Los Altos UMC Changemaker Initiative receives 1.5mil Lily grant to launch Change the Story

May 19, 2022 | by Admin

Los Altos UMC Changemaker Initiative receives 1.5mil Lily grant to launch Change the Story

The Changemaker Initiative at Los Altos United Methodist Church will use a $1.5 million grant from Lilly Endowment Inc. to help launch Change the Story, a young adult innovation hub designed to nurture the spiritual lives of young adults ages 23-29 in Silicon Valley and connect them in new ways with faith communities.

Los Altos United Methodist Church received the grant through Lilly Endowment’s Young Adult Initiative. Young adults and congregations often struggle to find common ground. Change the Story seeks to bridge that gap by developing a new narrative for collaboration and partnership between young adults and faith communities. Breaking out of the traditional disconnect requires finding intersections between young adults who are passionate to make social impact and churches that have resources that can empower such innovation.

Change the Story will be part of Los Altos United Methodist Church’s Changemaker Initiative. Previously funded by a Lilly Endowment grant in 2020 through its Thriving Congregations Initiative, the Changemaker Initiative has developed a curriculum and toolkits to help individuals and teams become “compassion-driven changemakers like Jesus.”

 Through Change the Story, these materials will be adapted and redesigned under the direction of a young adult. Then, through short “design sprints”, young adults will develop social impact ideas and be provided with financial grants of up to $10,000 as they partner with faith communities to carry out the ideas.

“The future of the church has to be bigger than pipe organs and pews. We believe that learning how to partner with the next generation to fuel their passion and make meaningful change is key to moving forward,” says Rev. Jeremy Steele, Associate Pastor at Los Altos United Methodist Church and key leader of the project.

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