[Episcopal Church Office of Public Affairs press release] The Episcopal Church Executive Council approved the recipients of the Constable Fund Grants, totaling $168,060 for the 2014 grant cycle.
The resolution was presented by Anne Watkins, an Executive Council member from the Diocese of Connecticut and chair of the Constable Fund Grant Review Committee, during the Executive Council meeting, currently gathered in Baltimore, Maryland.
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 19 applications and eight grants were awarded. Watkins explained that the 19 applications requested a total of $1,021,102 in grant requests which far exceeded the $168,238 in actual funds available.
The recipients, the projects, the amounts and brief explanations (taken from the applications) follow:
* Stirrings of the Spirit – Province I/Diocese of Vermont: $14,000
In partnership with Vermont Interfaith Action, (VIA) a faith-based, grassroots coalition of congregations that transforms ordinary people into empowered and engaged citizens.
* Building & Enhancing Anti-Racism Ministry throughout Province III: $13,200
The Province aims to support anti-racism workshops where none exist and to strengthen those that do.
* Celebrating Diversity in the Lower Peninsula – Province V: $26,450
The Dioceses of Eastern Michigan, Michigan, and Western Michigan are coming together to form a response to racism in the lower peninsula.
* General Convention 2015 Children’s Program – Standing Commission on Lifelong Christian Formation and Education with Province VIII and the Lifelong Christian Formation Office of The Episcopal Church’s Formation and Vocation Ministries Team: $6,000
Funding is needed to begin the planning and creation of a dynamic, educational, and safe program for the children that includes learning, fun, worship, and formation in the Episcopal Church.
* Episcopal Peace Fellowship Urban Pilgrimage: $10,000
Urban Pilgrimage is an alternative Spring Break program for young adults (ages 18-25) to witness, participate with, and reflect upon unjust social issues.
* Share the Journey – Episcopal Migration Ministries: $44,910
This project endeavors to welcome more Episcopalians into shaping the future of the Church’s refugee ministry as they, in turn, inform and deepen their personal faith journeys through mission.
* Ecumenical/Interfaith Education on Tri-Faith Campus: $10,000
This grant will fund adult education, focusing on Christian ecumenical programming to support the expanding Christian community which will become the Christian presence on the Tri-Faith campus in Omaha, NE.
* Virtual Campus Training Project – Global Partnerships, Province IX, with Office of Communications: $43,500 This project will create a virtual campus for biblical, theological, spiritual and pastoral education with its central character, “Padre Pablo,” as a virtual meeting place where information and training will be provided, and attention will be placed on the needs of the Hispanic community both in Latin America and the United States, supporting them through biblical, theological, spiritual, and pastoral training and reflection.
Named for Miss Constable
The Constable Grants were named for Miss 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, Miss 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 Miss 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.