Creating a Culture of Call means that the behaviors, beliefs and attitudes of your congregation/community readily supports the members of the community to identify and explore a call by God to serve God as a lay, licensed, or ordained person. Not everyone who feels a call will work “in ministry” for a church, but as everyone seeks to live out his or her faith more deeply, we pray that everyone will consider their work in the world, and even their interactions with other people will be an opportunity to live out God’s call.
The Culture of Call grant was designed to provide churches, campus ministries, and United Methodist organizations in the Great Plains UMC with resources to fuel their imaginations in creating opportunities to cultivate a Culture of Call.
Grants will be awarded in the range of $500 - $2,000. Early deadline to apply is April 12, 2021 and the late deadline is Sept. 15, 2021.
Churches, campus ministries, camps, or other entities of the Great Plains UMC are eligible for a Culture of Call grant only once every three years.
Culture of Call Grant Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ’s)
Who is eligible for the grant?
- Any pastor or member of a Great Plains UMC congregation for use in a congregation, ministry, or agency of the Great Plains UMC.
- Churches, campus ministries, camps, or other entities of the Great Plains UMC are eligible for a Culture of Call grant only once every three years.
What are the hopes of the Culture of Call Grants?
- We hope that all people of the Great Plains UMC will connect their own discipleship—at home, work, church, and in the world—with living out their call.
- We would like to see churches, districts, campus ministries and agencies across Kansas and Nebraska provide opportunities for children, youth, and adults to discern God’s voice, explore their gifts, connect with a mentor, nurture their spirits and find community support.
- This grant is an opportunity to spur imaginations and provide some resources to leaders in the Great Plains UMC to consider ways that they might cultivate conversations about call in their communities.
- In all grant applications, we want to see how your application connects individuals or groups within your sphere of influence to an exploration of vocational discernment as opposed to a more general discipleship.
- While it’s not a requirement, we hope to see a church contributing an investment of resources of their own in their grant application.
Who is the target audience of the grant?
- There is not an age group being targeted and we would like to see applications that invite people of all ages considering what God is calling them to do with their lives.
What are the earmarks of a strong Culture of Call?
- Discernment events/experiences—discernment events could be a retreat, event, small group or class that is focused on identifying God’s voice in one’s life.
- Personal exploration—this includes individuals learning more about their gifts, passions, personality types and preferred context for ministry.
- Mentoring—mentoring relationships could be in the context of Confirmation, youth group, one-on-one, or in group settings but would provide an opportunity for someone younger (or younger in faith) to connect in a meaningful way with a more experienced Christian.
- Spiritual nurture—cultivating practices, both individual and corporate, that grow one’s spiritual life to maturity (in John Wesley’s terms, we’re talking about the means of grace—Bible study, prayer, fasting, worship, sharing your faith, sacraments, accountability, etc.).
- Community expression of supporting individual calls—celebrating the calls of members of a congregation by sharing stories, intentional prayer, lifting up names and individually supporting people as they explore and live out a call to ministry.
What are some sample projects that you anticipate approving?
- A focus in Confirmation giving students an opportunity to explore various ways to use their gifts in ministry.
- A mentoring program for mentoring pairs to meet weekly through the semester for coffee and studying a book together.
- An internship in a church, campus ministry or UM ministry.
- An Exploring Call event for members of a church(es).
- A District youth retreat giving students an opportunity to hear about different ministry opportunities
- We will fund projects between $500-$2,000 that we anticipate will provide funds for resources, speakers, travel, food or something else! Be creative!
Is the grant repeatable? In other words, can we apply a second time to sustain our initial project?
- This grant is not to be counted on to sustain projects. We hope to spark new projects that could potentially be underwritten or fundraised for if you identify that you want to continue them.
- We are open to receiving grant applications from the same entity but for a different project or program, and only once every three years.
Need ideas for developing culture of call in your setting?
- April 12 — Early deadline, awards announced April 23
- April 30 — Distribution of funds
- Sept. 15 — Late deadline, awards announced Oct. 1
- Oct. 8 — Distribution of funds
- One month following the conclusion of the project, a report discussing the following things will be due:
- Did the project go as expected?
- How were people impacted through the project?
- How did you tell the story of your project?
- Which of the 5 earmarks of Culture of Call did this project address? How?
- What could you share about this project with others?
- A final evaluation survey will also be requested.
- All funds should be spent with final documentation submitted by Sept. 1, 2022
The grant application can be found here greatplainsumc.org/cocgrantapplication.
View a template of the grant for your preparation.
If you have questions, please contact the Rev. Ashlee Alley Crawford, at 785-414-4216 or firstname.lastname@example.org.