February 21, 2024

Photograph: sacredplaces.org

By Simon Kaufman
Companions for Sacred Locations and the Higher Philadelphia Preservation Alliance just lately launched the brand new Philadelphia Fund for Black Sacred Locations. This three-year undertaking will develop equitable entry to high quality public areas in Philadelphia’s neighborhoods and help Black congregations’ efforts to take care of their properties, cultural facilities, and neighborhood landmarks for future generations.

The Rev. Betsy Ivey, Companions for Sacred Locations’ new director of the Philadelphia Fund for Black Sacred Locations (PFBSP), will oversee the undertaking. Ivey, who has a background in each theology and historic preservation, brings to Companions six years of expertise in church growth with the Episcopal Diocese of Pennsylvania, the place she served as Canon for Progress and Assist for the Rt. Rev. Daniel G. P. Gutiérrez.

“The general public’s response to the homicide of George Floyd in June 2020 gave focus to the unanswered wants of our metropolis’s Black communities,” Ivey mentioned. “Spiritual properties have house that may be developed to reply to these wants in artistic and revolutionary methods after worship. The homes of worship which might be chosen to take part on this grant program will present welcoming and affirming house to the general public that may profit all of our communities.”

Functions for grants from PFBSP shall be welcomed till January 31, 2024. To be eligible to use, congregations should be Black-led, positioned in Philadelphia, and have an lively religion group. Additionally they will need to have a purpose-built non secular property with historic, cultural, or architectural worth, and assure that welcoming, inclusive group house shall be freely accessible to the general public. PFBSP grantees shall be awarded as much as $10,000 in planning grants and as much as $250,000 in 1:2 matching grants for each capital and program bills. They may also obtain coaching, capability constructing, and technical help.

“We’re excited to launch this program that helps the function that Black congregations play in serving Philadelphia neighborhoods,” mentioned Bob Jaeger, president of Companions for Sacred Locations. “We need to assist Black church buildings and different religion communities protect and open up parts of their buildings to function neighborhood gathering and outreach areas for years to return.”

“The Preservation Alliance is proud to companion with Companions for Sacred Locations and the stewards of a few of Philadelphia’s excellent Black sacred locations to assist strengthen their ministries and preserve their stunning and historic locations of worship,” mentioned Paul Steinke, govt director of the Preservation Alliance for Higher Philadelphia.

PFBSP is guided by an advisory committee of non secular and group leaders, working in shut collaboration with Black Clergy of Philadelphia and different Black non secular leaders. Lead help for PFBSP is offered by The William Penn Basis.

Be taught extra at: www.sacredplaces.org/pfbsp.