Last October our Diocesan Convention passed a budget that included $50,000 for new work. A large portion, $30,000, has been earmarked for a program to support stewardship in Maine congregations. Early this year a competitive application process for the remaining $20,000 was opened to provide funding for fresh ministry ideas. Criteria established by the Mission Priorities Study group gave priority in the selection process to projects that emphasized regional collaboration, focus outside the church building, a willingness to share expertise with other congregations and involvement of lay and ordained people.
On February 12, Diocesan Council considered 13 applications for new initiatives and voted to fund four of them. In addition to the $20,000 in the budget, Council voted to add $6,280 to allow all four approved projects to be fully funded.
Many of the nine projects that were not funded are eligible for other types of grants and funding from the diocese, including the Outreach and Services Ministry Grant program, the Loring Fund for Clergy Continuing Education and the Wolf Fund for Lay Education.
Projects awarded funding are (for more detail will be posted here soon)
$3,780 to Christ Church, Norway, to fund the new Oxford County Coalition on Homelessness.
$7,500 to the Mission Strategy Study Group to conduct a Mission Readiness Assessment Program with five congregations in a pilot program.
$10,000 to Portland-area congregations to support an OMG4ME advertising/evangelism campaign.
$5,000 to St. Francis, Blue Hill, for a regional lay pastoral caregivers training program.