Financial assistance is available for pastors of congregations in Mennonite Church USA. At Annual Conference Assembly in March, Jim Frado of Everence and Terry Shue, director of leadership development for Mennonite Church USA, talked to delegates about a program designed to address the financial challenges facing pastors. This program, which is a three-year initiative, is made possible by a grant from the Lilly Endowment.
Everence was notified in November 2015 about this $1 million grant from the Lilly Endowment. Everence is one of 27 organizations receiving grant money. The program has two main goals: 1. Providing educational events for pastors and their spouses designed to improve personal financial skills; 2. Providing financial grants for credentialed pastors facing economic difficulties. Everence is working with both Mennonite Church USA and the Conservative Conference in this initiative.
Half of the funds are available as matching funds for pastors needing financial assistance. Each Lilly Pastoral Financial Assistance Fund grant will need to be matched, dollar for dollar, by congregations, conferences, individuals or other funding sources. This Lilly Endowment requirement expands the amount of money available and the number of pastors who can be assisted. Each applicant should work with his or her congregation, district or conference leadership to help secure these funds.
Individual grants will be for a maximum of $5,000. Of this total amount $2,500 will come from the Lilly fund, and $2,500 will come from matching funds. These grants can be used for debt reduction in a variety of areas, including student loan debt, retirement preparation, medical debt and other financial concerns.
To learn more about this financial assistance grant program, see Terry’s Shue’s blog post on the Mennonite Church USA website: http://mennoniteusa.org/menno-snapshots/opportunities-grants-for-pastors/. A list of frequently asked questions about the grant program is on the denominational website as well: http://mennoniteusa.org/resource/lilly-endowment-pastoral-financial-assistance/.
A grant application form is available here: 2151193 REVISED MCUSA PFA Application