Through its new Request-for-Proposals (RFP) process, the Anglican Foundation of Canada will fund five innovative projects aimed at bolstering youth leadership within the Anglican Church of Canada.
These projects include youth ministry, online biblical instruction, leadership training and community service and living.
Young people “are going to bring energy to the church, lots of new ideas…a whole new way of looking at the church,” said the Rev. Canon Judy Rois, executive director of the Foundation. She said that the Foundation’s board of directors listened to the “needs and wants of the church” and youth training and leadership “rose pretty close to the top.” A branch of the Anglican Church of Canada, the Foundation funds infrastructure and ministry projects through donations from individuals, parishes and organizations.
Most of the projects that the Foundation supports are required to find 50 per cent of their funding elsewhere, but for this new initiative, the Foundation’s board of directors decided it would not require applicants to secure additional funds. The Foundation’s support of up to $10,000 covered the costs of some projects, while others received funding from within their diocese as well.
The Foundation received eight applications in this first RFP process, and its board of directors selected the five initiatives “that best fit the criteria, and that would best serve the Canadian church in the future,” said Rois.
“We wanted people to think incredibly big-the biggest thing they can think of,” added Emily Wall, the Foundation’s project manager. “We don’t want people to feel that they’re constrained by some idea of what church should be or what ministry should be.”
All projects, except that of the diocese of Niagara, which requested and was granted $8,000, will receive $10,000.
The Montreal Diocesan Theological College will offer mission internships for the summer of 2016. Six young people from across the country will plan mission projects in their area of interest, and will be encouraged to think “outside the traditional urban ministry box,” said Wall.
Toronto’s Wycliffe College will provide an open online course in September 2015. Entitled “Jesus at the Dawning of the Kingdom,” the course is designed to encourage biblical literacy. The college “wanted to be able to speak to people who had no prior knowledge of the Bible,” said Wall. Taught by Wycliffe professors, the course will primarily advertise to students and young adults, but all interested parties can sign up.
The diocese of Niagara is piloting Pathways to Ministry, a two-year youth ministry project that will begin in spring 2015. Twelve young adult participants will receive region-specific mentorship, and will create and execute a variety of events targeted at young Anglicans. Participants will also receive guidance through Trailblazing, an online series of lectures, music and videos that provide inspiration and community to those involved in youth ministry.
The Centre for Christian Studies in Winnipeg and British Columbia’s Sorrento Centre will devise and execute a 10-day leadership intensive in early 2015, as part of Sorrento’s Winter Youth Leadership Development program for young adults between ages 18 to 28. The course will emphasize learning in community, setting learning goals and reflecting on experiences.
In fall 2015, St. Margaret’s Cedar Cottage Anglican Church will create a yearlong intentional Christian community. While living together, five young adults from across Canada will serve the wider community through outreach and ministry projects. St. Margaret’s is located in downtown Vancouver, “so there’s a lot of urban ministry they can do,” said Wall, adding that time will be structured so the participants can take full advantage of the communal living experience.
In March, the Foundation will reveal next year’s theme and call for proposals. Once again, it will allocate $50,000 for five ministry-related projects across Canada.