The ELCA churchwide organization is embarking on an initiative called “Resourceful Servants.” This initiative focuses on several areas:
- improving the financial literacy and subsequent financial practices of rostered ministers and congregations;
- addressing two primary financial concerns raised by ELCA pastors – lack of emergency savings and retirement savings; and
- strengthening fundraising capacity for future rostered ministers through the ELCA’s Fund for Leaders. The ELCA Fund for Leaders is an ELCA initiative to build an endowed scholarship resource to provide tuition assistance for qualified candidates studying at ELCA seminaries.
The Resourceful Servants Initiative is a partnership between the ELCA churchwide organization, the Mission Investment Fund of the ELCA, the ELCA Federal Credit Union, Portico Benefit Services, and Lutheran Social Service (LSS) Financial Counseling. The ELCA Mission Investment Fund is the church’s lending ministry, and Portico provides benefits and services to enhance the well-being of ELCA rostered ministers and lay employees.
This initiative would not be possible without the help of these program partners. Please visit the sites below to learn more about the good work each of these institutions is doing.
Lilly Endowment Initiative to Address Economic Challenges
The Lilly Endowment Inc. has given a total of $28 million through the National Initiative to Address Economic Challenges Facing Pastoral Leaders, which supports religious organizations across the country as they address the financial and economic struggles that often impair the ability of pastors to lead congregations effectively. The grants are part of the Lilly Endowment’s commitment to supporting the pastoral leadership development of clergy serving in congregations across the United States. As part of this initiative, the ELCA has received a $1 million grant.
The ELCA is one of 27 organizations taking part in the Lilly initiative representing a variety of Christian traditions. The denominations include Baptist, Catholic, Christian Church (Disciples of Christ), Church of God (Anderson), Episcopal, Independent Christian Churches/Churches of Christ, Lutheran, Mennonite, Methodist, Presbyterian, Reformed and Wesleyan churches, as well as non-denominational, and historic African American Christian communities. Each program is customized to the needs of pastoral leaders in each religious tradition.
As part of the National Initiative to Address Economic Challenges Facing Pastoral Leaders, the Lilly Endowment provided grant funding to four ELCA synods, in addition to the churchwide organization. For more information on individual programs, visit the sites below.