PNW Conference begins Phase Two of its Fund for Families Initiative
Loving our Neighbors in the midst of duo pandemics of COVID-19 and Racism
In May, the Connectional Table of the Pacific Northwest Conference allocated a grant of $350,000 to its Fund for Families initiative designed to respond to immediate and longer-term needs of vulnerable families during the COVID-19 pandemic. The last six months have brought into stark focus the disproportionate toll of natural disasters on communities of color in the United States. The duo pandemics of COVID-19 and racism compel the Church to act.
The first phase of the Fund for Families distributed $114,500 for immediate needs associated with the COVID-19 pandemic, including food and other material needs. In all cases, funds granted to local churches for community relief efforts were leveraged through existing community partnerships.
Phase 2, launched today, will provide resources to address the longer-term impacts of COVID-19 as temperatures drop and needs escalate throughout the region. Nearly $235k will be allocated to projects across the five districts of the Pacific Northwest Conference.
Congregations participating in Phase 2 will apply through a planned process of learning and assessment designed to support them in creating or deepening community partnerships, and building or strengthening relationships of equity and inclusion given the disproportionate impact of COVID-19 on communities of color.
To apply, first, register leaders of your project for the three learning opportunities detailed HERE. All engagements will be held via ZOOM.
Second, complete the on-line application designed to draw from these learning engagements. Any United Methodist congregation in the Pacific Northwest Conference of The United Methodist Church may apply.
Grant applications may be submitted starting November 13, 2020. Applications will be reviewed by a panel representing various cultural, geographic and generational perspectives on December 1 and December 15, 2020, and every two weeks thereafter beginning January 5, 2021. This will continue until the funding is allocated or the interest in applying has declined.
See a more detailed description of the application process below.
Fund for Families Phase 2 Application Process
Any congregation in the Pacific Northwest Conference of The United Methodist Church may apply for Phase Two funding from Fund for Families by taking the following steps:
- Register to attend a series of learning experiences addressing:
- Dr. Soong-Chan Rah, author, theologian and practitioner on the topic of Decolonizing Mission, Thursday, Nov 5 from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. PST – REGISTER HERE
- Maria-José (Coté) Soerens, pastor, innovator and community activist on the topic of Community Engagement and Community Development, Tuesday, Nov 10 from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. PST – REGISTER HERE
- Jonathan Wilson-Hartgrove, author, activist and practitioner on the topic of Cultural Humility, Thursday, Nov 12 from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. PST – REGISTER HERE
- Engage with your team on the questions posed during the learning experiences.
- Engage your community partners, develop your focus, and describe the project using the application provided. The project must provide support for vulnerable populations in a manner that maintains dignity and enhances equity.
- Submit the application for review when you are ready, beginning November 13. Applications will be reviewed by a panel representing various cultural, geographic and generational perspectives on December 1 and December 15, 2020, and every two weeks thereafter beginning January 5, 2021. Applications may be submitted in alternative ways upon consultation with the Innovation Vitality Team. Contact Patrick Ferguson at firstname.lastname@example.org to be directed appropriately.
- Once approved, move forward to implement the project. Receipts of purchases and documentation of distribution must be retained by your church treasurer for reporting to the conference treasurer.
- As appropriate to the dignity of recipients, collect stories representing the perspectives of the parties involved (congregants; community partners; recipients) to illustrate what it means to be neighbor in the context the COVID-19 and Racism pandemics.
Thank you in advance for your community connections and for your care of vulnerable families during this time.