Mission Giving Transforms the Plymouth Experience 

July 11, 2016

The goal of the CSSA Board is to open the congregation to the transforming spirit of God in ways that lead to social change in the world. –Community Service and Social Action (CSSA) Board mission statement

The CSSA Board reflects on our mission statement this month, as Plymouth distributes the last donation of a three-year grant commitment to Recovery Café, a local organization dedicated to healing and care of those affected by addiction, homelessness and/or mental health challenges. They received Plymouth's 2013 Change Grant, which provides an organization $105,000 over three years through our “benevolence” or “mission” giving, based on 25 percent of pledges from congregation members.

Through the Change Grant, Recovery Café developed a Peer Support Specialist program to provide enhanced peer-to-peer support services both at Recovery Café and in the larger community.

In addition to direct program funding, the Change Grant includes a commitment of the grantee to provide opportunities for Plymouth members to get involved in the organization and experience the transforming spirit of God. Plymouth members have been involved in many ways, from attending the Café’s annual fundraising event “Standing in the Gap,” to meeting with Recovery Café members weekly and getting to know the community and staff on a personal basis. Plymouth members Don Bell and Courtney Hashimoto reflect on their experiences:

“Recovery Cafe has a very successful model for helping people struggling with mental illness and addiction to conquer their personal demons and live satisfying and productive lives. They do this by providing an environment and a community where love and personal responsibility are combined. I have watched the love and compassion that fills that place. I have heard many stories from members who acknowledge that the Cafe literally saved their life. I am proud to be associated with Recovery Cafe and to be part of a congregation that has meaningfully supported its work,” said Don Bell.

“I served as a minister of presence at Recovery Cafe for about six months. I was impressed by how supportive Recovery Cafe community is of all who enter the doors. Serving as a minister of presence was both humbling and inspiring,” said Courtney Hashimoto.

The Change Grant program is one of three giving opportunities through Plymouth’s mission giving overseen by the CSSA board. The three grant programs are:

  • Change Grants give large, three-year grants for work on long-term, systemic change and opportunities for direct involvement in that work, with a new recipient every two years.
  • Inspiration Grants provide one-time funds to agencies that have engaged concerns and passions of the congregation.
  • Continuing Support Grants for ministry teams and core Plymouth programs, helps them receive funding, typically for smaller one-time needs or year-to-year programs to receive funding without a formal grant process.

The funding framework was developed in 2008 in response to member’s vision for Plymouth giving, to focus our impact through larger longer-term grants while still supporting emergency needs based on member requests. As we reflect on the CSSA board’s mission, we encourage Plymouth members to watch for upcoming announcements about the Inspiration Grants program this fall and to participate with our current Change Grant recipient, Village of Hope.

Please reach out to the CSSA board if you know of an organization in need of support or if you are interested in getting more involved. For additional information on how to particpate with Recovery Café, Village of Hope or the Change Grant program, please contact Joanie Stultz, on behalf of the CSSA board, at: joaniestultz@gmail.com.

2016 CSSA Board members: Jock Akin (Chair), Jessie Attri, Kelle Brown, Louisa Eastman, Elizabeth Maher, David Marshall, Don Mitchell, Anne Mohundro and Joanie Stultz



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