The Marge Christie Congregational Growth and Vitality Fund provides congregational missional funds for the support, strengthening, development and renewal of our congregations’ mission and ministry. The fund's Board seeks to challenge and support our congregations as they prayerfully reflect on how their existing and future projects and programs might deepen and strengthen the congregation’s missional identity. Grant applications from congregations throughout the Diocese of Newark will be received and considered on an annual basis.
Missional refers to a vocational and spiritual understanding that enables congregations to be actively engaged in their communities through discerning how they might join with God’s mission in the world. That engagement is grounded in intentional discipleship in which we understand ourselves as disciples being called, formed and sent into the world.
Mission is that vocation to which the congregation has discerned God has called it.
Ministry is how the mission to which God has called the congregation is being lived out.
The Marge Christie Fund was founded in 2009 to honor Marge Christie, an active lay member of her church, her diocese and the world-wide Episcopal Church whose years of ministry and service to others have touched the lives of many people in a variety of places.
A congregation will be required to demonstrate that the grant will be used in furtherance of a specific missional or renewal goal as it seeks to define and carry out God’s mission in its ministry context.
Grant Proposals Sought
The Board will seek proposals which include strategies and measurable goals that address these possible areas of congregational missional activity:
- Radical Hospitality/Welcome
- Clergy and Lay Leadership Development
- Stewardship and Financial Stability
- Spiritual Formation: Christian Identity, Discipleship, Ministry Gifts Discernment
- Liturgy and Worship
- Visioning/Strategic Planning
- Collaborative ministries between congregations
Although most grants are expected to be less than $5000, larger awards may be granted where an exceptional congregational project or a collaborative initiative is presented.
Grants will be awarded for a period of one year. All grantees are required to submit a written evaluation report at the end of the grant period. Future grants from this Fund and from other Diocesan loans and grants funds are conditioned upon receipt of this report.
If grant funds are not disbursed within one year of the grant award, a written request for an extension must be submitted to the Board.
The Board will receive and consider on an annual basis grant applications from congregations throughout the Diocese of Newark.
Diocesan requirements for funding
There are basic diocesan requirements for each of the grants and loans. Churches must be in compliance with financial reporting obligations, including current parochial reports and audits; pledge card on file; and certification for Safe Church training.