For the last two years the Pacific Northwest chapter of Project Transformation has worked to redefine what it means to be in relation with our neighbors. We have cultivated a space for young adults to discern their vocation, find creative ways to engage with ministry, and develop as emerging leaders. We have supported almost 200 children through high-quality summer programming that has had direct impacts on their educational success and works to overcome the achievement gap in low-income communities. We have partnered with churches to leverage the program in order to form new connections and build meaningful relationships with families in their immediate neighborhood and community.

For the past couple years, I have had the honor of working with Rachel Neer and Sean Crews as they launched a new ministry called Project Transformation. It was a powerful and transforming ministry that taught children from low-income communities the beauty of reading and worked with young adults and lit a fire for service and ministry.  Rachel and Sean showed new ways of partnering with groups and agencies outside of the local church in ways that I have not seen United Methodist churches do before.  It is a wonderful ministry that requires constant fundraising to keep it going and we are presently unable to fund the program for this next year.  We are closing Project Transformation, while celebrating the leadership of both Rachel and Sean and their lessons that can benefit the entire Conference. 

Rev. David Tinney, 
PTPNW Board Chair­­­ 

We have seen a church furnish a new home and support a family as they transitioned out of homelessness. We have seen children learn to love reading and the magical places books can take us. We have seen young adults who had been deeply wounded by the church find a home in intentional community, some even moving on to participate in new church starts in the Pacific Northwest. We have seen immigrants, people who speak different languages and practice different faiths, and people from different racial and ethnic backgrounds come together in harmony to learn from each other.

It is with a heavy heart that we share the news that the ministry of Project Transformation can no longer be sustained in the Pacific Northwest. In an executive session, the Board of Directors of Project Transformation Pacific Northwest voted to close the chapter as we again failed to meet the fundraising benchmarks we had set. The lack of sustainable funding sources makes the continuance of the program impossible.

We cannot thank enough those who have supported the mission of Project Transformation, who have given deeply of their prayers, presence, gifts, service, and witness, and who continue to walk alongside us. We are also thankful for the financial support of local churches across the Pacific Northwest, and those around the United Methodist connection, as represented in the significant grants we received that made these past two years possible. It is because of your unwavering faith in a program that believes we can transform our communities through relationships that we have been able to make a difference in the lives of children and their families, young adults, and congregation members for years to come.

Friends, as we look back on the last two years of ministry and reflect on the countless stories of transformation we were able to witness, let us not lose hope in seeking innovative ways to connect with our neighbors. Another world is possible and we must be the ones willing to build it.

In love and in hope,

Rev. Rachel Neer, Executive Director

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