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Grantee Spotlight: Luther Seminary

Luther Seminary in St. Paul, MN, is committed to educating leaders for Christian communities through innovative programs. A $150,000 grant from Trinity Church Wall Street helped Luther Seminary launch The Seeds Project: An Incubator/Accelerator for Faith Leadership as part of its Faith+Lead initiative, which empowers Christian innovators and shares their learning broadly through online platforms available to a global audience.

The Seeds Fellowship has gathered two cohorts of twelve fellows each for a twelve-month program, where fellows gather virtually for coaching, webinars, and content creation. The fellowship year is meant to be an incubator for experiments in helping Christian innovators to relate, accelerate, and share new leadership ideas for the Church. In its first year, the program selected twenty-four faith leaders from an ecumenical pool of candidates, of which 58% are Mainline Christians and 42% are unaffiliated Christians. Fifty-four percent are people of color. They are serving in two countries and thirteen states.

Fellows include:

  • Alexus Rhone is a writer, producer, storyteller, and theologian. With over twenty years of experience working in the private sector customizing workshops and branded events, Rhon hosts the weekly virtual faith and adult-storytelling series “Jesus, Jazz & Dessert@Vespers.”
    Alexus Rhone smiles directly at the camera. She's wearing hoop earrings and glasses.
  • Inés Velasquez-McBryde is a pastor, preacher, reconciler, speaker, and co-lead pastor of the Church We Hope For, a multiethnic church plant in Southern California. Inés is originally from Nicaragua and has twenty years of combined ministry experience in multi-ethnic churches.
    Inés Velasquez-McBryde smiles into the camera, standing in front of a brick wall and shrubbery. She wears a green tank, blue jeans, white shawl, and dangly earrings.
  • Jonathan Myers is an ordained Episcopal priest who previously owned a brewery in Asheville, NC, before being called to serve as vicar of St. Andrew’s Episcopal Church and the West Central Abbey in Spokane, WA. Jonathan is a community builder who is committed to developing partnerships to im- prove the lives of his neighbors, reimagining liturgy, leading contemplative practices, and organizing for justice and peace.
    Jonathan Meyers looks off to the side, with his hands lifted midway to his chest. He is speaking, giving his audience direct eye contact off screen. He stands in front of an organ.

The Seeds Fellowship identifies, connects, equips, and learns from grassroots ministry innovators and empowers them to engage larger communities in their work. The fellowship is forming a self-multiplying ecumenical network of global faith leaders to tackle modern challenges with new solutions.