Episcopal Church announces 2019 Roanridge Trust grant recipients for leadership development in small towns and rural communities

October 25, 2019

At their spring meeting the Executive Council of The Episcopal Church awarded thirteen grants from the Church’s Roanridge Trust totaling $208,843. Offered annually, Roanridge Trust Grants support creative models of leadership development, training, and ministries in small towns and rural communities across The Episcopal Church. Awards generally range from $5,000 to $20,000 and are given to help equip leaders who serve as catalysts for civil and social well-being in rural municipalities where the community is uniquely interwoven with the vitality of the local church.

“These awards affirm the rich gifts and unique witness at work in rural Episcopal communities. They are a key piece of the Jesus Movement, in building leaders who sustain hope, health and creativity in what can be overlooked or under resourced localities.” said the Rev. Melanie Mullen, director of reconciliation, justice and creation care for The Episcopal Church, “Roanridge Trust Grant recipients annually represent the great potential, diversity, and Jesus-rooted resilience in rural America.”

New grants were awarded to:

  • Episcopal Diocese of California, Embracing Abundance: Cultivating Vocational Resources in Community: $20,000.00
  • Episcopal Diocese of Central Pennsylvania, SSFM Collaborative Entrepreneurial Mission Center: $15,000.00
  • Episcopal Diocese of Georgia, Saint Marks Garden of Hope Caring and Sharing Training Program: $9,770.00
  • Episcopal Diocese of Indianapolis, Waycross Camp and Conference Center: $15,000.00
  • Episcopal Diocese of Los Angeles: CPE for Lay Pastoral Caregivers: $10,000.00
  • Episcopal Diocese of Missouri, Leadership Bootcamp: $15,000.00
  • Episcopal Diocese of New York, Grace Leadership Project: $20,000.00
  • Episcopal Diocese of Northern Michigan, Wild Church - Training for Church Outside the Walls in Upper Peninsula: $20,000.00
  • Episcopal Diocese of Olympia, Forming Leaders in Largely Rural and Culturally Diverse Dioceses: $10,098.00
  • Episcopal Diocese of Olympia, Harbor Roots Farm: Chaplains on the Harbor: $20,000.00
  • Episcopal Diocese of Rochester, Rural & Migrant Ministry, Rural University of the People: $20,000.00
  • Episcopal Diocese of Southern Ohio, Co-creating Beloved Community: $15,000.00
  • Episcopal Diocese of Western Michigan, ChurchLands: Plainsong Farm & Ministry: $18,975.00

Origin of the Roanridge Trust grants

The Cochel family gave a working farm in Missouri called Roanridge to The Episcopal Church to provide a unique setting in which Episcopal clergy, seminarians, and lay people could develop an understanding of farming operations and rural community structure. Through educational programs such as conferences, seminars, and institutes, the non-profit corporation that managed Roanridge sought to help Episcopal clergy and laity better serve communities in rural and small-town America. The farm was eventually sold, and the Roanridge Trust was established. The interest generated from the Roanridge Trust is specifically to be used for the training of town and country clergy and rural Christian workers of The Episcopal Church.

Questions about the Roanridge Trust can be addressed to the Rev. Dr. Molly James, deputy executive officer of General Convention, mjames@episcopalchurch.org.