Each year Congregational Development Grants are awarded to multiple parishes in the diocese. The goal of the grants is to assist congregations which are actively engaged with the diocesan vision of collaboration, connection, and adaptive change.

“We want to live out our passions in a way that is life-giving,” said Bishop Kevin D. Nichols. “We’re trying to find a new way to do ministry—to support the diverse nature of mission across the diocese and uplift talented and dedicated leaders.”

This year’s Congregational Development Grant (CDG) Team consisted of leaders from across the diocese. The members of this year’s CDG Team were:

  • Connie Andrejko—Cathedral Church of the Nativity, Bethlehem
  • The Rev. Melinda Artman—Church of the Redeemer, Sayre
  • The Rev. Rodney Conn—Cathedral Church of the Nativity, Bethlehem
  • Peter Gonze—Trinity Church, Mount Pocono
  • Jim Harding—St. Anne’s Church, Trexlertown
  • Rebecca McLaughlin—St. Mark’s Church, Moscow
  • The Rev. Doug Moyer—Christ Church, Stroudsburg
  • The Rev. Michelle Moyer—Cathedral Church of the Nativity, Bethlehem
  • The Rev. Dennis Reid—St. Alban’s Church, Sinking Spring

This group included members of the diocesan Envisioning Team, which is working to develop a strategy for utilization of diocesan resources. The meeting gave the members of the Envisioning Team the opportunity to get an authentic sense of the state of the diocese, both financially and missionally.

The CDG Team reviewed over 470 pages of grant applications in preparation for their meeting.

“Every member of the team had done a review of the applications and came to the table with thoughtful suggestions or concerns,” said the Rev. Melinda Artman of Redeemer in Sayre, member of the CDG Team. “I was impressed with the missional efforts of so many of our congregations.”

Congregational Development Grants provide financial support to congregations that have identified a vision and developed plans to engage in active mission and ministry development. The CDG Team reviews the grants and makes recommendations to Diocesan Council as to how funds should be distributed. Grants are then dispensed in two parts—the first half is given after Council approval, and the second half is given after mid-year reports, when congregations demonstrate that specific requirements are met.

“The grant requests were heartfelt, whatever the ask was,” said Rebecca McLaughlin of St. Mark’s in Moscow, member of the CDG Team, the Envisioning Team, and Diocesan Council. “There was so much thought put in to each request.”

Total funds available for Congregational Development Grants is $100,000. Grants totaling $60,220 were awarded to 10 different congregations. Diocesan Council will decide how to utilize the remaining $39,780 to support mission and ministry development throughout the rest of this year, taking into consideration recommendations made by the CDG Team and Envisioning Team.