February 13, 2019

Belonging with Purpose- Global Philanthropy Leaders: Youth bettering the world and affirming their faith*


Many of you know that we created a process for faith development and engagement here at St. Stephen’s, Ridgefield. Jane Lindenburg, Rich Stein, and I developed something we call Global Philanthropy Leaders. 
Since we began in the fall of 2017, according to Rich Stein, “St. Stephen’s GPL program has made 77 loans, $25 at a time of which 44 have been fully repaid. Loan losses and delinquencies are well below the average of all kiva users. Our youth have learned the difference between being given money and being entrusted with church funds and have taken their responsibilities seriously but still having fun at the same time. Our youth Leaders have learned about how faith can inform actions, analyzing financial metrics, and presenting their results to adult audiences. They have seen that the repayments can be re-lent so that the initial seed money from our parish can be used over and over again. Sustainable Philanthropy!”


From our first program year, we have launched two new initiatives, one at St. John’s, Bridgeport and the other at St. Luke’s, Darien. Two of our youth, Taylor Brown and Kayleigh Bowler, have mentored the St. John’s group this year, along with Rich Stein. This positively developing initiative led Rich and The Rev. Carlos de la Torre (Southwest Regional Missionary) to apply for a grant from The Sustainable Development Fund of the Episcopal Church of CT to launch ten more GPL groups around our region. The grant was approved for $10,000, entrusting St. Stephen’s (Rich and Whitney) and Carlos to disperse the money and launch the groups. The plan is to incorporate our youth and St. John’s youth in helping with this effort. We currently have 12 youth (St. Stephen’s youth and their friends) involved in the GPL initiative this year; St. John’s has 10 youth in their initiative. We can only imagine what is possible in this effort! If you want to learn more, please feel free to reach out to Rich or Jane or Mother Whitney.  You can also listen to the podcast produced by our diocesan leadership- www.coffeehour.org “Episode 31: Money + Faith= Impact; Conversation with Rich Stein.”


  *Belonging with Purpose is a weekly news update of how our purpose is being reflected through the collective and individual lives of St. Stephen’s. If you have a story or experience that you believe illustrates our Vision and Mission, please send it to Ginny Fitzpatrick, gfitzpatrick@ststephens-ridgefield.org The staff works together to create a schedule for highlighting our ministry as St. Stephen’s Church.


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  1. Just Launched: Raising Young Philanthropists with Global Philanthropy Leaders Program | ChurchNext - […] kids about giving to nonprofits is important step for their journey to adulthood. Global Philanthropy Leaders, a project that…

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