“The Regional Church Council of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) in Illinois and Wisconsin is pleased to offer ten (10) individual grants in 2017 of $2000 to Disciple congregations in our Region to support ministries and programs designed to build relationships, foster inclusion, and provide hospitality to our neighbors in the community.” This is for new ministry initiatives
To apply for this grant, the congregation should submit a letter from the Pastor and an Elder or Moderator of the Board that provides the following:
- A description of the ministry and/ or program.
- A description of how the ministry and/or program relates to the five values of the Region that include:
1) engaged discipleship—deepening spiritual living connection with Christ.
2)meaningful authentic relationships—encouraging connections
3) creative ministry—willing to take risks
4) mission focused—outward focused beyond our doors
5) multicultural and interconnected worldview—recognition of the beloved community.
Each program will not need to address each of the five values but the letter should indicate which values are embodied through this ministry/ program.
Upon receipt of the grant and completion of the program the congregation will be asked to do the following:
- Send a representative to the next scheduled Regional Assembly to present a summary of the program and its outcome.
- Provide high resolution photos and a summary of the program to be uploaded to the Mission First website with the help of the Regional Staff
The letter of application should be sent to CCIW, 401 W. Jefferson St., Bloomington, IL 61701 or [email protected] by Dec. 1, 2016.
Grants may not be used for staff salary or building expense support.
Glenn Oak Christian Church of Peoria and Union Avenue Christian Church of Litchfield have both received $2000 awards from our 2017 CCIW Mission First grants. The Regional Church Council is pleased to share the story of their ministries with you. Mission First grants are still available. See our website for information on how to apply: https://cciwdisciples.org/2016/cciw-mission-first-ii/
Glen Oak Christian Church in Peoria, Illinois has over a 90 year history of ministries that build relationships, foster inclusion and provide hospitality to our neighbors and community. Glen Oak strives to identify emerging needs as we redefine traditional community ministries within the challenge of our urban setting and the reduction of our traditional membership.
Sculpting Lives in Clay – Use pottery to transition self-identified unemployed men from poverty into lives they find more fulfilling. This will include life skills, job training, life-coaching, plus spiritual and economic development. Four to six men from the Glen Oak neighborhood will be trained in pottery as they participate in a 16 week group and individual coaching sessions. After the 16 weeks, these life groups will be encouraged and supported to continue; conventional job placement will be sought; and a new group of potters will be recruited.
Community Meal – Hunger in America is a statistical fact that faces children, families and communities. The East Bluff of Peoria where Glen Oak Christian Church has ministered for over 90 years has identified that in their very local neighborhood, hunger is an issue.
For the past four years the church has collaborated with the local neighborhood public elementary school by providing Weekend Snack Packs plus a Sunday Snack Pack for every child who attends Sunday morning worship and or Sunday School.
Within the last three months, Glen Oak has identified a need to offer a family style community meal to all who come on Thursday evenings from 5:45-6:30. This Community Meal is open to families, seniors, children both from the neighborhood and congregation. Over the last ten weeks, 120 guests have been to the community meal at least one time as demonstrated by the name tag board. Most evenings there is a take home food item such as fruit, vegetable, loaf of bread, popcorn which has been provided by the local food bank as part of the monthly Snack Pack distribution program. There is no charge for the hot, nutritious meal and the cost runs approximately $200 each week.
Vacation Bible School For All – For decades Glen Oak Christian Church had a Vacation Bible School during one week in the summer from 9am-12 noon. After a great deal of discussion and struggle, we decided to offer Vacation Bible School in the evening with a prime focus on families, inclusion and community fellowship. Our Vacation Bible School operates from 5:00-8:15 beginning on Sunday evening through Thursday. We offer am Early Bird Supper to all who come. Not just children but neighbors, friends and the entire community. We host it on the parking lot.
Many of the children that attend VBS also attend the neighborhood school while some have been placed in special need rooms in different schools. These children often need more intense one on one relationships and frequently a professional educator would be beneficial to both the child and the group that he would rotate with during the evening. We have reached out to the teachers at the neighborhood school inviting them to be a part of our volunteer team. The teacher rotates with the “crew” and serves as special assistant to those who are in need.
Another opportunity developed as we needed a welcoming committee to escort parents and family members into the sanctuary as part of the closing worship. We discovered that there are individuals who work during the day, not available when VBS begins at 5:30 but could be available at 7:30 to simply say hello and welcome!