Centennial Fund for Social Justice

In 2017, St. John’s completed the pledging phase of our “Keeping Faith” capital campaign. The campaign raised $2,000,000, which was used to restore the church’s 1917 bell tower, expand and renovate the church’s lower level and establish a Centennial Fund for Social Justice.

The Centennial Fund was funded through an intentional commitment of 10% of the capital campaign funds – resulting in approximately $200,000 to use, once all pledges are paid. The Fund – and how it is dispersed – is designed to open a new chapter in St. John’s social justice work.

The Fund’s vision is to organize, engage and give in new ways that foster connection, community and commitment to one another and to our Twin Cities neighbors. A core value of the Fund is to fuse grantmaking with efforts to develop or enhance relationships with organizations in the community, rather than simply act as a transactional donor.

Since its inception in 2018, the Centennial Fund Committee has investigated opportunities with organizations that represent a mixture of issues and places across the city of Minneapolis. In addition, there is a youth-led grantmaking track.

Thus far, grants have been made to:

  • Sisterhood Boutique: A secondhand clothing store developed by East African women ages 14 to 23 in the Cedar Riverside neighborhood which also provides personal and professional skill development for young women involved in the Boutique.
  • Marlene’s Place: A new program launched by The Bridge for Youth that provides housing and services for single pregnant or parenting homeless youth ages 16-20. This transitional living program is the first of its kind in Hennepin County.
  • Circle of the Beloved:This partnership will enable a member of the 2019-20 Circle of the Beloved cohort to carry out his/her service supporting the work of First Nation’s Kitchen. Circle of the Beloved houses four or five young adults each year who live in intentional community on Minneapolis’ North side while serving full time at non-profit sites in the Twin Cities. First Nation’s Kitchen, a long-time recipient of St. John’s volunteer time, is a ministry led by indigenous people for indigenous people. Its primary intent is to provide food to indigenous people who would not otherwise have access to high-quality, fresh organic food in an environment of radical hospitality and cultural empowerment.

Funding Principles Include

  • Be consistent with St. John’s mission
  • Be relational, not transactional
  • Be directed locally
  • Fund programs and projects over organizations and individuals
  • Prioritize ongoing over one-time giving opportunities

Read more about the work that’s been done:

Learn more about the Centennial Fund and the opportunities it has to open doors to new ways of engaging with social justice efforts by contacting Brigitte Parenteau or Mark Lindberg, cochairs of the committee.