Share your gift.
Mission: The Project for Community Transformation helps individuals, organizations, and congregations energize and thrive, for the purpose of serving their communities more effectively.
The project is based in the gifts we bear as individuals and as teams. By sharing our gifts with one another, we can transform our most difficult problems into a source of shared strength. The root of our work is a process of listening, to one another and to the deepest source of our lives. This process has the power to draw out our gifts and to begin connecting them both with one another and with what is happening among us, even beyond our own awareness. The results can be surprising.
The Project focuses on three levels of engagement:
- Support for Congregations & Organizations: Strengthening congregations and organizations to serve, through spiritual renewal, strategic direction, membership growth, and financial stabilization.
- Support for Individuals: Providing one-on-one counsel for individuals addressing vocational discernment, workplace conflict, and purpose.
- Support for Communities: Creating a network of individuals, congregations, and organizations that addresses our most difficult community issues.
Five congregations (one large urban church; three small, semi-rural churches; and a mid-sized urban synagogue) and three non-profit organizations have partnered with the Project to develop their work. For those congregations and organizations more than six months into their process, within the first year of partnership each:
- made personnel adjustments that empowered both professional and congregational leadership.
- stabilized financially and are now building reserves.
- added new members or constituents. One congregation grew by more than 20%. One organization quadrupled its outreach.
- developed new relationship-based, community-focused programs. Seven new local missions have been developed between the congregations.
The Project has provided support for more than thirty individuals, particularly but not exclusively pastoral leaders:
- Vocational Discernment: Sustained conversations over several months with more than thirty individuals have resulted in the transformation of their work. Conversations focus on deep giftedness, vocation, workplace conflicts, and strategic growth. In the case of more than twenty pastoral leaders, all continued and expanded in their current ministry settings. Many have reorganized their program of work to better access their spiritual gifts.
- Clergy Training: A group of nine clergy from Greenville engaged our partner organization, Speaking Down Barriers, for training to work better together across differences of denomination, religion, and race, in order to serve their communities more effectively. Because of our expertise with congregations, the Project was invited to partner to design and lead these trainings over a six month period during the spring and summer of 2016. The group then requested a second phase of training, for the winter and spring of 2017, and has engaged some of Greenville’s most difficult community issues as a cross-denominational, interreligious clergy leadership team.
Recognition: In March 2016, the Project was recognized with Speaking Down Barriers as co-recipients of the Mary L. Thomas Award for Civic Leadership and Community Change by the Spartanburg County Foundation.
Partners: The following organizations have invested resources of time, expertise, finances, and invitations into their work to propel the Project forward.
Contact: To engage the Project for Community Transformation, please contact:
Director, Project for Community Transformation
Scott Neely directs the Project for Community Transformation, an initiative to strengthen congregations to transform our communities. Neely is a founding board member of Speaking Down Barriers, an organization that uses facilitated dialogue to build our life together across the differences that divide us. He is a graduate of Wofford College and Harvard Divinity School. Neely served at First Presbyterian Church in Spartanburg, SC from 2006-2015, first as Director of Missions and then as Pastoral Executive. His responsibilities included management of all operations, including personnel, finance, facilities, communications, planning, and local and international service. In April 2015 he presented a TEDx talk on race and racism entitled “What Will I Teach My Son?” In May 2016 he received the Algernon Sydney Sullivan Award for service to humanity from Wofford College, only the second graduate to receive the award as a student (2000) and as an alum (2016).