SOCIAL ACTION GRANTS
Social Action is as basic to Fountain Street Church as Worship and Learning. It is one of the three core principles of liberal religion, in fact – to free the mind, grow the soul, and change the world.
Historically, our social action efforts — directly by individual and group action, and assisted financially through the Social Action Committee’s grant process — have been most engaged in support of Women’s Reproductive Rights and Civil Liberties.
The local chapters of Planned Parenthood and the ACLU were organized at Fountain Street Church half a century ago. For many years FSC has served as the home for the Choice Fund, which provides emergency financial support for women in need of reproductive health services. We began demonstrating a decade ago in support of Marriage Equality. And we have focused our Art Prize venue on artwork that reflects issues of the day, cosponsoring a juried award with the local ACLU to promote artistic expression around social justice.
But social action at Fountain Street Church currently includes so much more:
FSC funds an annual full scholarship at Grand Rapids Community College for a DACA/“Dreamer” or undocumented student.
The church provides financial support to those in need through partnerships with Family Promise, Degage Ministries, HQ and The Bridge at Arbor Circle.
The church supports and helps sponsor GR Pride, which serves the LGBTQ+ community.
The church offers comprehensive sexuality education in our Education Program, using both Our Whole Lives (a program produced by the UUA and the UCC) and Planned Parenthood Curriculum.
The church partners with GRCC to host their Diversity Lecture series and serves as the venue for the Three College MLK observance.
And many Fountain Street Church members are actively engaged in additional volunteer and community action activities such as God’s Kitchen, Ferguson House and women’s and minority social and legal rights.
The church is equally involved with Environmental Justice — Better use of our resources; use of our voice for better policies; advocacy for the disempowered. Currently we are working for:
a Lower Carbon Life Style (composting, recycling, bike program)
a Lower Carbon Church Footprint (energy management programs in the church, HVAC management, LED lighting)
Sustainable Lower Carbon Investing (personal investing workshops, and collaboration with the Fountain Street Church Foundation)
Public Advocacy for “policies that will benefit the earth, people around the world who are poor and vulnerable, and future generations.”
More information is available HERE.
A key to the Fountain Street Church’s social action activities is its Social Action Committee, which oversees our annual grant program. Half of the plate donations collected every Sunday is set aside to be returned to the wider community through a grant process that invites non-profit organizations to apply for grants.
The current once-a-year grant cycle will continue this fall for end-of-year 2020 grant distribution. The committee is always seeking grant applications from new, innovative and potentially impactful groups.
If your group wishes to gain more information about the grant process, please send an introductory email to firstname.lastname@example.org, including a contact individual for your organization. A Social Action Committee member will make contact with you and explain our policies and procedures for grant applications, and then guide you through the process. The 2020 application process and deadline will be announced soon.