Investing in Congregations grants ranging from $100 to more than $30,000 are distributed annually to churches that demonstrate a potential, capacity, and commitment to reach new people, grow in love of God and neighbor, and heal a broken world. Funding can be used for new ministries, programs, and staff positions.
Investing in Congregations grants are funded through the Office of Congregational Development—and awarded for new ministries, programs, or staff positions. They ranged from $500 to more than $33,000 in 2016. A committee that includes both clergy and laity reviews applications each year and decides how to divide up the $200,000 in grant money that’s available through the conference’s apportioned budget.
Applications for 2017 grants were due Oct. 15, 2016. The next round of applications will be accepted starting in late summer 2017. Watch for more information.
The three types of grants available are:
• Major grants: Total $2,500 or more
• Micro grants: Total $2,500 or less
• Grant renewal: Projects can receive funding for up to three years. Grant money is reduced each subsequent year for projects that receive funding more than once, and the goal is for each one to become self-sustaining by the end of the three years.
Here’s a look at some of the 2015 grant recipients, along with how their grant funding was used:
|Alexandria UMC||$10,000||Affordable, environmentally conscious preschool|
|Champlin UMC||$20,000||Introduction of new style of worship for younger generations|
|Christ UMC (Cannon Falls)||$10,000||Youth director and creation of intentional youth program|
|Christ UMC (Maplewood)||$19,000||Neighborhood outreach and related staff support|
|Clarissa UMC||$1,200||Introduction of recovery service|
|Discovery UMC (Chanhassen)||$15,000||Director of children and families and nursery care provider|
|Hastings UMC||$7,500||Music teacher to provide affordable music lessons for community|
|Hilltop UMC (Mankato)||$6,000||Youth minister to grow youth ministry program|
|Normandale Hylands UMC (Bloomington)||$35,000||Children’s ministry and community outreach specialist|
|Riverside UMC (Park Rapids)||$1,500||Ministry associate for programming and outreach|
|Waterville UMC||$13,000||Gathering House prison outreach ministry|
|Wells UMC||$4,000||Children and family ministries coordinator|
|White Bear Lake UMC||$7,500||Director of operations to free up other staff for ministry|
Minnesota Annual Conference of the United Methodist Church