Calvary-St. George’s, StoryMakers NYC receive $1.25m from Lilly Foundation to support faith needs of families

StoryMakers NYC c/o Calvary-St. George's Episcopal Church
Posted Feb 14, 2024

StoryMakers NYC sparking faith through the imagination.

The Parish of Calvary-St. George’s Episcopal Church has received a $1.25 million grant from Lilly Endowment Inc. to support families as they seek to spark faith at home. Together, with partnership organization StoryMakers NYC, we plan to create new resources that will meet the faith needs of families and the next generation.

The project is being funded through Lilly Endowment’s Christian Parenting and Caregiving Initiative. The aim of the initiative to help parents and caregivers share their faith and values with their children.

The central focus of the initiative is to create new formation tools to utilize at home. Our goal is to bolster families with tools that ease the burden of sharing faith at home. Together with StoryMakers, we will create digital and physical materials that will spark connection around faith. We hope to assure the next generation and their families that God is for them through art, creativity, and play. StoryMakers is posed to bring this initiative to life through the work of their creative studio.

“Our creative team is thrilled to spark faith at home through imaginative resources. We know that when families have moments of connection and play around faith, God’s story is tucked into their hearts. Each new resource we create will consider the whole family so each member, no matter their age, steps out into the world assured God is for them.” Melina Luna Smith, Founder and Executive Director of StoryMakers NYC.

The Parish of Calvary-St. George’s Episcopal Church is one of 125 organizations that have received grants though the latest round in the Christian Parenting initiative. Reflecting the diversity of Christianity in the United States, the organizations are affiliated with mainline Protestant, evangelical, Catholic, Orthodox Christian and Pentecostal faith communities. Many of the organizations are rooted in Black church, Hispanic and Asian Christian traditions.

“We’ve heard from many parents who are seeking to nurture the spiritual lives of their children, especially in their daily activities, and looking to churches and other faith-based organizations for support,” said Christopher L. Coble, Lilly Endowment’s vice president for religion. “These thoughtful, creative and collaborative organizations embrace the important role that families have in shaping the religious development of children and are launching programs to assist parents and caregivers with this task.”

Lilly Endowment launched the Christian Parenting and Caregiving Initiative in 2022 because of its interest in supporting efforts to help individuals and families from diverse Christian communities draw more fully on the wisdom of Christian practices to live out their faith fully and well passing on a vibrant faith to a new generation.

About Lilly Endowment Inc.

Lilly Endowment Inc. is a private foundation created in 1937 by J.K. Lilly Sr. and his sons Eli and J.K. Jr. through gils of stock in their pharmaceutical business, Eli Lilly and Company. While those gils remain the financial bedrock of the Endowment, it is a separate entity from the company, with a distinct governing board, staff and location. In keeping with the founders’ wishes, the Endowment supports the causes of community development, education and religion and maintains a special commitment to its hometown, Indianapolis, and home state, Indiana. A principal aim of the Endowment’s religion grantmaking is to deepen and enrich the lives of Christians in the United States, primarily by seeking out and supporting efforts that enhance the vitality of congregations and strengthen the pastoral and lay leadership of Christian communities. The Endowment also seeks to improve public understanding of diverse religious traditions by supporting fair and accurate portrayals of the role religion plays in the United States and across the globe.