The Urban Ministry Grant funding opportunities provided by the Great Plains Congregational Excellence department and the Great Plains Conference Board of Trustees are from the sale proceeds of properties abandoned by discontinued congregations in counties with more than 50,000 in population. Urban Ministry Grant funding is subject to availability.
Urban Ministry Grant Funds assist districts to carry out objectives of:
Starting new faith communities in urban areas to reach and gather new people in new places for Bible study, outreach, community building, and worship at a site in an area approved by the district strategy team and district superintendent (¶ 259.1,2).
Develop ministries with the poor that evangelize, advocate for justice, and work toward changing the community for the sake of the welfare of the people.
Develop effective and sustainable ministries with existing residents or newcomers at a site in an urban area with cultural, economic, or ethnic groups different from the original or present member (¶ 212.1,2).
Eligible applicants are the seventeen Great Plains Conference Districts (Blue River, Dodge City, Elkhorn Valley, Five Rivers, Flint Hills, Gateway, Great West, Hays, Hutchinson, Kansas City, Missouri River, Parsons, Prairie Rivers, Salina, Topeka, Wichita East, and Wichita West).
The Districts that contain an urban municipality will develop an urban ministry plan for their urban area. The District Strategy Team or alternate structure chosen by the District are to work together to develop a plan that:
Applications must be received by any one of the following deadlines: June 1, September 1, December 1, or March 1. Applicants will submit their applications via online application to the Great Plains Congregational Excellence department. The Congregational Excellence department will convene a Conference Urban Strategy Team, comprised of the following twenty- one persons: (1) Cabinet Rep; (2) CE Director of New Church Development; (3) three members of Connecting Council; (4) four at-large members selected by the Connecting Council based upon expertise; (5) one Conference Trustee representative, (6) and the Conference Treasurer. The Urban Strategy Team will review and discuss applications and ensure that all criteria are met. The Congregational Excellence New Church Director will present the grant applications that meet all of the criteria to the Great Plains Trustees. The Board of Trustees will vote on a list of recommended projects for final approval and levels of funding. Notifications will be sent to applicants within one week after approval with funding to being 45 days after the submission deadline cycle date.
The proposal will communicate a well-written comprehensive plan from the district (see APPENDIX 3, pp. 14-19) that includes a budget, marketing approach, salary support, and specific ministry objectives. Project development cannot continue without a well-written and thought- out plan.
The dollar range of grants is up to $120,000 per project over a four-year period. Funds may be used for salaries, administrative expenses, program expenses, capital expenditures, and so forth. Projects and initiatives funded for one year must reapply for continued funding the following year in time to meet the annual application deadline.
Each project receiving grant money from the Congregational Excellence department will be responsible for completing project reports, including financial reports and annotated evaluations. A schedule of progress reports will be included in your grant notification letters. Failure to comply with this requirement will lead to termination of funding.