New Ministries Project I

Project Number: 
Start Date: 
Tue, 01/01/1991
End Date: 
Sun, 06/30/1991

The New Ministries Project’s “Addendum Grant” involved a six-month extension beyond the original end date in order to cover the director’s salary, office expenses and other related contingencies through June 1991. The Synod of Lincoln Trails of the Presbyterian Church (USA) began the Project in 1988 as a three-year competitive grants project designed to enlist fifteen to nineteen Indiana churches per yearly cycle in initiating new parish ministries. The Project was planned for the years 1988, 1989 and 1990. As the first yearly cycle of churches participating in the Project did not begin before June 1988, the third cycle could not end until June 1991, creating the need for the addendum grant. By the close of the third cycle, the Project had awarded a total of 51 grants to Roman Catholic and Protestant congregations and cluster groups. <p> Congregations participated in the Project for one year. During the year, a church could receive up to $4,000 for its new ministry and up to $1,500 to train the program’s leaders. Representatives of the congregations met three times in plenary gatherings to learn skills and learn from each other. Questionnaires, consultants’ visits and cases studies informed Project leaders on the planning processes that congregations followed and the problems they encountered. <p> The New Ministries Project was built on the belief that a congregation’s ability to plan and sustain ministry changes was an important sign of its health and vitality. The Project sought to understand the reciprocal relation between change and the dynamics of congregational life. Results from the Project indicated that creative change in congregations could occur through outside affirmation, opportunities for peer learning, some technical support and modest financial aid. The Project concluded that examining a new parish ministry was an excellent means to understand the dynamics of the congregation.