Celebrating New Grants from Transforming Churches Transforming Lives

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The following churches have received grants from the Transforming Churches Transforming Lives Capital Campaign. Take a look at the powerful ministries that are happening through efforts of our congregations!

First Montgomery Congregational Christian, Montgomery, AL. The Centinnial Hill Community Back to School project will invite hundreds of children, youth and their parents to receive needed school supplies.  Partnering with other community agencies, the event will be held on the church grounds and will give away book bags, school supplies, school uniforms and clothing.  While 100 children were assisted last year, with the support of this grant, Montgomery First’s goal is to more than double the number of children they serve. Their Youth and College Ministries in the church coordinate this event and are supported by many of the church’s internal boards and committees.  It is held in August before classes begin for local elementary, junior, and high school students.  This year with the grant money, the church will also be able to provide food, evangelism and fellowship with the families.

Beloved Community UCC, Birmingham , AL.  Their project is called the Presence of God doing a new thing in Beloved Community UCC and the Presence of Beloved Community UCC doing new things in Birmingham, Alabama.  New camera equipment, new projector and new screen will be purchased with the grant monies.  The congregation will record worship, allowing for the music and sermon messages to be posted on social media and the website of the congregation. They seek to magnify the joy and grace of Beloved Community’s unique and powerful worship service.  The video screen will be used in worship, spoken word events, film series and other outreach efforts.  There has been a boom in Beloved’s neighborhood and this will enable the church to build on the new positive energy around Avondale.

Central Congregational UCC, Atlanta, GA:  Their project is to secure advertising on their local NPR affiliate radio station, WABE.   Through this advertising they will be able to target their main demographic and create greater awareness of their weekly worship schedule but also their mission, out-reach, and seasonal events.  Raising awareness in greater Atlanta of the “progressive church” presence in Atlanta has long been a goal for Central CUCC.  Their beloved nature preserve on which the church sits, serves as a huge asset to the community and ultimately helps to define who they are as a congregation but unfortunately, it also makes their building and driveway almost invisible, even when you are intentionally looking for it. By strategically advertising on the local NPR radio station, they can become more visible and welcome new people looking for a church home.   Central will match the grant money with their own funds from the congregation.

Midway Congregational UCC, Midway, GA.  Their project is to improve its capacity for technological connection by purchasing a new computer and systems.  This will help them increase visibility by being able to utilize social media and to create an updated web site.  They will also replace their marquee in the front of the church in a joint project with the historic Dorchester Academy.  This will continue the founding tradition which began with the American Missionary Association.  Their marketing campaign will focus on their proud and rich heritage in the United Church of Christ.  They will promote the missions of the UCC being lived out in their church, while introducing the community to the pastor’s teaching and ministry.  The church plans to print brochures to distribute to members and other partners in the community.  The project also includes Informational ads that will be placed in the local newspapers and magazines in Midway.

Peace Congregational, Clemson, SC.  Their project is designed to work with other religious groups in their area whose youth experience hostility and to begin a pilot program for adults on prevention of bullying. They seek to specifically reach out to black churches and a local mosque. Using the experience they have at Peace in working with LGBTQ+ youth, they plan to start conversations among adults about the problems our youth face and the support that’s needed.  They will reach out to build ally relationships with other faith groups whose youth also experience hostility and bullying.  The pilot program will be supported by newly developed web pages and other online strategies to help publicize the interfaith event with the various churches.  Prior to the main event, they will organize meetings for table hosts to get to know each other, discuss shared issues and seek common ground.  The main event day will involve a presentation by an expert from Clemson University’s Olweus Bullying Prevention Program.  At least one follow-up meeting will come after the main event to discuss next steps for action.   Additionally this project will also increase local awareness that Peace UCC is a safe place for Christians with diverse backgrounds and lives.