The Presbytery of Cincinnati is thrilled to announce that we have received a grant from Lilly Endowment to help establish the Living Churches Initiative under our newly formed Presbytery of Cincinnati Center for Learning. The grant, of $997,412.00 over five years, will enable us to expand and refine the current pilot program we have ongoing to all our congregations, and to create, design and implement new approaches to congregational renewal, leadership development, and strategic engagement with the goal of increasing the vitality, relevance and effectiveness of our witness.
The aim of the Lilly Endowment’s Thriving Congregations Initiative is to strengthen Christian congregations so they can help people deepen their relationships with God, build strong relationships with each other and contribute to the flourishing of local communities and the world.
The Presbytery of Cincinnati Center for Learning will coordinate and oversee our existing educational, relational and mission programs to provide networking, data, and leadership coaching/consulting to congregations. The Matthew 25 teams (including the Racial Equity and Justice Team, as well as new teams in planning stages), the Congregational Renewal and Vitality and Network Resource Teams, and our Presbytery educational programs will come under the aegis of the Center for Learning, seeking to work across all of the Presbytery to encourage collaboration among congregations and offer training and resources to amplify their impact and relevance in their communities. The Living Churches Initiative is a major part of that focus and goal.
Eventually, we hope that what we learn and what we create will not only work to further all our congregations on the journey God has dreamed for you, but that we will be able to share learnings and resources with other congregations through two channels: the national PC(USA) organization; and, ecumenical Cincinnati organizations with whom the Presbytery is actively engaged, including City Servants and Churches of Cincinnati.
More information will be coming as we continue to create the Center and its work! Blessings to all of you!