Grand Rapids, Michigan
Project Director: Garrett Stier
To engage the beauty of art in worship in order to awaken our understanding and imagination of what it means to care for God’s created world.
Summarize your grant project and how it will address a need in your worshiping community.
We plan to implement a project that brings environmentalism to the forefront of our worship practices in order to promote a lifestyle of daily earth-keeping within our congregation. We will do this because addressing climate change and care for the environment is one of the greatest and most pressing ways we can care for our neighbor.
What two questions might you ask about worship in the coming year that will generate theological reflection and shape your project?
- How can our weekly worship practices inform us about environmental action and creation care?
- How can we shift our understanding of worship towards a 7 day approach in order to include daily patterns of environmental action as a part of our worship rhythms?
How will your project impact the worship life and habits of the congregation?
Centered on environmental care, this project will invite our congregation to learn more about the impact that our lives have on the created world around us. We hope that this learning will lead to action by examining how our own habits can be changed to better our surroundings. We will utilize our weekly worship spaces to nurture and inform these habits through guided practices of spiritual care.
Additionally, we are hoping that this project will foster a unity in vision. Many in our congregation have already begun their own work to learn about environmental action and creation care. By providing multiple opportunities for dialogue and hands-on work, we hope this year brings our congregation together around a collective goal.
What might be your greatest challenges (or challenging opportunities)?
Like many churches, we have seen a decline in participation during the past few years. As we look ahead to this year, we see this being our biggest challenge, with this project specifically and beyond. Our hope is that this project will create spaces that are welcoming to our congregation, and in a way, provide some "welcome back" opportunities.
What do you hope to learn from the Grants Event and other grant recipients?
These events are always great for connecting and networking! Looking forward to hear others projects. Each year we have participated this has been such an inspiring start, to know there are many other congregations going into this year together.