Jul 25, 2023Episcopal Church receives $1.25 million grant for faith formation work with children and families

Episcopal Church receives $1.25 million grant for faith formation work with children and families

The Episcopal Church has been awarded a $1.25 million grant from Lilly Endowment Inc. to help establish “The Camino Project: Faith-Forward Pathways for Episcopal Families,” a five-year initiative aimed at helping parents and congregations embrace raising faith-filled children, especially in nontraditional, non-dominant-culture families. The Episcopal Church Department of Faith Formation will lead the effort.

The Camino Project is being funded through Lilly Endowment’s Christian Parenting and Caregiving Initiative, which seeks to help parents and caregivers share their faith and values with their children. The Episcopal Church is one of 77 organizations receiving grants through this competitive round of the initiative.

The Camino Project—named for the Spanish word for road, path, and way—will provide Spanish and English resources, community cohorts, and pilgrimage experiences for families and congregations throughout the parenting years.

“We are thrilled to have this opportunity to walk with congregations and parents on this journey of parenthood,” said the Rev. Shannon Kelly, director of the Department of Faith Formation. “It is our hope that families and congregations will deepen their faith by intentionally leaning into key moments of change as we travel this journey together.”

The project specifically will embrace the Christian practice of pilgrimage, providing opportunities for families to take a faith-focused journey away from home distractions, whether locally, regionally, nationally, internationally, or virtually.

“By leveraging key transition moments in a young person’s life, this project will offer parents and congregations resources to deepen the faith-forming impact of those milestone moments,” Presiding Bishop Michael Curry wrote in a letter to the Lilly Endowment. “We intend for these resources to provide families with access to a constellation of ‘extended family,’ who, alongside parents and church, can offer a robust, less exhausting, ecology of Christian formation.”

The Department of Faith Formation will be inviting families and congregations to become part of this project later this year. Those interested may email the Rev. Shannon Kelly.

About Lilly Endowment Inc.

Lilly Endowment Inc. is a private foundation created in 1937 by J.K. Lilly Sr. and his sons Eli and J.K. Jr. through gifts of stock in their pharmaceutical business, Eli Lilly and Company. While those gifts remain the financial bedrock of the Endowment, it is a separate entity from the company, with a distinct governing board, staff and location. In keeping with the founders’ wishes, the Endowment supports the causes of community development, education and religion and maintains a special commitment to its hometown, Indianapolis, and home state, Indiana. A principal aim of the Endowment’s religion grantmaking is to deepen and enrich the lives of Christians in the United States, primarily by seeking out and supporting efforts that enhance the vitality of congregations and strengthen the pastoral and lay leadership of Christian communities. The Endowment also seeks to improve public understanding of diverse religious traditions by supporting fair and accurate portrayals of the role religion plays in the United States and across the globe

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