Grants & Mission Funding

Diocesan Funded Grants:

Mustard Seed Grants

Deadlines for 2021: Letter of Inquiry - February 12; Full Proposal - March 12.

Mustard Seed Grants are available in the areas of youth and college ministries; local outreach; world mission; and strengthening local churches. Churches, regions, college chaplaincies, and others are eligible for this competitive grant which works to strengthen ministries of the Diocese.

Donate to Mustard Seed

This year priority will be given to proposals focused on relieving immediate needs in your community brought on or exacerbated by the pandemic.

Examples for funding might include:

Your congregation or community food pantry
Technology required to record or livestream worship
To ensure continued access to healthcare services for those without work

The Bishop Peter J. Lee Endowment for Small Church Revitalization

Deadlines for 2021: Letter of Inquiry - February 12; Full Proposal - March 12.

The Peter J. Lee Small Church Revitalization Fund is an endowment founded in 2001 and to be eligible, a church must have an average Sunday attendance of less than 200 persons. Grants will be awarded to assist small churches in their revitalization, preservation, expansion and, where appropriate, merger and closing. Congregations are encouraged to consider projects that are both programmatic and physical in nature.

The intent of these grants is to motivate small churches to gather internal resources to meet their ministry needs. Small Church Revitalization grants are made on a one-to-one matching basis only.

This year priority will be given to proposals focused on relieving immediate needs in your community brought on or exacerbated by the pandemic.

Fund for Short-Term Mission Grants

Grants are available year-round.

The Diocese has established, and the Committee of Mission and Outreach oversees, the Fund for World Mission. This Fund is designed to provide grants to individuals and parishes who need support for short term mission trips. Download and print an application.

Under the Fund program, an individual may apply for a grant of up to $250 and a parish may apply for a grant of up to $500. Generally, only one grant may be made, however, in connection with the same mission trip.

The application for a grant from the Fund requires various information about the mission opportunity, other funding sources and similar information. If you have any questions concerning eligibility for a Fund grant or the grant application process, please contact Aisha Huertas.

The Episcopal Church Funded Grants:

The Episcopal Church offers the following grants to further the mission of the Church. For more information on these ministries please visit the Episcopal Church website or contact Stephanie Gurnsey Higgins. 

United Thank Offering Grants

The United Thank Offering (UTO) is a ministry of The Episcopal Church for the mission of the whole church. Through UTO, individuals are invited to embrace and deepen a personal daily spiritual discipline of gratitude. UTO encourages people to notice the good things that happen each day, give thanks to God for those blessings and make an offering for each blessing using a UTO Blue Box. UTO is entrusted to receive the offerings, and to distribute the 100% of what is collected to support innovative mission and ministry throughout The Episcopal Church and Provinces of the Anglican Communion.

The focus of the 2021 UTO grants is Recovering with Love and Gratitude: An Episcopal Response to the COVID-19 Pandemic in Local Contexts. The deadline for submission of a completed application (and required documents) to UTO is 5 p.m. (EST) on Friday, February 26, 2021. If you are interested in applying, please contact Stephanie Gurnsey Higgins to make arrangements for your diocesan endorsement. 2021 SPRING United Thank Offering Grant Application.

Jubilee Ministries

Jubilee Ministries are congregations or agencies with connections to the Episcopal Church, designated by diocesan bishops and affirmed by Executive Council, whose mission work affects the lives of those in need, addressing basic human needs and justice issues.

How to Become a Jubilee Ministry Center: Gaining Eligibility for Jubilee Ministry Granting

Please note – New Jubilee Site Applications are due by May

To apply for a Jubilee Ministry grant you must first become a Jubilee Ministry Center. This process, which involves an application period, some discernment, and affirmation by the Executive Council of The Episcopal Church, occurs two or three times each year, so it’s important to keep deadlines in mind.

The mandate of Jubilee Ministries is to be a “ministry of joint discipleship in Christ with poor and oppressed people, wherever they are found, to meet basic human needs and to build a just society.” The 1982-A080 Act of Convention notes that this kind of ministry is at the heart of the mission of the church.

There are over 600 ministries across The Episcopal Church, ministering with one another, sharing best practices, advocating, and providing direct services and goods to the economically disadvantaged in our diverse contexts. Each year, there are budgeted funds for Jubilee Grants to ministries that have achieved this designation, helping to support and share the work of particularly effective work in poverty relief.

So how can your ministry join this network?

  1. First, check to see if you already are part of the network. In the Diocese of Virginia there are six Jubilee Ministry Centers: Buck Mountain, Earlysville, Domestic Outreach Ministry; Hanover Interfaith Clinic, Ashland; Ministry with the Aging, Charlottesville; St. George’s, Fredericksburg, Feeding Ministry; St. Paul’s, Richmond, Outreach Ministry; Trinity Church, Charlottesville, Bread and Roses.
  2. Next, find out if your church or ministry meets the requirements. As set forth by General Convention and the Executive Council, Jubilee Ministries must meet certain qualifications for designation. These are as follows:
    • The mission and ministry must be an Episcopal congregation, Episcopal cluster or an ecumenical cluster with Episcopal presence, and/or an agency with connections to The Episcopal Church.
    • The mission and ministry must be involved among and with poor and oppressed people wherever they are located.
    • The mission and ministry must be rooted in worship.
    • The mission and ministry must include several programs, including at least one human rights advocacy program and one human service program.
    • Additionally, ministries must be willing to demonstrate their operation for models, maintain “how-to” files, act as a resource center for other ministries, and be subject to review.

  3. So you qualify? Great! Time to contact Aisha Huertas, Diocesan Jubilee Officer for the Diocese of Virginia.

  4. Fill out the Jubilee Ministry Designation Application. It will take some time, but don’t worry. Once you hit submit on the final page, you’ll be emailed a copy of the application and a signature sheet that must be endorsed by people in the ministry, including your Jubilee Officer and your Bishop.

  5. Remember to keep deadlines in mind for the granting process. The Executive Council, who meet two or three times each year, review, and ultimately designate Jubilee Ministries, require time for application translation and review. Remember, in order to be eligible for Jubilee Grants, a ministry must be affirmed by the Executive Council before the application period starts.
  6. Wait until Executive Council meets and deliberates. 

  7. Receive notification from the Jubilee Office on the results of Executive Council. Should your application be approved, your ministry will receive an embossed certificate, signed by the President of the House of Deputies and the Presiding Bishop.

  8. Start connecting! In the days following Executive Council, your ministry will be added to the Asset Map and to our files. You’ll be eligible for Jubilee Grants and will be connected with folks also doing amazing ministries around the whole Episcopal Church!