If you’ve been following social media for youth and young adult ministries in the ELCA you’ve been seeing a lot about an informational webinar about something called “innovation grants” for youth and young adult ministry. The webinar will be recorded and you can watch it later if you’re not available to follow live. What I really want you to know is that we are genuinely interested in your ideas for investing in young leaders in the church and for innovative ways of nurturing the gift of faith in youth and young adults. Included in this blog post (see below) are the basic goals and guidelines for these grants.
The combination of creative and innovative ministry ideas and the goal for partnership between congregations/synods/outdoor ministries/campus ministries and the many ways the ELCA engages leadership development and faith formation, virtually guarantees a wider reach for your new ideas. Think outside of the box. I often ask people, “What would you do if money were not a factor?” Ask that of yourself, then see if your idea fits the grant opportunities we are offering. Remember, you can’t receive a grant if you don’t apply!!
These grants are made possible through the Always Being Made New Campaign for the ELCA and are being offered because youth and young adult voting members at the last churchwide assembly noted a problem and then took the initiative to ask for funding to fix the problem. These are the kinds of leaders we need for this church!
I continue to believe that this is an exciting time to be the church. I also believe that our investment in youth and young adult leaders will directly impact our capacity for reaching others with the Good News of Jesus Christ and help create communities of faith that can make a difference in the world. You can be a part of making these things happen.
Paul Amlin, Program Director for Youth Ministry
Always Being Made New: The Campaign for the ELCA gives us the opportunity to expand our ministries among youth and young adults to cultivate young leaders, embrace a culture of diversity and inclusion, and build a robust network of support.
Through the Youth and Young Adults ministry of The Campaign for the ELCA, we will focus on the following Core Values:
- Form faith in youth and young adults
- Develop and multiply youth and young adult leaders
- Start new ministries or enhancing current efforts
- Promote collaboration and creativity
- Engage youth and young adults of color
- Accompany communities and persons living in poverty
- Applications must be submitted on behalf of a partnership of two or more ELCA-related ministries, one of which must be a congregation or synod.
- Grants are one time, lump sum grant amounts.
- Grants will range from $5,000 to $40,000.
- Initial applications will be received June 10 – September 1, 2015. Applicants will be notified and funds dispersed by the end of September 2015.
- Funds will be directed through an established ELCA ministry.
- Grant recipients are expected to establish measurable outcomes, provide two updates on their project, one six months after the start date and a final report. Recipients also agree to participate in at least one online gathering of grant recipients.
Grants will be awarded via application. The application questions are included in this form. All areas must be completed and you must be prepared to demonstrate hoped for outcomes, budget and a willingness to communicate progress toward goals. Once submitted, applications will be considered at a predetermined time by representatives of youth, young adults and churchwide staff.
The 2013 Extravaganza will host a special screening of the documentary film “INOCENTE” on Sunday, January 27 in the Grand Ballroom at the Hyatt Regency – Orange County. The documentary focuses on the life of a 15 year old girl who grew up homeless in San Diego, and how expression through art, created a way of dealing with life. The movie will be screened, and then will be followed by a discussion with the film maker, and Inocente, the young woman whose story is told in the documentary. This film has won multiple awards, was recently shown on MTV and currently is the subject of “Oscar Buzz” in the mainstream movie world.
The description of the film:
INOCENTE is an intensely personal and vibrant coming of age documentary about a young artist’s fierce determination to never surrender to the bleakness of her surroundings.
At 15, Inocente refuses to let her dream of becoming an artist be caged by her life as an undocumented immigrant forced to live homeless for the last nine years. Color is her personal revolution and its extraordinary sweep on her canvases creates a world that looks nothing like her own dark past – – a past punctuated by a father deported for domestic abuse, an alcoholic and defeated mother of four who once took her daughter by the hand to jump off a bridge together, an endless shuffle year after year through the city’s overcrowded homeless shelters and the constant threat of deportation.
Despite this history, Inocente’s eyes envision a world transformed…where buildings drip in yellow and orange, where pink and turquoise planets twinkle with rescued dreams, and one-eyed childlike creatures play amongst loved babies and purple clouds. Inocente’s family history is slowly revealed through her paintings.
Told entirely in her own words, we come to Inocente’s story as she realizes her life is at a turning point, and for the first time, she decides to take control of her own destiny. Irreverent, flawed and funny, she’s now channeling her irrepressible personality into a future she controls. Her talent has finally been noticed, and if she can create a body of work in time, she has an opportunity to put on her first art show. Meanwhile, her family life is at a tense impasse – – if she legally emancipates herself from her mother to strike out on her own, she’ll risk placing her brothers in foster care, but to stay is unbearable.
Neither sentimental nor sensational, INOCENTE will immerse you in the very real, day-to-day existence of a young girl who is battling a war that we never see. This film will usher you into the secret life she returns to at the end of every day, where she navigates the instability, despair, and neglect of a situation she must endure through no fault of her own. The challenges are staggering, but the hope in Inocente’s story proves that her circumstances not define her—her dreams do.”
We welcome Inocente, the film makers and this story to the Extravaganza.