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Shaped by Faith Grantee Awards

Each of the parishes represented in the Shaped by Faith grantee list below has reached deep within themselves to determine how they could better engage their communities and sister parishes. This type of engagement embodies the spirit of Shaped by Faith. We are all greater together than we are separately, as we do the work of sharing the good news of God’s kingdom and caring for the least among us. I am excited to see how our work unfolds over the next few years.

Congratulations to the Shaped by Faith Grant recipients.

-The Rev. Kevin Barron, Associate for Congregational Vitality and Shaped by Faith

Altoona Convocation: Evangelism, Creation Care, Racial Reconciliation

Partners: Holy Trinity Hollidaysburg, Saint Luke’s Altoona

The parishes of Holy Trinity in Hollidaysburg and St. Luke’s in Altoona (hereafter, HTH /SLA) seek to implement a multi-year project that addresses the three-fold path Presiding Bishop Curry
recommends and which is emphasized on The Episcopal Church’s website under Ministries: Evangelism, Creation Care, and Racial Reconciliation. We intend to dedicate Year Two to Creation Care and Year Three to Racial Reconciliation. In Year One, our combined congregations will focus on Evangelism, primarily by engaging in a combined congregational study of the book, “What is Evangelism?” (hereafter, WiE) by Patricia M. Lyons in the fall of 2023 and by preparing for and implementing the “Transforming Questions” (hereafter, TQ) program in the first half of 2024 with both area Episcopalians and any others seeking to learn more about Jesus and the Christian faith. This program, developed by Forward Movement, is designed to help participants explore and engage with the basic foundational questions of Christianity. Since we hope some TQ graduates will be interested in pursuing additional opportunities to learn more about Christ, worship, perform service, and/or socialize together, HTH/SLA also plan to collaborate on at least three of the following areas:

*Combined worship and study opportunities, some in non-traditional venues
* Community events (Christmas and PRIDE parades, Altoona’s annual African American Heritage Festival, PSU-Altoona
Student Involvement Fair, PSU-Altoona PRIDE Day, etc.)
* Community services (Community Lunch/Dinner, Food Pantry, workdays to serve seniors, etc.)
* Artistic Activities (Theatre productions or readings, art classes, singalongs, etc.)

Project Submitted by Marilyn Pyeatt

Harrisburg Convocation:  Multicultural Missioner

Partners: St Paul’s Harrisburg, Diocese of Central Pennsylvania

This project is a collaboration between St. Paul’s Episcopal Church Harrisburg and the Central Pennsylvania Diocese of the Episcopal Church.  The project includes the creation of a part-time role for the rector at St. Paul’s at the Central PA Diocese office as Multicultural Missioner. The role of a Multicultural Affairs Missioner would be to work in our diocese among our clergy and parishes to explore congregational opportunities for the growth of the Beloved Community, encouraging and modeling a different way. Most of our parishes in the diocese are primarily white and culturally monochromatic though we know that our urban centers- Lancaster, Williamsport, Harrisburg and York- have large multicultural and racially diverse populations, and that our rural areas employ agricultural laborers who are racially diverse and are not part of our worshiping communities. Our diocese would be enriched by a growth in the diversity of our congregations and a parish like St Paul’s, with success in living into its identity as multi-cultural and racially diverse – is in a position to share its good news with others for the sake of building the Beloved Community, a key priority for the Diocese of Central Pennsylvania.

Project Submitted by Christyan Seay

Lancaster Convocation:  Youth Mission

Partners:  St. Edwards, Hope Episcopal, St. John’s (Lancaster), St. Paul’s, St. Thomas

This project is a collaborative approach to doing intergenerational ministry with an Episcopal identity that will benefit the ten parishes of Lancaster County. We hope to continue to build momentum and relationships between teens and families in our convocation. There is energy and excitement in doing things together- for both teens AND parishes. We hope to build a regular program of events and formation that will foster a sense of Episcopal identity and relationship for families and teens in our convocation.  Teens, children and families will have a place to gather together and build relationship and share in Episcopal formation. Parishes without children or teens may also benefit from intergenerational activities (think Christmas caroling) where teens and children enjoy the blessing of loving older adults.

Submitted by The Rev. Jennifer Mattson

Northern Tier Convocation:  All Saints Brookland Retreat Center

Partners:  Christ Church Coudersport, St. Andrew’s Tioga, St. James Mansfield and St. Paul’s Wellsboro, Diocese of Central Pennsylvania

This project will initiate an exploration of the feasibility of converting and repurposing the All Saints Brookland Property into a Retreat Center consisting of the All Saints Chapel and Retreat House. A one- year initial exploratory period would focus on “testing the water” to establish the viability of a retreat center at this location and under these conditions. This will be accomplished by conducting a limited number of retreats during 2023 so that we can gain an understanding of the guests’ experience of this property as a retreat venue and we will learn from first-hand experience the benefits and challenges of conducting retreats at this location. The initial goal of the project is to broaden the depth of support and hunger for this type of venue and operation in our Diocese. If it proves viable, it will provide a logical, sacred and worthy future to the heritage created by the communion of saints at All Saints Brookland, to enable guests with rest, renewal, and transformation through our care for natural beauty and a commitment to hospitality.

Project Submitted by The Rev. Janis Yskamp

Harrisburg Convocation: Grace Place at Saint Andrew’s Shippensburg

Partners: Saint Andrew’s Shippensburg, Grace Place Ministry Center, Circle of Love Ministries, Franklin County Gleaning Project, Shippensburg University Counseling Center

“We are called by faith to co-create with God and our community the resources and connections needed to rise above adversity by creating a ministry center in our neighborhood which addresses the physical, mental, and spiritual needs of those who live around us.”

Grace Place will be a ministry center located at the former residence of the Administrator of the Episcopal home, located next to St. Andrew’s Parish Life Center.

We will partner with (a) Shippensburg University Counseling Department to provide free counseling for children, youth and adults; (b) Circle of Love Clothing bank ministry to provide clothing for those coming into or out of homelessness; (c) Oasis of Love Church to provide a site for excess grocery store distribution; (d) The Gleaning Project to exchange excess produce from our gardens and distribute donated produce from farms in surrounding areas to our neighbors in need, as an extension of our ongoing community meal program; (d) A household goods pantry will be created through donations by parish members which will be distributed weekly along with the fresh produce at our community meals. 

Lancaster Convocation: Music Consultation

Partners: Saint Thomas, Lancaster, Hope Church, Manheim, Saint Paul, Columbia

“The goal of our grant application is to: assess what each parish has in terms of musical assets, talents and abilities; support each parish to design a plan for enriching their own musical ministry; and develop a critical mass of musical talent and resources that can benefit all parishes. 

“There is a growing spirit of collaboration within the Lancaster Convocation that recognizes the value of pursuing opportunities together that will “lift all our boats.” Our proposal was developed in that context to address a shared need that many of our parishes have.”

 Project Submitted by The Rev.  Martha Harris, St Luke’s, Mount Joy and Saint Paul, Columbia

Northern Tier Convocation: Regional Missioner

Partners: Christ Church, Coudersport, Saint Andrew’s Tioga, Saint James, Mansfield


“Our 12-month goal is to continue to serve all three congregations currently involved in project, to grow the congregations and to increase our community presence. We want to increase our collaboration, not only within these three parishes and with the diocese, but also between the other churches of our convocation and other community partners involved in outreach to our communities. 

We are scheduling an acolyte training program. We hope to soon reinstitute other Christian Education programs. We are looking at the offering from St. Paul’s Wellsboro for a gathering of our youth and other youth program opportunities.”

Project Submitted by The Rev. Janis Yskamp, Northern Tier Missioner

West Branch Convocation: Regional Missioner

Partners: Trinity Pro-Cathedral, Williamsport, Good Shepherd, Montoursville, Our Savior, Montoursville, All Saints, Williamsport


“The presence of a Missioner in the community will increase the vitality of the parishes. Vitality will also be increased by the sharing of resources between parishes. These resources will include parishioner knowledge and expertise, information, and decreased duplication of services such as adult education. The increased community presence will also increase the vitality of the parishes involved in this grant application.”


“The parishes involved in this grant along with the Missioner will discover their communities in a deeper way. They will also discover the gifts of both the wider community and the other parishes in the West Branch convocation.”


Project Submitted by The Rev. Lauri Kerr, West Branch Missioner

West Branch Convocation: Community Garden at Trinity Pro-Cathedral

Partners: Trinity Pro-Cathedral, Park Place, Penn College, Oxford House, Williamsport Firehouse, Penn College, US Fish & Wildlife, Lowe’s

“The hope is to grow fresh, healthy food in a thriving garden, to create a sense of community and cooperation among local gardeners, to promote positive neighborhood relationships, and to maintain a safe environment. To help achieve this, the beds will be provided free of charge to the gardeners.

Plant seedlings will also be free of charge to participants, who are expected to plant and maintain their beds while offering excess vegetables to their neighbors. Parishioners, US Fish & Wildlife Service, and neighbors will provide volunteer personnel power to build the garden. Operating costs will be sustained by the church as its parishioners seek to empower our community by providing guidance and support to the gardeners within our neighborhood.”

Project Submitted by The Rev. Canon Ken Wagner-Pizza

From left to right: Rector Amanda Knouse and St. John’s congregation at house blessing of future home of Abdi family (Mom and Dad and three children) from Ethiopia
Rev. Amanda Knouse and Rev. Jen Trenary with Bati and Halima Abdi at welcome dinner; part of Welcome Team during final house

Lancaster Convocation: Refugee Family Resettlement at Saint John’s Lancaster

Partners: Saint John’s, Lancaster, Church World Services, the Chestnut Hill neighborhood, Mechanic Grove Church of the Brethren


“Our hope is that with the help of our neighbors, we may be able to assist a refugee family’s resettlement and integration into the city of Lancaster within 18-24 months. By incorporating our church neighbors in these efforts, we hope to build a strong social network for the family, as many of the church’s parishioners live outside the city. This neighborhood partnership also strengthens the networking possibilities as we attempt to secure employment, locate future housing, provide transportation, and all the other functions of the subcommittees. The goal is for the refugee family to be self-sufficient by the end of the second year.”


Submitted by Ms. Leslie Morgan

Southern Convocation: Community Fair at Saint Mary’s Waynesboro

Partners: Saint Mary’s Waynesboro, New Hope Shelter, Waynesboro Human and Community Services, Faith Alive Ministries

“St. Mary’s, in partnership with three non-profits and community service organizations, will be hosting what is to be the first of the annual block party for the greater Waynesboro area. The purpose of the block party is to break down barriers between low-income and historically marginalized/disadvantaged communities,

and to provide them with a safe and approachable forum in which to ask questions, receive information on services and seek help. Additionally, this block party will be an opportunity for neighbors to strengthen bonds, develop a sense of community and aid in post-pandemic recovery through mutual support.”

Project Submitted by The Rev. Linda Watkins