Culture of Calling recently received a Methodist Foundation for Arkansas grant to begin a Project Transformation Chapter in the Southeast District, according to a news release from the United Methodists of Arkansas.

The Arkansas Conference of the United Methodists’ Culture of Calling initiative announced the $106,500 grant July 13.

Project Transformation is a non-profit organization affiliated with the Young Clergy Initiative of the United Methodist Church’s General Board of Higher Education and Ministry. The project seeks to empower children and college-age young adults who are discerning a calling to ministry, according to the release.

“I am excited to see what the establishment of a chapter of Project Transformation in Southeast Arkansas will do to increase the number of opportunities for college students exploring a call to ministry and social justice work to remain in Arkansas to build relationships with clergy and churches in the Southeast District,” Michelle Moore, developer of clergy recruitment for the Arkansas Conference, said in the release.

The Methodist Foundation grant is applicable for one year. It will aid in the establishment of a Project Transformation chapter as well as provide the salary for a new executive director of the chapter, who will be named later.

“I am thrilled that we will be able to begin a Project Transformation center in the Southeast District,” said Bishop Gary Mueller, resident Bishop of the Arkansas Annual Conference. “Thank you to Michelle Moore, who works with our Culture of Calling, the Methodist Foundation for Arkansas for its generous support, and 200K More Reasons for its ‘boots on the ground’ that will make a wonderful vision become a reality! Even in the midst of difficult times, the Arkansas Conference joins together to share Jesus’ love in life-changing ways.”

In addition to establishing a Project Transformation chapter, Moore will be partnering with the Rev. Sam Meadors of 200K More Reasons’ newly established, The Delta Project, to reduce childhood illiteracy in the Delta region, according to the release.

“Project Transformation is close to my heart,” Meadors said. “It is where I discerned a call to ministry in the United Methodist Church as a young adult. After serving with Project Transformation in Tennessee and Texas, I have wanted to bring this amazing ministry to my home state. I am so grateful for the Methodist Foundation for Arkansas for investing in the future of children, young adults, and churches as a part of Project Transformation.”

The Rev. J. Wayne Clark, president and chief executive officer of the Methodist Foundation for Arkansas, also applauded the effort.

“In a time when the world needs the church even more, I am grateful the Methodist Foundation for Arkansas can partner with the Arkansas Annual Conference to help more people discern a call into ministry through the Culture of Calling grant we have provided,” Clark said.