At its February 1 meeting at St. Martin’s in Palmyra, Diocesan Council considered grant applications for the 2014 New Initiative Fund and made three awards. In its fourth year, the NIF program awards Maine congregations with funding for start-up ministries or new programs within existing ministries. Funds come from two sources: $10,000 from the 2014 diocesan budget approved at Convention and up to $15,000 from income from the Foundations for Ministry endowment, a capital campaign effort in the 1990s.
St. Peter’s, Bridgton, was awarded $2,400 to support its Women’s Initiative. St. Peter’s Women’s Initiative is for all women, especially low income women, in the Bridgton and surrounding areas to participate in mentoring and support in the areas of employment skills, health and wellness, and other areas on a weekly basis. Leaders are volunteers from the parish and offer their many gifts and talents. The leaders of the group will offer education and emotional support for women going through transitions in their lives. The initiative will work with others groups and professionals in the community such as the Bridgton Community Center as well as area physicians and other churches for referrals.
St. George’s, York Harbor, was awarded $4,000 to support mentor training for The Stockell Program. This community program will work with at-risk young adults between 17 – 20 years old to allow them to achieve their full potential as healthy and well-adjusted individuals. This will be achieved through assessment programs that identify needs, offer workplace intervention, housing options, mentoring, counseling, and transition services.
The Diocese of Maine Christian Ed Collaboration was awarded $6,700 to train Maine Episcopalians to become Godly Play trainers and to host training events in Maine each year. In recent years three Maine congregations tried to host Godly Play trainings with mixed results, primarily due to the overwhelming cost of bringing trainers to Maine. Currently, the only option for Godly Play training is to drive to Massachusetts, which is not practical for most parishioners. Four churches (St. Ann’s, Windham; Saint Mary’s, Falmouth; St. Columba’s, Boothbay Harbor; and St. George’s, York Harbor) are collaborating to host one set of Maine trainings each year, with each church rotating hosting duties and hospitality costs. This will also allow smaller parishes the opportunity to send teachers for training without worrying about added costs incurred by traveling out of state for a weekend.
Council to offer second round of New Initiative Grant funding in 2014
Diocesan Council also approved a second round of grant funding for the fall of 2014. Recognizing that new ideas for ministry can emerge throughout the year, Council will publish an application for the second round after its next meeting on May 16-17. The deadline for applications will be September 1. Start now to think about new ministry possibilities for your church or community.