Mustard Seed Fund awards grants to nine parishes to help advance evangelism, welcoming, and outreach throughout the Metropolis of Chicago
LOMBARD, ILLINOIS — May 11, 2022 — The Greek Orthodox Metropolis of Chicago announced today the parish grant recipients of its newly formed Mustard Seed Fund, created to foster parish-based outreach initiatives to Orthodox Christians as well as faith seekers, visitors, and neighbors.
More than 20 grant applications were submitted, with proposals ranging from initiatives to better welcome visitors and converts; enhance participation of youth, women and girls; and boost humanitarian outreach to neighboring communities. A total of nine grants were awarded by a committee created and led by Metropolis Council First Vice President, Dr. Anne Marie Adams.
“Our committee was greatly impressed with the spirit of creativity and commitment behind the applications and take it as a reminder that our parish lay leaders and clergy are best positioned to address the unique challenges and opportunities in their communities,” said Adams. “We look forward to working closely with the parishes participating in the Mustard Seed Fund so their initiatives are successful for years to come.”
The following parishes were awarded Mustard Seed Fund grants for 2022:
- Annunciation, Milwaukee, WI: Outreach program for impoverished areas of Greater Milwaukee
- Annunciation, Kankakee, IL: Church-based community theater troupe
- Athanasios, Aurora, IL: Expansion of men’s group ministry
- Basil, Chicago, IL: Expansion of prison ministry
- Constantine and Helen, Swansea, IL: “Spring Back to Church” outreach program
- George, Chicago, IL: Bicycle repair class to help impoverished residents of Humboldt Park with their transportation needs
- George, St. Paul MN: Inter-Orthodox shared catechism program
- George, Schererville, IN: Byzantine music youth group for girls and boys
- Luke the Evangelist, Columbia, MO: Billboard to raise awareness of Orthodox Church
The Mustard Seed Fund was established in May 2021 to provide seed ministries and programs designed to drive parish growth through evangelism, welcoming, and outreach. The Fund raised $80,229, of which the Metropolis of Chicago distributed a total of $37,500 in its inaugural year.
The 2019 Metropolis Strategic Plan identified evangelism, welcoming, and outreach as areas of unmet need and opportunities for growth in the Midwest. Parishes that are awarded grants will develop and implement their initiatives in collaboration with the Metropolis; best practices learned will be shared with other parishes.
“The beauty of the Mustard Seed Fund is its simplicity. This is about servant leaders—motivated by Christian love—who harness their God-given gifts to change lives and impact communities. We are humbled by the imagination of all our laypeople and clergy who participated in the first year of the Mustard Seed Fund, and are excited to celebrate their achievements,” said His Eminence Metropolitan Nathanael.
2023 grant applications will be made available January 1. For more information or to make a gift to the Mustard Seed Fund today, visit www.chicago.goarch.org/mustard-seed.
About the Greek Orthodox Metropolis of Chicago
Tracing its roots back to 1923, the Greek Orthodox Metropolis of Chicago is the diocese of Greek Orthodox faithful in Illinois, Iowa, Minnesota, Wisconsin, northern Indiana, and southeastern Missouri, consisting of 58 parishes and two monastic communities. The Metropolis is one of nine regions in the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America and is presided over by His Eminence Metropolitan Nathanael. The general offices of the Metropolis are temporarily located in Lombard, Illinois. For more information and to get involved, visit our website, join a Strategic Planning Team, sign up to receive Metropolis news and follow us on Facebook, LinkedIn and YouTube.