Approval of Ethnic Ministries Grant Application
Resolved, That the Executive Council supports and approves the application by the Department of Ethnic Ministries to Trinity Wall Street for a grant to develop a leadership formation and development project through the Latino/Hispanic Ministries using its proven Academia Ecuménica de Liderazgo (Ecumenical Academy of Leadership) program to structure a more comprehensive, robust, and intentional lay leadership development program aimed at adult Latino lay leaders, as well as younger individuals.
A variation of the following draft summary has been reviewed and approved by the DFMS Executive Leadership.
Trinity Church Wall Street has reached out directly to the Office of Latino/Hispanic Ministries (LHM) to submit a proposal to develop a leadership formation and development project that augments one of Trinity’s four strategic initiatives: leadership development1 with special interest in strengthening Spanish speaking leadership development. The following is a preliminary summary response to Trinity that maps out the general focus of the project and the proposed programmatic framework.
Latino/Hispanic Ministry intends to use its proven Academia Ecuménica de Liderazgo (Ecumenical Academy of Leadership program to structure a more comprehensive, robust, and intentional lay leadership development program aimed at adult Latino lay leaders, as well as younger individuals. Historically, Academia was facilitated through General Convention resolution AO86 (2015) and funding with the defined mission of providing a strong Christian formation program that will stimulate active adult Latino members to explore leadership roles and responsibilities in the parish.
The existing Academia leadership training program is a successful format of twelve courses lasting four to eight weeks, overseen by a team of trained lay facilitators and presented to classes of 20-40 parishioners. The instruction is presented through prerecorded instructional videos covering a series of basic formational topics that ordinarily be included in a regular Confirmation class. To date, more than 200 facilitators, from more than 75 congregations representing 25 Dioceses, have been equipped to deliver the self- contained and fully portable formation materials aimed to foster Latino/Hispanic lay leadership.
Latino/Hispanic Ministries (LHM) is proposing to revamp its existing Academia model to generate a more rigorous lay leadership development program entitled “Academia II” that will have a two-pronged focus:
- The first segment addresses an observed gap in lay leadership within many existing Latino congregations. While LHM over the last 60 years has successfully guided the establishment of nearly 400 Latino congregations and worship groups, lay leadership is not sufficiently grounded in the areas of congregational governance, stewardship, ministry formation, vocational discernment, a cultural sense of the Episcopal polity, and practical evangelism. Academia II will also confront strong cultural and traditional perspectives and patterns among the Latino clergy and lay members that has limited a more rigorous level of lay leadership.
The goal of Academia II is to build up a sustainable cadre of lay leaders needed to spearhead more sustainable and lay-driven congregational development and ministry formation. It will include a new series of instructional video resources that will include more intense topics in such areas as:
- Discerning Ministry and Vocation
- Best Practices for Congregational Development and Evangelism
- What it means to be a Latino Leader in an Episcopal Context
- Developing a Multigenerational Latino Leadership Program
Academia II will include development of new curriculua encompassing at least 12 topics; new videos; expanded promotion among the Latino congregations and clergy; more trained lay facilitators; and a consulting coordinator.
- The second focus of Academia II is to develop a culturally nuanced lay leadership formation aimed at Latino teenagers and young adults with an eye towards developing a sustainable crop of bicultural leaders for the next generation. This segment will also lay the groundwork for guiding these younger leaders in discerning their level of lay and or ordained ministry. This will require a professionally design training program specifically focused on young Latinos who are dealing with acculturation dynamics that impact cultural identity, language preference and styles of leadership enculturation.
This specialized leadership development training will build upon the positive and inherent cultural core values that undergird a Latino identity and heritage and with the proposed objective of forming potential bicultural church leaders. By its very nature, this training segment will consider a bilingual or English set of culturally sensitive training resources. Because the goal of this lay leadership development is for the young leaders to ascertain and claim their leadership role in a congregation, the title for this second training segment is “Somos la Iglesia” We are the Church.
This youthful training segment of Academia II is more complex and will require considerable initial research and the construction of a unique instructional design; it will require an initial feasibility phase to lay out the programmatic and pedagogical building blocks. We propose that this second segment be divided into a three-year implementation approach, with the research and feasibility phase being in year one; year two will be the design phase with field testing; and year three will be the official launching of “Somos la Iglesia.”
Samuel Borbón, Assistant to the director of Latino/Hispanic Ministries will have direct supervision of this project. Academia is part of his job description but we will retain several consultants to assist in the resesearch, feasibility and curriculum design for Academia II. This will also require an increased number of trained lay facilitators, and an administrative contract worker that will help coordinate an expanded Academia training program. Once the training program is developed, prepared, and tested, it is envisioned that 30 laypersons from across the church will be trained intensively; they in turn will train local facilitators.
The Trinity grant is being submitted at the request of Trinity Church, but also because the Latino/Hispanic Ministries has long identified a need for a more rigorous and comprehensive approach to lay leadership development and formation for the younger ages. It should also be noted that Trinity Wall Street representatives have directly indicated that they want to ensure that adequate administrative support is included in the proposed budget, and that advance feasibility studies are conducted to enhance project implementation and success.
Trinity has proposed that a three-year budget be developed with the possibility of up to $500,000, based on programmatic performance and evaluation. Clearly, such a project cannot be accomplished within the current budget of $123,000 [line item 136] which includes Academia, New Camino, ABCD, Cultural Competency Course [ELMC].
We are seeking approval to submit this grant application prior to the September 6, 2021, deadline.
1Our grantmaking focuses on four strategic initiatives, guided by the Philanthropies team: Housing and Homelessness, Racial Justice, Mission Real Estate Development, and Leadership Development. Our work across all four initiatives is rooted in a strong commitment to advancing an equitable society in which the allocation of resources, opportunities, and hardships are not determined by race. https://trinitywallstreet.org/grants-partners/what-we-fund