Synod of the Northeast Innovation Grant Recipients – January 2017

The Mission Working Group of the Synod Mission and Ministries Commission reviews grant applications and then joyfully gathers to discern which innovative ministries to help fund across the Synod of the Northeast.  Those that catch our attention reflect thoughtfulness in research, have support from their presbytery, create new energy for the gospel in relationships, and demonstrate promise for sustainability in ministry. As a result of the Commission decisions at its January 2017 meeting, we are pleased to commend to you the work of each of the following Innovation Grant Recipients:

Camp at the Eastward and The Sparrows Nest Theater of the Presbytery of Northern New England are partnering to provide a pastoral presence to invite people in a rural area of Maine to gather in community to use their God-given gifts for creativity to produce and enjoy works of theater, seek innovative ways to worship, and bring God’s love and grace to an impoverished community. $15,000

Trinity Summer Youth Academy (TSYA) Summer Camp of Newark Presbytery is an essential and continuing outreach of Trinity Presbyterian Church to instruct, feed, and nurture youth and their families on the margins in Montclair NJ.  2017 will be the eighth year of this summer mission “to empower our youth for success” offering programming within an inclusive and caring faith-based harbor for young people. $7,700

The Plainfield Afterschool Arts Institute is an innovative partnership between United Presbyterian Church of Plainfield and the Institute of Music for Children in the Presbytery of Elizabeth which offers economically accessible, high-quality arts training in a creative and nurturing, out-of-school environment. The program broadens participation in the arts among underserved children and teens through tuition assistance, bilingual staff and marketing, and urban outreach initiatives. $14,000

Sabbath House, a mission in Monmouth Presbytery, is a center for sacred activism and spiritual companionship which continues to evolve towards its long term vision including 1) Sabbath House itself, the church’s historic renovated manse offering retreats and workshops, hosting meetings and overnight guests, and holding worship services for a New Worshiping Community; and 2) The Gardens, which include a Giving Garden growing organic vegetables for hungry people and the new Community Garden in partnership with Plumsted Township. $14,000

Hudson Church Without Walls in Albany Presbytery is an innovation as a congregation “in exile” leaves its condemned building in order to engage the community in asking “Where is God?”  They re-imagine church “as a living, breathing, organism where God is encountered in relationship and community, which can crop up anywhere and will experiment with field trips, public liturgies, mission that is not place-based, unconventional worship spaces, new forms of worship, and a small group that meets at a local coffee shop/ bar, also where our Pastor currently keeps her office hours.” $18,000

The Circle of Inspiration, a ministry in Palisades Presbytery, focuses on providing much needed resources and services to people previously incarcerated who are now seeking to re-enter society.   Joining the efforts of other grass roots organizations, this ministry encourages, inspires, advocates and brings resources and hope to families and communities burdened by un-fair laws, policies, and procedures. $18,000

Boston Food Justice Young Adult Volunteer Program of the Presbytery of Boston seeks to engage local Presbyterian congregations in bringing healthy and sustainably-grown food to hungry people through the leadership of young adult volunteers of PCUSA.  The synod is helping this program fund a second year of support for a Chaplain and the intentional community house expense which focuses on deepening spiritual formation for our YAVs recognizing that their leadership must be grounded in a rich faith life. $4000

The Glenwood Life Center of the Presbytery of Long Island has collaboratively repurposed a historic church building to serve the needs of older adults and promote community health and wellness.  The vision is to build a life-giving collaborative community in a safe, positive, and welcoming environment. Put simply, GLC is intentionally saying, “Yes” and building community with artists, teachers, musicians, theatre groups, therapists, entrepreneurs, non-profits, community groups, and professionals ... People “ready” to take risks, dream big, share their passions, and discover what is possible together! $9000