Valentine, Cunningham latest recipients of Culture of Call grants


Intergenerational mentoring was the common thread in the latest two Culture of Call grants awarded by the Great Plains Conference.

Nebraska’s Valentine United Methodist Church received a $2,000 grant, and Kansas’ Cunningham UMC received $1,500.

The grants were designed to provide churches, campus ministries and United Methodist organizations in the Great Plains with resources to fuel their imaginations to cultivate a Culture of Call.

“We appreciated that these applications were seeking to build relationships as a place of exploring a call, specifically mentoring relationships,” said the Rev. Ashlee Alley, clergy recruitment and development coordinator for the conference.

In Valentine, according to the application by the Rev. Will Deeds, the church will host a monthly brunch that will connect congregants with mentors to discuss topics related to call and vocation. They will provide a time of exploration for young families to discern God’s voice, explore their gifts, connect with a mentor, nurture their spirits and find community support.

Deeds said he and a group of lay leaders asked themselves, “How can we reach young families in our church who don’t have a lot of time and are busy?”

“We’re hoping we can connect them to ministry and to their call,” he added.

At Cunningham, the “Transforming Spaces, Transforming Lives” project will create an environment to nurture the spiritual development of children and youth, including a space in the church for intergenerational work and forming mentor relationships.

“We are excited to be able to create that space for the youth-to-be,” said the Rev. Abby Caseman, pastor at Cunningham and Penalosa, Kansas. “They need more space than the church allows.”

The deadline for the second Culture of Call grants for 2017 is Sept. 15, and they will be announced in mid-October. The grant application can be found here.

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