1. Effective recruitment for residential Community membership and staff positions, including currently hospitality, music, and associate pastor.
2. Armstrong Leadership Program: This program supports 32 rising leaders at Armstrong High School, and has also served to bring an increasing number of volunteers, graduates of the high school, and resources into metro Richmond’s most highly impacted school. Leadership of the program is passing to community groups, and seed grants have ended, and its effectiveness has steadily grown, but the 2011-2012 year is seriously in need of funding. NEEDED: $75,000 for 2011-2012 fiscal year.
3. Media/public relations: A full-time residential person with skills is needed. Senior resident is $25,000; intern is $15,000. $10,000 in production costs needed as well. Total $35,000.
4. Clergy/church development program: Richmond Hill is a de facto association of clergy and churches, crossing denominational, racial, and jurisdictional lines, in a situation in which there are no effective continuing organizations. The full development of this program with a senior and experienced clergy staff person and media for communications will cost $100,000 a year for three years. It can begin with $35,000 in the first year.
5. Covenant fellowship: Richmond Hill is in the process of building its pledge base and covenant fellowship through development and membership efforts. A new database will be brought on line in the Fall of 2010. The goal for the year is to double the number of annual fund pledges from Richmond Hill’s regular supporters.
Richmond Hill was established in 1985 in an unprecedented collaboration of 15 different Christian denominations, working together to purchase the historic Monte Maria Monastery in Church Hill, in the center of Richmond, and keep it as a place of prayer.
Richmond Hill opened for retreats in November of 1989. The residential community now consists of 12 persons, male and female, married and single, from seven different Christian denominations. Senior members commit to 3-5 years of residency, and interns to one year. The Community maintains a life of prayer, praying together three times every day for the metropolitan city of Richmond, for justice, and for the healing of the metropolitan community. The Community’s Rule of Life expresses the principles of its founding, including prayer, racial reconciliation, ecumenism, and Christian social transformation. A covenant fellowship helps to support the ministry. Residents receive small stipends and live sacrificially.
The Community prays for the city, and keeps in trust a place of prayer for the people of the metropolitan city. All prayer services are open to the public. The garden, labyrinth, chapel, and monastery are open all week except for Mondays before 4 pm. Individual spiritual guidance and healing prayer are offered.
Many groups retreat at Richmond Hill, where there are 40 beds for overnight retreats and 60 places for weekday events.
Richmond Hill sponsors schools of Spiritual Guidance, Healing Prayer, Pastoral Counseling, and Urban Mission. Retreats are sponsored by the Community at least one weekend each month, and individuals may retreat at any time.
The Community supports and develops common ministries with churches and clergy in metropolitan Richmond. It staffs the Micah Association, linking more than 100 faith communities to Richmond public elementary schools, and the Armstrong Leadership Program, which engages 32 Armstrong students a year in their own future and the health of their school. Richmond Hill sponsors Metro Richmond at Prayer, a common weekly prayer calendar involving more than 400 of metro Richmond’s 1400+ churches. Summer Camp on the Hill joins teams from suburban and inner city churches in an inter-racial and inter-jurisdictional ministry to children in Richmond’s public housing neighborhoods.
Richmond Hill overlooks the city and the river from its highest hill, and includes the Adams-Taylor House, built in 1811. A wall encloses the monastery, courtyard, and gardens.
It is almost impossible to explain to people the importance of a consistent, enduring, constant place of prayer and reflection for the metropolitan city. But Richmond has had such a place since the Sisters of the Visitation of Monte Maria came to Richmond Hill in 1866, right after the War. The city was traumatized. Black people were traumatized – free, but dealing with the horror of what had been the largest slave market on the East Coast of America for more than a generation. And white people were traumatized from the carnage of the Civil War. The city had been burned.
The sisters came, started a school, and began to pray for the city. Today that prayer continues in an ecumenical Christian community of men and women. With the prayer commitment, comes relationships, racial relations, conversations and organizations addressing metro Richmond’s tremendous unmet needs.
Segregation in metro Richmond has been replaced not by integration but by disintegration. Since the integration of the schools, the population has doubled but the area of sprawl has increased 500%.
Nonetheless, it is a great community which holds within it not only the central stream of the history of the nation, but also some of the hopes for the nation’s future.
Each of us needs to take quiet time with the God of our understanding to be the people God needs us to be; and then, in constructive and ad hoc fellowship with others, we can help rebuild the city which God and our ancestors hoped and prayed would be here.
It’s hard to explain how keeping this community of prayer here in this monastery gives concrete results and makes sense; but it is clear that it does. It is a capital investment in the spiritual and moral life of our metropolitan city, and ultimately in its physical and social success as well.
Janie is a native of Sandston, Va. She studied mathematics at Virginia State University for a year before beginning work as an Accounts Payable Supervisor at Phillip Morris, USA. She then began working as a clergy person in several roles, while continuing her education at Virginia Commonwealth University, Central Virginia School of Ministry where she earned an Associate’s Degree in Biblical Studies and the Samuel DeWitt Proctor School of Theology at Virginia Union University where she earned a Masters of Divinity with a concentration in Theology.
Richmond Hill staffs and co-sponsors the Micah Initiative, an association of more than 130 faith communities which work with the elementary schools of Richmond. More than 1400 volunteers provide mentoring, tutoring, classroom assistance, and special projects in cooperation with the principal of 23 schools. A single program director helps to arrange, negotiate and encourage the relationships between the faith communities and the schools. Training is provided by the Virginia Mentoring Partnership and Micah collaborates where possible with Communities in Schools (CIS) to provide a site coordinator/volunteer coordinator. Cost of program director is only $65,000 annually. Support is needed for individual site coordinators with CIS. Micah attempts to contribute from $25,000 - $40,000 in a school to match CIS in site coordinator position, which is proven to double or triple the effectiveness of volunteer and community support.
Richmond Hill sponsors the Armstrong Leadership Program for 36-52 students in grades 9-12 at Armstrong High School, the most heavily stressed high school in metropolitan Richmond. Armstrong serves the children of six public housing projects, with household incomes in the $10,000 - $13,000 range, who are most in danger of social breakdown and leaving school before completion. The program has developed an extensive mentoring network for a larger percentage of the student body. In the past ten years, all of the ALP students have graduated, all have post-secondary placements, and a significant number have attended four-year colleges on scholarships. Travelers’ Insurance is a major partner offering funding for the program and job shadowing opportunities for students. The program is funded each school year through grants and donations.
Hill engages suburban and urban congregations in a “summer mission project at
home.” One or more suburban or
out-of-east-end congregation sends a mission team of ten persons to live at
Richmond Hill from Monday-Saturday on each of four weeks during July and
August. A Church Hill congregation
provides a similar ten-person team in residence. The 20 adults work with a director and assistant director,
and four college-age interns, to produce a summer camp for 50 children each week.
The students are rising third and fourth graders from the elementary schools of
Church Hill, most of whom live in public housing. The camps are held at four different churches in Church
Hill. The program focuses both on
the care of the children and the interaction and learning of the adults. Cash cost is $65,000 annually, yielding a
program worth $200,000.
Richmond Hill is a de facto association of clergy and churches throughout Metro Richmond. It maintains a common calendar of prayer, “Metro Richmond at Prayer,” in which participating churches pray in concert for the needs of the entire metropolitan community. It sponsors common activities for clergy and churches, and convenes them periodically. It brokers partnership relationships between churches, and between churches and community needs. In the fall of 2010, it is co-sponsoring the Metro Richmond Clergy Convocation with the School of Theology of Virginia Union University, at which public officials will discuss with clergy the most difficult issues they face. An extended network, and specific information on community needs, are under development. Cash to support communications and staff development needed is $85,000.
Indirect Public Support HelpIndirect public support represents revenue received through solicitation campaigns. This includes funding United Way and other federated fundraising organizations, but does not include donor designated contributions.
Earned Revenue HelpEarned revenue represents income generated in direct exchange for a product or service.Earned income includes income from government contracts.
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