The Synod of Mid-America (SoMA) has established an “Innovation Fund” for the purposes of furthering creative ministry within the region. The intended purpose of the Fund is to support the SoMA’s member presbyteries in securing creative and thoughtful Elders to facilitate visions for new congregational ministry that the presbytery might not otherwise be able to pursue.
The word innovation is merely a placeholder and is intended to suggest to applicants the broad approach to ministry the SoMA wishes to support. Other words that might be used to describe this approach are creative, new, prototypical, inventive, out of the box, different, risky, groundbreaking, cutting-edge, imaginative, ge nerative, or constructive, among others. Regardless of the specific word used, it is the SoMA’s wish that the kind of ministry that is supported is ministry that has not been yet been tried in a given presbytery.
The SoMA does not expect that these ministries will run counter to the context a given presbytery wishes to serve. A presbytery’s proposal must make sense for the people and place in which it finds itself. The proposals should “make sense” to a given context while also representing a “step forward.”
It is the intention of the SoMA to provide monies from the Innovation Fund to support various proposals resulting in new “ worshiping communities.” While it is assumed that not all proposals will result in the chartering of a congregation, it is the fervent hope of the SoMA that each proposal is both creative enough to be exciting and realistic enough to be feasible. Proposals that do not fit the “typical new church development” model are preferred. Additionally, proposals for new ministries are preferred over proposals that resemble “redevelopment” endeavors.
Innovation Fund Application Parameters
Proposals should take the following into account when submitting funding requests:
- Proposals should not ordinarily request the funding of existing ministries.
- Funded proposals should expect to submit to regular accountability and reporting updates to the SoMA
- A presbytery may have no more than one proposal considered per 12 month cycle (Proposals may be submitted at any time)
To apply for Innovation Funds complete in as much detail as possible, the questions below. Completed applications should be returned to the Synod of Mid-America office either by e-mail or traditional postal service.
- Name of Presbytery
- Name of responsible party and all relevant contact information
- Record of proposal approval from authorized body (committee, commission, full presbytery)
- The overall vision of the new ministry
- What community it will serve and a description of said community
- A project timeline
- What qualities an identified leader brings to the ministry or qualities sought in a leader
- How this proposal represents a new kind of ministry for your presbytery
- Other ways the presbytery will support this ministry