Shine awarded $1,250,000 grant from the Lilly Endowment

Shine awarded grant from Lilly Endowment

A grant of $1,250,000 from Lilly Endowment Inc. will support the development of Shine: Living in God’s Light. MennoMedia received the grant on behalf of Shine, a joint publication of Menno Media and Brethren Press. The grant is part of Lilly Endowment’s Christian Parenting and Caregiving Initiative, which aims to help parents and caregivers share their faith and values with their children.

MennoMedia and Brethren Press join Lilly Endowment in recognizing that families are at the center of faith formation. This generous grant will make possible a new Shine effort called Everyday Faith. The Shine curriculum team will walk alongside congregations and households in developing spiritual practice materials that inspire families to embody the story of God in everyday life.

Shine’s Everyday Faith project is rooted in two scripture texts: the instruction in Deuteronomy 6 to keep God’s words close to our heart and share them with our children and Jesus’ teaching in John 15 to abide in the vine. The grant will be used to engage parents and caregivers in building faith practices at home and to engage congregations in fostering deeper faith connections with families.

“The goal of Everyday Faith is to draw near to households and churches in order to foster deeper conversations around faith,” said Joan Daggett, project director. “This grant will enable Shine to (1) cultivate a network of churches and families for listening, mutual support, and feedback about pilot faith practice resources, and (2) produce a suite of practical, joy-filled faith formation materials from an Anabaptist perspective that appeal to diverse households and help congregations resource families in building the language and daily habits of faith with children and youth.”

MennoMedia is one of 77 organizations receiving grants through this competitive round of the Christian Parenting initiative. Reflecting the diversity of Christianity in the United States, the organizations are affiliated with mainline Protestant, evangelical, Catholic, Orthodox Christian and Pentecostal faith communities. Many of the organizations are rooted in Black church, Hispanic and Asian Christian traditions.

“We’ve heard from many parents who are seeking to nurture the spiritual lives of their children, especially in their daily activities, and looking to churches and other faith-based organizations for support,” said Christopher L. Coble, Lilly Endowment’s vice president for religion. “These thoughtful, creative and collaborative organizations embrace the important role that families have in shaping the religious development of children and are launching programs to assist parents and caregivers with this task.”

Lilly Endowment launched the Christian Parenting and Caregiving Initiative in 2022 because of its interest in supporting efforts to help individuals and families from diverse Christian communities draw more fully on the wisdom of Christian practices to live out their faith fully and well passing on a vibrant faith to a new generation.

About Lilly Endowment Inc.

Lilly Endowment Inc. is a private foundation created in 1937 by J.K. Lilly Sr. and his sons Eli and J.K. Jr. through gifts of stock in their pharmaceutical business, Eli Lilly and Company. While those gifts remain the financial bedrock of the Endowment, it is a separate entity from the company, with a distinct governing board, staff and location. In keeping with the founders’ wishes, the Endowment supports the causes of community development, education and religion and maintains a special commitment to its hometown, Indianapolis, and home state, Indiana. A principal aim of the Endowment’s religion grantmaking is to deepen and enrich the lives of Christians in the United States, primarily by seeking out and supporting efforts that enhance the vitality of congregations and strengthen the pastoral and lay leadership of Christian communities. The Endowment also seeks to improve public understanding of diverse religious traditions by supporting fair and accurate portrayals of the role religion plays in the United States and across the globe.