Grants Awarded

Presbytery of Genesee Valley

Healthier Congregations Team: Grants Working Group

2018 Grants to Congregations: excerpts from the grant applications

Albion, First                            English as a Second Language Classes                     $   850

The goal of this program is to better integrate and welcome the Hispanic speaking community into the church community. Dinner will be provided by church members during each class.  The grant will be used to cover the cost of the meals, Spanish/English Bibles and teaching supplies.

Byron                                               A Time to Sew, Together!                               $    850

This program will offer an opportunity for church members and community neighbors to come together to teach and share sewing skills and to build relationships with the larger community. The grant will cover the cost of the sewing machines to get this project off the ground.

Chili, First                                                Seeds to Harvest                                      $   750

The goal is to provide Bible studies and retreats that will provide opportunities for nourishing the congregation with the message of the gospel, providing strength, courage and the desire to know, live and share Christ, not only with each other, but with our community and the world.

Corfu United                          Hunger Relief Ministries Expansion                         $ 1,500

The goal is to increase the number of students who benefit from the Pembroke Intermediate School Bagged Meal Program (“PISBMP”), to increase the nutritional value of the meals, and to launch the start of quarterly, free community dinners. The dinners will be served at the end of each month to especially benefit those on fixed incomes whose money is depleted throughout the month.

Dansville                                             Samaritan Loan Fund                                     $   500

The Samaritan Loan Fund provides financial assistance to individuals in need of treatment for substance abuse. An application and personal interview are integrated in the process and monies are paid directly to treatment agencies.  The recipients are asked to repay the loan when able.  The Fund is sustained by donations from community members and agencies and from repayments.

LeRoy                                      Helping Hands Community Garden                         $   650

This project began last year, giving produce to the local food pantry, senior citizens and shut-ins. The grant will be used to expand the garden, anticipating donating fresh produce to people in apartments and others who do not have the space to garden.  Produce will continue to be given to the local food pantry and to the needy.

Ogden                                                 Outdoor Block Party                                      $ 1,070

The church is attempting to reach out in mission and ministry to make themselves known in the community – in the neighborhood, the village of Spencerport and the Town of Ogden. The congregation will be providing free hot dogs and hamburgers to about 100 people – there will be food to purchase as well.  Live music will be provided by a member of the Webster Presbyterian Church and games and activities will be provided for all ages.

Penfield                     Let it Begin with Me: Extending the Peace Within             $   900

The congregation looks forward to providing an instructional and experiential series of workshops to the church and wider community to build gratitude as a spiritual discipline, foster deeper relationships, and expand the capacity to integrate a variety of mindfulness practices that result in greater compassion, perspective, and presence, ultimately making peace one person at a time and one group at a time.

Third                          Arts and Enrichment: Wilson Commencement Park          $ 1,500

This new program partners Third with residents and staff at Wilson Commencement Park in the City of Rochester to demonstrate love for neighbor by funding artists for enrichment programs that reflect the cultural and ethnic backgrounds of the children served and to provide safe transportation for two shared-family weekend field trips to cultural institutions.

2018 Grants to Community Agencies:

Coffee Connection                            Women in Recovery                                     $ 3,000

Coffee Connection will develop a new, replicable model for program-focused, outcomes-based training for women in recovery which will empower them to move toward career development based on their needs and desires. The program teaches them life skills addressing trauma, addiction, and poverty.

Family Promise of Ontario County           Bridges for Hope                                               $ 3,000

The project, Bridges for Hope, is an interfaith program to assist homeless families in Ontario County to achieve sustainable independence by supporting them with tailored services including shelter, food, personalized case management and a diverse network of caring volunteers. Currently there are no homeless shelters in Ontario County for children and families.

Riverside Neighbors (UPT)                      Annual Dinner                                       $ 1,500

United Presbyterians Together (“UPT”) and Riverside Neighbors hold an annual neighborhood meal and time for education and inspiration. Each time we’ve gathered to break bread and share in a presentation or seminar, we’ve come away with strengthened inter-personal and inter-congregational relationships.  This grant will enable Riverside to identify an appropriate speaker and cover travel costs and honorarium and to cover a portion of the costs for a meal.

ROC SALT Mission Center                  “Serving And Learning Together”                 $ 3,000

This grant will help fund staff compensation and program costs for the pilot phase of this designated mission of the Presbytery, per the proposal approved at the November 2017 Presbytery meeting, which included a commitment from Presbytery to “to seek available funds from the 2018 budget” for operating expenses.

Warsaw Food Pantry                         Freezer for Free Food                                    $ 1,000

The project involves the purchase of a freezer for use in the Warsaw Food Pantry, a mission housed in the United Church of Warsaw and serving clients throughout Wyoming County. Customer numbers continue to grow each month.  From January to April 2018, they have served 1,682 people, including 59 new families. With the increase in number of people served, food costs have increased, and this grant will also help with larger food purchases.

Alianza Agricola                               Green Light Driving Together                                   $ 3,000

Alianza Agricola is an organization led by and comprised of mostly immigrant dairy farmworkers who are advocating for immigrant rights in the Upstate (Finger Lakes and Western NY) region of New York. The priority for the group is to work in collaboration with the statewide Green Light Driving Together campaign to pass legislation that would give undocumented immigrants access to a limited purpose driver’s license in the state of New York.  Access to driver’s licenses is a pressing need for undocumented immigrants – especially those living in rural NY – for both transportation and identification purposes.

 2017 Grants to Congregations

 (excerpts from the grant applications)

Batavia, First              Sharing the Love of God in Our Community                                   $1,450

Our project is the complete transformation of our church, establishing Core Values, our Mission Statement, and aligning our objectives to these values. It entails “sharing the love of God in our communities” by realigning our outreach from inward to outward.  We are working on developing a partnership with Jackson Primary School of Batavia.

Brockport, First          Community Dinner One Sunday a Month                           $   500

We will partner ecumenically with other churches to provide one community meal a month on Sunday. The Episcopal Church currently serves on two Sundays a month and the Baptist Church serves on one Sunday.  Our participation would enable a community meal on every Sunday of each month.

Caledonia, First          Source of Success (SOS) After School Program                    $1,000

The SOS program operates 4 days/week during the school year and is staffed by a Director and adult and peer volunteers who are supported by a Board of Directors. SOS is also an approved site for the Foster Grandparent Program of Livingston County.  Our largest expenses are a salary for the Program Director and the cost of supplies, utilities and building maintenance.  Activities are primarily designed as an academic resource.  However, additional volunteers also teach crafts, cooking skills or specific topics which could include nutrition, bullying and substance abuse.

Corfu United              Pembroke Central Schools Backpack Program                    $1,500

This new backpack program will provide food on weekend days for children who qualify for and rely on free or reduced-price meals on school days. The objective of the program is to launch a new program that will assist 30 high-need low-income students by sending food for weekend meals and snacks home with them on Fridays throughout the school year.

Gates                          Reality Tour – February Mission Experience                                   $   900

The Reality Tour is a four-hour bus tour of Rochester designed by the Social Welfare Action Alliance to help participants begin to understand the extent and experience of everyday economic injustice for our neighbors. Participants hear from people affected by the dysfunctional social and economic system that fails to meet basic human needs. We are also in partnership with ROC SALT pilot mission team and plan to offer a two-day mission experience over the winter school break Feb. 20-22, 2018.  The tour includes 40 participants.  Find more information at http://www.swaarochester.org/reality-tours/ .

Geneseo Central        Geneseo Community Garden                                                           $   750

Grant funds are requested to help underwrite the costs associated with transformation of a decorative garden at Central Presbyterian Church into a community vegetable garden to involve and to benefit the Geneseo/Groveland Food Pantry, the Second Street ARC House, SUNY Geneseo and members of our church.

Holley, First                Engaging Narrative Change to Discern God’s New Call            $1,250

This project results from a Session discussion of our financial future and led to a broader discussion about change, transformation, renewal and church growth. Working with The Rev. Dr. Carson Mouser, a three-step plan using the Narrative Change Process was described.  This includes meetings with the Session, a congregational retreat, and coaching opportunities for the Session and the Pastor. It is our hope that new ministries will emerge reaching deeper into the community.

Honeoye Falls            Puppet Ministry                                                                     $   250

The Puppet Ministry is striving to purchase a video camera to assist in the production of movies that will be used to bring new technology into the church and help it to share its messages with multiple generations. With the incorporation of the word of God, pop culture and modern humor, we will be able to produce shows that appeal to all ages. The Senior High Youth have really bought into the new style of the Puppet Ministry and are excited with the idea of moving into the digital world.

Lima                            Five Concert Organ and Music Series                                   $   350

We would like to host a series of five organ and musical concerts in 2018-2019 to introduce the community to pipe organ music, celebrate our restored pipe organ, bring together local churches and our Valley Neighbor Presbyterian Churches. A shared project provides our congregation the opportunity to work together, strengthening our bonds of friendship, church family and community, and perhaps forging new bonds.

South              Acts of Faith Support:            Hospital Partnership & Monroe Milers            $   650

Our most recent Act of Faith – Sonray Fellowship – is worship and Bible Study in the Regional Forensic Unit of the Rochester Psychiatric Center. These persons have each been identified as persons with a mental illness or defect.  Another Act of Faith is the Monroe Milers program.  This is a program for children and youth ages 6 and above that takes place for 8 weeks in the spring and 8 weeks in the fall. 60 or more youth participate, and our grant will help offset the registration fees, cost of sneakers, etc. for youth unable to pay for these things.

Trinity Emmanuel      Second Chance                                                                     $1,500

Our grant will support a new program to develop spiritual revitalization endeavors through offering women from single teen mothers to grandmothers raising grandkids a regular forum to come together and share their experiences with one another at monthly Saturday group meetings from noon to 2p.m.

Warsaw                      Food Pantry                                                                           $   750

The project involves the purchase of a computer and printer for use in the Warsaw Food Pantry, a mission housed in the United Church of Warsaw and serving clients throughout Wyoming County. We seek to install a database to be used to maintain Food Pantry clients’ information.

2017 Grants to Community Agencies

68 Ashland Street                  South Wedge Food Program                                     $2,000

The South Wedge Food Program (SWFP) has been established to continue the long-time faithful ministry of the Calvary-St. Andrews Food program. The SWFP is comprised of three distinct, yet connected components:  Emergency Food Cupboard, which serves guests three days/week; The Foodlink Mobile Food Pantry which operates twice each month; and, The Alison Clarke Community Garden. SWFP hopes to hire a very part-time food program coordinator.  This grant will help with the start-up costs for that.

Building Minds in South Sudan (BMISS)      Solar Lamps                                        $2,000

BMISS has completed one co-ed primary school in South Sudan and nearly completed a second all girls’ primary school. Over 300 girls attend the co-ed school and over 600 girls attend the all girls’ school. However, their large village, Mayen-Abun, has no electricity other than from commercial pay generators which are not available to students. After school, girls must do home chores (a culture thing).  Often darkness falls before they can do their homework.  Small, low-cost solar lamps provide a solution.

Center for Teen Empowerment (TE)             Youth Engaging Parents                    $2,000

This grant will support an effort to engage parents in expanding youth leadership and employment opportunities to more neighborhoods in Rochester. TE’s successful initiatives invest young people in solutions to help transform struggling Rochester neighborhoods into strong, healthy communities where violence and fear are replaced by unity, dignity and hope.  Youth Organizers gain vocational and career skills while inspiring their peers and community leaders to take an active role in creating the changes that our city needs.

Conkey Cruisers                     Youth Sports, Transportation, Leadership               $1,075

The Global Cruisers Youth Sports, Transportation & Leadership Initiative uses sports and transportation modality training to promote civic engagement and foster a deeper understanding of local and global social issues to prepare young people to navigate their environments and to lead in the 21st century.  The experience builds on community partnerships and the leadership skills of pre-teens and teens already actively engaged in Conkey Cruisers Inc.

Coffee Connection (CC)              Building a Not-for-profit Business                                   $2,000

The Presbytery’s support of the CC for several years enabled us to create jobs for more than 30 women in recovery from addiction. A new grant this fall from the National Catholic Campaign for Human Development (CCHD) will move us more closely to our goal of women in the program being able to completely run the non-profit business and organization.  Their $60,000 grant requires matching funds.  This grant will help us to meet that goal.  The funds go directly toward sustaining existing jobs and creating new ones and then providing training to continue building a vital, effective staff.

Judicial Process Commission             JPC’s New Journey                                         $2,000

JPC’s New Journey program will provide empowering support to 45-55 ex-offender mothers plus their children with service coordination and referrals to needed services (medical, mental health, legal, etc.), wrap-around services, (e.g., household items, identifications), therapeutic support groups, and mentors to assist them in securing a healthy lifestyle and stable future.

Lagom Landing                       Tapping into God’s Sweet Love in our Midst            $1,500

Lagom Landing (LL) is a 9-month residential program providing 18-25-year old’s a unique opportunity to build a foundation for the rest of their lives. For the past four years, LL has been tapping sugar maple trees in the spring, and processing that sap into maple syrup.  “Tapping into God’s Sweet Love in Our Midst” is our attempt to share the LL experience with others.  We will invite all ages to join us in every step of the process – from gathering materials, to tapping, to collecting and boiling, to finishing and bottling, to marketing and selling the syrup.  The grant monies will also help us be more organized and offset some expenses in our syrup production.

 REACH Advocacy    Homeless Shelter/Permanent Housing for Chronically Homeless            $2,000

REACH Advocacy advocates for safe, financially sustainable housing options to meet the needs of chronically homeless individuals by ensuring services needed and encouraging mutual care. We are hopeful that in the future we will be able to devote more of our time and resources to renovating buildings into permanent, supported housing for the chronically homeless along with advocating for the chronically homeless in other ways in our area.  If we don’t do something to increase the number of permanent homes for the chronically homeless we will continue to need to provide emergency shelter during our coldest months.

Rural and Migrant Ministries (RMM)     Liturgia Worker Education Center            $2,000

RMM provides educational classes for farmworkers, including English as a Second Language, a 2-week Day Camp for farmworker youth during the summer, a place for college students to come and do Internships, and Alternative Spring Breaks for college students. Many congregations have partnered with RMM to host dinners.  Our greatest joy has been in facilitating the developing of relationships between our neighbors – invisible men, women and children farmworker populations and our religious community of allies.

The Children’s Agenda          Interfaith Youth Leadership Development              $1,075

The Interfaith Youth Leadership Development project will identify and train youth from different faith traditions to learn and work together to improve the lives of Monroe County-area children through social justice advocacy. Presbyterian youth will join with youth from other faith traditions to learn about advocacy and social change, plan and implement an advocacy plan, share their experiences with their home congregations, and participate in the 2018 Children’s Sabbath celebration.

Worker Justice Center of NY Alianza Agricola                                                         $1,700

The Alianza Agricola (Agricultural Alliance) is a group led by and comprised of immigrant farmworkers in Western and Central New York. Participants engage in efforts to educate the community about immigrant farmworkers and their aspirations.  The group is currently focused on an effort to win driver’s licenses for undocumented immigrants as part of the statewide Green Light Driving Together campaign.  The Alianza Agricola is supported by many groups of allies as well as individuals who work alongside us to fight for immigrants’ rights.

PC(USA) Young Adult Volunteer              Lauren Rye, Third Presbyterian             $2,000

Lauren is serving as a Young Adult Volunteer (YAV) in Asheville, NC. Lauren is working with the S.T.R.I.V.E. Mentoring Program.  This program pairs local college students with elementary students in some of Asheville’s public housing neighborhoods.  S.T.R.I.V.E. seeks to promote a love for learning and an interest in higher education, as well as building positive role-model relationships with the elementary students.

Peacemaking Grants

Penfield Presbyterian                                     Mindfulness as Peacemaking                     $1,350

This project is an instructional and experiential series of five separate workshops offered to the church and the wider community to increase understanding of, and capacity to engage in, a variety of mindfulness practices to develop empathy, perspective, and presence. Specific workshop content is guided by peacemaking ideals and will include an emphasis on the foundational understanding that contemplative practices (mindfulness tools) can be transformative.  The workshops will be led by John Stewart, of “Search Inside Yourself Leadership Institute”.

Pre-Trial Services Corp. (PTSC)         Human Trafficking/Prostitution                 $1,000

PTSC provides direct support and case management services to the Human Trafficking Intervention Court (HTIC) in the city of Rochester. HTIC recognizes that human trafficking is prevalent in sex work and its goal is to empower individuals to break free from the lifestyle that trauma, addiction and mental illness has created.  A large barrier, however, is a lack of transportation to necessary appointments with treatment and community agencies.  This project will provide bus passes to HTIC participants. It will also provide a small contingency budget to be utilized for emergency situations that are not covered in any other manner.