Above: St. Paul's UMC in Denver used the Legacy Fund grant for new tables and chairs for its DayBreak Cafe, which is its homeless meal program. Photo courtesy the Rev. Jessie Boyce
Written by Rev. Dr. C. Dennis Shaw, Legacy Fund Convener (without vote)
The Legacy Fund was established by the Rocky Mountain Conference in 2011 in order to encourage the reinvestment back in local churches from funds created as a result of other churches closing.
I encourage us to think of this in biblical terms of Elijah passing the prophetic mantle to Elisha. In this passing of the mantle, Elijah asked his student-prophet what he would desire of him before his departure. Elisha replied: “I pray thee, let a double portion of thy spirit be upon me” (2 Kings 2:9). The Legacy Fund’s hope is that a double portion of God’s goodness is passed from closing churches to new and expanding ministries. Funds from Denver Faith for example, find their way to Utah, Wyoming and Colorado.
The focus of the fund is two-fold:
Here are some snippets from some of the recipients over the past three years:
Legacy Grant that provided us with all new tables and chairs for the DayBreak Cafe, our homeless meal program … replacing 25-year-old broken and uncomfortable chairs and tables allows us to provide comfort for the body while we nourish the stomach and the soul.” - Rev. Jessie Boyce, St. Paul's, Denver, Colorado
… established ‘A United Methodist Thrift Store’ with a mission to provide clothing and other items to our community that could otherwise not afford them and at the same time provide a sense of pride in providing for themselves and their families.”. - Rev. Rob Bruendl, Trinity, Kearns, Utah
Our grant created more visibility and interaction with our local community!” - Rev. Dave York, SonRise, Pueblo West, Colorado
We received funds that allowed us to build a playground with a fence around it. Our children love using it, but … it is more of a community playground when we offer our Pumpkin Patch and clothing exchanges. What a blessing it has been for our community!” - Rev. Burry Bessee, Gillette, Wyoming
Over the past three years, our grant has been used to hire a coordinator to run a program associated with Hunger Free Colorado. For six weeks in the summer, we invite children from the neighborhood to our church to spend the morning at the church doing various activities and then they receive a good healthy lunch.“ - Rev. Rusty Butler, Arvada, Colorado
The fund also provides assistance to New Church Development with that conference committee providing resources for initial salary and programmatic assistance while the Legacy Fund provides some assistance in initial capital expenses, e.g., helping with buildings, projectors, sound, etc. Elizabeth, Colorado, for example, received funds to help them with getting started.
Click here to download the grant application. The window is now open and will close Sept 15. No grants will be approved until September. We will announce grant recipients in mid- to late-November.
Click here for more information about the Legacy Fund and New Church Development.