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Our Mission

Awakening faith and flourishing at the intersection of church and university through deep listening and purposeful design.

Our Story

We all long for purpose and belonging, especially in times of transition or dislocation. When we discover our place in healthy communities of unconditional inclusion and formation, we cultivate life-giving relationships and risk awakening to faith and flourishing.

Mere Christianity Forum (MCF), a collegiate ministry in Travelers Rest, South Carolina, is one of 92 organizations funded through the Lilly Endowment, Inc.’s, Thriving Congregations Initiative, a 5-year grant supporting congregational thriving across the United States. 

 

Through the support of this grant, MCF has launched a brand new initiative -  The Vinery: Awakening Faith and Flourishing at the Intersection of Church and University, to cultivate congregational thriving in ministry with their university neighbors and broader communities. 

 

Our vision is to be an incubator for thriving congregations ministering faithfully and effectively with young adults and other members of nearby universities and supporting vibrant local communities. 

 

The Vinery cultivates dynamic learning cohorts of congregations located in close proximity to universities and helps them remember their calling to ministry with students and other members of universities as a part of their total ministry in the world.

Vinery Promo Video

Vinery Promo Video

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Our Team

With over 30 combined years of experience in congregational, campus, and consulting ministries, The Vinery team is committed to seeing the intersection of Church and University life thrive.

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Rimes McElveen

Executive Director

Rimes McElveen, Executive Director of Mere Christianity Forum, loves creating contexts for people to discover the love and leadership of God’s grace in their lives - primarily through rich conversations and authentic communities. Before directing MCF Rimes attended Furman, Duke Divinity School and Candler School of Theology, and worked for the YMCA, Bell South, churches from four different denominations, and a United Methodist mission agency. Rimes met his wife at Duke, Kathryn, who is the ED of the Center For Courage and Renewal. Together they love supporting one another’s working for the Common Good in the world while raising their four kids and taking National Park adventures every chance they get.

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Maggie Proshek
 
Program Director

Rev. Maggie Proshek lives in Texas with her husband, Will, and their son. She graduated from the University of North Texas with a degree in Developmental and Family Studies. She then attended Perkins School of Theology at Southern Methodist University and received her Master of Divinity in 2017. Maggie is an ordained Deacon in the United Methodist Church. Her call has always been deeply rooted in walking alongside others as they grow in their faith and helping them discover who they are as God’s beloved. In her free time, Maggie always enjoys running around with her son, watching a good show with her husband, or decorating cookies. 

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Cate Tedford
 
Operations Coordinator

Cate Tedford is a recent graduate of Clemson University where she studied philosophy and Spanish. After working in food access and advocacy programming for a year and a half, Cate now works as a grant writer for Soteria Community Development Corporation, a reentry organization based in Greenville, SC, in addition to her work with The Vinery. She is passionate about people, justice, and community engagement. When she's not working, you can find Cate reading in a coffee shop, running on the Swamp Rabbit Trail, taking a yoga class, or trying a new dessert recipe. 

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Collegiate Ministries Podcast

"We all long for purpose and belonging, especially in times of transition or dislocation. When we discover our place in healthy communities of unconditional inclusion and formation, we cultivate life-giving relationships and risk awakening to faith and flourishing."

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