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    United Methodists of Upper New YorkLiving the Gospel. Being God's Love.

    news article

    United Methodists of Upper New York receives $1.25 million grant

    October 2, 2023 / By Shelby Winchell, UNY Director of Communications / .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)

    PRESS RELEASE: United Methodists of Upper New York receives $1.25 million grant.  

    $1.25 Million Grant to United Methodists of Upper New York  

    October 2, 2023 

    For Immediate Release 
    Contact: Shelby Winchell, Director of Communications (

    United Methodists of Upper New York (UNY) have been granted $1,250,000 from Lilly Endowment Inc. Compelling Preaching Initiative. The initiative aims to foster and support preaching that inspires, encourages, and guides people to come to know and love God, and to live out their Christian faith more fully. This is the first grant Upper New York has received from Lilly Endowment Inc. and the first grant that exceeds $1 million dollars.  

    The Lilly Endowment grant project, “Reconnecting with the Good, the True, and the Beautiful,” is intended to revitalize the practice of preaching in Upper New York (UNY) by equipping 300 pastors to (re)connect others with the goodness, truth, and beauty of life with God through preaching that inspires, encourages, and guides people to come to know and love Jesus Christ and to live out their Christian faith more fully. The project is a component of UNY’s clergy leadership development focus called “Thrive.” 

    “United Methodists of Upper New York are blessed with many gifted and faithful pastors who share the good news of Jesus Christ weekly. Through this Lilly grant, we will be able to rekindle the gift of preaching in our pastors as they are refreshed and renewed by the goodness, truth, and beauty of the gospel. God is doing new and wonderful work among us,” said Bishop Héctor A. Burgos Núñez. 

    Upper New York is one of 81 organizations receiving grants through this competitive round of the Compelling Preaching Initiative. Reflecting the diversity of Christianity in the United States, the organizations are affiliated with mainline Protestant, evangelical, Catholic, Orthodox, Anabaptist, and Pentecostal faith communities. Many of the organizations are rooted in the Black Church and in Hispanic and Asian American Christian traditions. 

    “Throughout history, preachers often have needed to adapt their preaching practices to engage new generations of hearers more effectively,” said Christopher L. Coble, Lilly Endowment’s Vice President for Religion. “We are pleased that the organizations receiving grants in this initiative will help pastors and others in ministry engage in the kinds of preaching needed today to ensure that the gospel message is heard and accessible for all audiences.” 

    Lilly Endowment launched the Compelling Preaching Initiative in 2022 because of its interest in supporting projects that help to nurture the religious lives of individuals and families and foster the growth and vitality of Christian congregations in the United States.  

    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 religion's role in the United States and across the globe. 

    TAGGED / Communications / Finance / Vital Congregations / Bishop Burgos / Missional Excellence / Compelling Preaching Initiative

    With more than 100,000 members, United Methodists of Upper New York comprises of more than 675 local churches and New Faith Communities in 12 districts, covering 48,000 square miles in 49 of the 62 counties in New York state. Our vision is to “live the Gospel of Jesus Christ and to be God’s love with our neighbors in all places."