1 Corinthians 1:18-31
The Rev. Sara Wilcox, co-pastor at Land of the Sky in Asheville, NC, said she is grateful for the grant from LCM, which will be used to help the congregation become more sustainable and continue to grow in work and attendance.
"It allows us to grow our ministries as we grow in people and grow giving in our community," Wilcox said. "It will allow us to expand our children's ministries and some of the educational opportunities we're moving toward."
Land of the Sky UCC was founded in 2009, and very recently was accepted into the UCC. Wilcox said the church has worked to "build a community partly because it's about giving back to the United Church of Christ and building a ministry here long-term."
Sycamore UCC in El Cerrito, CA is working to "redefine church because we have a large community around us that is not part of the worship," the Rev. Sharon Lee MacArthur said. There are about 125 families that use Sycamore's educational or after-school programs, but don’t join the congregation in worship services. "We're hoping to move forward to connecting with them [using this grant]. Helping families discover the spiritual part of life is part of the Christian experience."
Using the grant money, Sycamore UCC plans to reach into those "fringe" communities, and enhance its worship.
Part of the covenant between LCM and these funded congregations involves training and coaching for pastors and lay leaders through the Center for Progressive Renewal. Based in Atlanta, the Center’s mission is to renew progressive Christianity by training leaders, supporting new liberal/progressive congregations, and helping strengthen existing progressive churches.