The Anglican Foundation of Canada (AFC) will offer $100,000 in seed funding for new projects that support climate care or “green shoots” ministries, executive director Scott Brubacher told General Synod on June 28.
Grants will go to selected applicants who respond to the foundation’s 2023 request for proposals, “Viriditas: God’s Greening Power.” Brubacher said this initiative was inspired by the theme of the 2023 Assembly in Calgary, “Let there be greening.” Seed funding will go to “projects that prioritize climate care or green shoots ministries that offer new and innovative ways of addressing local challenges,” Brubacher said.
Viriditas is a Latin word that translates literally as “greening” and can also mean vitality, lushness or growth. The word is strongly associated with medieval Benedectine abbess Hildegard von Bingen, who used it to refer to spiritual and physical health.
The Anglican Church of Canada in recent years has used the phrase “green shoots” to mean thriving parishes and congregations that defy statistical trends of declining church membership. Archbishop Linda Nicholls, primate of the Anglican Church of Canada, used the term at the fall 2019 House of Bishops meeting when she presented a statistical report and asked bishops to ponder “the ‘green shoots’ that we need to nurture.”
Brubacher’s report to General Synod also highlighted the AFC’s partnership with the Anglican Church Women (ACW) for the ACW Council of the North Retired Clergy Fund. The ACW in the diocese of New Westminster seeded this fund in 2022 with a $100,000 gift and actively encouraged other ACW branches across the country to contribute.
As a result, Brubacher said, the fund has grown to $270,000 in less than a year. The AFC will begin making initial disbursements this fall to support housing and living expenses of retired non-stipendiary Anglican clergy in Council of the North dioceses.
The remainder of Brubacher’s presentation to General Synod provided a broad overview of the AFC’s work and specific projects. A key focus in recent years has been on youth work, spearheaded by the Say Yes! to Kids campaign—the foundation’s national fundraising effort to support child and youth ministry, which began in 2021 and subsequently became an annual campaign, now in its third year.
“During the most difficult times of the pandemic, our Say Yes! to Kids campaign and subsequent [request for proposals] were generously embraced by donors and champions for youth ministry alike,” Brubacher said. By the end of 2021, he added, AFC had provided $470,000 in funding “to support young people, which became our largest RFP to date and the greatest one-time investment in children and youth ministry the Anglican Church of Canada has ever seen.”