Imaginative Ideas Encouraged: The Episcopal Church in Connecticut Awards First Round of Region Entrepreneurial Grants Totaling $89,600

Episcopal Church in Connecticut
Posted Feb 7, 2022

The Episcopal Church in Connecticut (ECCT) has announced four ministries as awardees of Region Entrepreneurial Fund (REF) grants. The fund  supports innovative or expanding ministries that engage and energize parishes, Ministry Networks, and community partners throughout the six Regions of Connecticut.

During ECCT’s 2019-2020 Joining Jesus initiative, individual donors and eight participating parishes designated roughly $750,000 to the REF. The funds are intended to be fully distributed over the next five to six years. One of its main objectives is to encourage out-of-the-box thinking, emphasizing risk factors are not necessarily deterrents for potentially funded projects.

“The REF Granting Body is seeking ideas that are innovative in nature and collaborative across parishes,” said the Rev. Tim Hodapp, Canon for Mission Advancement & Coaching and a member of the fund’s granting body. “From exploring systemic racism that reaches to our colonial roots in villages and towns along the Sound, to purchasing a food truck that will serve as a mobile ‘hot meals on wheels’ throughout the New Haven area… it’s just the beginning,” Hodapp said. “The beauty of this fund’s focus is multi-faceted, especially in the iterative ideation of these experiments and the numbers of parishes and community partners signing on. Success is as much in the trying these on as it will be in reflecting on where we saw our people showing up and joining Jesus in the work of God’s mission.”

Of the four ministries granted, one is based in food insecurity, one on an interfaith service day, and two in racial justice initiatives. A synopsis of each project can be found on ECCT’s website.

“The funds from the Joining Jesus initiative have created a spring board for us to dive deeper into living into God’s dream, said the Rt. Rev. Laura J. Ahrens, Bishop Suffragan. “These initiatives help us to learn more about ourselves and our neighbors. By building on existing partnerships and expanding our relationships in communities, we find new and bold ways to share God’s love. I am excited to see how these ministries will transform us, as well as energize new initiatives in the Episcopal Church in Connecticut.”

There will be two upcoming granting cycles in March and September 2022. More details on how to apply will be available on episcopalct.org/REF.