The Synod is part of the Matthew 25 movement within the Presbyterian Church, USA, an effort to (1) build Congregational Vitality, (2) dismantle structural racism, and (3) eradicate systemic poverty. Here are our ministries which help presbyteries, churches, and individuals to make progress toward these three goals.

Matthew 25 Grants

Matthew 25 Grants support churches and ministries which work toward the three Matthew 25 goals. Applications are due on September 30, 2021, and grants of up to $5,000 will be distributed and announced by November 15, 2021.  Note: This grants program replaces the New Covenant and Racial Ethnic Grants Programs.

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Leadership Development Workshops

Thanks to a partnership with LeaderWise, the Synod is providing the following workshops in 2021:  boundaries training, Committee on Ministry/Committee on Preparation for Ministry training, and assessments and trainings in conflict management, emotional intelligence, and racial justice.

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Equipping Preachers

The Synod is working with presbyteries to train and equip preachers, both those exploring whether they might want to be added to a supply preaching list, and those who offer their sermons every week. Courses of various lengths as well as monthly workshops will be offered.

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Higher Education Scholarships

Higher Education Scholarships for Christian Leaders are available for students in undergraduate, associates, or vocational programs or pursuing their first masters degree in theology. Candidates will be asked to discuss their work to strengthen congregational vitality, dismantle structural racism, and/or eradicate systemic poverty. Applications due on May 31, 2021.  Note:  This scholarship program replaces the Higher Education Scholarship program.

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Virtual Worship Services

During the pandemic, the virtual worship services created by presbyteries and distributed by the Synod have been well received and popular, with some being viewed as often as 2,000 times on YouTube.  The Synod will continue to offer these services periodically as long as virtual worship remains a prominent means of connecting with Christ.

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Chip Hardwick Presentations

The Synod’s Interim Executive, Chip Hardwick, preaches, teaches, and keynotes regularly for churches throughout the presbyteries. You can watch recent presentations on the Synod’s YouTube channel.

Invite Chip to speak by emailing him at chip@synodofthecovenant.org.

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Racial Equity Caucuses

The Synod will be hiring community organizers to work within communities of color throughout our presbyteries to rebuild and reimagine the racial equity caucuses and the Cabinet on Ethnic Church Affairs, which have been such an important part of the history of the Synod.  Each caucus will determine its own scope and ministry.

Presbytery Leadership Support

The Synod supports presbytery staff leadership by hosting monthly zooms to connect with each other, as well as individually with Interim Executive Chip Hardwick. Additionally, the Synod will begin to host biannual retreats for Executive, General, and Associate Presbyters once public health conditions permit. The Synod also subsidizes the coaching new presbyters receive through the Presbytery Leadership Formation program.

Campus Ministries

In 2021, the Synod is continuing to support Campus Ministries at public universities and colleges throughout Ohio and Michigan through two endowments. This year almost $50,000 will be distributed among twenty-two ministries in nine presbyteries.

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Christian Formation Courses & Workshops

The Synod will offer Christian formation courses and workshops designed to deepen participants’ faith and to empower them to live out that faith in the world around us which God loves so very deeply. (Currently slated to begin in the fall of 2021.)

Self-Development of People

Self-Development of People is a national ministry of the Presbyterian Church (USA) funded through the One Great Hour of Sharing special offering. This grants program is designed to eradicate systemic poverty by investing in marginalized communities with programs of their own design.  The Synod is working to re-establish this ministry in 2021.

Cross-presbytery Cohorts

In late 2021 the Synod looks to coordinate cross-presbytery cohorts so that church leaders in similar contexts and with similar ministries can learn from and support each other.