Great Plains awards Culture of Call grants


A record number of churches and affiliated institutions applied for Culture of Call grants from the Great Plains Conference to help identify future lay, licensed and ordained leaders within their congregations.

The Rev. Ashlee Alley Crawford, clergy recruitment and development coordinator, said several of the grants in the semiannual process went to some form of mentoring across generations.

“A lot of people are identifying the importance of intergenerational connections and the importance of talking about what God is calling us to do,” Crawford said.

Among those receiving grants are the Institute for Discipleship at Southwestern College in Winfield, Kansas, which will fund up to 50 Great Plains individuals for Timothy Mentoring training through a four-week course.

“The course is about being a mentor and cultivating a Culture of Call through mentoring,” Crawford said.

Crawford said $24,100 was distributed this year in the two grant sessions. The funds will be distributed on Oct. 20.

Other recipients of grants:

  • Fort Hays State University, for a campus ministry intern.
  • Lawrence First UMC, for an intern exploring a call to ministry while mentoring and providing support and a safe place to vulnerable members of the community.
  • Lincoln St. Paul UMC, for funding to their youth to participate in a number of community service projects.
  • Santa Fe Trail Parish (Council Grove-Dunlap, Kansas), for a confirmation class retreat and helping youth discern why they are joining the denomination.
  • Salina Trinity UMC, giving support to a high school student discerning her call to ministry by traveling to England with her youth director to participate in a Wesley Heritage Tour.
  • Wichita Dawson UMC, providing curriculum for the Lead2Lead initiative, giving youth an opportunity to explore and utilize their gifts for life and ministry. Adults will mentor youth, and youth will mentor younger children.
  • Emporia First UMC, funding a college student as a pastoral intern during the 2017-18 academic year.
  • Wichita Saint Mark UMC, providing two Journey to the Table retreats for young adults discerning their call into ministry, led in a time of personal exploration.
  • Lenexa St. Paul’s UMC, funding a second worshipping small group, to form active, relational and experiential worship services in small groups, meeting in churches, homes, coffee shops, bars, etc.
  • Gardner (Kansas) First Light UMC, helping their youth participate in a multigenerational confirmation experience, where church leaders will mentor the adults, who will mentor the confirmands.
  • Omaha Urban Abbey UMC, providing musical internships and mentoring for University of Nebraska-Omaha and Creighton University students while exploring their call to ministry through the mentoring of the Urban Abbey music guild director.
  • Derby Woodlawn UMC, funding a "Call to Ministry" internship to allow exploration in multiple areas of ministry.
  • McPherson (Kansas) First UMC, funding high school youth to discern their gifts and calling through practical leadership opportunities in a retreat setting, then having the high-schoolers organize, plan and execute a retreat for middle school youth.
This is the conclusion for the second year of the Culture of Call grants. More information is online at
Contact David Burke, communications coordinator, at

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