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Preserving the Past, Investing in the Future, Leaving a Lasting Impact for Generations to Come
The Heritage Project is a community of people who have made an investment in the financial stability of the Diocese of Western Kansas in perpetuity. This community represents the spirit of the Diocese, from its history of hard work and determination to the innovation and abundance of its future. Members of the Project have faith that their gifts, small or large, given with the Grace of God, will help grow the church, form the faithful, and transform lives in our diocese and beyond.
The Heritage Project provides Vitality Grants for the next season in the life of the Diocese of Western Kansas Mission sized congregations in our Diocese can fund the day-to-day work of their ministries. They are doing outstanding work. They do not have the resources to take the next step on their own and therefore require intervention from the diocese.
The Heritage Project, an additional fund created within the existing Diocesan Foundation, enables the Diocese to offer “vitality grants” to those congregations who have the vision and passion to explore new ministries. Only a portion of the income from this fund can be spent on vitality grants. The fund itself will remain within the endowment to continue to grow.
VITALITY GRANTS AT WORK TODAY
At St. Michael’s in Hays, a vitality grant provided full-time ministry for 3 years with the goals of discerning the needs of the community and adapting the ministry of the church to address them. The congregation and vicar discerned a need to be “the church for people who have been hurt by the church” and created a plan to “get the word out” about that. After 2.5 years, the Sunday attendance grew to more than thirty every week and the weekday engagement, which had not existed before, was 20-30 every week. New pledging units joined the community and overall pledge dollars increased. After 2.5 years, with the vitality minister gone, the congregation remains stable and is able to call a part-time vicar using its own resources.
At St. Thomas, Garden City, the congregation speaks English, Spanish and Karen (the native language of the Burmese population). A vitality grant has funded a full time bi-lingual minister here for three years and the community has discerned a call to a new bi-lingual leader to carry these ministries forward. The Rev. Canon Cameron Randle began July 2023.
At St. Andrew’s in Liberal there is a thriving congregation, but it does not reach the large and growing Latino community. Through a vitality grant, the Diocese has called The Rt. Rev. Silvestre Romero, formerly the Bishop of Guatemala, to be the Latino Missionary in this community. Bishopp. Romero began his ministry in October 2023.
INSURANCING THE LEGACY OF THE DIOCESE
The Diocese of Western Kansas began life as part of the Diocese of Kansas in 1859 and formed on its own in 1971.
The proud legacy of this diocese includes ministries like English as a Second Language classes in Spanish and Burmese, local food banks, youth pilgrimages to Canterbury Cathedral, and Latino ministries.
Inspiring and preserving the legacy of the diocese is an important responsibility for its leaders, clergy, and community members. Here are some ways to inspire and maintain the legacy of a diocese:
Rooted in Faith: The foundation of our diocese’s legacy is its faith. A strong and unwavering commitment to the beliefs, values, and teachings of the church and what it represents.
Effective Leadership: Effective leadership is essential to inspire and maintain our diocese's legacy. Bishops, priests, and other clergy should lead by example, embodying the teachings they preach and providing guidance to the community.
Community Engagement: A thriving diocese often has a strong sense of community. Involvement and engagement within the diocese. This can include volunteering, participating in outreach programs, and building relationships with fellow parishioners.
Preservation of Tradition: The Diocese of Western Kansas has rich historical traditions. Uphold these traditions and customs while adapting to the needs of the modern world. Balancing tradition with relevance can help inspire the legacy of the diocese.
Education and Formation: Invest in religious education and formation programs for both children and adults. This ensures that the teachings and values of the faith are passed on to future generations.
Outreach and Evangelism: To maintain and expand the legacy of the diocese, outreach and evangelism are vital. This involves sharing faith with others, inviting newcomers to join the community, and promoting a welcoming environment.
Stewardship: Encourage responsible stewardship of the diocese's resources, including financial, human, and physical assets. This helps ensure the sustainability and growth of the diocese.
Adaptability: The world is constantly changing, and dioceses must be adaptable to address new challenges and opportunities. Embrace innovation while staying true to core values.
Prayer and Worship: Regular prayer and worship services are the heart of any diocese. Encourage active participation in these rituals to keep the faith alive and inspire a sense of purpose.
Promote Love and Compassion: Encourage love, compassion, and service to others as central tenets of the diocese's legacy. Acts of kindness and charity help strengthen the faith community.
Celebrate Milestones and Anniversaries: Mark important milestones in the diocese's history with celebrations and events. This can instill a sense of pride and connection with the diocese's legacy.
Vision for the Future: Define a clear vision for the future of the diocese, setting goals and aspirations that align with its mission and values.
The Heritage Project ensures that the Diocese of Western Kansas will continue to feed the sheep in our communities, physically, spiritually, and sacramentally for years to come.
How do I become a Member?
There are many ways to make a lasting gift to the diocese. It is always a good idea to meet with a professional and then your priest or the Bishop. Some vehicles for making a gift include:
Bequests & Wills
Cash Gifts made to the Fund
Charitable Remainder Trusts Charitable Gift Annuities Life Insurance & Retirement Accounts
All gifts made to The Heritage Project are held in the Endowment of the Diocese of Western Kansas. Use of
Heritage Project funds are restricted to congregational development ,clergy recruitment, and deployment, and the expansion of worshiping communities within the diocese. The corpus remains intact. Only the interest of the fund may be expended for these purposes.
Insuring the Legacy
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