[Episcopal Church Office of Public Affairs] There is still time for congregations, dioceses, organizations, institutions and others to apply for the Episcopal Church Constable Fund Grants for the 2012-2013 grant cycle.
Anne Watkins, Executive Council member from the Diocese of Connecticut and current chair of the Constable Fund Grant Review Committee, noted that the deadline for applications is January 2013, “and that’s really right around the corner.”
The Constable Fund provides grants to fund mission initiatives that were not provided for within the budget of the Episcopal Church General Convention/Domestic and Foreign Missionary Society (DFMS).
Recently, the Episcopal Church Constable Fund Grant Review Committee announced a new cycle and process for Constable Fund Grants. A Constable Grant Management task force was constituted by the Executive Council Joint Standing Committee on Governance and Mission (EC-GAM) which made subsequent recommendations resulting in the establishment of the Executive Council Constable Fund Grant Review Committee. That committee was charged with promoting the fund and widening its access to more of the Church.
As stated in the guidelines: “All applications for the 2013 cycle will come from either (1) a programmatic office of the DFMS, (2) one of the General Convention CCABs, (committee commission agency or board) or (3) one of the Provinces of the Episcopal Church. A maximum of one proposal per programmatic office of the DFMS, one proposal per CCAB, and one proposal per Province, will be considered. Dioceses or individuals within a diocese should submit their proposals through their Provincial structure with final submission coming through the recommendation of the Provincial Synod, Provincial Officers or Executive Committee, or other corollary structure within the Province.”
Named for Miss Constable
The Constable Grants were named for Miss Mary Louise Constable, who was a visionary philanthropist. Watkins pointed out, “Hers is an example of faithful witness and generosity in response to an obviously mature and deep understanding of herself as both a disciple of Jesus Christ and as a steward of the blessings bestowed upon her by God.”
In 1935, in the midst of economic catastrophe known as the Great Depression, Miss Constable made a monetary gift to the Episcopal Church to establish the Constable Fund. Her desire and intent to add periodically to the fund during her lifetime was realized and culminated with a very generous final gift at the time of her death in 1951.
Watkins further explained, “Stipulations for use of the fund were also visionary and generous, recognizing in and trusting those who came after her to comply with her wishes while allowing them flexibility in order to carry the mission of God through God’s Church forward into new eras.”
The language of Miss Constable’s will states that the fund exists “in perpetuity … to apply the net income for the purposes of the Society, preferably for the work in religious education not provided for within the Society’s budget.”
“It is the desire of the Executive Council Constable Fund Review Committee that Miss Constable’s example of stewardship, generosity, flexibility, and creativity be values that continue to be honored,” Watkins concluded.