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.
For more information and an application, please email the Chief Operating Officer, Ellen Sheehy, at firstname.lastname@example.org.
2018 Parish Partnership Grantees:
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 City Reach program. an overnight outreach retreat for youth (with accompanying adults), young adults, and college students from churches of any denomination to learn first hand about homelessness from people who have experienced it, and leadership development for people who are currently unhoused.
Creche - The Charles River Episcopal Co-Housing Endeavor (Great Boston Area) - Creche’s core mission is to create a network of faith-rooted, mixed-income, intergenerational cohousing communities in partnership with Episcopal congregations. This grant will support the programmatic elements of launching of 2 new communities, as well as supporting the 2 pre-existing communities.
Fourth Presbyterian (South Boston) - Fourth Presbyterian Church Youth Organizing Project in the past has done non-partisan voter turn-out work in the precincts surrounding the church, gathered signatures for the Raise Up Massachusetts Campaign, worked with the Youth Jobs Coalition to win funding for youth jobs in the summer, and worked with the Greater Boston Interfaith Organization in their campaigns to build a stronger Boston. This grant will support the project as it shifts its strategic focus on building a sustainable and transferable network of young neighborhood voters and integrating trauma informed healing into all their work, in response to a year of violence impacting their youth and the community surrounding the church.
Grace Chapel (Brockton) - The Brigade Youth Program: The Brigade Youth Program was founded as an outreach ministry to several families in Brockton struggling with their young people, and the youth searching for direction. The Abigails Project was launched in January of 2016, in response to the need of empowering the parents of our youths, and Grace Chapel realized that their work with the Brigade Youth will not be complete and may be counterproductive if the parents, mostly moms, are not parallelly and equally supported. This grant will support both these programs, oriented toward building social and spiritual systems of support and leadership.
Nuevo Amanecer (East Boston) – A Lutheran church plant modeled after the Liberation Theology concept of base communities, Nuevo Amanecer 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 continued training and relationship building of peer chaplains in the East Boston Community Soup kitchen, discerning and developing a governance structure that is reflective of the values of the community, and more explicitly organizing spiritual and leadership development of justice leaders in East Boston.
St. Andrew’s Episcopal Church (New Bedford) - St Andrew’s seeks to be available to Christ through worship and being available to our neighbors and neighborhood throughout the week. Out of conversation and partnership with former grantee Community Economic Development Corporation (CEDC) New Bedford, this grant will support the development of a strategic plan (January 2019-May 2019) for an immigrant oriented food based business program.
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 groups in the congregation, the Mujeres Lideres Group and the Social Justice Group, to deepen partnerships within the community and grow congregational involvement in the areas of immigrant accompaniment, criminal justice reform, and housing justice.
St. Stephen’s Episcopal Church (Lynn) - With the departure of the Rev. Jane Gould, the Beloved Community Team, which was primarily focused on organizing, decided to return to the roots of its creation - the social justice charge to uproot racism in themselves, their families, and in the communities they are embedded in. This grant will support this lay led initiative to move the congregation through anti-racism education and analysis, thereby strengthening the foundation for future involvement in organizing for systemic change.
St. Stephen’s Youth Program (South End, Boston) - St. Stephen’s Youth Programs (SSYP) contributes to the health of underserved communities by helping school-age young people along the path to successful adulthoods. SSYP does this by developing the leadership skills of young people and parents to address inequities. SSYP also creates healthy communities through the academic, enrichment, and civic engagement programming we offer, and relationship building that we do with participants, families, and neighbors. This grant will support its Intergenerational Organizing Project, which supports teen and parent organizers to address community issues - currently the crisis of underfunded public schools.