Procter Fund Opportunity Grants

One way we support mission and ministry

From everyone to whom much has been given, much will be required; and from one to whom much has been entrusted, even more will be demanded. Luke 12.48 NRSV

At our recent diocesan convention we passed a budget for the support of mission and ministry facilitated throughout the Diocese of Southern Ohio. Diocesan Council has the responsibility to oversee and manage the mission share portion of the overall budget. Additionally a portion of our overall budget income is derived from endowments and restricted funds managed by the Trustees of the diocese. One fund in particular is targeted to a variety of mission and ministry efforts. Through a trust fund established by William Cooper Procter, the diocese has a unique opportunity to reach out in areas of special ministry, providing support for innovative activities that go beyond the day-to-day operations of the church. The Procter Fund earnings are allocated annually by the bishop in four distinct areas of activity following the four criteria as determined by the terms of the bequest.

•Criteria 1: “The giving of relief to those in trouble and need, especially where there would be an opportunity for restoring physical, mental or spiritual well being.”
•Criteria 2: “The building up of the quality of the clergy in the Diocese by perpetuation of the plans for grants to supplement salaries in churches where there is real promise for the future.”
•Criteria 3: “The development of a more widespread sense of responsibility in the parishes and missions of the Diocese for the support of the missionary work of the Church. Grants should be made on the same such basis as was used in connection with the refinancing fund given by Mr. Procter in 1933: aid is given to certain churches in time of emergency in return for an agreement pledging those churches to adequate support of the Church’s program.”
•Criteria 4: “The use of grants to take advantage of unusual opportunities for advance work in the Church’s as distinct from the regular running expenses covered by the budget. The responsibility for the maintenance of the regular work must be borne by the rank and file of its membership, but opportunity should be offered to support any experiments which would afford a chance to take a step forward. The essential unity of the Church’s work requires that there should be no geographical limitations upon these grants so long as the purposes of the fund, as described above, are expressed in the use of this income. Part of the annual income from this fund shall be used for the work of the Church outside of the Diocese of Southern Ohio.”

Many of the resources available through the Fund support ministries identified in our consolidated budget. And throughout the year, Bishop Breidenthal makes contributions to a wide variety of not-for-profit organizations and groups within and outside the bounds of the church. In addition to Mr. Procter’s criteria, the bishop makes his determination based on the ministry priorities of the diocese. As of this writing, nearly $100,000 has been distributed to organizations through these “Opportunity Grants” in the name of the Diocese of Southern Ohio. Here are a few of the organizations and groups with whom we have shared our resources.

  • National Underground Railroad Freedom Center has a mandate to provide education to school children about both the historical place of slavery, but also how slavery is perpetuated in today’s world. NURFC has indicated that thousands of school children each year benefit from our contribution.
  • CDM Computers and St. Simon of Cyrene Episcopal Church sponsor a computer camp for children during the summer. Our contribution makes it possible for the camp to flourish.
  • Neighborhood House began in 1909 as a safe place for young people in Columbus to gather for support in their educational efforts, and it continues to this day with expanded ministries that reach children and families who find themselves on the margins. It is one of our Jubilee Ministries, which we as a diocese continue supporting along with individual congregations in the Columbus area.
  • The Episcopal Diocese of West Texas found itself on the front lines of the immigrant crisis when thousands of abandoned children were massing on their border attempting entry into our country. We were able to send assistance to the diocese as they engaged in works of mercy for these children.
  • Navajoland Area Mission is one of the financially assisted dioceses in The Episcopal Church. In response to a special request from Bishop David Bailey, support was sent to the Economic Development Organization that is working with the Navajo community to develop sustainable ministry.
  • BREAD, a community-organizing group in Columbus, is developing new models of conversation around issues of mental health, and a contribution was sent to facilitate the development of this much-needed discussion.
  • The SpiritHouse Project is a national 501(c)3 non-profit organization that uses the arts, research, education, action and spirituality to bring diverse peoples together to work for racial, economic and social justice, as well as for spiritual maturity. Our contribution made it possible for crime victims’ families to participate in a national conference.
  • Cambridge Heights Resident’s Council, Cambridge, sought founds from the local community, St. John’s Church and the diocese to support the building of a picnic pavilion for the residents of Cambridge Heights, an Episcopal Retirement Homes affordable living community. Thanks to the cooperation of many contributors, the pavilion was funded.

These are just a few of the myriad mission and ministry opportunities supported through the William Cooper Procter Fund. If you have an opportunity that fits the criteria of the WCP Fund, and you wish to apply for funding, please contact the Rev. Anne Reed, Canon for Mission at areed@diosohio.org.