ATLANTA -- The Alliance for Christian Media, Inc. has received a grant of $1 million from Lilly Endowment Inc. on behalf of its media ministry, Day1, to help improve accessibility and functionality of the past 75 years of Protestant Hour/Day1 sermon archives for preachers and teachers of preaching. In embarking on this four-year project, Day1 will partner with Atla to ensure expert curation and organization of the archival materials. Established in 1946 as the American Theological Library Association, Atla is a membership association of librarians and information professionals, and a producer of research tools, committed to advancing the study of religion and theology.
“This is a new and demanding season in the life of the Church,” said Rev. Peter M. Wallace, the Alliance’s President and Day1 Executive Producer. “Day1 is thrilled to engage our media expertise, historic assets, and trusted partnerships to encourage and strengthen effective and compelling preaching of the gospel for our world.”
Day1’s Compelling Preaching Initiative project will also develop teaching tools and theological scholarship for preaching via new media, building on the discoveries of the first preachers who broadcast via radio, recognizing that a change in medium necessitates changes in preaching methods, styles, and relationships to the sermon recipients. In addition, the CPI project will equip lay leaders, both to partner with preachers in sermon preparation and evaluation, and to engage in pastor search activities more effectively.
“It’s not often that resources and timing align so beautifully to address a gap in knowledge and teaching,” said Rev. Dr. Katie Givens Kime, Day1’s CPI Project Director. “This opportunity to convene practitioners and scholars from across communities, traditions, and disciplines to ask, and answer, tough questions -- it’s truly the best of what broadcast media and faith traditions can do together.”
Rev. Dr. Thomas G. Long will serve as the project’s Senior Preaching Advisor, and Dr. Kate Soules, currently the Fellow for Religious Literacy Evaluation at the Religion and Society Program of the Aspen Institute, will serve as the External Evaluator/Pedagogical Consultant for all elements of the project. The grant’s leadership committee also included Dr. Jennifer Friday, Chair of the Alliance for Christian Media; Rev. Dr. Micah Jackson, President of Bexley Seabury Seminary; Margot Lyon, Atla’s Director of Business Development; Ethel Ware Carter, Executive Assistant for the Alliance for Christian Media; and Ann Cramer, Organizational Consultant and Interfaith Civic Leader.
Day1’s project is being funded through Lilly Endowment’s Compelling Preaching Initiative. The Alliance for Christian Media is one of 32 organizations receiving funding in an invitational round of grants for the initiative, which is designed to help Christian pastors strengthen their abilities to proclaim the gospel in more engaging and effective ways.
“We are excited about the work that these organizations will do to foster and support preaching that better inspires, encourages, and guides people to come to know and love God and to live out their Christian faith more fully,” said Christopher L. Coble, Lilly Endowment’s vice president for religion. “Their programs will serve a significant number of aspiring and current preachers who are working to reach and engage increasingly diverse audiences both within and beyond congregations.”
The Compelling Preaching Initiative is part of the Endowment’s longstanding interest in supporting projects that help to nurture the religious lives of individuals and families and foster the growth and vitality of Christian congregations in the United States.
About Lilly Endowment
Lilly Endowment Inc. is a private philanthropic foundation created in 1937 by J.K. Lilly Sr. and his sons Eli and J.K. Jr. through gifts of stock in their pharmaceutical business, Eli Lilly and Company. While those gifts remain the financial bedrock of the Endowment, it is a separate entity from the company, with a distinct governing board, staff and location. In keeping with the founders’ wishes, the Endowment supports the causes of community development, education and religion and maintains a special commitment to its hometown, Indianapolis, and home state, Indiana. The principal aim of the Endowment’s religion grantmaking is to deepen and enrich the lives of Christians in the United States, primarily by seeking out and supporting efforts that enhance the vitality of congregations and strengthen the pastoral and lay leadership of Christian communities. In addition, the Endowment also seeks to improve public understanding of diverse religious traditions by supporting fair and accurate portrayals of the role religion plays in the United States and across the globe.
About the Alliance for Christian Media
In 2004, the Episcopal Media Center and The Protestant Hour, Inc. combined to create a ministry organization that delivers the Good News of Jesus Christ through the media, primarily through the Day1 radio/podcast/website ministry of proclamation. The weekly Day1 program, now celebrating its 78th year, presents a diverse array of accomplished preachers representing the broad mainline Protestant denominations. Visit Day1.org.