First Round Awards Announced
“During my pilgrimage to the churches in the Diocese of Pennsylvania, it was clear that a number of congregations needed small to medium capital improvements in order to expand their capacity for ministry, hospitality, and community engagement,” said Bishop Gutiérrez. Spurred by this insight, The Growth Development Fund (GDF) was created to address infrastructure problems that get in the way of ministry.
This year was the first in a five-year program where churches could apply for grants in amounts up to $30,000. “We all worked long hours reviewing hundreds of pages but it’s been extremely rewarding. We were given the chance to help churches improve facilities in ways they could not have imagined,” said Dave Dixon, a member of the review committee. “I left each meeting energized, and excited to continue the process.” Dixon was one of six lay people from the Diocesan Council, along with Canons Betsy Ivey and Doug Horner, who formed the review committee spending many hours to evaluate 47 grant applications and then make a recommendation to the Bishop.
GDF awards are made based on the urgency of the need and the potential impact on a congregation’s life and ministry. The Bishop approved this year’s distribution with the provision that the awarded churches complete the repair/renovation within a year of receiving the grant, and submit ‘before and after’ pictures of the repair/renovation.
Based on these criteria, the following 10 churches are each receiving grants in the amount of $30,000:
“We are building the church. The applications received were extraordinary and describe the great ministry occurring,” said Gutiérrez. Knowing need exists for many other churches, the Bishop is moving up the next year’s application date with disbursement by February 1, 2019.
The churches that did not receive grants in this first year are encouraged to resubmit their applications next year with the opportunity to adjust any necessary items. Those that have received grants through the program are not eligible to receive funds from this program again but may apply for other Diocesan grants.