Golden Cross Supports Safer Worship Grant

By Kent McNish

Dear Friends and Supporters of the Golden Cross Foundation,

By now you may have heard that churches in the Nashville Episcopal Area may return to in-person worship once local health officials deem it safe to gather. To ensure proper safety protocols are in place to prevent the spread of COVID-19, the episcopal office of Bishop Bill McAlilly has developed Guidelines for In-Person Worship during COVID-19.

In addition, a Safer Worship Grant has been established by the Golden Cross Foundation (GCF), Methodist Le Bonheur Healthcare, and the Turner Center at Martin Methodist College to support churches in providing safer in-person worship experiences. Until depleted, these funds will be used to help reimburse local churches for expenses related to the purchase of appropriate masks, hand sanitizer, and cleaning supplies. For worship guidelines and grant information, visit

 GCF’s $20,000 contribution to the Safer Worship Grant comes from a new GCF grant — the Strategic Initiative Grant — unanimously approved at a recent board meeting. A total of $150,000 over the next three years has been reserved to offer funding for ministry and other initiatives serving basic needs of older adults in the areas of nutrition, housing, transportation, and healthcare.

“When Nashville Episcopal Area office staff asked me if the foundation could help support the safer in-person worship initiative’s Safer Worship Grant,” said GCF Executive Director Kent McNish, “I felt an immediate affirmation for why our Strategic Initiative Grant was created.

“What better way to launch this new grant than by partnering with other United Methodist organizations to help ensure the safe return of congregation members to their local churches as each church slowly and carefully restarts in-person worship?”

Currently, board members are creating specific guidelines for awarding Strategic Initiative Grants. In addition to seeking organizations or individuals to support larger projects such as the Safer Worship Grant, other options might include partnering with a corporate donor to offer basic health screenings for older adults in rural communities or providing older adults new opportunities for interpersonal communication in a distanced society.

With an additional $50,000 a year available to focus on new and different opportunities to help older adults via Strategic Initiative Grants, the GCF board welcomes your input and comment. Please contact Kent McNish at with your ideas and suggestions.