Living well is a personal journey that presents each of us with unique opportunities to steward our gifts in all dimensions of our lives. The following grants are to assist you in your journey.
These grants are inspired by the Portico Benefit Services’ Wholeness Wheel. Wellness is multi-dimensional — made up of spiritual, vocational, intellectual, emotional, physical, social, and financial dimensions of well-being. Spiritual well-being is intertwined with and influences our well-being in all other dimensions.
ELCA Covid-19 Grants
ELCA COVID-19 Grants
The Southwestern Minnesota Synod, ELCA, gratefully announces the award of an ELCA COVID-19 grant for $7,500.00. As part of an ELCA COVID-19 response, the ELCA Church Council authorized a new fund to receive revenue to directly support ministries of the ELCA, including congregations and ELCA ministries, such as camps. These funds are being awarded to synods as a block grant gift to be shared with ministries most in need and best positioned to help.
We are thankful for the generosity of those who have helped grow the ELCA COVID-19 Fund. As part of the ELCA, we are church together and we are better together. Our call as a synod is to walk alongside congregations as they “Embrace God’s Mission + Equip God’s People. We know that in the time of this global pandemic our congregations, leaders, and communities are experiencing immense challenges. We are honored to receive this gift and intend to steward it well.
The pandemic is taking a toll on ministries that we all hold dear, including Lutheran Outdoor Ministries. Therefore a portion of this grant will be shared with ministries in our territory that are prayerfully mapping a path forward for the coming months: Green Lake Lutheran Ministries – $1,000.00), Shetek Lutheran Ministries ($1,000.00), and Shalom Hill Farm Retreat Center ($500.00). We hope these gifts will serve as a sign of our support for the life-changing ministries of our synod camps and our hope for the future.
We also know there are many communities where the COVID-19 pandemic is having significant economic impact, especially hard-hitting those in communities where meat production and processing are major employers. We recognize that people working in these areas face additional fear, sickness, and economic difficulty. In addition, small businesses like restaurants have been significantly impacted by recent closures. Many of you are finding ways to show our neighbors that people in faith communities see their situation and stand with them.
The remaining $5,000.00 of our grant will be shared through an application process with congregations who are best positioned to assist people in their communities. Congregations may utilize the funds to purchase gift cards to share with people in need, provide for bag lunches and hot meals, and provide monetary support for food pantries. Up to 10% of gifts congregations receive may also be used for gift cards to be given to households for use in, and to support, local restaurants.
The COVID-19 Grants Team includes: Pr. Anthony Christoffels (Endowment Committee), Julie Mischke (Serving in God’s World Board), Pat Branstad (Synod Council), Pr. Steve Rasmussen (Conference Minister), and Pr. Dee Pederson (Director for Evangelical Mission).
With gratitude to God, and with thanks to the ELCA’s COVID-19 Relief Fund, we invite congregations to apply for these funds.
Application Deadline is June 15, 2020.
Gifts of Grace Ministerial Excellence Fund
Information and applications for Ministerial Excellence Fund grants are now available! Three categories of grants are being offered:
Reduction of Student Educational Loans (Up to $3,000),
Retirement Readiness (up to $1,200) and
Medical Expenses (up to $1,000).
Applications for Reduction of Student Educational Loans and Retirement Readiness Grants opened on April 1, 2020. Applications for Medical Expense grants may be received throughout the year.
Please click here to read the guidelines and requirements for each grant, then click the following links to apply.
These grants are made available through generous gifts to our Gifts of Grace: Toward Financial Wellbeing program and matching funds provided by Lilly Endowment Inc. If you have questions, please contact Pr. Andrew Hermodson-Olsen, 507-375-3472, email@example.com or Pastor Dwaine Bruns, 320-290-7537, firstname.lastname@example.org.
Endowment Fund Mission Statement
Empower and support the congregations of the Southwestern Minnesota Synod of the ELCA enabling growth in Christian faith and service to God’s people.
Focus of the 2020 grant program
The Southwestern Minnesota Synod Endowment Fund grant program for 2020 is looking for projects in the following areas: Community Outreach, Youth Activities, and Special Mission projects. These grants are intended for new initiatives or for significant expansions of existing programs to serve new people. We are particularly interested in proposals that involve partnerships with other faith communities and organizations in the community.
Congregations of the SW MN Synod, as well as Campus Ministries, are invited to apply.
The Endowment Committee will consider requests in any amount, subject to available funds.
- July 1, 2019 -Application must be received.
- October 15, 2019 -Applicants will be informed if the Committee has approved or denied the proposal on or before this date.
- November 30, 2019 -Successful applicants return signed agreement form by this date.
- January 1, 2020 -Funds will be available for distribution.
Granted funds must be used for the planned project by November 30, 2020.
Final accounting and a report is due 60 days following the completion of the project event(s). A form will be supplied for this purpose. The report must be or include a short article about your mission project with photos to share in our SW MN Synod online e-newsletter.
For more information, please contact:
Pr. Stephen W. Cook
SW MN Synod Minister
Endowment Committee Members:
Anthony Christoffels, Circle of Faith Parish, Welcome
Chuck Engebretson, Celebration Lutheran, Sartell
Caren Johnson, Our Savior’s Lutheran, Montevideo
Steve Jou,l Celebration Lutheran, Sartell
Gary Olson, American Lutheran, Windom
Wendy Seefeld,t Gethsemane Lutheran, Dassel
Lori Wold, Trinity Lutheran, Boyd
Wellness grants are available for up to a maximum of $250 per eligible person each fiscal year for the purpose of encouraging activities that focus on health and wellness. Grant funds are limited and are not automatically awarded, except for the specific items that are listed as examples. Each person who is rostered in the SW MN Synod and serves as a non-retired, rostered minister in a part-time or full-time call in the synod is eligible for the grants. Paid, non-rostered staff members who serve in a congregation or synodical office setting in the synod AND who have Portico Benefit Services health insurance are also eligible. All rostered minister must have completed this year’s Annual Rostered Leader Report to the Bishop to receive a grant.
Wellness grants are available to be used for a variety of ways of stewarding your health as leaders:
- Spiritual (spiritual direction sessions, attend a spiritual-centered retreat)
- Vocational (vocational building books for staff/council, staff development retreat and/or facilitator expenses, sabbatical support)
- Intellectual (attending a formal continuing education event—tuition, housing, mileage, travel)
- Emotional (counseling sessions, life coach sessions, attend a retreat for renewal)
- Physical (exercise equipment for home gym or church group, exercise classes, resources or programs)
- Social (Pastor-2-Pastor, Family Camp)
You must submit a receipt for reimbursement. Please send receipt to Maggie Berggren at email@example.com or SW MN Synod, PO Box 499, Redwood Falls, MN 56283.
$400 Wellness Dollars Incentives for ELCA-Primary Health Plan Members
Login to your MyPortico account to earn up to $400 in Wellness Dollars, which will be deposited into your personal wellness account, legally a health reimbursement arrangement (HRA), or a health savings account (HSA).