Historic St. John's Awarded First Mark of Mission Grant
St. John's, Ohio City was recently selected out of 70 applicants to be awarded a First Mark of Mission grant from The Episcopal Church for $23,000. This funding will be used to build on existing connections between St. John's Church and the community of Ohio to create an ongoing, unconventional worshipping community.
St. John's hopes to target the largest-growing population in the community - people 20-35, students, young professionals, and young married couples, who are attracted to the neighborhood's arts vibe, new restaurants, expanding West Side Market District, and its close proximity to downtown Cleveland. This growing demographic of Millennials understands themselves as "spiritual but not necessarily religious." They seek a community that will be respectful of that perspective - one that is willing to discuss beliefs and spiritual practice without insisting on creed and membership. Hospitality, social justice, beauty, and meaningful action toward social change are important to them. They want a place to belong but traditional church membership isn't necessarily on their radar screen.
The Rev. Kelly Aughenbaugh, Vicar of St. John's, will work with Brad Purdom, Canon for Congregations for the Diocese of Ohio, and community members to create liturgies that draw on the artistic and spiritual resources of the community and the Episcopal Church.
The Diocese of Ohio is grateful for these funds as we explore new and innovative ways to engage young adults in our communities.