Special and Sustaining Grants
SPECIAL PROGRAM GRANTS (formerly the Commission on Ethnic Local Church Concerns grants and the Common Table “Healing the Hurts” grants) are designed for programs outside of normal conference and local church funding processes. They are intended to provide funding for the first three years of innovative programs of tangible and caring outreach that is beyond a local church’s current financial resources.
SUSTAINING PROGRAM GRANTS are designed for programs outside of normal conference and local church funding processes. They are intended to provide funding for the sustaining of innovative programs of tangible and caring outreach that is beyond a local church’s current financial resources. They are for churches of all ethnic groups and should help the church requesting the funding to relate to the ethnic groups within its community.
The purpose of these grants is to encourage churches of all ethnic groups to move from an emphasis on self care to an emphasis on reaching out into the local community in the name of Christ. In every ethnic group, vital and creative outreach ministries by United Methodist churches produce vital, self-sufficient, and growing local churches. Because it is important that outreach ministries have the support of the whole church, the church council or other appropriate body must approve the project prior to submission for a grant request.
These grants are for program expenses and not for building projects. Program expenses would include “consumables” necessary to facilitate a particular ministry and only under the most unusual of circumstances include salaries or compensation for workers or coordinators of the ministries beyond the local church.
Normally, a project will not be funded for more than three years. All local church programs should strive for self-sufficiency within the three-year period. Funding is paid in the month following each quarter and is contingent upon the receipt of satisfactory quarterly reports from the project. If a quarterly report is not received, the next payment cannot be made. Please note that no application will be considered without the District Superintendent's approval and signature. Applications are available below. They are due in the Office of Connectional Ministries by August 1.
“MINISTRY ACCELERATOR” PILOT
The Virginia Conference is committed to equipping local churches for ministry and by providing a connection for ministry beyond the local church. One of the ways we do this is through our Special and Sustaining Grants. Each year we grant nearly $100,000 to local church ministries that are innovative, missional (beyond the local church walls) that are making a tangible impact on their communities for the gospel of Jesus Christ. We believe we have found a way to help the grants have an even greater impact. The Grants Subcommittee of the Common Table is piloting a new process, also called a "ministry accelerator" alongside our existing process that grants funds AND provides mentoring support to help implement their innovative ideas that address mission needs in their communities. The "ministry accelerator" pilot will give grants recipients, who choose to participate in the pilot, support in finance/budgeting, volunteer recruitment/retention, long-range planning, and other areas that contribute to the impact and sustainability of a ministry in addition to their grant award.
This experience is geared to help grant recipients:
- become self-sustaining more quickly
- maximize the impact made in addressing the specific community need or challenge.
This new structure helps us continue to live out the Virginia Conference’s mission of “...equipping local churches for ministry and by providing a connection for ministry beyond the local church." Click here for a draft overview of the pilot process. If you have questions or would like more information about the pilot of the ministry accelerator, please contact Rev. Chris Bennett, ChrisBennett@vaumc.org
Guidelines for 2017 Special Program Grants (pdf)
Applications are due in the Office of Connectional Ministries by August 1, 2016.
2017 Sustaining Program Grant Application (Word form)
2017 Sustaining Program Grant Application (pdf)
2017 Special Program Grants Application (Word form)
2017 Special Program Grants Application (pdf)