Trinitas Classical School

Grand Rapids, Michigan

Project Director: Becca Tellinghuisen

To grow habits of common liturgical worship in school that extend to the home, engaging and expanding the spiritual imaginations of staff, parents, and students, by focusing on spiritual disciplines and diverse ecumenical worship resources.

Summarize your grant project and how it will address a need in your worshiping community. 

We seek to strengthen the connection between school and home through deeper reflection on worship and practice of worship. We wish to focus on spiritual disciplines through staff retreats, speaker presentations, worship and fellowship events, discipleship groups, and the collection of diverse ecumenical resources for Morning Prayer and Family Prayer books. We seek to grow habits of common liturgical worship to engage and expand the spiritual imaginations of our staff, parents, and students. 

What two questions might you ask about worship in the coming year that will generate theological reflection and shape your project? 

  1. We hope to begin summer in-service by simply asking staff, "What is worship?" We suspect the answers won't be so simple. As an ecumenical body, we experience our different traditions differently. We hope to deepen our individual and common faith practices through this dialogue.
  2. How can we surround this project with prayer—from corporate worship experiences, to the planning of those experiences, to our regular school/home routines—and how can that intersect with our project activities?

How will your project impact the worship life and habits of the congregation?

We will be able to use and develop resources that were unavailable to us due to budget constraints. Several items are intended to broaden our community worship experiences: programs, speakers, service trips, prayer books. With the pandemic, we've spent two years adjusting daily routines and special events to meet the needs of the time. This led to separation from our wider community (grandparents, alumni, donors), but also isolation from each other—classroom from classroom, lower floor (K-4) from upper floor (5-8). As we seek to reintroduce community-building moments, we hope our worship practices, especially morning prayer, will receive a renewing "boost" from what our project resources (and simply intentionality) can bring to them. 

What might be your greatest challenges (or challenging opportunities)?

How can we effectively communicate our project goals with families—not simply the content, but the spirit behind it and commitment to it (i.e., how can we share our heart for this)? It's something our staff has discussed at length, but we need to start "from scratch" with those who are new to the idea. 

While our budget items will help guide us, we imagine that it might be challenging to keep plans focused and set reachable goals when there is much we could do and much we might want to do. 

What do you hope to learn from the Grants Event and other grant recipients?

Looking over the grantees and reading about their projects, we are even more excited about this opportunity. We're honored to be among these communities that also want to deepen their understanding and experience of corporate worship and spiritual formation. We look forward to building relationships with the CICW team and other grantees. We hope that in learning about them (and from them), it might help us address questions or concerns as they arise (e.g., commitment issue, as mentioned above).