St. Davids, PA, July 3, 2012: Eastern University has received a Worship Renewal Grant from the Calvin Institute of Christian Worship (CICW) in Grand Rapids, MI. The grant will fund a year-long study in which the Eastern University community will reflect together on how the experience of the labyrinth deepens faith formation.Â In conjunction with this grant-funded learning experience, Eastern University will construct an outdoor labyrinth for use by the entire University community as a vehicle for spiritual formation.Â Â It is one of 31 grants totaling more than $300,000 awarded for 2012 by the CICW to churches, schools and seminaries across North America.
â€śThese projects have much to teach us,â€ť said CICW Director John Witvliet, â€śand we are eager to learn from them. But we know, too, that worship renewal is not something that human ingenuity or creativity alone can produce or engineer. It is a gift of Godâ€™s Spirit, a gift for which we pray, rather than an accomplishment we achieve. So, even as we announce these grants, and as we look forward to the work these recipients will do in the coming year, we also pray.â€ť
Leaders of the Eastern University project are grateful for the prayers and eager to get started. "This idea was birthed many years ago by our community. We are delighted to see it come to fruition,"Â said Dr. Joseph B. Modica, University Chaplain & Project Director. Co-director of the project is Meggin R. Capers, Director of Conferences & Special Events.
The CICWâ€™s Worship Renewal Grants program is now in its 13th year and has seen more than 500 projects funded since its inception. â€śThis year,â€ť said Betty Grit, Manager of the Worship Renewal Grants program, â€śthe CICW received proposals from 15 denominations, 25 states and two Canadian provinces.â€ť
An advisory board of pastors and teachers from a variety of backgrounds assisted in the grant selection and the 31 proposals being funded represent congregations and schools from 12 denominations in 18 states and one Canadian province.
For the 2012 grant recipients, learning began in earnest this June when project directors for all 31 grants gathered on Calvinâ€™s campus to hold discussions not only with CICW staff, but also with the recipients of 2011 grants. â€śThe getting-together of both old and new grant recipients is intentional,â€ť said Grit, â€śand fruitful. It is an opportunity for learning and conversation that encourages and provides resources for worship renewal. It is a wonderful time together for the grant recipients.â€ť
The Worship Renewal Grants Program is generously supported by Indianapolis-based Lilly Endowment Inc. Founded in 1937, the Endowmentâ€™s major areas of concern are community development, education, and religion.
The next application deadline for the Worship Renewal Grants Program is January 10, 2013.
For more information on the grants program, including a complete list of this yearâ€™s grants recipients, please see: www.calvin.edu/worship.