle.
The announcement was made by Anne Watkins, an Executive Council member from the Diocese of Connecticut and chair of the Constable Fund Grant Review Committee, during the Executive Council meeting, currently gathered in Baltimore, Maryland.
The Constable Fund provides grants to fund mission initiatives that were not provided for within the budget of the Episcopal Church General Convention/Domestic and Foreign Missionary Society (DFMS).
• Province II (for The Episcopal Diocese of Haiti) to establish a network of three radio stations in the northern region of the Diocese of Haiti; $130,000
The Diocese of Haiti has created an Episcopal region in the north part of the country and The Rt. Reverend Ogé Beauvoir, Bishop Suffragan in the Diocese of Haiti, is overseeing the expansion of the diocese in that region under the leadership of the Diocesan Bishop. While strengthening the six existing parishes made up of 18 congregations, there is an urgent need to start doing some religious education by using mass media. The plan is to open 15 new congregations. This proposal is to help the Episcopal Diocese of Haiti establish a network of three radio stations in the north to better proclaim the Good News to the population of the great north, teach the Christian faith and further nurture the believers.
• Province III (for The Diocese of Pittsburgh) for Reconciling Conversations of Sexuality and Communion; $30,000
The diocese has brought in a team from the Public Conversations Project (PCP) to help design and facilitate diocesan-wide conversations, not only on the critical matters of human sexuality, but on related questions of communion and fellowship in the midst of our differences. Through this process we hope to produce a cadre of PCP-trained facilitators sufficient to engage up to500 people, representative of the diocese as a whole, in a process of conversation to help heal division, build consensus and inform the bishop’s decision-making in relation to these critical questions. We hope this cadre will help facilitate future dialogue to help create a common mind around a range of matters, from mission strategy to resource allocation.
• Standing Commission for Small Congregations for Conference on Lay and Clergy Leadership in Small Ethnic Congregations; $43,000
The Standing Commission for Small Congregations proposes to hold one or more conferences on providing education and training for lay and clergy leadership and development in small congregations. Participants will be invited to meet with the Commission members and each other to study and discuss ways to provide cost-effective education and training for persons working or intending to work in small congregations. The conferences will include study of non-traditional educational means and formats such as on-line study and training courses utilizing the internet, cooperative programs among dioceses, and study of education and training of persons whose primary language is not English.
• Forward Movement for a Catalyst for Transformational Spiritual Growth: Adult and All-ages Christian Formation Materials; $94,000
This project will publish Christian formation materials that have been piloted successfully in several congregations, as well as create new materials, including a Basics Course in the Anglican expression of the Christian faith. The Good Book Club is a four-year congregation-wide program for all ages that includes the narrative of the Bible, the Gospels, Christian history and saints, and spiritual practices. All materials will be provided for free download online, and printed materials will be available for a modest cost. Materials will be published in English and Spanish.
• Office of Black Ministries for New Visions Initiative for Transforming Congregations of African Descent; $142,000
New Visions Initiative for Transforming Congregations of African Descent is a multi-tiered collaborative initiative, grounded in Faith Formation and full participation of children, youth, young adults, middle and older adults in transforming the congregation. New Visions congregations form mutual partnerships for ministry, and participate in activities to Renew spiritual vitality, Reimagine mission and Revitalize energy and participation in order to focus outwardly toward the mission field. Program will enable congregations to develop their ministries, strengthen the ties in their communities, provide reports on their progress and share experiences, as well as participate in meetings, training sessions and ministry evaluations.
• Asiamerica Ministries Office, Partnership Office for Asia and the Pacific and Episcopal Divinity School for EAMS-EDS Theological Project; $66,000
This project addresses the need of Episcopal Asiamerican clergy and lay leaders to obtain advance pastoral studies and continuing theological education that will enable, empower and equip them for effective ministry in the 21st century. The program uses brief residential training, on-line technology and distributive learning. The goal is to develop “working theologians” so the training does not take clergy out of their ministerial context, except for the intensive study in January and June terms. At the end of their study-reflection, the successful candidates will obtain a Doctor of Ministry diploma from EDS and their dissertation papers will be accessible for use in the Episcopal Church.
• Office of Government Relations, Bishops Working for a Just World for Advocacy Collaboration for Bishops and Young People; $30,000
The purpose is to fund a joint advocacy-focused gathering of Episcopal bishops and young persons, to be held in Washington, DC, with the aim of creating a “ready bench” of young social justice advocates in the Episcopal Church. These young people will return to their dioceses and provide sustained “grass tops” leadership toward all Episcopalians living into their baptismal covenant to “strive for justice and peace and promote the dignity of every human being. The proposal is for funding that will allow the Office of Government Relations to provide scholarships for young people to be invited to partner with the bishops at this conference, thereby widening the diversity of young adults who can participate.