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Metropolis of Chicago releases grant application for Mustard Seed Fund initiative to advance future growth of parishes 

Clergy and laity are invited to apply for micro-grants to support new or existing parish-level initiatives in the areas of evangelism, welcoming, and outreach 

October 19, 2021 — Today, the Metropolis of Chicago released the 2022 grant application for its Mustard Seed Fund – a micro-grant program designed to support the long-term growth of the Church in the Midwest by providing parishes with seed grants in the areas of evangelism, welcoming, and outreach. Through these grants, the Mustard Seed Fund seeks to test and scale promising new ministries and programs that inspire and motivate a new generation of Orthodox Christians to participate in the Church.

“Some of the best, most creative ideas to engage the faithful and our neighbors in the broader community originate from the parishes in our Holy Metropolis,” said His Eminence Metropolitan Nathanael. “The Mustard Seed Fund, in part, exists to encourage a sense of creativity, imagine a vibrant future, and take concerted steps to reach and engage disengaged and non-practicing Orthodox Christians, faith-seekers, and friends of the Church.”

Last spring, the Metropolis announced it had seeded the new fund with an initial contribution of $25,000 to be augmented by ongoing grassroots fundraising, replicating the successful model established during the pandemic with the COVID-19 Parish Relief Fund.  Grants are open to all Metropolis of Chicago clergy and stewards seeking to develop and implement new or existing parish-level initiatives in one or more of the following areas:

  • Evangelism: Sharing the Good News of Christ to offer greater meaning and purpose to all people.

  • Welcoming: Fostering a Christ-centered friendship among believers, seekers, and visitors in our parishes.

  • Outreach: Offering compassionate service, inspired by Christ’s love, to those in our surrounding communities.

Those who are awarded a Mustard Seed Fund micro-grant will receive funding and support to develop their proposed initiative or ministry during the 2022 calendar year.  Upon completion of the first year, participants will present their proposed ministries to the Metropolis. By sharing presentations, participants will learn from each other’s experiences and be better able to implement their ministries within their own parishes.  In the future, successful ministries will be implemented at other parishes within the Metropolis.

“Evangelism, welcoming, and outreach represent high-potential areas of unmet need and opportunity for the future growth of the Church in the Midwest,” said Anne Marie Adams, secretary of the Metropolis Council and chair of the Mustard Seed Fund.  “We are grateful for the support of the Metropolis and the faithful who have donated to the Mustard Seed Fund to support this important aim, and we pray that our parishes will grow and flourish in new ways thanks to this micro-grant program.”

Clergy and laity are now invited to submit applications for Mustard Seed grants on the Metropolis of Chicago website. The deadline for grant applications for calendar year 2022 is Friday, December 31, 2021 at 5 PM CST.

To learn more about the Mustard Seed Fund, to apply for a grant or to make a gift to the Fund, visit