Partnerships with Parishes
At ECM, we have created a framework to support models of parish-based ministries ranging from charity to advocacy and long-term systemic change. We see this as an opportunity to support parishes in the many forms of ministry they pursue or aspire to pursue and as an invitation to engage more deeply in the spectrum of charity to justice.
Parish Partnership Grants
Episcopal City Mission’s Parish-based grant program was established in 2012 to foster the participation of ministries in its roles as a more active agent of reconciliation and hope in a world that so desperately needs more of Christ’s body in action. At ECM, we understand community organizing as a process that develops the power and capacity within a community to improve members’ lives. Strong organizing work includes:
- Engaging members of the community in identifying shared concerns and setting goals for social change·
- Developing new leaders, especially among those affected by social inequality, and including them in the leadership of a movement
- Undertaking projects that are likely to result in concrete results for the core constituency.
- Articulating both the immediate and root causes of the problem. Working to change the unequal relationships and social patterns that underlie the issue.
- Collaborating with other organizations, regional or statewide organizations/initiatives
Informed by this understanding, we look to partner with parishes, congregations, and faith communities who engage with:
- a strong sense of social justice and an emphasis on solidarity with those being served by the proposed program.
- an understanding of God working in and through them in ways that may transform the parish/congregation/faith-rooted community and broader community profoundly.
- an understanding and facility with the tools of community organizing in their projects and who connect with ECM’s broader network of community organizers, including, but not limited to Burgess Grantee Organization.
In 2016, ECM gave grants to ten parishes.
Church of the Holy Spirit (Orleans) - Church of the Holy Spirit in Orleans is the primary sponsor of Food 4 Kids, the only Summer Food Service Program serving children and teens in all the towns on the lower and outer Cape, from Harwich to Provincetown. The Summer Food Service Program is a federally funded child nutrition program whose goal is to feed children and teens during the summer months when they do not have access to school meals. This grant will support the expansion of the program to additional sites and mentorship of new sponsors.
common cathedral/Ecclesia (Boston) - Common Cathedral’s core mission is to honor the dignity of housed and unhoused people on the street. Through common art, City Reach, Bible Study, and its own board of directors common cathedral provides paid and unpaid leadership opportunities to its community. This grant will support the development and implementation of a pre-City Reach program to build further community leadership.
Grace Chapel (Brockton) - Alongside its ministry to the children and youth (The Boys' & Girls' Brigade), Grace Chapel has attracted a community of women, on six developmental stages of life, many of whom are young girls, ladies, single mothers, aged, immigrants and citizens, victims of systemic, financial, racial and patriarchal oppression, hardworking women of deep faith and compassion. This grant will support the Abigail Project, a community of mutual support and empowerment that includes both healing and leadership development as a means of empowerment.
MANNA (Boston) - MANNA (Many Angels Needed Now and Always) is a ministry of and with the homeless community in downtown Boston. MANNA seeks not only to welcome men and women across differences of class, wealth, culture, race and mental ability, but also to empower all people to claim their place as essential members of our community. This grant for a third staff member will build upon the work of the Coffee Klatsch community, who partner with Boston city officials to address chronic homelessness.
Nuevo Amanecer (East Boston) – A Lutheran church plant modeled after the Liberation Theology concept of base communities, Nuevo Amanecer is a partnership between a Lutheran pastor and an Episcopal priest. It seeks to create a community that will work for justice in East Boston and provide support to the activist community that is already established there. This grant will focus on training peer chaplains in the East Boston Community Soup kitchen and supporting a story collecting project which will record the stories of Latinos living in East Boston, with a particular focus on racism, raising rents, and anxiety around housing.
St. John’s Episcopal Church (Holbrook) - This grant will support the launching of the St. John’s Afterschool Program (SJASP) seeks to provide local 7th and 8th grade students with a safe and supportive place to go when school is not in session. In direct response to the heroin and opioid crisis in our community, SJASP strives to provide students with a comprehensive circle of care that meets their academic, spiritual, emotional, and physical needs.
St. Mary’s Episcopal Church (Dorchester) - Throughout its nearly 170 years of existence, St. Mary’s has been a neighborhood church whose purpose is to engage faith in ways that addresses the physical, emotional and spiritual hunger that exists in the immediate area. This orientation towards service and fellowship is an asset and foundation for the wider engagement of their community in areas of justice. This grant will support two LDI teams from St. Mary’s to explore projects on building a Hispanic Community Development/Justice ministry and taking a radical step forward in being an LGBTQ+ open and affirming congregation of color that is actively engaged with the local LGBTQ+ community.
St. Stephen’s Episcopal Church (Lynn) - In Fall 2014, a group within St. Stephen’s Lynn committed to work with LDI to engage their congregation in deep conversations about race and privilege. Since then, the congregation has engaged in partnership with ECCO, St. Andrew’s Marblehead and St. James Cambridge to move towards a clearer understanding of how race and privilege pay within their racially diverse congregation while also supporting legislation that affects the larger community - specifically, criminal justice reform. This operational grant will support continue leadership building in the congregation and in the greater Lynn community.
St. Stephen’s Episcopal Church (South End, Boston) - St. Stephen’s Youth Program is focused on the wellbeing of the several neighborhoods in the South End and Lower Roxbury. This grant will support St. Stephen’s expand the leadership growth of residents of the South End and Lower Roxbury—in both the Villa Victoria and Lenox sub-neighborhoods--and reach the goals of the BLOCS Program (BLOCS = Building Leadership; Organizing Communities and Schools).
St. Thomas Episcopal Church/Common Ground: Center for Spiritual Practice (Taunton): Believing that we have much to learn from and to teach one another, Common Ground: Center for Spiritual Practice is an interfaith program focused on supporting and sustaining practices for individuals and groups in their search for meaning and purpose, wholeness and healing, commitment and community, contemplation and social action. This grant will help fund a part time Executive Director role, who would support the development of strategies and skills for the poor and marginalized in the Greater Taunton Community.
For more information and an application, please contact: