“In the Mud” Community Engagement

Still other seed fell on good soil, where it produced a crop—a hundred, sixty or thirty times what was sown. Whoever has ears, let them hear. 

— Matthew 13: 8-9

And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds, not giving up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging one another—and all the more as you see the Day approaching. 

— Hebrews 10: 24-25

Important Application Dates for RMC Churches:

  • One grant cycle with $20,000 in available grant funds.
  • Preliminary phone or in-person conversations: TBD 2020
  • Application Opens: TBD 2020
  • Application Deadline:TBD 2020
  • Applicants will be notified: TBD 2020
  • Grant funds will be disbursed: TBD 2020

Why In the Mud?

The work of Jesus was done on the ground: He got his hands “in the mud” with the people he served, directly helping those who came to him – the outcasts, the sick, the poor, and the forgotten—and he asked his disciples to do the same.

In 2016, our Conference voted to adopt a similar “in the mud” approach to sharing mission dollars. Instead of sending funds directly to organizations, we now grant the funds to our local churches, empowering them to build new partnerships and ministries within their communities.

Over the last few years, we have seen all kinds of new and innovative ministry sprouting up across our conference through these grants. From food pantries to playgrounds, to evening programs with progressive faith leaders, these small grants are helping local congregations have a greater impact in their communities.

Recognizing the potential these grants have to make a difference both in the local church and in the communities of which they are a part, we have made a few changes to the program that we believe will create even greater capacity to support and nurture new and innovative ministries in our conference. The new process is outlined below.


More and more we are coming to realize that everything starts with relationship. Fundraising, stewardship, and justice work all start with relationship. This is true with granting as well. Relationship can help develop ideas, troubleshoot problems, and clarify purpose.

For this reason, we want all applicants to start the application process with a phone or in-person conversation with the In the Mud team, currently made up of Rev. Erin Gilmore or Daryl Schreiber. These conversations will be an opportunity for applicants to explain the program they are proposing, what problem it is addressing, and why they need grant funding. Applicants will share the genesis of the proposal, information about community impacts, and what partnerships have been pursued. We will ask questions intended to help clarify and develop the proposal. This is not an interview; it is a collaborative conversation.

Application Form
Once the initial conversation(s) have taken place, applicants will be encouraged to fill out an In the Mud Grant Application. This online form can be found by clicking here (link is active during the application window only). *Note that you must complete and submit the online Google Form to apply. Do not download and email your application.

Funding Decision
Funding decisions are made once a year and can be in amounts up to $4,000 though more commonly grants are awarded between $500 and $3000. To date, the average In the Mud grant is $1,270.00. We are able to award a maximum of $20,000 each year, although total grants awarded may be less—this will depend on the quality, quantity, and requested dollar amounts of the applications we receive.

We encourage churches to seek the dollar amount needed to enact their ministry, up to $4,000, with the knowledge that they might not be awarded the full requested amount (especially if we happen to receive several other inspiring applications). You can rest assured, though, that this isn’t an all-or-nothing process; you won’t be rejected or penalized if you ask for more than we are able to offer.

Receiving an In the Mud Grant is a result of collaboration, deepening relationship, and a focus on community engagement and congregational vitality. Grant funding is not seen as the end of the conversation, but rather one part in an ongoing dialogue. The In the Mud team hopes that grant recipients will share the story of their vitality program with the Rocky Mountain Conference and the wider church, as well as consider increasing their OCWM and Strengthen the Church offerings as a visible sign of increased vitality.