At its June 2020 meeting, the Executive Council of The Episcopal Church approved the recipients of the Constable Fund Grants, totaling $ $209,500 for nine projects.
The Constable Fund provides grants to fund mission initiatives that were not provided for within the budget of The Episcopal Church as approved by General Convention. The Constable Fund Grant Review Committee was chaired by Mr. George Wing, an Executive Council member from the Diocese of Colorado.
The nine projects receiving 2020 Constable Grants are:
- Province I – Preparing Lay Leaders: Province I, in collaboration with Bexley Seabury Seminary Federation, seeks to create an affordable, accessible, and adaptable process to prepare licensed ministers for the church. This grant will enable the creation of 11 online courses (synchronous and asynchronous) to ensure leaders have both a grounding in the fundamentals of our faith as well as the specialized training.
- Province III – Understanding Substance Abuse: Grounded in faith, this training helps individuals and faith communities to reflect critically on the current state of substance use and addiction, to prepare to minister as Recovery Allies and/or Rapid Response Teams, and to be Christ present for those struggling with substance use. Province III will be working with Bexley Seabury Seminary to develop the training and materials for the program.
- Province IV – Pilgrimage to the Fields (Outreach to Migrant Farmworkers): Pilgrimage to the Fields seeks to provide Latinx agricultural workers with the opportunity to get involved with The Episcopal Church and the Episcopal Farmworker Ministry (EFWM), seeking to minister to farmworkers in three principal ways: through direct services; through the development and support of programs that work towards the empowerment of farmworkers; and by encouraging leadership development, advocacy, and education aimed toward a systemic change of agricultural policy at local and state levels.
- Province VII – Rural & Small Church Summit: Implementation of their “Contingency plan” to divide the small and rural church summit into two parts. Part one will consist of webinars and small group meetings. Part two of the program will be the face-to-face meetings originally planned, when it is safe to hold such a conference. Insights from the small group meetings will help to focus part two on the areas of greatest concerns for participants.
- Province VIII – Play, Pray & Sparkle (St. John’s Episcopal Church, Indio, California): “Play, Pray & Sparkle!” will teach children and youth the Gospel, and help them experience the love of Christ by taking them on a musical journey through the Liturgical Calendar Year. New teaching strategies will replace physical classrooms and re-designed project performance goals are based on technology and the most stringent compliance with COVID-19 safety.
- The Episcopal Church Office of Indigenous Ministry – Doctrine of Discovery Training: This project will help carry out the objectives of General Convention Resolution 2018-D011, “Reaffirm Clergy Training on the Doctrine of Discovery” through a partnership with Bexley-Seabury Seminary and Seabury Divinity School to provide trainings and workshops to a significant number of Episcopal theological students.
- The Episcopal Church Office of Global Partnerships – Global Mission Toolkit: The Office of Global Partnerships (OGP) in collaboration with the Global Episcopal Mission Network (GEMN) and the Standing Commission on World Mission (SCWM), will develop and distribute biblically-based studies via webinars, videos, and resources for group discussion of the theology of global mission, which is God’s mission in the world.
- Standing Commission on Liturgy and Music – Liturgical Gathering: Redesign of the Standing Commission on Liturgy and Music’s proposed Gathering for Liturgical Formation to be an entirely virtual event, using a combination of webinars and Zoom break-out sessions; coordinated with the Virginia Theological Seminary’s department of Lifelong Learning.
- Standing Commission on World Mission – Military Chaplains Just War Education Project: Fulfills resolution General Convention Resolution 2015-A048, “Study the Application of Just War Principles to the Current Practice of Warfare” to advance the study of Just War principles, and extends this religious teaching to the formation of The Episcopal Church’s military chaplains for meeting the pastoral needs of current members of the Armed Services and veterans, including those coping with moral injury and other forms of combat-related trauma. To administer the project, the Standing Commission for World Mission will collaborate with The Episcopal Church Office of the Bishop Suffragan for Armed Forces and Federal Ministries and coordinate with The Episcopal Church Office of Government Relations.
Named for Marie Louise Constable
The Constable Grants were named for visionary philanthropist Marie Louise Constable. In 1935, in the midst of the 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 to the fund during her lifetime was realized and culminated in 1951 with a very generous final gift at the time of her death. 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.