St. Monica Catholic Community, which includes St. Monica Church, St. Monica Elementary School and St. Monica High School, has been awarded a grant from the Calvin Institute of Christian Worship and the Lilly Endowment. 

The project funded for St. Monica is a series of study sessions on the psalms in Jewish and Christian worship entitled “Honest To God: Encountering the Psalms.” The study sessions are being prepared for the musicians, composers, and psalmists of the community and the church at large. 

The study series will welcome speakers from the Catholic tradition and the ecumenical and interfaith communities, including Paul Ford from St. John's Seminary, John Witvliet, Director of the Calvin Institute of Worship, and Bob Hurd, a well-known musician and composer. 

The Calvin Institute of Christian Worship (CICW) will fund 44 Vital Worship Grants projects across the country for 2018—19 as part of its Vital Worship Grants Program. These projects have a desire to both deepen people’s understanding of worship and strengthen practices of public worship and faith formation.

This year’s recipients include 27 congregations, one high school, six colleges and universities, one seminary and nine other groups, including two community organizations, three denominational organizations, a retreat center, and a retirement community. They also represent 17 different Christian denominations, 25 states, and two Canadian provinces. Notable this year are some collaborative projects between two or more congregations.

Each grant will fund a yearlong project that promotes vital worship and faith formation. John Witvliet, director of the CICW, believes that the 2018—19 projects will help the Worship Institute in its goals to enhance the scholarly study of Christian worship and the renewal of worshiping communities across North America and beyond. “We look forward to sharing insights from these projects with a larger audience in our future programming over the next several years,” Witvliet said. 

Since it began in the year 2000, the Vital Worship Grants Program has now awarded 827 grants to churches, schools, and organizations across the country 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.

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