October 31, 2017
In July, the Community Service and Social Action (CSSA) Board initiated the process to select Plymouth’s next Change Grant recipient. The Change Grant is a $105,000 grant given over three years to fund an organization working for social justice and long-term systemic change, with opportunities to directly involve Plymouth members and friends. Over 20 applicants applied from a diverse group of organizations. We reviewed each application and met several times to decide on our top three finalists. We look for an organization with potential for the grant to bring about dramatic change in what they can do and be for its constituents. Then we completed site visits with the top three applicants to learn more about their organization and meet with their leadership.
CSSA is excited to announce the Board made its final decision to award Lambert House the next Change Grant. Lambert House is a non-profit serving Greater Seattle that advocates social justice for LGBTQ youth. They provide a safe space for youth to gather in the evenings and create a peer group with trusted adults. The Change Grant allows Lambert House to fulfill an on-going need to provide education and resources to clergy and parents who specifically reach out to Lambert House for guidance to support their LGBTQ youth.
“I’m grateful for your efforts and look forward to the transformative relationship we will forge together and how this grant may impact faith leaders, faith communities and LGBTQ families for generations to come,” said Rev. Steve Davis, Plymouth Executive Minister. Lead Pastor Rev. Kelle Brown adds, “I am grateful for the discernment of the CSSA board that sent us toward the Lambert House. In my nonprofit life, I have been aware of the Lambert House for some time. Plymouth is blessed by God with the opportunity to extend gracious hospitality and welcome to Queer and Trans young people who are vulnerable and in most need of compassion.”
Ken Shulman, the organization’s Executive Director expressed, “There is an important opportunity right now for Lambert House to make a transformative difference for LGBTQ youth, their parents and their faith communities in Greater Seattle… We have no staff available to work with faith leaders, congregations or parents that request our technical assistance or cultural competency training. A Plymouth Change Grant could change that.”
The Board connected with Lambert House and their mission is excited to see this partnership grow. CSSA Board Chair Joanie Stultz said, “I walked into Lambert House on Capitol Hill, and instantly felt like I was in a safe and comfortable space. It was clear why the stories of youth served by Lambert House are characterized by profound and lasting relationships, and why Lambert House is a viewed as a resource for community members seeking to support LGBTQ Youth more effectively.”
A subcommittee of 3-4 Plymouth members will form in Winter 2017 to work directly with Lambert House to identify opportunities for Plymouth members and friends to get involved with the proposed project and the organization. In coordination with the CSSA Board, Lambert House will prepare a semi-annual report for the congregation to learn about how funds have been put to work. We hope that you, members and friends of Plymouth Church, will embrace the opportunity to form deep relationships and stand with the grant recipient in times of service and advocacy, conversation and celebration over the next three years and into the future.
Look for additional announcements in weeks to come, or contact Bill Zook directly for questions about getting involved on the sub-committee, Bill Zook: firstname.lastname@example.org
Village of Hope 2015 Change Grant Recipient Transition:
As we welcome Lambert House as our next Change Grant recipient, we will initiate a process to transition Village of Hope from a Change Grant recipient into the next chapter of our relationship. Please look for future opportunities to be a part of this transition and participate in the process.
—Plymouth Community Service and Social Action Board