“Have You Talked to EES About That?”

The first step to applying for a grant is to call the Executive Director of EES at (703) 807-1862.

Where does the church need to be, and how do we take her there? How do we share the Good News with everybody? We all know that these questions have escalated in urgency over the last few decades, and we all know that changes in culture mandate innovation. Many are praying for a vision of innovative evangelism, and such inspiration does, indeed, come. We see it a lot at EES, because we are committed to supporting innovative evangelism through our Evangelism for the 21st Century grants program.

Monroe2Take, for example, the Rev. Sarah Monroe. Liberation theology was instrumental in her own faith formation and, while a student at EDS, she discerned a passion (and significant gift) for street ministry. She used an E-21 grant to apply liberation theology to the creation of Bible studies and liturgies for the homeless. Her work is transforming both the homeless and the governing class in Aberdeen, WA because, when the poor read the Magnificat together, the Gospel gives them life. Watch a video of her work here.

Networking for an Environmental Church (3 of 3)Or look at the work of the Rev. Steve Blackmer. Having spent his first career as an environmental activist in New England, he came to Christianity and ministry with a call to reconcile humankind’s failure of environmental stewardship to God. He used an E-21 grant to explore how to offer this theology of reconciliation, and to build a network that became the Church of the Woods in Canterbury, NH. Hear his reflections on offering a new kind of church here.

Our work is as diverse as our grantees’ vision. The Rev. Bart Segu, of Kibondo, Tanzania, used what he learned in a year of study at Sewanee to offer a conference for Muslim and Christian leaders in his community to promote mutual understanding and peacemaking. The Rev. Sarah Shisler Goff, a leader of the ecumenical Slate Community in Baltimore, developed in in-house music ministry for the community. Rebecca Hall developed a hybrid program (online resources and in-person gatherings) called the Sunday Supper project, to support families of teens in home devotions. She was inspired through her Master’s level work at the Seminary of the Southwest.

EES is an old foundation (founded 1862) with a new vision. We want to use our resources to support those who will make a significant difference in the church and in the world. We have always worked through seminary communities, because of the special inspiration that happens when one’s entire life becomes the foundation for new learning and call. Episcopalians in any accredited seminary community – students, faculty, staff and their spouses and partners – are eligible for Evangelism for the 21st Century grants. We are also exploring additional channels, to be sure we reach the most innovative difference-makers.

Where does the church need to be, and how do we take her there? Perhaps you have a vision. Have you talked to EES about that? Perhaps you know someone who has a vision. Have they talked to EES about that? We want to listen. Grant applications are due in September and in February of each year, and you may find out more about what we’re looking for on our website. But the first step is to contact our Executive Director to share your idea.

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