The diocesan Vision Fund was established by a vote of Synod in the fall of 2015. Its purpose is to faithfully seed local, regional and diocesan-wide initiatives that give tangible expression to the directions of the diocesan vision, and thus strengthen us for God’s service here on these islands and inlets. The fund is intended to operate for three years (2016 through 2018), as a bridging mechanism pending a major diocesan fundraising campaign.
In each of those three years up to $125,000 is available in the general Vision Fund, plus a further $50,000 designated specifically to support initiatives for youth and families, and another $50,000 earmarked for projects related to social justice, environmental issues and reconciliation with First Nations. The total funding available in each year is $225,000.
2016 Grants Awarded
A jury made up of seven clergy and laity was formed early in 2016 to solicit and review submissions, make recommendations to the Finance Committee and Diocesan Council, award funds to successful proponents, and follow up on the results. Over the course of the year, 14 applications were approved, totalling approximately $87,000. The remaining $38,000 was rolled forward for 2017.
Here is a summary of the 2016 grants:
- $5,000 to Holy Trinity, Sooke to assist with training of lay worship leaders and starting a new partner relationship with the T’Sou-ke Nation.
- $5,000 to the Cowichan Regional Anglican Youth Connection to help fund program costs, including an honorarium for the group’s leader.
- $900 to St Peter & St Paul, Esquimalt as partial funding for the first three months of a new monthly community lunch program for low-income seniors.
- $7,230 to St. Luke, Cedar Hill for one-time funding to help establish a contemporary worship service.
- $1,500 to the former parishioners of St. John the Evangelist, Ladysmith to continue their monthly community meal program in new premises.
- $5,000 to St. Barnabas, Victoria towards start-up funding for their new Waldorf-inspired, faith-based preschool program called The River.
- Up to $10,000 in seed money to assist with the ongoing development of a Kwakwaka’wakw Anglican contextualized church on north Vancouver Island.
- $10,000 to support Healing on the Land, a summer 2017 camp for First Nations youth put on by the First Nations organization Surrounded by Cedar.
- $9,500 to the Parish of Salt Spring Island to help with repurposing and programming of St. Mary, Fulford as the Star of the Sea Centre for Spiritual Living and Practice.
- Up to $2,500 to the Parish of Pender & Saturna Islands to assist in establishing a permanent labyrinth and meditation walk on the grounds of St. Peter’s Church.
- $10,000 to support the administrative costs of the Diocesan Refugee Sponsorship Program.
- $9,000 to underwrite programs being led, enabled and enlarged by the curate at St. Peter’s Comox, including a weekday service, food bank and parish retreat weekend.
- $10,000 towards start-up funding for Greater Victoria Acting Together; a coalition of faith groups and other parts of civic society to advance economic and social justice.
- $10,000 to support the start-up of Let It Shine, the new child care program being established at St Dunstan’s, Victoria.
Funds which were not spent in 2016 will be carried forward and used to support more projects in subsequent years. A new call for 2017 Vision Fund submissions, with updated criteria and guidelines, will be issued soon.