Again he said, “What shall we say the kingdom of God is like, or what parable shall we use to describe it? 31 It is like a mustard seed, which is the smallest of all seeds on earth. 32 Yet when planted, it grows and becomes the largest of all garden plants, with such big branches that the birds can perch in its shade. Mark 4:30-32
Since 1999, the First United Presbyterian Church of Las Vegas has distributed more than $150,000 in seed grants through its Mustard Seed program. Past recipients include programs such as after-school arts programs at the Las Vegas Arts Council, Menaul School scholarship fund, water projects in Africa, Alegre Gallegos Youth Leadership Forum, chamber music and theater groups, a youth alcohol prevention program at NMHU, Special Olympics, Friends of Carnegie Library for a kids’ workstation, a local soup kitchen for equipment, 4-H projects, theater program for children and youth, Samaritan House, Zoe Pregnancy Center parenting classes and the Mission Church after school program, just to name a few. More than 175 programs have received funding over the past 20 years.
Grants are one-time only for start-up projects, and range from $200 to $1,500.
Projects must be new, innovative, goal-directed ideas consistent with the church mission statement, specific in purpose and need, with a plan of action and timeline for completion. With $6,000 in available funding this year, only projects meeting the guidelines will be considered. The applicant organization is asked to work with a church member who will look over the proposal and support it by signing off on the document. Successful proposals will be funded on March 29 and must be used by the end of 2019. Unused funds should be returned to the church.
“Not knowing a church member will not prevent an applicant from bringing a project before the committee for consideration,” said Judy Long, Mustard Seed chair. “Please contact me at 429-0379 for the name of someone from the church who will work with you.”
Funding for Mustard Seed comes largely from the annual enchilada dinner and silent auction held in the fall. “We appreciate the community for its support by buying tickets and attending the dinner,” Long said. “We hope to continue this ministry of outreach for many years to come.”
Proposals must be in the church office at 1000 Douglas Ave., by noon, March 4. Office hours are Monday – Thursday, 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. If you have questions about the grant or how to get in touch with a church member to act as sponsor, contact the church at 505-425-7763, or Long at 505-429-0379. You may also download proposal guidelines from the church website homepage at www.lvpresbyterian.org.