Outreach Grant Requests
St. John’s is now beginning its annual Outreach Grants process which involves inviting various ministries to apply for funding assistance, researching the applicants’ ministries, and then deciding who will receive grants and how much those grants can actually be. Last year we awarded grants of $110,000 to 39 different ministries. 37 of those ministries do their work right here in Montgomery. Two other recipients – the Sawyerville Day Camp which provides a free summer camp experience for children and youth in Hale County, and Haiti relief – helped us extend assistance beyond our immediate area.
We inform you of this process now to invite you to make sure that any ministry which you believe does good work with those in need is known to us and submits an application. The deadline for receiving applications is March 30. After all applications are in, our Outreach Grants Committee will visit each ministry and then gather to discuss the requests. The grants will then be issued in May.
About 20 years ago the Vestry had a vision for making outreach grants and designated $8,000 in the budget for that purpose. A concerted effort to increase that amount ensued and for the past several years we have issued grants totaling $110,000. And that increase does not include the addition of our annual support of Holy Cross School ($35,000), our annual support of Family Promise which is a homeless family ministry ($12,000), or our annual mission trips to Honduras which receive $5,000 from our budget in addition to huge support outside of our budget. Overall, nearly 20% of our annual budget goes to ministry beyond the walls of St. John’s.
As we look to the future, the area of Outreach is the area we want to increase even more. Our hope is to expand our Outreach Grants and to be able to fund more and more of the ministries we see doing great work in our community. We want to grow in this area so that we can directly aid those in need and become an increasingly bright ray of hope. Our purpose in Outreach is to inspire the lives of those we touch and those who could help make a difference with those who live in poverty and despair.
In addition to making financial grants, your leadership also wants to provide more and more opportunities for our members to help in a hands-on way with those in need. The members of St. John’s have a long history of giving of their time in addition to their money. We want that to continue and grow. As we inform you of the ministries that receive grants, we will try to help make you aware of places you can volunteer on your own, and we will offer you opportunities to serve in the community with fellow parishioners.
If a measure of our spiritual depth is in our ministry to others and the giving of resources to work beyond ourselves, St. John’s is truly a remarkable place. An even more significant measure is the desire to do even more. Through your generosity and God’s grace, we will give more and more of our resources to ministries which affect change and transformation in the lives of God’s neediest children.
The Vestry is grateful to you for your generous support of these valuable ministries and your willingness to allow your gifts to spread hope to those in need.
Robert C. Wisnewski, Jr.