Co-Director/Pastors, Rev. Kim Gage Ryan and Rev. Melanie Harrell Delaney, witnessed early in March how the technological know-how and courageous energy of young clergy rose to the surface as they led their congregations across the country into uncharted territory. They also saw the tremendous amount of energy being lost to time-consuming wrestling with outdated or nonexistent technology. Young pastors were on the long road to burn-out, if nothing changed soon. So, with the help of generous donors and the imagination of a dedicated Board, The Bethany Fellowships, Inc. launched the first Technology Grant initiative.
This $25,000 initiative has provided grants of up to $1,000 for current Bethany Fellows and their congregations to take the next step in imagining a fruitful digital ministry for the future of the church. With the help of Tech Consultants, Rev. Ryan Otto (Bethany Ecumenical Group Leader) and Rev. Nick Larson (Bethany Disciple Alum), congregations found help clarifying what “authentic” virtual worship would look like for their particular congregation, as well as practical knowledge to identify specific tools and equipment that would help them achieve their goals. From laptops and video cameras to updated internet access and training for volunteers, Bethany Fellows Technology Grants have lessened the burden of logistics for young pastors and their congregations -- so that the impact and light of their creativity and passion in sharing the Good News of the Gospel can shine across generations and state-lines, growing and reaching more people than ever before.