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Applications for Parish Development Grants now being accepted

CHICAGO, IL [MW Diocese Communications] — Applications are now being accepted by the Department of Mission and Parish Development of the Diocese of the Midwest for Parish Development Grants for the coming year.

The popular grant program was recently revived with the blessing of His Grace, Bishop Paul, according to Archpriest Thomas Mueller, who chairs the Mission/Parish Development Committee.

“Grants are available to parishes, missions, chapels, and combinations thereof desiring to begin a new ministry or to expand and strengthen an existing one,” said Father Thomas.  “While our budget for grants this year is somewhat limited, we expect to be able to award five or six grants for amounts ranging from $1,000.00 to $2,500.00.

“Applications will be due on October 10, 2015, with awards to be announced by October 31,” Father Thomas added.  “We realize that this is a short time frame for the grant process, but we want to be able to award the grants and disburse the funds this autumn.”

Background information and the Grant Application Form are available for downloading on the diocesan web site.

In the spirit of the recent 18th All-American Council of the Orthodox Church in America, the theme of which was “How to Expand the Mission,” the Parish Development Grants provide an opportunity and stimulus for parishes to think creatively about special initiatives in education, youth work, lay ministries, mission, outreach, witness, public relations, and related areas.

“The grants can help finance initiatives that might lie outside the scope of ordinary budgeted expenses,” Father Thomas said.  “Obviously, the grants are not intended for parish budgetary responsibilities like building programs, maintenance, utilities, and pastoral compensation, however important these may be.  The very process of contemplating a grant application may move a parish to try something new.  The whole endeavor can be a learning process for everyone involved in applying for and implementing a grant.”

Questions may be directed to Father Thomas at 414-671-5819.

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