Lilly Endowment’s Christian Parenting and Caregiving Initiative has recently granted a substantial amount of financial support to numerous Christian groups with the aim of fostering faith in the nation’s children. The initiative approved a total of $92 million in grants for 77 organizations, encompassing local congregations, denominations as well as regional districts of national church groups. The grants, which range up to $1.25 million per organization, are intended to aid these groups in establishing or expanding home-based programs and parent networks. Through these initiatives, the organizations aim to create nurturing environments that facilitate the spiritual growth and development of young individuals. The recipients of the grants comprise a diverse array of faith groups, representing various branches of Christianity and encompassing individuals from different racial, and ethnic backgrounds, as well as educational institutions. Through these grants, the initiative seeks to explore innovative approaches to engaging children in a life of faith, both within and beyond the confines of traditional church buildings.
Church Leaders reports
(RNS) — Dozens of Christian groups seeking to instill faith in the nation’s children have been given grants of as much as $1.25 million to help them meet their mission.
Lilly Endowment, through its Christian Parenting and Caregiving Initiative, recently approved a total of $92 million for 77 organizations — including denominations, local congregations and regional districts of national church groups — as they seek to create or expand home-based programs and parent networks that will nurture the spiritual growth of young people.
“We’ve heard from many parents who are seeking to nurture the spiritual lives of their children, especially in their daily activities, and looking to churches and other faith-based organizations for support,” said Christopher L. Coble, Lilly Endowment’s vice president for religion, in a July 5 statement announcing the grants. “These thoughtful, creative and collaborative organizations embrace the important role that families have in shaping the religious development of children and are launching programs to assist parents and caregivers with this task.”
The grant recipients include a range of faith groups that represent people of different branches of Christianity, including from a diversity of racial and ethnic groups, as well as educational institutions. Most of the programs will start later this year, with funding intended to support the first five years of their work.
The initiative seeks innovative ways to engage children in lives of faith, inside and outside of church buildings. During the height of COVID-19, many of the traditional methods of children’s ministry — Sunday school, vacation Bible school, confirmation classes, baptisms — disappeared or were adapted. In the aftermath, parents and church leaders continue to grapple with the best ways forward for spiritually educating children in their homes and congregations.
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