Gifts of Grace Sunday: September 27, 2020
Gifts of Grace Sunday is a great opportunity to open up conversations about financial health and ways your congregation can support the Gifts of Grace program.
Resources to use:
The Southwestern Minnesota Synod is committed to building a culture of healthy, sustained ministry in its congregations. The Gifts of Grace project is a tool to help the congregations that make up our synod lay a foundation for healthy vibrant ministry now and into the future. We want to invite you to make an investment in the health of our congregations and leaders.
Our research has shown that congregations cannot be places of healthy sustained ministry if the rostered leaders are not healthy themselves. Through a process of deep listening we have discovered that Student Debt, Medical Debt, and Deficient Retirement Savings present barriers to our rostered leaders becoming the generous, vibrant leaders needed in our congregations. The Gifts of Grace project seeks to address those three areas by making grants available to free our rostered leaders to live fully into their callings.
We have a goal of raising $280,000 by 2021 which will be matched by The Lilly Endowment Inc., our partner in building this culture of sustained health in ministry. To partner with us in this effort please see ways to give.
We also recognize that a culture of healthy ministry needs to be built within congregations. Another aspect of Gifts of Grace is providing resources for financial literacy, financial health, and stewardship training. By continuing to provide resources for our rostered ministers and leaders to attend stewardship programs, such as the Executive Certificate for Religious Fundraising, Gifts of Grace supports our rostered ministers in their efforts to ensure the financial health of their congregations, not just in the short term but in the long term as well, through cultural changes in the way generosity is approached and understood.
In the Southwestern MN Synod we have been fortunate enough to partner with the Lilly Endowment Inc. We have partnered with them for two three-year periods of work. Our first three-year term was 2016-2018. In 2018, The Lilly Endowment Inc. approached us with an offer to apply for a second three-year term so that we may further invest our gains in the life of our synod. We applied, were accepted, and will now be working with them through 2021.
With this new term comes a new infusion of money for our work, with the requirement that we match the money they give us. Lilly will provide a new grant of $250,000. At the end of Phase I, we were granted permission to roll over the unspent balance. Because $30,000 of that was moved from operational dollars into our MEF, we are required to also match that amount, so the total we need to raise is $280,000 from individual and congregational donations. Given the generosity shown 2016-2018 in raising matching funds, we know we can do this.
We invite you to walk alongside us in our goal of building a healthy, sustainable, culture of vibrant ministry in our congregations by making a financial contribution to Gifts of Grace.
Your gift will be matched 1 to1 by the Lilly Fund until the $280,000 goal is reached,
after which donations will grow & sustain the Gifts of Grace work into the future.
Ways to give:
- Mail and make your check(s) payable to SW MN Synod Gifts of Grace and mail to:
SW MN Synod, PO Box 499, Redwood Falls, MN 56283.
- Give online (checking / savings / credit card / recurring direct payment-ACH debit) Click here.
- Other gifts (estate plan / IRA / stocks / will / trust) To give with other gifts please call 507-637-3904 for assistance.