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Grants for Worship Renewal to 57
May 2, 2006

The Calvin Institute of Christian Worship (CICW) has selected this year's grant recipients in its Worship Renewal Grants Program.

This year the CICW is granting almost $750,000 to 57 churches and organizations across North America, from a variety of worship traditions.

Grant recipients represent congregations and schools from 14 denominations in 23 states and a trio of Canadian provinces.

"The selection of grant recipients from a large number of excellent proposals is a thoughtful and prayerful process that involves many people," says Betty Grit of the CICW.

Several projects this year will engage worshipers of diverse cultures, ages and traditions, including worshipers who are often marginalized, such as those with addictions and the homeless.

In Grand Rapids, Community Recovery International will plan weekly recovery services which encourage the use of artistic talents and personal testimonies that express God's grace and forgiveness so that worship becomes the foundation of the healing process.

And in Lexington, Mass., the Outdoor Church of Cambridge will hold worship services and discussion of scripture led by clergy, congregation members and seminary students for homeless men and women, many of whom have substance abuse problems or are chronically mentally ill.

Music is at the center of several of the projects.

Sherman Street Christian Reformed Church in Grand Rapids will head up a group of pastors and youth leaders to learn about the dynamics of worship in relationship to urban youth and hip hop, while First Congregational United Church of Christ in Washington, D.C., will equip lay leaders to present scripture and multicultural music in worship and to kindle imagination about the design of a new worship space as part of the redevelopment of downtown D.C.

This year, CICW at Calvin College received over 180 proposals from 32 denominations and 42 states and four provinces. CICW consulted with an advisory board of liturgical leaders and scholars from a variety of backgrounds to evaluate grant proposals.

The Worship Renewal Grants Program is supported by Indianapolis-based Lilly Endowment Inc. Founded in 1937, the Endowment's major areas of concern are community development, education and religion.

The next application deadline for the Grants Program is January 10, 2007.