In 2020, we encourage applications to be developed for efforts like these:
- Rural Community Ministry: Churches can develop ministries that build-up community or enable the church to connect with marginalized populations among rural residents. For instance, in rural communities divided by race, a grant could help fund a series of meals or experiences for leaders to strengthen relationships that could lead to change. Other eligible ministries include connecting with rural neighbors who do not have adequate access to food, healthcare, recovery resources, employment or community.
- Transition Existing Ministry to Adopt ‘Ministry With’ Values: An example might be finding ways for recipients of food pantry items or community meals to be able to use their gifts to help others. This might be by adding a Bible study group that is ½ non-church constituents and ½ church constituents, and incorporating leadership from both groups. Or, it might include adding some staff-time for someone to focus on connecting and helping others connect in conversation with people who come for an existing service your church offers, so that you can build community with neighbors instead of just offering goods.
- Building Community on the Margins: Your church might be in a position to help form community with and among groups that often find themselves marginalized. Such groups might include: returned military, LGBTQ+ persons or their family, those with mental health issues, those with disabilities, foster families, formerly incarcerated individuals, the elderly, those with substance abuse history, etc.
- Building Community with Local Public Schools: A church might build relationships with neighbors through creating community-building events, or creating ways to deepen understanding within churches or schools about poverty, race, etc.
If you have questions or would like help thinking through your ideas, please email or call 972-526-5018.