The Endowment Fund of the Southwestern Minnesota Synod has awarded a third year of Congregational Mission Grants. The Endowment Committee reviewed 18 applications and funded all of them, at least partially, for a total of $22,100. Over the three years that the Congregational Mission Grants have been offered, $58,000 has been made available to support congregations and campus ministries. Applicants will receive notification of their awards shortly.
The Endowment Committee and the synod’s pastoral staff were most interested in applications that “multiplied leaders,” in the words of Bishop Jon Anderson. An example of this is the Planting Worship Leaders project of Trinity Lutheran Church, St. Peter. The Congregation is funding an “earn-to-own” program where interested people earn guitars and percussion instruments by “jamming” with the musicians at summer bonfire worship services. “We are excited about this program. We are planting seeds for future worship leaders in new ways,” says Pastor Nikoli Falenscheck. “We’re not only teaching guitars chords and cajon beats; we’re also teaching confidence, leadership skills, and liturgical know-how. The Congregational Mission Grant will enable us to extend the training through the next year.”
In addition to the General and Mission Enhancement endowments, which fund the Congregational Mission Grants, the Endowment Committee oversees several other funds. One endowment supports seminary scholarships. The Domestic Mission Endowment currently supports our new congregations – Reborn Lao in Waite Park and House of Grace in Montrose. The Youth Ministry Endowment and the Rural Ministry Endowment fund projects in those areas. The Global Mission Endowment is a vital way we support synod’s companions in the South Eastern Diocese of the ELC-SA.
According to Pastor Anthony Christoffels, Chair of the Endowment Committee, “Having completed our third year of Congregational Mission Grants, it’s wonderful to see the gift of generosity continuing to enhance ministries for years to come. In my opinion, this is the best synod committee to serve on. We use earnings from gifts given to the Endowment over the years in support of many wonderful ministry projects happening across our synod.”
For more information about the Endowment Fund of the SW MN Synod contact Pastor Stephen Cook in the synod office at Stephen.firstname.lastname@example.org or Pastor Keith Pearson, our regional gift planner at email@example.com / 612-718-4197.
The Endowment Committee intends to open the window for the next round of Congregational Mission grants in early spring of 2022. Watch for details to come.
Congregations who will receive Mission Grants in 2021:
Ministry, City – Conference
First Morris – Glacial Ridge
Rejoice, Clearwater – Great River
Our Saviors, Albany – Great River
Healing Waters Parish, Hanley Falls Area – Lac Qui Parle
Crow River, Belgrade – Lakeland
Grace, Belgrade – Lakeland
Big Grove, Belgrade – Lakeland
Immanuel, Clara City – Lakeland
Fields of Grace Parish, Lafayette Area – Minnesota Valley
Trinity, Saint Peter – Minnesota Valley
Swedlanda, Hector – Minnesota Valley
Christ, Cottonwood – Prairie
Trinity, Lucan – Scenic Valley
First, Worthington – Shetek
Salem, Jackson – Shetek
American, Windom – Shetek
Zion, Hanska – Watonwan River
Lake Hanska, Hanska – Watonwan River