Congregational Life Ministries staff are supporting and overseeing grants from the David J. And Mary Elizabeth Wieand Trust to two church plants in the Chicago area. The Wieand Trust explicitly names Christian work in Chicago as one of three purposes for its grants.
The Gathering Chicago, a community of prayer and global/local service based in Hyde Park, Chicago, led by pastor LaDonna Sanders Nkosi, has received a grant of $49,500 for 2017. The Gathering Chicago intentionally gathers people across cultures and backgrounds for peacemaking, prayer, life-giving retreats, and service.
Parables Ministry, a Christian community of empowerment and belonging for persons with special needs and their families located at York Center Church of the Brethren in Lombard, Ill., has received a grant of $23,372 for 2017. The ministry is led by pastor Jeanne Davies.
The grants from the trust complement district support for the two new church starts. Congregational Life Ministries staff have worked closely with Illinois and Wisconsin District leadership to support, supplement, and encourage these new ministries. Part of that work has included intentional conversations around practices and plans for sustainability with Congregational Life Ministries staff Stan Dueck and Joshua Brockway.
“It is my hope that with these conversations, and the strong relationships with Jeanne and LaDonna, we can begin to offer what we learn in the process to the wider network of church planters around the denomination,” Brockway said.
“Both starts represent new expressions of church, but are still formed out of core Brethren values,” Dueck commented.