Applications Accepted January 1-February 14, 2022
Synodically recognized and affiliated organizations (congregations, SAWCs, synod work groups, synod staff, etc.) are invited to apply for a Harvest Ministry Grant. These grants are to be used for exploration and experimentation within the following areas:
Jesus says in Matthew 28, “Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And remember, I am with you always, to the end of the age.”
This calling to go and share the good news coupled with the promise that this is the work of Jesus with us has long been held up as the evangelism verse. Go, share the news, make disciples—tell the story. Sounds easy right! We know very well the difficulty in evangelism and the hesitation even sometimes to share our faith—yet the call remains. So, the Synod Council has created a grant that will support your ministry in doing this very thing: sharing the good news of Jesus Christ in this world and reaching those who are unchurched/dechurched, etc. and bringing the Kingdom of God to life now! We invite you to consider how you can engage your community in new and inspiring ways.
“This is my commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you." - John 15:12
Jesus repeatedly calls us into action to be stewards of justice and beacons of love in a world of hate. This mission of racial justice is sacred, eternal, and has often been neglected by the church through history. This area of the grant will focus on our work as congregations toward justice and on development and learning in our synod and congregations. We are looking for proposals that engage in education and awareness of bias, privilege, and racism in church and society, provide opportunities for people to engage in anti-racism work, and focus on transformation of formal and informal systems within church and society that perpetuate racist norms and contribute to outcomes of inequity for Black, Indigenous and person of color communities, congregation members, and rostered leaders.
We Never Did That Before
“We have never done that before” are six common words that get in the way of doing something innovative, experimental, or simply new to your context. While we long to see things that have never been tried before, we also realize that what is familiar in one context may feel very new and courageous in another context. This area of the grant will support projects or ministries that are brand new to your context. These must be activities that have not been tried before in your context and cannot include a restart of projects that failed or ran out of funding.
Whether it is launching a new worship service, creating a new publication or online presence, serving your neighbors, or supporting the creation of a work of public art, let your creativity sing as you imagine what you might do if you could eliminate the other four words that stop creativity dead in its tracks: “We can’t afford it.”
Worship Training & Technology
“Worship the Lord with gladness; come into his presence with singing.” Psalm 100:2.
The past two years have dramatically changed how we gather together for worship – in person, outdoors, and online. The focus of our worship—God’s love and presence--has not changed, but the formats of how worship is experienced have greatly expanded. How might the worship experience be enhanced in your context? How might you reach those who have not been able to worship in community because of various limitations? How might you expand the reach of worship beyond geographic boundaries? Be creative and dream big. This grant is to provide technology and/or training for ways to improve or expand worship in your context.
About The Grants
One $15,000 grant will be awarded from each category AND multiple grants up to $5,000 within each category.
Application Criteria & Timeline:
- These funds are to be used to create a new or enhance an existing ministry that will intentionally reach out to people who are not already connected to your community.
- Funds cannot be used to simply cover normal operating expenses already in your budget.
- The idea is not about church growth (though that may happen) but rather about bringing the good news of Christ into the world. Be creative, have fun, take risks!
Applications are due by Monday, Feb. 14, 2022. A task force of rostered leaders and lay persons will review applications on behalf of the Synod Council. The Council will receive the task force's recommendations at its March 2022 meeting. Applicants will receive notification of the Council's decision following that meeting. Further instructions regarding disbursement of funds and reporting the grant experience will be provided in April to grant recipients.
The Saint Paul Area Synod had an excess of funds at the conclusion of fiscal year 2020. The harvest was bountiful in our operating budget and mission together as the Saint Paul Area Synod. As Naomi and Ruth gleaned from Boaz’s fields of abundance, these grants are an opportunity for synod-recognized and affiliated organizations to glean these excess funds in creative and new ways. The Synod Council has dedicated $113,000 to these Gleaning from the Harvest Ministry Grants.