WHAT IS THE COMMUNITY PROJECT FUND?
Our parish is committed to loving our neighbors, in response to Jesus’ call. As in past capital campaigns at St. Dunstan’s, we will commit a portion of the funds we raise to serve the wider community. In the past, that money has been used to fund grants to nonprofits serving those in need, by way of the Outreach Committee. With the Community Project Fund, we have something new in mind.
We take inspiration from the process followed by Orchard Ridge United Church of Christ (ORUCC), here in Madison. ORUCC set aside a percentage of the funds raised in their 2010 capital campaign to serve their community. Once their building work was completed, the church worked together to study the needs of their neighborhood and identified job training as a key need. Then they collaborated with other non-profits and community partners to develop and launch a job support center for southwest Madison, with the active involvement of volunteers from the congregation, and using their campaign funds as seed money.
We plan to use the Community Project Fund to take a similar approach. We can begin prayerful noticing about the needs of our neighbors and community right now. We know many such needs are on the hearts of our members: homelessness, hunger, low-cost childcare and job support were a few of the issues named during our parish Wondering Conversations. Even as we raise funds and follow through on building renovations and improvements, we can talk, reflect, and pray together about how we hope to help our neighbors in new ways. When the campaign and building projects have concluded, all interested members of the parish will be invited to help discern and develop our new community-oriented project.