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Mustard Seed Fund

On May 6, 2021, the Metropolis of Chicago announced the establishment of a new parish advancement initiative – the Mustard Seed Fund – to help drive parish growth through evangelism, welcoming, and outreach. The Mustard Seed Fund seeks to replicate the successful model of the COVID-19 Parish Relief Fund, which raised more than $250,000 for financial assistance to parishes facing economic hardship caused by the pandemic.

Grants distributed by the Mustard Seed Fund are intended to test and scale promising new ministries and programs that inspire and motivate a new generation of Orthodox Christians to participate in the Church. Based on the Metropolis’ strategic plan and as reported in its Annual Impact Report, evangelism, welcoming, and outreach represent high-potential areas of unmet need and opportunity for the future growth of the Church in the Midwest

The Mustard Seed Fund 2022 Grant Application is no longer accepting applications.

Press releases, FAQs, and the 2022 Grant Application regarding the Mustard Seed Fund can be found on this page. If you have any questions, please send an email us at

Press Release - Fund Announced Press Release - Application Launched Application for Parishes


Frequently Asked Questions

Where can I find the initial press release about the Mustard Seed Initiative?
To view the press release regardining the Mustard Seed Iniatiative, click here.

Where will the funds come from to finance the Mustard Seed Fund?
The Metropolis seeded the program with $25,000 and the remaining funds will come from fundraising.

When is the application deadline?
Applications are due Friday, December 31, 2021 at 5 PM CST.

Is the deadline for the Parish Priest’s Letter of Support different from the general application deadline, and if so, when is the letter due?
Both the application and Parish Priest’s Letter of Support are due on Friday, December 31, 2021 at 5 PM CST. The application must be signed and submitted electronically. The Parish Priest Letter of Support should be manually signed, scanned and uploaded with your application.

Can I apply for one of these grants as a steward of my parish?
Yes! You can apply for the grant by yourself or with up to three others. One person needs to be the “lead” applicant and the other participants will be listed for support.

I am the parish priest, and I am applying for one of these grants for my church. Can I apply by myself, and if so, do I need to include a Parish Priest Letter of Support in my application?
Any clergyman who wishes to apply should discuss their idea with the Parish Council President and/or His Grace Bishop Timothy and obtain the Chancellor’s signature on the Parish Priest Letter of Support.

Can my proposed ministry be geared towards more than one, or none, of the three key categories included on the application (Evangelism, Welcome, and Outreach)? If so, how should I enter that on the application?
We invite parishioners and clergy to think broadly about their proposed ministry. You may find that your idea overlaps across the three categories. We ask that you choose one primary category and explain the overlap. However, all applications should have at least one component of evangelism, welcome, or outreach.

Are initiatives that have already been established eligible for these grants?
Yes. If your parish already has an initiative and you’d like to apply for a grant to enlarge or enhance your initiative, you are welcome to apply. Explain the existing initiative and how the grant would allow you to build upon that initiative.

Is there a maximum number of applications that can be submitted per parish?
Up to three applications may be submitted per parish.

When can I expect a response from the application committee, and will an interview be required?
The Metropolis will announce award recipients in the first quarter of 2022. Interviews are not required.

I know there is a fixed deadline, but will grants be decided and awarded on a rolling basis? In other words, is there a benefit to applying early?
Applications will be reviewed after the submission deadline. However, we encourage you to complete your application as soon as possible!

If I am awarded a grant, how much money should I expect?
There is not a set amount per grant, as it will vary depending on the initiative. Applicants should indicate the amount requested in their application.

When can I launch my ministry at my parish?
Once you have fully developed your ministry and obtained approval from the Metropolis, you may launch your ministry at your parish.