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New Initiative for Innovation to Connect Churches and Young Adults
Posted 04/05/2018 03:42PM

AUSTIN (February 14, 2018) –Twelve congregations have been selected as core partners of the 787 Collective, an initiative dedicated to engaging with young adults through creative ventures that deepen love for God, self, and others. The 787 Collective, led by Martha Lynn Coon, director of congregational innovation, is a project of Austin Presbyterian Theological Seminary’s department of Education Beyond the Walls and is funded through a grant from Lilly Endowment Inc.  

“Religious leaders long to connect with young adults, but many acknowledge that few young people in their 20s are making their way into congregational life,” said Christopher L. Coble, the Endowment’s vice president for religion. “These church leaders are looking for new and fresh ways to build relationships with young people.”

The twelve core partners will each be eligible to receive grant funds of up to $30,000 over the next four years. Each partner selected demonstrated a sustained commitment to and a strong capacity for this work during an eight-month pre-selection process. Members of the Collective will form a learning community to study best practices around innovation and adaptive change and to try things they have not done before. Congregations seek to engage people whose lives have diverged from church connection as well as those who have never previously been part of congregational life.  

The core partners in The 787 Collective are:               
Central Christian Church (Austin, Texas)
Divine Redeemer Presbyterian Church (San Antonio, Texas)
First English Lutheran Church (Austin, Texas)
Forest Hills Presbyterian Church (Helotes, Texas)
Gateway Church, South (Austin, Texas)
Good Shepherd on the Hill Episcopal Church (Austin, Texas)
Iglesia El Shaddai (Marble Falls, Texas)
Labyrinth Progressive Student Ministry (Austin, Texas)
St. David’s Episcopal Church (Austin, Texas)
St. John’s United Methodist Church (Austin, Texas)
The Office of Youth, Young Adult and Campus Ministry (Catholic Diocese of Austin)
Triumphant Love Lutheran Church (Austin, Texas)

For more information about the mission of the 787 Collective, visit the website: http://787collective.org/about-us/

Founded in 1902, Austin Presbyterian Theological Seminary is an institution of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) whose mission is to educate and equip individuals for the ordained Christian ministry and other forms of Christian service and leadership. For more information and ways to support Austin Presbyterian Theological Seminary, visit www.austinseminary.edu.
Lilly Endowment Inc. is an Indianapolis-based, private philanthropic foundation created in 1937 by J. K. Lilly and his sons, J.K. Jr. and Eli, through gifts of stock in their pharmaceutical business, Eli Lilly and Company. While those gifts remain the financial bedrock of the Endowment, the Endowment 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.

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