The Delmarva Cluster has a grant program that began at the First Unitarian Church of Wilmington, DE called Grants For Growth. Many years ago, the congregation decided they should play a major role in seeding many of the area churches and so this program was created to assist with that goal. The congregation continues to fund the grant pool with special Sunday Plate collections.
The purpose of the Grants for Growth Program is to facilitate and celebrate, with small awards, important growth-related activities in the lives of new and growing congregations. Examples of previous grant projects include repair of church signs, hymnal purchases, DRE certification course work, sound system purchases, publicity, guest musicians, church furniture purchases and other equipment. Most of the congregations in the cluster have received at least one grant from the fund. Any congregation in the cluster can apply by filling out Grants for Growth request form. Grants are administered by the First Wilmington Denominational Growth Committee with approval by the Executive Team.
One of the major proponents of this program who was a member of the First Wilmington Denominational Growth Committee was Karel Toll, who died last week. Karel was a tireless advocate for “UUism”. A friend remembers that Karel used to say that there would be more Unitarian Universalists if only people knew about it and he went about helping people learn UU principles. He was a successful fundraiser for the church and the association and helped establish three new congregations in the Delaware area. He will be missed by the cluster and his home congregation of First Unitarian Church of Wilmington.
If you would like to know more about this program please contact Vivian Gray of the Delmarva Cluster. Other clusters could create similar programs. Talk with your primary contact if you are interested. If you are interested in donating to the fund, please send the donation to FUCW (address below) with Grants for Growth in the memo line.
First Unitarian Church of Wilmington
730 Halstead Road
Wilmington, DE 19803-2228