Episcopal Diocese of Spokane receives $1.24 million grant from Lilly Endowment’s Thriving Congregations

Episcopal Diocese of Spokane
Posted Dec 7, 2023

The Episcopal Diocese of Spokane has received a $1.24 million grant from Lilly Endowment Inc. to fund Building Bridges; Healing Divides.

The project is being funded through Lilly Endowment’s Thriving Congregations Initiative. The aim of the initiative is to encourage the flourishing of congregations by helping them deepen their relationships with God, enhance their connections with each other, and contribute to the vitality of their communities and the world.

Building Bridges; Healing Divides is designed to advance the diocesan strategic priority of creating a culture of listening, learning, and development; with an emphasis on each of these desired practices as a means of strengthening relationships, particularly among individuals and groups who differ from one another in meaningful ways. The content of the program emphasizes (1) listening for the purpose of action, (2) learning about the congregation itself, our Episcopal/Anglican theology and tradition, and the cares and concerns of the people in our communities, and (3) developing new practices of ministry and relationship that heal rather than ignore or exacerbate the wounds caused by the social, cultural and political divisions of our current time and context.

“I am very excited about the opportunities provided by this Lilly Endowment grant for our diocese to work with others in our communities to help listen to the needs of our neighbors and help heal divisions.  I look forward to this work,” says Bishop Gretchen Rehberg.

The Episcopal Diocese of Spokane is one of 105 organizations that has received grants through a competitive round of the Thriving Congregations Initiative. Reflecting a wide variety of Christian traditions, the organizations represent mainline Protestant, evangelical, Catholic, Orthodox, peace church and Pentecostal faith communities.

“Congregations play an essential role in deepening the faith of individuals and contributing to the vitality of communities,” said Christopher L. Coble, Lilly Endowment’s vice president for religion. “We hope that these programs will nurture the vibrancy and spark the creativity of congregations, helping them imagine new ways to share God’s love in their communities and across the globe.”

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 gifts of stock in their pharmaceutical business, Eli Lilly and Company. While those gifts 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.