[Episcopal Church Office of Public Affairs press release] The Episcopal Church Executive Council, at its January meeting in Linthicum Heights, MD, approved the recipients of the Constable Fund Grants, totaling $187,250 for the 2015 grant cycle.
The Constable Fund Grant Review Committee was chaired by Anne Watkins, an Executive Council member from the Diocese of Connecticut.
The Constable Fund provides grants to fund mission initiatives that were not provided for within the budget of the Episcopal Church General Convention/Domestic and Foreign Missionary Society (DFMS).
Watkins said the committee received and considered 16 grant applications, and four grants were awarded.
The recipients, projects, amounts and brief explanations (taken from the applications) follow:
• New Edge International Symposium: A journey to discover God’s ever-evolving mission for the church through the ministry of all the baptized
The New Edge International Symposium will bring together from across The Episcopal Church and Anglican Communion a variety of folks who have been working independently of one another for a number of years in developing new, creative, and flexible ways to effectively proclaim the Good News of the Kingdom through collaborative ministry-models. Its goal is to provide ongoing connections and development/sharing of resources in order to strengthen the changing embodiment of the Church in a post-industrial world.
Grant amount: $10,000.00
• A Pilgrimage to Ferguson: Advocacy Training for Young People Confronting Racism & Promoting Reconciliation
Office of Young Adult and Campus Ministries and Office of Racial Reconciliation
The purpose is to fund a gathering in St. Louis, MO for young adults from across The Episcopal Church. As part of the application process, candidates would propose a project in their own parish, campus ministry, or community, focused on racial justice and reconciliation.
Grant amount: $52,250.00
• Empowering Latina Women and Congregations
Office of Latino/Hispanic Ministries (in partnership with the ELCA and several Episcopal Church dioceses)
This proposal requests funding for a comprehensive Christian Education and leadership development program whereby Latina Episcopal women and other Latino church leaders engage in ongoing programs created by the Evangelical Lutheran Church of America (ELCA). These programs have proven to be successful in developing, training, and empowering participants in the areas of Christian Education and church planting. Funds will allow The Episcopal Church to partner with the ELCA in three of their programs: Mission Developer Training, the Academia Ecuménica de Liderazgo (Ecumenical Leadership Academy), and Talitha Cumi (Woman rise-up!).
Grant amount: $100,000.00
• Deputies of Color Pre-Convention Conference
Episcopal Church Diversity and Ethnic Ministries Team
This two-day conference provides orientation and learning opportunities for deputies to the General Convention who have identified themselves as “persons of color.” Sponsored by the Diversity and Ethnic Ministries Team, this conference brings new deputies together with seasoned deputies for orientation to the processes and structure in the General Convention which promotes fuller participation, interaction, mentoring relationships and creates caucuses and collegiality.
Grant amount: $25,000.00
Named for Mary Louise Constable
The Constable Grants were named for Mary Louise Constable, who was a visionary philanthropist. Watkins pointed out, “Hers is an example of faithful witness and generosity in response to an obviously mature and deep understanding of herself as both a disciple of Jesus Christ and as a steward of the blessings bestowed upon her by God.”
In 1935, in the midst of economic catastrophe known as the Great Depression, Constable made a monetary gift to the Episcopal Church to establish the Constable Fund. Her desire and intent to add periodically to the fund during her lifetime was realized and culminated with a very generous final gift at the time of her death in 1951.
Watkins further explained, “Stipulations for use of the fund were also visionary and generous, recognizing in and trusting those who came after her to comply with her wishes while allowing them flexibility in order to carry the mission of God through God’s Church forward into new eras.”
The language of Constable’s will states that the fund exists “in perpetuity … to apply the net income for the purposes of the Society, preferably for the work in religious education not provided for within the Society’s budget.