[February 7, 2018] The Episcopal Church Executive Council, at its January meeting in Linthicum Heights, MD, approved the recipients of 15 Evangelism Grants, totaling $37,450. The new Episcopal Evangelism Grants Program is designed to fund local and regional evangelism efforts in the Episcopal Church.
“This program will encourage our whole Church to share resources, catalyze imagination, and ultimately cultivate a network of evangelists who can learn from each other and connect with each other,” explained the Rev. Canon Susan Brown Snook, Chair of both the Episcopal Evangelism Grants Committee and the Executive Council Committee on Local Mission and Ministry.
The Episcopal Evangelism Grants program is coordinated by the Local Mission and Ministry Committee in collaboration with the Episcopal Church's Evangelism Initiatives Team.
“Evangelism isn’t some scary practice only ‘other’ Christians do,” said the Rev. Canon Stephanie Spellers, Presiding Bishop’s Canon for Evangelism, Reconciliation and Creation Care, and a member of the Grants Committee. “Evangelism is the heart of Christian life, and we hope this program will light a fire and connect Episcopalians who are creating unique, authentically Episcopal ways of seeking, naming and celebrating Jesus’ loving presence everywhere.”
Province I received three oif the fifteen Evangelism Grants:
• Trinity on the Green, New Haven, CT. In response to the growing opioid crisis, Trinity on the Green in New Haven, CT has taken the opportunity of its urban context to bring Jesus’ message of hope to people struggling with addiction and consequent isolation. Through its weekly gathering, sharing of life stories and common meal, participants in its Spiritual Fellowship Group are offered a chance to speak, be heard, pray and worship. $2,000.
• Diocese of Vermont. Green Mountain Witness is designed to catalyze Vermont Episcopalians to tell their faith story in the light of God’s story in friendships, work, neighborhoods and casual daily encounters. Attendance at the March 2018 Evangelism Matters conference, an evangelism keynoter and seminars at the 2018 Diocesan Convention, and follow-up workshops in congregations will be integral to the initiative. This initiative comes in the context of Vermont being among the least religiously affiliated states in the USA. $6,000.
• Northwest Region, Diocese of Connecticut. Twelve lay people, from four different parishes, will be gathering to be trained as preachers. The group will gather for four sessions, two hours each, to be trained by a facilitator who has experience in training lay preachers. The goal of this initiative is to equip laity with tools and an ongoing social support system so they may go forth and proclaim the word of God in the pulpits of their parish and beyond. $2,000.