Hello, Dear Friends,
I am starting this day with a lot of gratitude. As I begin this post, I want to thank you for reading Smuggling Grace. It is such a joy to connect with you here. So often, these posts lead to real-life conversations and connections with you, and I find myself thankful every single time that happens. Thank you for your presence here.
Today, I want to let you know about a personal project that is underway. Some of you know that I’m in the midst of a fundraising campaign for my work as a Community Chaplain.
Community Chaplaincy is a entirely new kind of role in ministry. With gratitude, I entered into partnership with the Presbytery of Detroit to bring it into being, and that partnership has provided official status to my work. The challenge, of course, is that I do not currently have any formal funding for this kind of position.
For this reason, I am in a campaign currently to raise an initial $15,000 to support my work in ministry.
My work as a Community Chaplain allows me to do many things I love:
-For the last two and a half years, I have served as the organizer of a new community in Southeast Michigan called Michigan Nones and Dones. Sometimes, participants describe this as a community for people who are “spiritually curious but institutionally suspicious.” Our community includes people who are religiously unaffiliated and people from a variety of religious traditions who have become a bit uneasy with organized expressions of religious community. We meet in coffee shops, restaurants, and homes to build friendships and talk about faith, spirituality, and meaning.
-I have several meaningful partnerships at the University of Michigan which allow me to build relationships with undergraduate and graduate students and faculty and staff. One of these vital partnerships is Canterbury House, a student ministry on the edge of campus, which provides space for worship, shared meals, community conversations, and music (both concerts and jam sessions!)
-I have the privilege of being connected to a variety of local faith communities, organizations, and activist communities that are doing tremendous social action in Ann Arbor, Ypsilanti, and the broader Southeast Michigan region. I am grateful to be present to them and help connect others to their work.
-I have the great joy of writing on this blog five times a week. Thank you for following this work here. It means a great deal to me.
If you would be interested in supporting this work, there are two primary ways to do that:
1. Northside Presbyterian Church has been a tremendous partner to me in my vision, and they are holding the funding I raise so that it is a) tax deductible and b) provides an accounting structure. If you would like to donate, the best way to do that is to write a check to “Northside Presbyterian Church,” then write “Renee Roederer: Community Chaplaincy” in the To line. You can mail that to
2648 Lookout Circle,
Ann Arbor, MI 48104
I will make a note for my records, and then, I will pass it along to Northside Presbyterian Church.
2. You can also give a gift to support my writing. If you’d like to do so, you can give at this link: https://www.paypal.me/ReneeRoederer
Many thanks, friends, for your cheerleading in these efforts. That always means so much! And if you have any questions, you can email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Best to you,