Five parishes, three missions receive grants
CHICAGO, IL [MW Diocese Communications] — In a sign that more and more communities are considering new ways to strengthen their parish and to shine the light of Christ into the world, the Diocesan Parish Development Ministry received a record number of applications for Parish Development Grants this summer. Three applications were received from mission communities. Three came from urban parishes and one from a rural parish. Most applications were from parishes that had never submitted a development grant application.
The Diocese’ Parish Development committee, with the blessing and participation of His Grace, Bishop Matthias, recently evaluated the proposals and made the difficult decision of apportioning funds.
The application receiving the strongest positive reaction was a proposal from Saint Michael Church, St. Louis, MO, for a community garden. The parish, which is partnering with FOCUS North America’s St. Louis office, is located in the heart of an urban neighborhood. The garden, consisting of a veggie garden, rain garden, icon pathway and benches, will transform an adjacent abandoned lot into a peaceful, attractive, welcoming place of rest. The goal is to continue to build positive interactions between the church, its parishioners and the surrounding neighborhood. Saint Michael’s was the only parish to be awarded the full amount requested in its proposal.
According to Mr. Joseph Kormos, overall eight diocesan parishes, including Saint Michael’s, will receive grant funds totaling almost $18,000.00. Other grant receiving parishes and their projects include the following.
- Saint Stephen the First Martyr Church, Crawfordsville, IN, will receive grant funds to assist in delivering a community outreach initiative designed to provide wholesome social activities to families and teens (mostly non-Orthodox) from the Crawfordsville area. The events will largely be planned and implemented by parish youth.
- Saints Peter and Paul Church, Lorain OH; Holy Assumption Church, Canton OH; Saint Nicholas Mission, Lawrence KS; and Holy Apostles Mission, Bloomington IL will receive grant funds to begin or strengthen campus outreach efforts. Many partnered with Orthodox Christian Fellowships on nearby campuses.
- Saint Mark Church, Rochester MI, will receive grant funds — for the third time in four years — to develop parent training materials to assist parents in teaching the Orthodox faith to their children and to develop a community outreach effort focused on at-risk children.
- Grant funds provided to Saint Elizabeth the New Martyr Mission, Eagan MN, will strengthen the mission’s existing partnership with Joshua Anew, a non-profit organized by a parishioner to focus on the relationship of suicide to physical, verbal and sexual abuse. The grant will help the parish develop a resource center to disseminate information and offer assistance in this ministry area.
Parish Development Grants funds are provided from the Diocesan budget for the Parish Development Ministry.