February 26, 2020
We support the broader initiatives of The Presbyterian Church (USA) through denominational giving and the One Great Hour of Sharing. These gifts support the:
- Presbyterian Disaster Assistance for victims of conflict and natural disasters in places like Haiti and New Orleans
- Presbyterian Hunger Program provides direct food relief and long-term development assistance in the U.S. and overseas
- Self-Development of People makes grants to the poor to create grass-roots community organizations and small-scale enterprises
A portion also goes to our local Presbytery for local projects such as the Hunger Action Network or Race Action Network working with local churches.
The Micah Initiative is a special fund of our Justice and Mission ministry initiated by members of our congregation, involving two or more members working in community with each other. The Spirit has always been alive and at work here, triggering ideas and inspiring action:
In the Fall of 1970, the Spirit called us to do something about housing in Cleveland Heights and the Home Repair Resource Center was born.
In 2009, the Spirit called us to do something about hunger in Cleveland Heights and the seeds of our Food Pantry were planted.
In 2011 the Spirit called us to do something about racial reconciliation and Courageous Conversations on Race began.
In 2017, the Spirit called us to do something about immigration reform and unjust deportation and the Sanctuary Movement was born.
Following the inspiration of these and other projects, the Micah Initiative empowers small groups to listen to the Spirit’s calling and do justice, love kindness, and walk humbly with God. (Micah 6:8)
How does it work? Members and friends who need funds to fuel a dream may apply through the Micah Initiative. You can either identify a group, then choose a project – or choose a project, then identify a group. A group can be as few as two people or as many as you can imagine. You can apply for as small or big a grant as needed, provided your proposal shows the following:
- A small group (2 or more people) working together in community.
- A project idea that benefits people outside of the church, particularly those experiencing poverty, violence, injustice, or any kind of pain.
- A plan for “doing justice, loving kindness, and walking humbly with God.” Include how you will support the projects and small groups spiritually, such as by praying together, studying scripture, or reflecting together on how this is challenging your faith? This is an essential part of the process, as we seek to ground ourselves to walk humbly with God.
You don’t need a big, brand new idea – small, simple actions working together have always brought glimpses of the Kingdom. On the other hand, if you do have a big idea, now might be the time to give it a try. So dream big, dream small, but dream – and let the words of Micah and the example of Jesus lead us ever further into justice and joy, love and compassion as we help create the kingdom in this time and place.
If you have an idea, but feel overwhelmed or confused by the process, come talk to us. We want to support and empower these ideas and have resources to share and connections to make.
Micah Initiative Funding Application
Applications should include the following and may then be placed in the offering plate at church, or given to any member of the Ministry.
- Briefly describe your project and funding request.
- Identify the small group that will be planning and carrying out the project.
- Describe how your project will live out the words of Micah 6:8 to “Do justice, love mercy, and walk humbly with your God.”
- How does your project benefit people outside of Forest Hill Church? Is there particular attention given to people experiencing poverty, injustice, violence, or pain? If so, how?
- How will you support this project with spiritual practices (i.e., prayer, scripture reading, journaling, etc.)?
- If you anticipate your project will be long term, how will you continue to obtain funds for it beyond the first Micah Initiative grant?
If you need help with the application, please see any member of the Justice & Mission Ministry.
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