Through the ministry of the church, we seek to support important work beyond our church walls that fulfills our mission: sustained by grace, to serve Christ, share God’s love and work for justice in a complex world. Westminster strives to budget at least 20% of all pledge income to mission and benevolence. Designated benevolence includes giving to the PC(USA) via Presbytery of the James, University Mission, and setting aside funds for mission trips. The Benevolence Committee allocates the undesignated funds to local, national, and international efforts. Favored are those applicants who have made significant impact and in which WPC members were active in leadership and/or operations. Funding has directly addressed issues of education, children’s services, refugee work, medical care, providing shelter, eliminating hunger and more. Recent examples of our recipients are: The Alliance for Interfaith Ministry (AIM), Charlottesville Free Clinic, Charlottesville Habitat for Humanity, International Rescue Committee (IRC), Presbyterian Disaster Assistance, ChildHealth (previously CHIP), Mediation Center of Charlottesville, PACEM, PROSAMI, Shelter for Help in Emergency (SHE), Sin Barreras (Without Borders), The Haven, Westminster Child Care scholarships, and others.
For 2021 the Benevolence Committee is pleased to announce on behalf of Westminster Presbyterian Church that the community groups supported last year are planned to receive the same level of funding and therefore will not need to submit an application. However, in 2021 we are prioritizing hunger and housing relief, so these partners or other community groups may apply for additional funding to address either of these two issues. $24,000 will be allocated. This year given the impacts of the coronavirus pandemic we recognize the need of many people in our community for food and housing security, in addition to supporting many other good causes.
To Apply for Benevolence support for addressing hunger and housing relief, submit a letter, no more than one page in length, responding to questions below by Friday, February 26, 2021 at noon.
- What do you propose to use Benevolence funding for?
- Tell us how your work intersects our church’s mission (italics above).
- Add any specific areas of engagement with provision of food and/or housing.
- Include current Westminster members involved in your organization and their role.
- Please share some of your accomplishments and challenges in the past year.
- How much support are you requesting and what percentage does that request represent in your total operating budget for your organization?
- Commit to provide 100-word report suitable to publish in Westminster’s eNewsletter by March 1, 2022 on how the funds were used and the impact of these funds.
- Anything else you wish to share is welcomed.
Seeds for Justice are small short-term grants by the Benevolence Committee to support its individual Westminster Church members’ ideas for innovative and advocacy actions for social justice. Sometimes a little support or seed money can play a vital role in enabling and making a difference for an idea to become an action or project to improve lives of people in our community. Applications may be for $100 for each member supporting the activity up to a maximum of $500. To assist Westminster members with the process, and in particular members who may not have experience in requesting funds, we have made an email application. It is set up to fill in and submit as an email to . Click here for the application form link. After the project is completed within thirty days a report of a paragraph that may be printed in our Newsletter on the action, noting what the funds were used for and resulting outcome for the Westminster newsletter is expected. Pictures of the activity are appreciated as available.
Westminster also invites proposals to be supported from its Mission Endowment Fund each fall. Proposals are reviewed annually. Funding for 2021 supports one or more startup activities and innovative projects that fulfill our mission to build a more just and peaceful world. Selected proposals are eligible for several years of funding as long as suitable progress toward the goals is evident. The particulars of and deadline for proposals will be announced in September 2021.
The committee seeks proposals that are transformative for the people served, and have involved engagement from members of our worshiping community as well. We hope our support will be more than monetary, and that projects such as these can become yeast for a mission-driven congregation.
Westminster Presbyterian is a congregation formed in 1938 to minster to the University of Virginia community. We think of ourselves as a socially-progressive Christian community, currently comprised of over 600 members. We are active locally and internationally, in many causes through congregational financial support and volunteerism but feel a call to serve even more through expanded engagement of our members.
Proposals should describe the project objectives, should include a budget, identify assessment methods and a commitment to report by the next fall. Proposals should not exceed three pages in length, and should be addressed to
Mission Endowment Committee
Westminster Presbyterian Church
400 Rugby Road
Charlottesville, VA 22903