The Episcopal Diocese of Albany has received a $1,250,000 grant from Lilly Endowment Inc. to help establish the Albany Blooms Thriving Parish Initiative.
The project is being funded through Lilly Endowment’s Thriving Congregations Initiative.
The aim of the initiative to encourage the flourishing of congregations by helping them deepen their relationships with God, enhance their connections with each other, and contribute to the vitality of their communities and the world.
The purpose of the Albany Blooms Thriving Parish Initiative is to support, equip, and strengthen the work and ministry of the 100+ congregations of the Episcopal Diocese of Albany by nurturing the spiritual health of our congregations, encouraging them to abide in the Lord through Benedictine and other ancient practices to create hearts ready to learn, prepare and share the gospel with their local community. Through the ministry of Christ the King Center, the diocesan camp and conference center in Greenwich, NY, this initiative will use retreats, workshops, and online programming to accomplish its goals. There will also be an effort to bring programming and training both regionally and to the local parishes. Mini-grants for diocesan parishes will be made possible through the Albany Blooms project to provide funds to support congregations in their ministry efforts.
“This grant is a dream come true and an answer to the prayers of many,” said Rev. Meaghan Keegan, Diocesan Director of Administration and Christ the King Center. “We will be better equipped to support the good work our parishes are already doing throughout the 19 counties of New York which make up our diocese. We will grow together by addressing the spiritual health of our congregations, by learning how to identify and overcome challenges and by reaching out in our communities united with the common mission of sharing the Gospel of Jesus.”
The Episcopal Diocese of Albany is one of 105 organizations that has received grants though a competitive round of the Thriving Congregations Initiative. Reflecting a wide variety of Christian traditions, the organizations represent mainline Protestant, evangelical, Catholic, Orthodox, peace church and Pentecostal faith communities.
“Congregations play an essential role in deepening the faith of individuals and contributing to the vitality of communities,” said Christopher L. Coble, Lilly Endowment’s vice president for religion. “We hope that these programs will nurture the vibrancy and spark the creativity of congregations, helping them imagine new ways to share God’s love in their communities and across the globe.”
About Lilly Endowment Inc.
Lilly Endowment Inc. is a private foundation created in 1937 by J.K. Lilly Sr. and his sons Eli and J.K. Jr. through gifts of stock in their pharmaceutical business, Eli Lilly and Company. While those gifts remain the financial bedrock of the Endowment, it is a separate entity from the company, with a distinct governing board, staff and location. In keeping with the founders’ wishes, the Endowment supports the causes of community development, education and religion and maintains a special commitment to its hometown, Indianapolis, and home state, Indiana. A principal aim of the Endowment’s religion grantmaking is to deepen and enrich the lives of Christians in the United States, primarily by seeking out and supporting efforts that enhance the vitality of congregations and strengthen the pastoral and lay leadership of Christian communities. The Endowment also seeks to improve public understanding of diverse religious traditions by supporting fair and accurate portrayals of the role religion plays in the United States and across the globe.