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Vital Worship Grants awarded for 2022 by the Calvin Institute of Christian Worship  

The Calvin Institute of Christian Worship  announced today that it will fund 25 Vital Worship Grants projects to Worshiping Communities for 2022-2023 as part of its Vital Worship Grants Program.   This group of grants puts us over the 1000 mark for grants awarded through this program. Thanks be to God!

These projects have a variety of emphases, many of which have been shaped by nearly two years adapting ministry in light of a pandemic. In addition to projects that engage Scripture, focus on music and singing, and promote practices of hospitality in and through worship, some especially creative projects include exploring sacred play to engage children in worship, partnering the creation of pottery in worship with imagery of God as the potter, developing a worship space in a rural ministry center. These projects all have as a common purpose a desire to both deepen people’s understanding of worship and strengthen practices of public worship and faith formation.   

Kathy Smith, leader of the Vital Worship Grants Team, said, “We are grateful to award these new grants trusting these projects will serve to encourage vital worship in new ways and support another group of churches, schools and organizations, even in these difficult times. We thank God for the thoughtfulness and creativity expressed and pray that these groups and their leaders will be richly blessed in the year of learning ahead.”   

This year’s recipients include 15 congregations, three seminaries, two universities, one grade school, and four other ministries including a rural retreat center, two denominational organizations, and an environmental education institute. They also represent 13 different Christian denominations in addition to some interdenominational and ecumenical projects, and 16 states.  

Each grant (ranging from $6,350 to $18,000) will fund a year-long project beginning in June that promotes vital worship and faith formation. John Witvliet, director of the CICW, said “We are eager to learn from these programs. These projects developed in the middle of COVID-19 emerge from resourceful teams of local leaders responding to pressing needs and opportunities in their context.  We look forward to sharing learning from these creative efforts over the next several months and years.”  

This June, project directors of these grants will interact with and learn from not only CICW staff, but also with directors of the 2021 grants and recipients of grants to Teacher-Scholars via a digital grants event. Learning from the 2021 grant projects will be shared on the CICW website after the event.   

Since it began in the year 2000, the Vital Worship Grants Program has now awarded over 1,000 grants to churches, schools, organizations, and teacher-scholars across North America for projects that generate thoughtfulness and energy for public worship and faith formation at the local, grass-roots level. An advisory board of pastors and teachers from a variety of backgrounds assists in the grant selections, and the program is generously supported by Indianapolis-based Lilly Endowment Inc. Founded in 1937, the Endowment’s major areas of programming are religion, education, and community development.   

For more information on the grants program, including a complete list of this year’s grants recipients, please see