I Love to Tell the Story…

2023 Equipping the Local Church Grant Recipient Hemenway United Methodist Church, Evanston, Ill.,

The lyrics from this age-old hymn may remind us of the past, but we all know that stories help inspire and prepare us for the future. Otherwise, what’s the point in continuing to tell them!

The greatest stories are the ones that we tell others about how God has changed us and continues to equip us to invite those around us to a transformed life through Jesus Christ. That’s why we love sharing the stories of grant impact from the many grants that you help to make possible!

We’ve visited and talked with a variety of our grant recipients the second half of this year, and hope you’ll share their stories. The Foundation is blessed to be a Catalyst to equip disciples to share the Good News of Jesus Christ!

Rev. Dr. Heather Lear (VP for Grant Administration) and Rev. Dr. Mark Teasdale (E. Stanley Jones Professor of Evangelism at Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary) visited Hemenway United Methodist Church in Evanston, IL, earlier this year. Dr. Lear had this to share:

Over the past year, it’s been amazing to live into our three focus areas, but an unexpected gift has been to witness the impact when all three areas align organically. Our relationship with Hemenway UMC was formalized through their awarding of an Equipping the Local Church grant. As we began to learn their story and visit with leaders, we discovered the convergence of the fruit of focusing on Raising Up Gospel Leaders and Engaging the Laity. The pastor of Hemenway was a former student of Mark Teasdale, but the connection was not immediately apparent. Pastor Dawn Gardner did not earn her Master of Divinity from Garrett-Evangelical but enrolled in Teasdale’s course as a special student to fulfill her evangelism requirement for ordination. We also discovered our existed relationship with the key laywoman who helped envision and implement the program with the youth. A few years ago, Fay Bennett participated in the Evangelism for Non-Evangelists webinars and used the knowledge gained to help craft their grant. A final surprise was the recent field education assignment of Obed Aying to help with the youth of Hemenway. Obed is a Garrett student currently taking Teasdale’s evangelism course and can put the content into immediate practice.

The Mosaic Center received a 2023 Equipping the Local Church Grant to begin a spiritual care and discipleship ministry with residents at Maxwell House in Augusta, Ga. The Foundation’s staff visited in September and were able to hear from Sara Masciola (left), executive director of the Mosaic Center, and Veronica Jordan (second from right) how this grant is helping residents to grow in their faith, while other projects led by the center help meet their physical needs. The passion of leaders, volunteers and participants showed that God is moving in that community!

Our president, Jane Boatwright Wood, visited DRC-Rwandan PAC of South Austin Church of the Nazarene in Austin, Texas. She shared the following:

The leadership of South Austin Church of the Nazarene warmly welcomed me and told me of their vision and inspiration for a multi-lingual, multi-cultural church. They told me that the Foundation for Evangelism’s Equipping the Local Church Grant will be the catalyst to implement their third language congregation. Around the table sat pastor Jesse (lead pastor), Pastor Sam (Spanish language lead pastor), and Kennedy, who serves as the Rwanda/Kenyan community liaison with the church. I witnessed first-hand while there the caring hospitality that this church lives out every day in relationship with their community. I am excited the Foundation is on this leg of its journey with South Austin Church of the Nazarene, but I knew for sure when I left that God is doing amazing things there. South Austin Nazarene Church is open to the movement of the Holy Spirit, and I am grateful to be present for this holy moment.

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