Successful Past Projects!

Funding Missional Innovation

in our Parishes for the

Renewal of Northwestern Ohio and the World

Spirit of the Grant

Make disciples who recognize the needs of their community and are encouraged to respond with creativity and a passion to serve.

Equip leaders with the resources to be imaginative in outreach.

Strengthen parishes through original projects that reach beyond our church buildings and address the needs of our community in this time.

Nurture new and adaptable ways for the people of Northwestern Ohio to be in community.

All applicants should

imagine the needs of their community

through these four lenses.

The Call

Being the church in our particular contexts provides a unique opportunity to use our creativity to share the Good News with our communities. As people of faith, we are called into mission, defined by hope and tenacity, to support our neighbor and be of service to each other. We are called by God to ministry that reaches beyond the walls of our Church buildings and better connects to the life of our communities. When we are tempted to turn inward, the Holy Spirit calls us out.

Holy innovation and dreams are unique components as people of faith ever committed to reformation and renewal in our spaces. In recognition of the Year of Vision, the Northwestern Ohio Synod is excited to provide the resources to support and equip innovative proposals for people of faith to generously work towards the the renewal of Northwestern Ohio and the world.

The Purpose

Imagining Renewal Microgrants are intended to offer support and resources to individuals, congregations, and organizations with the desire to engage in an original community-based project that uniquely meets a need of the community, encourages social engagement, and furthers the gospel.

These grants are designed to sustain current outreach ministries but encourage new and needed engagement with our communities. Funding may be used to assist a currently operating program to innovate and meet an identified need in a new and creative way that grows relationship with neighbors and encourages a life of active faith beyond the walls of church buildings.


Any congregation, individual or community organization that is in relationship with a faith community in Northwestern Ohio is welcome to develop a proposal, in partnership with other individuals or ministries.

Each organization/congregation is eligible for one grant.

Community Sabbath

In Hebrews 4, we read about the promise of God’s rest: “So then, a sabbath rest still remains for the people of God” (Hebrews 4:9). Rest is an important part of our healthy lives together in community. Jesus provided an example of how to balance rest and work in a world that is always demanding more. What does it look for us to reimagine rest and recreation within our communities? These projects will focus on bringing people together in ways that build relationships and encourage rest and recreation.

Ministry Transformed

Many of our ministries have cared for our neighbors for a long time without pause to dream new dreams alongside those we serve. What does it look like for us to reimagine our current outreach ministries in partnership with our communities? These projects will be imagined in partnership with folks who are engaged by the ministry, with the goal of developing a meaningful way to transform the work for the betterment of the community. Transformed ministry projects will be rooted in relationships, more relevant to the lives of clients and those cared for by the project and provide opportunities to break cycles and make lasting change.

Creative Collaboration

We cannot be the church alone, and dreaming new dreams is much more fun together. What would it look like for you to partner in new ways in your community? Projects in the creative collaboration category will require the applicant to be partnered with another local leader / group / agency to create a way to care for their community in tandem.


For non-digital application accommodations, email

Awards up to $1,500

Seeding Future Growth

Funding for these grants has been made possible through generous donors just like you. Together these gifts have made $60,000 available for supporting innovative projects during this Spring 2022 round of Imagining Renewal Microgrants. We pray that this generosity will seed further generosity from those who value this ministry and have experienced its impact on their community.

Each awardee organization will be asked to prayerfully consider how in the future they may aspire to join in this generosity and give back to the Imagining Renewal Fund. Microgrant recipients are asked to aspire to give back at least 10% of the grant monies awarded in the year following the completion of their proposed project. This donation could be provided by donors within the awardee’s community inspired by the impact of their project, by a fundraiser they organize, or by funds that the awardees have the ability to designate. A concern over being able to donate back to the fund should not deter any individual or organization from proposing their project and does not have any bearing on eligibility.

Additionally, it is a high value of this initiative to imagine what each project could grow into in the future. We do not do this work alone. Each application is required to have two co-creative leaders engaged in the design and implementation of the proposed project. This may be a pastor and lay person, a staff member and client, a youth and an adult, a family and a teacher or any combination of ways that we walk through the world together in our communities. Coaches will ask about the specific dynamics of these teams, as heathy discipleship is collaborative and an important part of sustainable ministry.


Who can apply for Imagining Renewal Microgrants?

Any congregation, individual, or community organization that is in relationship with a faith community in northwestern Ohio is welcome to develop a proposal, in partnership with other individuals or ministries. Each organization/congregation is eligible for one grant.

What could proposal projects look like?

For this round of Microgrants, the Categories of Care are: Community Sabbath, Ministry Transformed, and Creative Collaboration. Grounding your proposal in one of these Categories ensures that your Microgrant embodies the spirit of the grant. Each proposal can be awarded up to $1,500.

When are Microgrant proposals due?

Applications will be eagerly accepted on a rolling basis, opening March 18 and closing April 29. This rolling basis allows coaches to reach out shortly after an application is received.

Where can these Microgrant projects take place?

In the first three rounds of Microgrants, we’ve seen successful ministries sprout up in rural areas, small towns, suburban areas, and urban neighborhoods! There is no limit to what your Microgrant can look like. 

Why should you apply?

As people of faith, we are called by God to ministry that reaches beyond the walls of our Church buildings and better connects to the life of our communities. As Lutherans, we are ever-committed to reformation and renewal in our spaces. By applying for a Microgrant or encouraging and partnering with someone in your community to apply, you are joining God on the way as we minister “for the renewal of northwest Ohio and the world”.