The first round of the new Conference grant process is complete with six churches receiving a total of $14,445. Two Social Reform Grants were awarded to Chicago: Olivet UMC in the Chicago Northwestern District and Northern Illinois University Wesley Foundation in the DeKalb District.
Four Creative Ministries Grants were awarded to Chicago: Holy Covenant in the Chicago Northwestern District, Princeton: First in the DeKalb District, Waterman in the DeKalb District and West Ridge in the Chicago Northwestern District. The funds will be used in a variety of ways from reaching out to those in need in the West Garfield Park community to launching a multi-cultural after-school program. No applications were submitted for the third grant area focusing on Congregational Redevelopment.
A small portion of the program budget from your apportionment dollars has been allocated to these three newly designed grants and is offered to churches who are dreaming of new ways to engage the community, give witness to the transformation of society, and experiment with new ways of being the church.
Waterman United Methodist Church received a Creative Ministries Grant for their Art with God and Dance With God ministry for middle school students in the small rural community. “We've sensed the need for a quality program and meeting with the youth in town,” said Waterman UMC’s Rev. Paul Lee.
The church opens its door to the youth to participate in the two programs focusing on art and dance once a month. “I’d like to express my gratitude for the fund that our church received,” said Rev. Lee who appreciates the Conference’s support and prayer. “In our last art class, we had 12 kids and they really enjoyed the program. We will continue to offer it every month.”
The second round for the Spring Grant process is open. Applications are due March 15, 2019. To find descriptions of the three grants and the application form click here.
Churches are encouraged to choose one of the three areas to apply. Spring Awards will be announced on May 6, 2019. Several additional grant options are offered to Northern Illinois Conference churches through the NIC United Methodist Foundation and Keagy Town and Rural Ministries. The Conference Committee on Accessibility issues grants to churches for projects and enhancements to make their services and facilities more accessible. For a snapshot of all these grants click on the FAQ which is also provided on the conference website.