Ministry Grants

The Episcopal Diocese of West Tennessee is focused on supporting vitality and sustainability in all of our congregations.  Every church has the potential to increase its engagement with the surrounding community, and the Do Good & Share Ministry Grants program is designed to facilitate greater involvement.

About

The purpose of the Do Good & Share Ministry Grants program is to encourage small congregations to try new ways of getting to know their local communities through shared ministries and engagement. As relationships are developed through discourse and cooperation, we will become more aware of the work God is already doing and how we can assist in tangible ways. 

The Ministry Grants program is part of our diocesan small church initiative, which began in 2020. A total of $50,000 has been allocated for the 2024 grant cycle.  Lessons learned in the first cycle will be presented at the 2024 Diocesan Convention. Another round of grants will be awarded for the 2025 grant cycle.

Eligibility

Twenty-one congregations in the Diocese of West Tennessee are eligible to apply for grants: All Saints (Memphis); Christ Church (Brownsville); Good Shepherd (Memphis); Emmanuel (Memphis); Grace (Paris); Holy Trinity (Memphis); Immanuel (La Grange); Immanuel (Ripley); Ravenscroft (Brighton); St. Anne’s (Millington); St. James (Bolivar); St. Joseph (Memphis); St. Mary’s Cathedral (Memphis); St. Matthew (Covington); St. Paul (Mason); St. Thomas (Somerville); St. Thomas (Humboldt); Trinity (Mason); plus St. James (Union City); St. Mary’s (Dyersburg) and St. Philip (Bartlett). 

Criteria

Applications will be accepted from January 1, 2024 through March 15, 2024. Decisions will be made and recipients notified by April 1, 2024.

Factors that the Ministry Grants Team will consider when making decisions include a congregation’s: 

  • Development of initiatives that are relational, participatory and cooperative
  • Outreach into local neighborhoods and communities to form new partnerships or build upon existing partnerships
  • Desire and willingness to try new things
  • Openness to creativity

Funding will be prioritized for programs aimed at strengthening and facilitating contextual awareness and community engagement. In some instances, great ideas may not fit the granting purposes or guidelines.

The types of programs or ideas that DO NOT qualify for the Ministry Grants program include: 

  • Internal programs or ministries of a congregation that only serve parishioners
  • Funding for the congregation’s operating budget, including staff costs
  • Capital improvement projects, such as landscaping, roofing repairs or other building maintenance

Grant Types

Congregations can apply for an Experimental Grant or a Sustaining Grant during one grant cycle.

Experimental Grants 

Experimental Grants are grants of $500 to $1,000 for the purpose of engaging in a learning experiment. Experimental Grants allow a congregation to learn about the surrounding neighborhood and become more comfortable engaging the work God is already doing by trying something new. To learn more about the Experimental Grant application process and qualifications, click below.

Sustaining Grants

Sustaining Grants are grants of $1,000 to $5,000 for those congregations that have already begun working with the community surrounding the church. Priority will be given to efforts involving one or more community partners. To learn more about the Sustaining Grant application process and qualifications, click below. 

Questions

Not sure what grant works for you? Contact the Ministry Grants Team: grants@episwtn.org

The Rev. Sarah Cowan 
Janice Hall 
Candace Walsh 
Canon Alisa Kelly, Canon for Finance and Administration
Emily Austin, Director of Communications & Community Engagement