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Calvin Announces Grant Recipients
posted May 7, 2007

Churches and organizations across North America will benefit from the latest round of worship renewal grants from the Calvin Institute of Christian Worship.

This year, the program's eighth, CICW is awarding more than $700,000 to support a variety of worship renewal projects. That money is going to almost 60 different churches and organizations who are thinking about the needs of the church and opportunities for ministry.

Grant recipients for 2007 represent congregations and schools from 12 denominations in 26 states and two Canadian provinces (this year, CICW received over 140 proposals from 21 denominations and 35 states and two provinces).

Calvin's John Witvliet is the CICW director and he says the scope of the proposals and the supported projects is a good reminder that much of the work of the church today takes place in ways that often are out of the spotlight.

"These projects," he says, "remind us that high profile and cutting edge ministries are only one part of the vitality of North American Christianity."

The projects envisioned by the 2007 grant recipients offer up vivid testimony to Witvliet's summation.

For example, in Durham, North Carolina, an African American Pentecostal congregation will focus worship renewal around the celebration of the Lord's Supper, observance of the liturgical calendar and the common lectionary.

Rehoboth Christian Reformed Church in New Mexico will bring together Native American congregations for a study of the Psalms and consider ways to incorporate their culture into the worship of the church.

And in Grand Rapids, Christian Reformed Home Missions will develop worship resources and support for prisoners in both understanding and participating in worship by forming relationships between six West Michigan congregations (CRC and RCA) and worshiping communities in prisons.

For 2007 grant recipients, their learning begins in earnest this June, when project directors gather at Calvin College to dialogue with 2006 recipients and CICW staff.

"We have found that this annual ecumenical gathering of committed, creative worship leaders provides opportunities to begin collaboration that can continue long after the grant year," says Betty Grit, program manager of the Worship Renewal Grants Program.

The Worship Renewal Grants Program is generously 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 Worship Renewal Grants Program is January 10, 2008.

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