The $1,000 grant from the 2017 Pentecost Offering allowed St. John the Divine to explore growing their community and the call Jesus makes to us all to love our neighbor. They requested the resources to have a parish conversation about evangelism and to increase our connection with their neighbors.
Using the funds, they purchased and installed a referral center outside by the church doors, built a Little Free Library, and made the church entrance area more attractive. In addition, they purchased five copies of the book A Lasting Impact: Seven Powerful Conversations That Will Help Your Church Grow by Carey Nieuwhof to lead the conversation exploring evangelism and mission.
St. John the Divine hosts a Food Pantry twice a month, one of the few pantries open on Saturdays, which means a lot of working people attend. Food Pantry volunteers now can provide referrals to other services posted on the new outdoor bulletin board. The entryway has been made a more inviting and functioning part of the neighborhood through the addition of a Little Free Library.
The parish received $1,000 from the Pentecost Offering Grant,and spent $537 on the outside bulletin board and display holders, $186 on the Little Free Library, and $500 on the retaining wall, soil, and bulbs for the entry way around the church sign. The congregation appreciated the efforts so much that they helped finance the extra funds needed to complete the grant-supported project. Encouraged by the impact of these actions, St. John the Divine now plans to make further improvements: build a prayer box where requests for prayer can be left, add more flowers, and repaint one side of the sign.
The 2018 Pentecost Offering Grant cycle is now open for applications. Funds to support the grant will be collected by churches on the day of Pentecost, May 20, 2018 as one of the diocese’s canonical offerings.