The Ask & Imagine youth programs and Anglican youth initiatives got an early Christmas present this year.
The Ask & Imagine program office received word last week of a matching grant made by the Lilly Endowment Inc. of Indianapolis, Indiana. This grant gives over $400,000.00 during the next four years in matching funds to what is contributed by the church, the college, individual donors and supporters across the country to sustain the Ask & Imagine programs and associated youth initiatives for the long term.
Since 1999, the Faculty of Theology at Huron University College has offered theological exploration, ministry skills formation and leadership development to Anglican youth through the Ask & Imagine summer youth programs. These were originally made possible by grants from the Lilly Endowment under their grants program “Theological Education with High School Youth”. In 1999, Huron was selected as one of twenty-four seminaries across North America to receive a grant to develop and initiate such a program.
Over 180 youth and young adults, ages 14 — 26, from across Canada have participated since the programs began. In 2004, Huron and the Ask & Imagine program officially partnered with the Anglican Church of Canada in a collaborative relationship to support the Anglican Church’s identified vision for youth leadership development.
One related project that is planned is a National Youth Ministry Symposium in 2008. This will be a 5-day gathering of Anglican youth, youth leaders, clergy and youth ministry staff; the first in over fifteen years. Canon George Porter, Youth Action Director in the Diocese of Fredericton and member of the Ask & Imagine advisory board said “I have been hoping to get something like this conference going for a long time, it is so exciting to think that this might actually happen!” Youth ministry staff from various dioceses have had preliminary planning meetings for this event in anticipation of this seed funding. Plans include travel cost support so that this event is equally accessible from anywhere in the country.
Further information about Ask & Imagine is available at www.askandimagine.org
Those interested in finding out more about youth initiatives or interested in supporting them are invited to contact Ms. Judy Steers at [email protected].