Be bold, be creative and – apply for a Jubilee Grant!

In October Diocesan Council set aside a portion of the Huron Development Fund for Jubilee Grants offering parishes some seed money for new ideas. First applications are to be received by March 9, 2018. 

Jubilee is a word that shouts out ‘celebration’! A jubilee is a time to give thanks with exuberance!

In the scriptures a jubilee year is the 50th year when a year of rest to be observed by the Israelites, during which slaves were to be set free, alienated property restored to the former owners, and the lands left untilled. So when you hear about our Jubilee Grants you will know this is something good, restorative and joyful.

At our Diocesan Council meeting in October 2017 we agreed to set aside a portion of the Huron Development Fund for JUBILEE GRANTS. Drawing on the experience of the Diocese of Toronto (oops – that’s what you get when you elect a bishop from ‘away’!) the bishop wants to offer parishes some seed money for new ideas – and see what happens.

We need to reach beyond our walls and build relationships with people who are not part of the Church. We need to be Christ in the midst of our communities and offer good news for everyone that points to Christ and builds friendships with those we have not yet met.

Recent ideas that have been suggested – community gardens on church property; children’s sports club that also uses PD days; a thrift shop with a quiet space for pastoral care; a family meal.

Each idea needs to lead toward a Christ-centred community. Sometimes a congregation will say, ‘We would like to – But we don’t have what we need to start.’ My experience is that you don’t need much to get going but a seed grant can be the spark that ignites the fire of new ideas.

A Jubilee Grant will be between $500 and $5000 for an idea to reach beyond the parish. All you need is a good idea that tells us who you want to reach; who will be involved, (preferably led by a lay team); what resources you need; and when and how it will happen.

Your clergy will soon (if not already) receive information on the application process – no longer than two pages describing the idea, budget, goal and timeline. Then the lay leadership team will personally make a pitch to two or three members of the Diocese (clergy and lay) who will help ensure you have what you need to try the idea out. If successful your idea will receive funds within a few weeks. If not immediately successful the pitch team will work with you to help make it happen!

Then go try it out! If it works as planned you will have a great story to tell us all! If it doesn’t you, and all of us, will learn something more about ourselves and our challenges. Any testing of a new idea will have successes and failures – both are good and will help us.

These grants are about taking a risk. We do our best to think through our plan and then test it out by leaping in – then debriefing the bumps, bruises and joys along the way.

When I think of ‘jubilee’ I think of exuberant celebration. I want us to exuberantly celebrate the love of God by being willing to share it through our neighbourhood.

Be bold – Be creative. Then apply for a Jubilee Grant in 2018!

First applications to be received by March 9th – Pitches to be heard in the week of April 16th.

The Pitch Team is ready – we look forward to hearing your ideas!