Submitted by the Rev. Dennis Shaw
The Legacy Fund was created by Annual Conference action to provide “critical funding for projects and encourage ministries that will make a difference and enhance vital congregation.” Grants are reviewed periodically by the Legacy Fund Standing Committee and later approved by the Conference Trustees. It is the committee’s goal to have two windows a year: January 1 to March 15 and July 1 to September 15.
The grant application window is now open and will close on March 15
. The current application form is located on the Legacy Fund page
Key dates on this window are:
- January 2016 – grant application window opens.
- Deadline to apply is March 15, 2016.
- The Legacy Fund Standing Committee will meet in April to vote.
- Trustees will review the recommendations in May and approve or disapprove.
- The grants will be announced in June with funds being dispersed beginning July 1.
The committee cannot reveal their recommendations until final action is accomplished by the Trustees. The committee recommended to the Conference Trustees approval for four grants in our last window. The Trustees approved:
- Elizabeth ($50,000 towards property/building purchase)
- McClave ($10,000 towards food pantry)
- GJ Crossroads ($14,000 towards preschool)
- The Land ($250,000 towards infrastructure costs for a new church start) (Read the article)
Other grants were reviewed and either disapproved or returned to the applicant for more information and review. The approval ratio over the last two windows has been about one grant approved out of every three applications. Grants that were approved prior to 2015 have made a difference at local churches. Several of those recipients write:
- Tri-Lakes UMC: “We talk a lot about wanting to make disciples, but few churches actually have an intentional process by which to do so. We believe that we can be a model, made possible through funding by the Legacy Grant, be a model for how to do this.”
- Cheyenne First UMC: “Cheyenne needed, and needs, a downtown Christian day care. Our church is in the perfect place with the perfect resources to meet this need. The preschool has become very important to the life of the church.”
- Grand Junction First UMC: “We believe the single greatest difference this ministry made to the congregation is that it served as the catalyst for our church to begin the slow shift of our gaze from ourselves to our neighbors.”
- Canon City First UMC: “We learned that we are an outward-focused church who wants to be involved and engaged in our community. The preschool was a building block for getting us new ways to be in contact with our community.
- Haxtun UMC writes: "Our recycle store, Retread Threads, has fostered a sense of pride within our congregation that we have successfully moved outside the walls of our church in mission with many hands and one Spirit."
Interested churches and ministries are encouraged to be in dialogue with their leadership over Legacy funding. Applications for aging infrastructure and asbestos abatement, among others, will not be approved.